Melbourne


Melbourne is the oft claimed “cultural capital of Australia” – whether this is true or not, it certainly has a wealth of amazing galleries, sights and opportunities for artists. From street art friendly laneways, art events and with an art friendly population, its hard to beat Melbourne for sheer output. Pushing the new waves of low brow, street art and nu-contempotary are galleries such as  RTIST and Artboy Galleries in Prahran,  Backwoods Gallery in Collingwood, Metro in Armadale, Paradise Hills in Richmond, Darkhorse and No Vacancy in the city, and many more …


Melbourne Street Art


Where does one start with Melbourne street art? As one of the top ranking  notable world street art capitals, you could read the wikipedia page, or read any number of books on the subject, but, suffice to say, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, there are few places to miss if you are an aficionado.

You can take tours of its world famous laneways, and read up on its prolific and much loved artist collectives and studios, including Everfresh in Collingwood, Blender Studios in the CBD, Paradise Hills and Safehouse Studios in Richmond, Rival Revolution/Invurt in Prahran, Cocoa Jackson in Brunswick and many others. Not a day goes by without new work finding its way up on the walls, much of which is covered in a variety of blogs and websites, and on the Melbourne Street Art facebook pages.

Street artists can also pick up any needed supplies from such spots as Obese Records in Prahran, This Is It in Richmond, Giant in North Melbourne and Refills in Fitzroy …


Read on for all that is grand, happening and cool in Melbournes art scene …



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Video – The Biker – Shawn Lu – Juddy Roller Studios

Melbourne artist Shawn Lu has created his recent mural, The Biker, outside the Juddy Roller studios in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The Biker was completed over three days using house-hold acrylic paint and a brush, which allowed for the level of detail indicative of Shawn’s drawing style.

The video gives an insight into the artist’s process and development of the mural, beginning with his sketch and concluding with a time-lapse of the mural being completed.

The Biker resonates the feeling of wanting to escape to nowhere in particular, and having gotten there enjoying a quiet reflective moment.

Shawn is an artist who creates scenes inspired by modern folk-lore and urban legend. Practicing mainly as an illustrator, his detailed pen and ink drawings are reminiscent of etchings by Gustave Dore. He works out of the Juddy Roller Studios in Melbourne.

To see more of Shawn’s work, go to his website: shamuslu.com, or find him on Instagram: @shamuslu

The video can be viewed online here at: https://vimeo.com/131384942

The Biker by Shawn Lu from Round 3 Creative on Vimeo.

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Who: Shawn Lu.

What: The Biker.

When: Painted on June the 5th

Where: At Juddy Roller, corner of Johnston & Chapel Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne.

www.shamuslu.com

www.juddyroller.com.au

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Exhibition – Cheaper Than Therapy – Elliot Clayfield – The Den

Art & Dharma is a pseudonym for Melbourne-based stencil artist Elliot Clayfield, who has been creating stencil art for the past three years. His subject matter is often inspired by people’s resilience in the face of hardship, and the desire to make a difference in the world. Art & Dharma cites travel and Buddhism as his biggest inspirations. With a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, Art & Dharma seeks a clean, structured style that combines aspects of both art and design. Art & Dharma likes the often obscure and seemingly random shapes of stencils that when layered reveal detail, and tries to maintain a happy medium between a stylistic, and realistic approach.

For every sale made, a contribution will go to the ‘Charity: Water’ organisation who help remote villages around the world gain access to clean water, as well as ‘The Click Foundation’ who raise epilepsy awareness and are searching for a cure.

This event is not only about the art. It is also about raising vital funds for worthwhile causes. You are warmly encouraged to dig deep and donate.
Charity: Water
http://www.charitywater.org/

The Click Foundation
http://www.clickfoundation.com.au/

Who: Elliot Clayfield.

What: Cheaper Than Therapy.

When: Opens July 3rd, 7pm – till late. 

Where: The Den, 1 Doonside Street, Richmond, Vic.

Facebook event here

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Exhibition – Tree Spirits – Ears – Juddy Roller Studios

 

Opening their doors at 6pm, Friday the 3rd of July, Juddy Roller is proud to present you one of Australia’s most iconic street artists Ears. This is Ears’ first Melbourne solo show in over 4 years.

Tree Spirits is a culmination of work that Ears has produced during a month long residency at Juddy Roller, using the entire gallery space as his studio to produce a mix of large format and smaller mixed media paintings on canvas and wood panel.

Tree Spirits delivers of a series of imagined landscapes that reference mountainous Australian bush lands, accompanied by floating portraits warped by playful line work offset by sparse graphic elements.

In his latest body of work, Ears uses bold colours and geometric lines to create compositions born of a street context yet taken further into ideas of symmetry and form, utilising the tension between the man made world and the natural environment.
Ears is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sound, painting, video and photography. Ears’ work was born in the street and has matured into a successful fine art career, with many solo shows under his belt and multiple curatorial projects.

Juddy Roller, one of Melbourne’s most iconic street art studios is located in a unique warehouse space in one of Fitzroy, Melbourne’s most colourful lane ways.

Juddy Roller is owned and operated by Shaun Hossack and Matt Careri, the founders of Juddy Roller Studios and The Wall to Wall Festival, Benalla.

To hear more about the show and find out about up coming shows at Juddy Roller, check the blog at www.juddyroller.com.au or sign up for our mailing list.

 

Who: Ears (Daniel O’Toole)

What: Tree Spirits.

When: Friday 3rd July, 2015, from 6pm

Where: Juddy Roller Studios, corner of Johnston and Chapel Street, Fitzroy.

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Exhibition – Just Another July – Just Another Project Space

Get along next week to the Just Another Project Space in Prahran and support an amazing line up of artists in an exhibition called “Just Another July”.

Who: Just Another Project Space.

What: Just Another July.

When: Opening Night: 4th July 6-10pm – Till 26th July.

Where: Just Another Project Space – 2A/127 Greville Street, Prahran.

Facebook event here

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Snapshots – Ricochet – DEM189 – Backwoods Gallery

In case you missed the show here are a bunch of shots from DEM 189’s amazing show Ricochet at Backwoods Gallery last week.

 

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Sunshines Top 10 – May 2015

Ohh, here we go again – Dean Sunshine puts together another stunning top ten of all that has been grand and fkn mad around Melbourne in May! A lot of really fine stuff here, especially this dope building from Mayo as always – enjoy!!

deansunshine_landofsunshine_melbourne_streetart_graffiti_invurt top ten 50 4 Mayonaize

1. DVATE – Hawthorn
2. Nelio + Al Stark – Brunswick
3. Shida – Melb CBD
4. Mayonaize – Fitzroy
5. Makatron, Cruel, Heesco, RAD, Hancock – Melb CBD

6. Nelio + Dscreet – Melb CBD

7. Heesco, Duke Style, Shame, RAD – Footscray
8. Phibs + DVATE – South Melbourne
9. Mords + Duke Style – Melb CBD
10. SHEM – Collingwood

 

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Interview – Mark Holsworth – Melbourne Art Critic

A few weeks ago, a new volume depicting the history of Melbourne art was released into the publics eye – this was not the usual art tome, but one that covered a subject that had not been covered in print for almost thirty years – public sculpture in Melbourne.

Alongside the old weathered items from days gone by, the Melbourne public sculpture “collection” has grown over the years, as well as having modernised and followed the trends of other public art. Not only have newer sculptures in contemporary style emerged, this gallery of inanimate beauty has also spread out to encompass a variety of different “street art” forms of public sculpture.

The books author, Mark Holsworth, has been a good friend for many years. We first met way back when I was helping out with running the Sweet Streets street art festival, but I had been following his blog “Melbourne Art Critic” for a much longer time than that. In fact, it was his blog, and the way that he wrote it, that was one of the many reasons that spurred me on to create Invurt.

As one of Australias few (if, only), art critics who has also delved into the waters of street art and graffiti over the years, his journey as a writer has not always been smooth, with the misunderstanding amongst such a community as to the critics part in it all – and, immeasurably, the local Melbourne scene, (though not always evident to some to whom he turns his critical eye towards), is lucky to have him. We get the chance to hear the words of a man for whom art is a passion, but who also has a deeply critical and analytical mind that he is able to apply to such a many and varied artistic culture. Whether he is speaking of art or the varied cultural facets of the urban metropolis we live and create within, Marks often direct, flat and obtrusive words often cut right to the core of a matter. Personally, I have always found his opinions on point, even if I have not always entirely agreed them them, and I value his wisdom and input on all things artistic, so it was with a lot of joy late last year that I heard he had embarked on this endevour to write his first book on a subject that he held so dear.

I must admit, this interview is tardy on my behalf, it was conducted prior to the books release, but ensuring factors including my recent move to Singapore delayed it somewhat. It is an absolutely fascinating read, and a wonderful insight into our very own Melbourne Art Critic, as well as his remarkable book, Sculptures Of Melbourne.

 

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Can you tell us a bit about your background, and how you yourself gained such a keen interest in art in the public space?

Starting a blog turned out to be one of my biggest positive life changing experiences, probably more life changing than writing my Master’s thesis on Duchamp’s readymades and less self indulgent than trying to be another artist. I’d been trying to be some kind of an artist all my life from playwright, to playing in bands, to painting.

When I started a blog I knew that I didn’t just want to write about art in galleries because not all art is in art galleries. Graffiti, street art and public sculpture were the most obvious examples. Writing the blog made me more interested in street art and public art because it gave me a reason to look and learn and the more I learnt, saw and thought the more interested I became. I walked around exploring the city. I became so interested in street art that I volunteered for the Stencil Festival and Sweet Streets for three years.

As a critic and a writer, what do you believe are the most difficult parts of what you do, and write about?

Getting my thoughts into words is hard. Deciding what to spend time going to see and researching, all the options, is sometimes harder. What if I miss out on something really good? Actually, the hardest is writing about the average and most art is average, the two and three star review (not that I give stars), to say both yes and no with the right balance between them.

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What are some of the biggest misassumptions that people have about your writing, when you are writing critical articles. Do people often see them as just “taking the piss” or attacking, or do they generally understand the direction of what you’re doing – indeed, the whole critical evaluation of it all?

There are people who think that my writing is an attack on them, or an artist that they admire and I find that much stranger than an artist taking it personally.

The word ‘critic’ is often misunderstood but the biggest misassumption from everyone, artists to the public, is that I’m part of the publicity department. I know that in a way that I am, that for an artist or gallery any media mention is publicity, but that isn’t what I want my main purpose to be. Publicity doesn’t really embrace alternative views, they want you to be ‘on message’. I want to help people to think more about the art they are seeing by providing my thoughts, the details that I observe and what I’ve been able to find out.

This is your first book – how did it all come about and what spurred you on in undertaking such a project?

Mercenary reasons, I really wanted to write a book. There were too many books on street art on the market and there hadn’t been a book on Melbourne’s sculptures since the early 1980s. I could still combine my interest in street art because of street art sculptors. I had already done a lot of the research for my blog, so strategically it was a good idea. It then took two years to get a plan for the book and a first chapter together to show a publisher.

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What have been some of the most challenging aspect of putting it all together?

Getting the photographs for the book. I had no idea what I was doing there and no experience. Ugh, the horror, I don’t really want to think about it even now. It took another six months just to get the photographs together. Somehow it all worked out and there are some beautiful photographs in the book by a whole range of photographers.

Often, some of the older sculptures of Melbourne are often seen, but the awareness that they are “there” doesn’t always register, they are such a integrated part of the public landscape that many are just “there” – why should people pay more attention to the sculptures around the city?

I don’t know if they should but maybe it would be a good thing if people paid more attention to what is around them, rather than celebrities and other commercial fantasies.

I know its a hard question – but in your mind, what are some of the most important sculptures that we have in our public spaces? What are the most overlooked, and which ones really scream I *am* Melbourne? Can you give us a good run down on some of the cities most interesting pieces?

A very hard question, it ties into the big question of what sculpture to put on the front cover of the book. That was resolved when I saw Matto Lucas’s photo of one of the buttress groups on the Shrine of Remembrance with Melbourne skyline in the background. It is a difficult question because what is important and good in public art keeps on changing from the old fashioned idea of making a place ‘civilised’ by putting a statue on a plinth, to the modern idea of being first and now, when it might be what makes you want to take a photo. Also the idea of what is Melbourne keeps on changing, the city is growing and what ever Melbourne is, it is also an identity that many different groups of people want to make their own.
The most overlooked is a much easier question, they are mostly in Footscray. I’d never been to Footscray before I started this book. In the middle of the Footscray shopping centre there is Wominjeka Tarnuk Yooroom (also known as Welcome Bowl), a group of rocks misted with water vapour, a reference to Aboriginal smoking ceremonies. The mist is also a lot of fun for children and dogs. There is also a Bruce Armstrong sculpture in a quiet suburban street in Footscray and a sculpture by a sculpture by a notable, American minimalist.

I’ve been working on a blog post: “The ten best public sculptures in Melbourne that you have probably never seen.” So here are the top 3:

Springthorpe Memorial. If you have never been to the cemetery in Kew then you will not have seen this over the top, late-Victorian masterpiece of sentimentality created by an all star team for a woman who died in childbirth.

Will Coles, various objects around the city.

Reg Parker, Untitled, Preston Public Library. Forget all the hype around Ron Robertson-Swann’s Vault, this is actually the first abstract public sculpture still on public display and still in its original location.

What is the most interesting back story to a sculpture you came across in the course of writing your book? Every piece of art has a story, but what have been some of the stranger ones you’ve encountered?

The William Stanford fountain at the entrance to Parliament Station that was carved by William Stanford when he was a prisoner in Pentridge Prison. Stanford was in prison sentenced to 22 years for highway robbery and horse stealing. He was an apprentice stonemason who had come to the gold fields but had no luck. In prison he continued to be a serious problem until one day during a search of his cell, warders turned up a small knife and a beautifully carved bone figure of a woman. The prison governor then encouraged him to carve and Stanford was no longer a discipline problem.

The fountain is carved out of hard local granite as the prison wasn’t going to go to the expense of getting him stone to carve and it cost Stanford his life from inhaling the fine dust particles from the stone. He got an early release due to ill health, married twice and had a couple of children before dying ten years later.

William Stanford, Stanford Fountain, 1870 (5)

Melbourne has over the past decade or so undergone a huge renaissance in public art, specifically street art, what do you think have been some of the biggest changes in public awareness towards the art, and what so you think Melbourne is doing right – and wrong, in terms of public art?

There are so many new sculptures in Melbourne and most of them are street art, but it has actually taken multiple generations to get to this point. It has taken generations to change people’s minds about what art can be, today’s diversity of types of sculpture. It is hard to imagine that Melbourne was obsessed with Vault (Yellow Peril) for over a year in 1980 when people are so accepting of the work of Will Coles, Nick Ilton and Mal Function now. However, most of the people who were objecting to Vault were 48+ years in 1980, so there can’t be many of them still alive now. It has also taken generations of city planning to understand how to commission and locate public art, I was amazed that such a long term plan could work but if it didn’t then post-industrial Melbourne might now be like Detroit.
I think that understanding that public art didn’t have to be permanent is the best thing that both artists, including street artists, and local councils have done. It has meant that there are more sculptures and more different types of sculpture partially because the cost of making a temporary sculpture is so much less than one of bronze and stone. At the extreme end Junky Projects only costs new nails and occasionally some spray paint.

13 Junky Projects, c.2009 (Fitzroy) (MSH)

Now that the book is done, what do you have planned next? what other things do you wish to write about, and what more can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve got a lot of work to do next promoting, as well as, continuing writing my blog. Asking what I’m going to write next, is one of the hardest questions.

I’d like to write about art collections of the wealthy and indulgent. Cheers.

 

You can head over and read Marks blog at Melbourne Art critic, as well as pick up his book, Sculptures Of Melbourne at Booktopia, or at Readings, NGV or one of the other various retail outlets across Melbourne

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Through The Lens May – With David Russell Photography

The month of May has passed us by leaving us with so much to see, from the ASRC project in Nicholson street Footscray painted by Dvate, Mike Makatron, Conrad Bizjak, Heesco and Duke Style, also just around the corner you will also find an amazing piece by Brisbane artist Guido Vanhelten.

On of my favourite’s has to be a piece by Mayonaize covering the whole building with his killer script in Fitzroy, Plea has also has caught my eye, i’m really loving his style at the moment, i’m  looking forward to seeing how far he can push it.

With the laneways of Melbourne constantly being refreshed there is always something to find, like AC/DC lane off Flinders lane saw artist’s Heesco, Makatron, Cruel, Conrad Bizjak and Christopher Hancock paint the whole wall again as they painted it a few years ago, it breathed new life into the lane creating more foot traffic as people wandered down the lane to take photos.

So next time you leave the house bring the camera with you and discover Melbourne’s art covered streets for yourself and find out why I love this art form so much.

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Paint Up – Asylum Seekers Resources Centre Footscray – Featuring Conrad Bizjak, Mike Makatron, Heesco, Dvate & Duke style.

This is one project that was close to my heart, over five long, cold, wet days a colourfully decorated building emerged from its old grey exterior, breathing life into an otherwise drab surrounds.

I think we managed to achieve what we set out to do and that was represent the refugees in a positive light, to give them something beautifully inspiring, I got the chance to speak to many people and the overall vibe I got was they all loved it.

Artsits, Dvate, Conrad Bizjak, Heesco, Mike Makatron and Duke Style, really delivered the goods, covering the entire building over 100 meters long with a rainbow inspired palette, Heesco and Dvate dropped two insanely good portraits one of Malcolm Fraser the other was five faces mixed together.

So if you want to check out this mural head over to the Asylum Seekers Resources Centre, Nicholson Street, Footscray.

 

 

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Exhibition – A Study Of Camouflage – Backwoods Gallery

Backwoods Gallery proudly presents A Study of Camouflage – a new show within the A Study of… exhibition series.

This is the fourth exhibition in row in the long-term project consisting of annual shows that focus on different study subjects. After more than successful exhibitions A Study of Hands, A Study of Eyes andA Study of Hair, the new show is focusing on a completely different subject – camouflage.

A Study of Camouflage brings together some of the leading contemporary artists whose art, in some way, touches the subject of camouflage. In collaboration with DPM-Studio (Disruptive Pattern Material), our concept seeks to deconstruct the dominant perception of camouflage from its military driven narrative, and to bring back the camouflage patterns to its natural roots. Camouflage is usually linked with military uniforms and inherently with violence and rigorousness. However, camouflage patterns are much more than a simple military feature. Its different forms can be observed and understood as an artistic product, both in terms of aesthetics and conceptuality.

Aesthetically, camouflage can assume different shapes and forms, creating beautiful design and art products, while conceptually, it may be detached from its military connotation, and transformed to different purposes depending on the given context. Always depending on artistic approach towards it, camouflage has enormous potentials for being a perfect medium for countless interpretations of contemporary society. The use of camouflage in art may lead to more abstract forms, while on the other hand it can serve as the perfect material for figurative and conceptual approaches as well.

Each artist participating at A Study of Camouflage uses the concept of camouflage in different ways. The artists featured in the show are:Aaron de la Cruz, Acorn, Alexander Mitchell, Ashley Wood,Augustine Kofie, Beastman, Clemens Behr, Hardy Blechman,James Greenaway, Jaybo Monk, Jon Fox, Jun Inoue, Kano Hollamby, K-narf, Madsaki, Mark Bode, Mark Drew, Masaho Anotani, MoneyLess, Nelio, O-Two, Petro, Raphael Sliks, Remi Rough, ROA, Senekt, SheOne, Shida, Shohei Takasaki, Shun Kawakami, Slicer, Stabs, Stephen Ives, TwoOne and Yusk Imai.

The exhibition will open on Friday, May 29th, and will be on view until Sunday, June 7th. It will take place at a warehouse space, just next door to Backwoods Gallery, at 5 Easey Street, Collingwood.

 

Who: Aaron de la Cruz, Acorn, Alexander Mitchell, Ashley Wood,Augustine Kofie, Beastman, Clemens Behr, Hardy Blechman,James Greenaway, Jaybo Monk, Jon Fox, Jun Inoue, Kano Hollamby, K-narf, Madsaki, Mark Bode, Mark Drew, Masaho Anotani, MoneyLess, Nelio, O-Two, Petro, Raphael Sliks, Remi Rough, ROA, Senekt, SheOne, Shida, Shohei Takasaki, Shun Kawakami, Slicer, Stabs, Stephen Ives, TwoOne and Yusk Imai.

What: A Study Of Camouflage.

When: 29th May – 6-10, till the 7th June.

Where:  Backwoods Gallery, Level 2. 5 Easey Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.

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