5 Press was founded in 2015, by five Melbourne based artists: August Carpenter, Cheralyn Lim, Sarah McConnell, Jaime Powell and Sophie Westerman. The artists met while studying at the Victorian College of the Arts, and reconnected a few years later at the inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair. The collective was formed with the intention of investigating the artist book form, through traditional printmaking and book binding techniques.
5 Press have participated in a number of major art book fairs in Australia, including the Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019), Volume Art Book Fair at Artspace in Sydney (2015 and 2017), the 6th Artist Books and Multiples Fair in Brisbane (2017), HOB/ART Book Fair in Hobart (2018) as well as Paper Contemporary at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair in Sydney (2018). They have also participated internationally at Buku Mini 2017 in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, and locally at Print Space during the Abbotsford Convent Open House 2016, and the Zine Fair at the Museum of Contemporary Art 2017. In July 2017 5 Press completed an artist residency at Portland Bay Press.
5 Press are represented in a number of private and public Australian collections including the National Library of Australia (Canberra), the State Library of Victoria, and the University of Melbourne Lenton Parr Music, Visual and Performing Arts Library (Melbourne).
August Carpenter focuses on the immediacy of the made mark within her work. Negotiating between drawing and painting, her work examines moments of connection; looking specifically at interactions and mutations through marked contact points. The destruction, and consequent rearrangement of work into book-like formats, emulates her thoughts about the translation and reinterpretation of such movements and recorded moments.
August completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design, London, graduating with Honours in 2012. Having moved to Melbourne in 2013, recent exhibitions include Out of sight, 2014 with Sarah McConnell, and Here & Now, 2015 at NKN Gallery.
Cheralyn Lim has an assemblage-based practice that combines paper, painting and sculpture to explore abstraction in everyday imagery. Personal narratives and a taste for play drive her work. The result is colourful, immersive and tactile. She is drawn to paper and book making as a reconstructive process.
Recent solo exhibitions include White Knuckles (2015) at Mailbox Art Space and Sandhopper (2014) at c3 Contemporary Art Space. Cheralyn is also a member of Knight St Projects, a collective born of out her time at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she studied painting from 2009-2011.
Sarah McConnell is a Melbourne based artist working predominantly in painting and drawing on paper. As a committed environmentalist, her work addresses issues around humanity’s impact on nature and the social and environmental consequences of our actions.
Sarah completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drawing at the Victorian College of Art in 2011 and the Sustainability Leadership Fellowship program at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership in 2014. She has taught drawing at LaTrobe College of Art and Design and completed an internship at CLIMARTE.
Jaime Powell likes pictures. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2011 and interned at Singapore Tyler Print Institute. There she became captivated by methods of printmaking, in particular lithography. She attended a summer at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, New Mexico, USA. Her work involves a presentation of mark making as installations.
Apart from working on her own projects, she is currently working as a studio assistant to Brook Andrew, and working at the Footscray Community Arts Centre on a program called Artlife, which supports the art practice of adults with disabilities.
Sophie Westerman makes work that is inspired by playwriting and short fiction, and draws from personal narratives. She thinks about time, space and memory, and particularly how we decide to memorialise our lives.
Westerman completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) at the University of Melbourne. She was awarded the Print Council of Australia Print Commission in 2016 and James Northfield Lithography Scholarship from the Australian Print Workshop in 2015. Her most recent body of work, 'Close Distance', was exhibited at Hub Furniture in 2017.