Portraying the beauty in black and white

July 5, 2024 BY

Lempriere took up lino cutting in 2021 and hasn't stopped since. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Fostered by a love for black and white, Geelong lino cut artist Astrid Lempriere is following her passions as she carves her way into exhibitions and workshops.

Her love for black and white work started when she was younger, inspired by her father’s portraiture photography.

“Black and white is just so honest and beautiful and raw, which I say all the time, but I think that gave me my passion for it,” she said.

“I really enjoyed the way the light and how black and white portray everybody as beautiful, which I don’t think you see in mainstream colour photography that I would have grown up with and seen in magazines.”

Using this inspiration, her work originally started out as portraiture and has since developed into pieces that take a step back and capture a moment or zoom in and find a particular expression.

Lempriere has held a number of different roles in her life across different industries and said she felt as though she’d never really found her feet.

In 2021, she did some general workshops at Oxygen college, and despite being hesitant to try lino, once she started carving, she fell in love with it and hasn’t stopped.

Since picking up the art, she’s had multiple exhibitions, produced her own editions and held workshops.

“During COVID and a couple of diagnoses, I realised that taking time to sit and be in a classroom with other people, was really more important than anything else.”

The press transfers the ink onto the paper.


Being self-taught, she said learning the medium felt like a puzzle to her and something she wanted to work out for herself.

“It was an easy sort of process to just jump in, and I realised that I wanted to work out how to portray the movement and muscles in human form, or I wanted to work out how to accurately represent a denim jacket – it’s got crinkles and folds in it, that was the most fun part.

Lempriere also works part time in disability support, hoping one day she will be able to marry the two jobs together, making art and art workshops accessible to everyone.

“I really want everybody that is interested in chatting about it or would like to try it to be able to,” she said.

“I don’t want there to be anything that limits that connection between them being able to start something new or just try something new.”

A strong passion for building community and connection with people also drives her work.

“I’ve just started to send out snail mail to people with that idea to continually foster that connection and keep print alive rather than everything going online and digital.

“I want to make print in Geelong a bit more of an event.”

One of the joys of lino painting for Lempriere is the fact every single print is different and they’ll ever be exactly the same.

Lempriere describes the process of lino art as magical.


“I like the organic-ness of it, I like the paper I print on because I think it speaks to that too; I like that it slows me down.

“It really provides balance when you have to sit there and carve and concentrate on something. You turn off being a mum, turn off thinking about work, turn off the laundry sitting on the couch, and you just sit down and be present and problem solve your way through this little challenge.”

The lino cut artist described her style as being quite literal and figurative, showing people what she feels is an accurate representation of a moment or expression.

This style is what she believes makes her work standout.

“You don’t see a lot of lino prints on the walls and when you do, quite often they can be of an urban landscape, a floral arrangement or a bird, so I think taking the time be very people focused is different.”

For Lempriere, lino printing is the time where she feels the most confident and happy, and she hopes through sharing her work, others are able to connect with the themes and subject.

“It’s probably something I’ve never been able to do in any other role, is potentially make somebody feel something.

Lempriere works with black and white to create her one-off pieces. Photos: ABBY PARDEW


“I love the workshops because it means you get to connect with more people, but I love exhibiting, I love seeing my work on the walls and that chance for somebody to find something that they really connect with in my work.”

Over the years, Lempriere has spent a lot of time growing the teaching side of her work, hosting workshops in Geelong, on the coast and at the Rare Trade Centre.

The process to create the prints happens over several days, first creating the image and carving, completing a test print before printing her editions.

Recently creating a home studio space, The Hedgeway Art Studio, Lempriere hopes to be able to foster a place for social connection where people can come and use her press, or for those who wish for some extra coaching.

Lempriere has an upcoming workshop at Sequel Gallery in August followed by an exhibition there in October.

For more information, head to astridlempriere.au or check out her Instagram @astrid.lempriere