Press Room Details

Keeping Artistic Traditions Alive
Ian Marr

27 October 2009
Fiona Brady

Inner West Courier


DO as the Romans did and learn the ancient art of lettercutting.
Ashfield's new artist-in-residence Ian Marr will be demonstrating the intricate art at Ashfield's Carnival of Cultures on Sunday.
The Hill-End artist said the skill of carving on stone with hand tools dates back to the Roman Empire.
"It was revived in the 20th century by (Englishman) Eric Gill who breathed new life in to it," he said.
A few of us help keep that tradition alive.
"Modern lettercutters do it for love of lettering and the love of the handmade,"
He uses a little traditional hammer called a dummy and specially designed French chisels to painstakingly hand-carve in stone, usually Mintaro slate from South Australia.
Marr, who is also a poet and a painter, had a residency in Ashfield in 2005 when he created two public artworks - the Ekushe Academy Mother Language Day memorial in Ashfield Park and the Peace Memorial.
He also gave Pratten Park a Rossetta stone, which uses text from Homer's Iliad to represent in cut letters many of the home letters of the Ashfield community.
At the Carnival of Cultures, Marr will hold drawing on stone workshops for children. The carnival is from 10am to 4pm in Ashfield Park. There'll be music and dance performances, an international food market and free pony rides, a jumping castle and giant slide for the kids.
For more information go to www.ashfield.nsw.gov.au
Marr will also hold workshops for children and adults in Thirning Villa, Arthur St, Ashfield, during his residency.

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