Scaling the wall of success

Published 11 April 2007

Artist Jo Kambourian looks forward to the day when her boutique hand-printed wallpaper graces the walls of the rich and famous.

Meanwhile, the 2007 Southern Cross University Kaske art award winner said she was happy just to put her creative ideas into practise in her own Coraki home.

Jo was recently announced the winner of the prestigious $5,000 annual John and Sheilagh Kaske Memorial Fellowship to assist recent graduates make the transition from study to a professional career in the visual arts.

John and Sheilagh Kaske were Lismore residents sharing a commitment to the local community in the fields of health, education and the arts. Their bequest to Southern Cross University has enabled the establishment of a scholarship fund in their memory.

Jo, who completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts degree last year, will use the money to help establish her own working art studio as well to do an internship in Sydney with the leading hand-printed wallpaper design and production company, Signature Prints.

Last year after she returned from spending a semester on exchange at one of the world’s leading colleges of art and design, the Pratt Institute, in New York, Jo was ready to tackle the big question ‘well, what I want to do with my degree?’

“Because I was interested in graphic design and traditional print-making, the idea of getting into wallpaper design came up,” Jo said.

“One of the people I have most admired I this field is Florence Broadhurst. When I did a web search on her work, the Signature Prints site came up. This was the perfect place to begin, as they hold the library of Broadhurst designs and still print fabric and wallpaper in traditional methods.

“It turned out they also have a well established internship program. I was keen to learn the technical skills of traditional, hand-printed wallpaper design, and they were keen to have me.

“Winning the Kaske prize is a dream come true for me and it will make it much easier to live in Sydney while I do my four-month internship.”

When she returns home, Jo hopes to establish a business producing one-off wallpaper designs for customers which reflect something of their individuality or family history.

She plans to make her recently purchased Coraki home a showcase of her work.

Eight Kaske Awards of $500 each were also made to outstanding first and second year students in the Bachelor of Visual Arts. The intention is for students to use this money to purchase art materials.

The eight winners for 2007 were:
1st year painting (tied): Jacquie Scotcher and Evan Kosack;
2nd year painting: Leonie Jackson;
1st year printmaking: Katrina Kell;
2nd year printmaking (tied): Belinda Charlton and Rebekah Dunn;
1st year sculpture: Kylie Stoddart;
2nd year sculpture: Michael Moynihan.
(There were no ceramic awards this year.)

Photo: Jo Kambourian, this year's Kaske Award winner, with one of her favourite artworks.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.