Vivienne Littlejohn was born in Launceston, Tasmania. She studied at the Tasmanian School of Art in 1966, life drawing under Pam Hallandal at the Prahran Institute of Technology 1967-69 and painting at the Alexander Mackie College 1975-76. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions since 1982. She has visited Egypt on a number of occasions which is reflected in a number of her most recent woodcuts, as is the work of Japanese printmaker Munakata. Littlejohn began making woodcuts in 1978 and has taught printmaking at the National Art School, Sydney since 1986.
'Tricks of the trade' is from the 'Kings Cross' series of twenty woodcuts, first exhibited in 1987. The series is the artist's response to her neighbourhood; the figures in 'Tricks of the trade' were prompted by a playing card of naked women. It was printed by hand by the artist in her Sydney studio.
"I worked in a shop in Kings Cross that sold cigarettes when I was a student, and they had playing cards, one for women and one for men, in different poses. At that time there were a lot of women making art about their bodies, but this is more light-hearted. I did it to get up their noses actually. It isn't so shocking when you look at it". (conversation with artist, June 1998)
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'Australian prints from the Gallery's collection', AGNSW, 1998
woodcut, black ink on buff Japanese hand-made paper
98.0 x 39.6 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed with initials and dated in block to print l.r. corner, "VL '86".
Not on display
© Vivienne Littlejohn, 1986. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 1 exhibition
Australian prints from the Gallery's collection (1998-1999), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 1998–07 Feb 1999
Referenced in 1 publication
Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, Australian prints from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1998, 135 (illus.). cat.no. 114