Kyneton printmaker, Lawrence Finn, uses beautiful imagery to communicate dark truths.
The artist says he often describes the work that he creates as "ugly stories for beautiful people".
"If you want to tell a dark story you have to do it beautifully, you have to make the work really aesthetically pleasing to draw people in so that you can talk about the world, and dark secrets, and things people don't often talk about," he explains.
"I think that most people want to say things (about the world) but they don't have the words, and when I started as a teenager, I didn't really have the words, but I slowly developed the language through the pictures."
Lawrence was one of the youngest students accepted to study at the National Art School in Sydney since the mid-1950s. His print work was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, a week after his 20 birthday, and in 2006 more was added to the national collection via an acquisition award from the SilkCut Prize (one of Australia's premier printmaking prizes).
Lawrence has been producing silkscreen, wood engraving and lino block prints for 29 years (he started at 15). His work has been published by John Yates, the art director for the Dead Kennedys, Memoria Pulp, creators of subculture publications and independent film, and Crippled Dick Hot Wax!, a record label in Germany. His work has been used or ripped off by bands as famous as Nurosis, and as infamous (and obscure) as the Fred Nihilists.
As a printmaker he cut his teeth at Sydney's legendary 'Redback Graphix' under the mentorship of the late Michael Callahan.
Lawrence recently moved to Victoria, the printmaking capital of Australia, to set up his letterpress print studio, Hipcat Printery, in Kyneton.
The studio boasts six printing presses, the oldest functioning press - a 1913 Chandler and Price Platen - is 100 years old this year, and the collection includes a 1971 Asbern flatbed and a Kelsey parlour press for children's classes.
The Hipcat Printery specialises in workshops for the creative individual and artist editions.
"Lawrence's work does not shy away from the gritty, dark underbelly of the Australian political landscape. He is one of the very few artists in this country, willing to expose socio-political truths with an eye for detail and talent that demands attention," says artist, Margarita Georgiardis.
"The printmaking medium has historically been utilised as a tool of irreverent communication, Finn has seized and mastered this art form to convey his message with visual articulate power, not seen since the 1950s in this country. "Australia needs artists like Lawrence Finn, an artist not ashamed to hold a dark mirror up to our social conscience."
Lawrence will be showing his work and demonstrating printmaking techniques on lovely antique presses for the 2013 Daylesford Macedon Ranges Open Studios program.