Well, as we wrap up our year, we have Dean Sunshines last Top 10 of Melbourne street art for 2012.
Its been an amazing year for Dean, with the launch of his book Land Of Sunshine he’s been one hell of a busy man – but we’d like to especially give him some kudos for all of his continuing support, his always touching advocacy for what we do and for being an all round grand mate – oh, and for all the damn pics that he takes!
We do love ourselves a great mashup, and who better than aMBUSH Gallery to put on a group show of modern artists reinventing those masters of old?
“For centuries, art has marched alongside history, and history alongside art. Each movement, from the painstakingly detailed oils of the Renaissance to the tongue-in-cheek boldness of 1960s Pop Art, has marked and been marked by the great heights and most regrettable lows of its cultural and temporal context.
Having bubbled below the surface, in tunnels, on train lines and under the ominous cloak of midnight hours, the persistent and controversial street art and graffiti subculture has burst into the foreground of popular attention and established itself, however unexpectedly, as the defining art movement of our time.
Characterised by conflict, enigma and the burgeoning curiosity of growing audiences, it is undeniable that this movement belongs in the same echelon as other controversial, yet ultimately significant and culturally reflective art movements of centuries past.
Rinse and Repeat seeks to articulate this sentiment by showcasing the work of twelve Australian established and emerging street and graffiti artists as they find inspiration in history’s master works and reinterpret them from the perspective of today’s most prevalent and exciting art form.
Comprising the work of Phibs, Teazer, Bridge Stehli, Shannon Crees, Teem, Fintan Magee, Guido van Helten, Cam Wall, Carl Steffan and Adnate, Slicerand Deams of Melbourne’s AWOL crew, Rinse and Repeat articulates the evolution of a movement that, in its irrepressibility, has rendered it the defining art form of contemporary culture.”
Sounds mighty fine – would love to see how these artists pull off new renditions of some masters! Also check out this rad video preview of the show …
Head down to aMBUSH Gallery tonight or over the weekend to see it all for yourself!
Who: Phibs, Teazer, Bridge Stehli, Shannon Crees, Teem, Fintan Magee, Guido van Helten, Adnate, Slicer, Deams, Cam Wall and Carl Steffan What: Rinse & Repeat group show Where: aMBUSH Gallery, When: Show opens Thursday 6th December from 6pm til 9pm, show runs until Sunday 9th December.
Seasons Of Change is one of our favourite series of shows here in Melbourne, and, now with the series into their second year, it’s still going strong, bringing graff infused art in all it’s glory to the southside
Couple the strength of this series with the next “Summer” iteration this Friday night, which will be showcasing the infamously talented and globally renowned SDM crew, and you have of a one night extravaganza of pure fkn grand.
“SDM was seen as one of the main driving forces in Melbourne’s graffiti scene in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s.
They are known for elaborate full colour productions with a huge diversity in styles from member to member. Everyone in the crew has a different perspective, so an SDM production always stands out as something completely unique to the standard Melbourne style.
Responsible for Melbourne’s infamous first full colour top-to-bottom whole train and the epic SDM between South Yarra and Richmond stations which is still one of the biggest pieces in Melbourne.
The crew was also selected to take part in the recent NGV mural event at Fed Square last year.
Members recently won the best production category for the Aus/New Zealand region in the Ironlak 2008, 2010, 2012 competitions and were selected to compete in the 2008 ‘Write For Gold’ graffiti competition.
The crew is still as strong now than it ever was, with most members going on to take their craft to the next level. With members spread around Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney as well as London, Hong Kong, LA and San Diego.”
Head down to Prahran this Friday night to check it all out for yourself – if you have any interest in both the history, and the future of Melbourne graffiti, you’ll be there.
Who: SDM Crew What: Seasons of Change – Summer Where: Revolver Upstairs, Chapel St, Prahran, VIC When: Show opens Friday 7th December, from 6pm til 9pm – one night only!!
Christmas is upon us, and you know what that means? That means you should go and buy some art for those you love! Where else could you find some real bargains on such an occasion? Well, Safehouse Studio, of course!
Haha, okay, enough fkn infomercial. But, really, you know that when a group of artists in a studio get together to do a garage sale, that even the word "garage sale" wont do it justice. Okay, so we might be a bit biased here, considering Safehouse is our home base, but this Saturday’s Super Garage Sale is going to be mad – and we want to see as many of you there as possible!
We’ll all be digging into our piles of work and putting everything on sale – prints, paintings, sketches, drawings, hidden blackbook gems, and rare pieces from the archives. Not only that, but there will also be a bunch of painting and live art going on, a bbq (of course), art supplies and general good times.
Dangerfork, who are also residents in the studio, will also be pulling out a whole heap of mad stuff will also be "selling lost prints in the archives, test prints, and a selection of current prints at a HUGE DISCOUNT."
This is a chance to not only check out all the work from the crew at the studios, it’s also a great chance for you to come hang out, and maybe lighten our piles of art a little! haha.
If you’re in Melbourne, we’d love to see you there!!
Who: All the Safehouse Studio crew What: Safehouse Super Garage Sale Where: Safehouse Studio, 67 North St, Richmond, VIC When: Starts 11am, Saturday 8th December and goes until 4pm!!
So many of his previous Top 10s ended up in the book itself – loved it – and we wonder, in the future, which of these may end of in another edition one day. That all said, man, there has been some awesome work around the streets of Melbourne lately … thanks Dean!
The thing is, though, is that after the Jill Meagher tribute piece in Hosier Lane was painted over, the media (and many other media outlets) in all their “cant get news right” wisdom actually attributed a completely different piece as having painted over it.
“News” outlets such as the Herald Sun made a big song and dance about it, skerricked up some lame quote from someone who occasionally walks through the lane, as well as one from Robert Doyle, and made it out as if the piece being painted over was a terrible, heinous act by a bunch of vandals. Even worse, was that they didn’t even get onto the story until a week after the piece had actually initially been painted over – by then, they had already missed the story. Instead they decided to publish an image that wasn’t the correct piece, and then attempted to vilify a group of artists because they had painted graffiti over … a piece of graffiti.
The real story, however, was that the wall had initially been reclaimed by a bunch of awesome female artists paying both homage and respect to the “tribute” piece in the best way possible – by bringing attention to the plight of those affected by violence and sexual abuse. If anything was appropriate to replace that tribute to Jill Meagher, it was what these ladies did. Then, when you think it couldn’t get any worse, was that when the media outlets that reported on it were given the real story, they completely ignored it. It was no longer news to them, they’d all already magic’ed up their own sensationalist version of the truth and moved on to the next “news” cycle.
Imagine our surprise.
This story speaks for itself, directly from the artists who painted over the Jill Meagher tribute piece in Hosier lane two weeks ago. Unlike the Herald Suns, Channel 7, 3AW “news”, The Irish Times and The Suns (to name just a few) hugely incorrect version, this is what really happened down at Hosier Lane.
Please read on, and share it around – not just for the reason that it is the real story, but for fact that it is a wonderful act by a group of women who wanted to bring attention to the terrible actions of the darker side of humanity, and those who suffer because of them.
For the record a group of five women reclaimed that wall on Friday 26th October at 5pm. Why? Because it was our right, and to be perfectly honest, no-one else had the courage to do it.
After the tragic death of Jill Meagher, a visiting graffiti tourist decided it would be a nice gesture to show his respect by painting his condolences on a world famous wall – which at the time was covered with some of the most technically amazing, and aesthetically beautiful graffiti that Melbourne has ever been fortunate enough to see.
The irony is that this simple act showed an absolute disrespect to the artists whom he went over, as well as to the local Melbourne graffiti community. The mainstream media took hold of the story and ran with it. The Melbourne City council even proposed to ‘protect’ it.
Meanwhile, I decided that something had to be done about it. How dare this mural remain in my city? How dare the general population of Melbourne glorify a victim of sexual violence by sensationalizing an illegal graffiti mural? I was really fucking angry. I reached out to my local network of female graffiti artists and proposed that we reclaim the space during the official Reclaim The Night march on the last Friday of October. We took it back as a protest against sexual violence on women and children, and we took it back so that beautiful ephemeral art could once again be created on that wall for all to see.
Since that Friday night, several artists have painted on the wall. Unfortunately some of those artists were blamed for vandalizing the RIP Jill mural. I contacted each and every one of those online and printed news article journalists to provide our story and explain the reasons behind the re-paint, but not one of them wanted to hear it. Mainstream media don’t want the truth, they want sensationalism.
You know what? Fuck them! We own the streets and we will paint whatever we like on them.
You’ve heard my side of the story, here’s what the other ladies had to say.
I wanted to paint Hosier Lane because it’s the graff community’s wall.
It’s nice to be able to relax and paint in the city sometimes before work and it’s awesome to check out new pieces. 20 metres of wall, taken away from us permanently, was just wrong – the fact it was just a stomper which covered some really burner pieces, is just disrespectful. It’s one less spot to paint and that RIP mural belonged on the lines really.
We left Jill’s name anyway, 1m of wall for a tribute is fine with me.
I’m annoyed at the media for publishing an incorrect story. The family is probably feeling worse now because they’re being told that the stone placed where the body was found was removed and the tribute art was painted over. The media have done more damage than good (no surprises there). If they had the real story, they would have known the pieces covering the art was not only for Jill but for all women. It has also portrayed some graffiti artists as cold hearted – which simply isn’t the case. When the public and police saw us painting over the art and knew the reason, they were very understanding and supportive.
We all dream of a better world where violence and abuse is unheard of, unfortunately this is not the case. It happens on a daily basis to women of all shapes and age. Nearly two thirds (57%) of Australian women will experience assault in some form in their life time which develops long-term effects on all relationships and within the community. Quite clearly this is too much, this needs to be stopped. When I was invited to paint hosier lane on behalf of ‘Reclaim The Night’ I was wholeheartedly involved as this is an issue close to home. This was an opportunity to give me a voice and to use public space at night without fear, this should be an everyday right. We are all human and we all bleed red just because of gender, someone should not put restrictions on their lifestyle.
On the matter of painting over the RIP Jill mural, this was by no means any disrespect to her or her family, this was to raise awareness to the real and unfortunate attacks on women that occur on a daily basis. Traditionally Reclaim The Night is a march, however my interpretation is to say that we are never to blame for rape or violence. Those who commit the crimes are to be blamed, we demand the right to be able to live without fear and demand for an end to sexual violence so we can enjoy our freedom.
Reclaim the Night is a annual worldwide march by woman for woman. Victims of rape, mental or physical abuse and domestic violence need to stand tall together and demand our human rights as females, and to feel safe in our streets. Painting over this mural with female graffiti artists was in respect to what happened to Jill Meagher and all woman of all countries who have been sexually violated. This act of painting was to speak out to woman and girls that rape and violence is not on and needs to be stopped now.
When I was approached with this idea, I was honored to be able contribute and help raise awareness of ‘Reclaim the Night’ – what better place to spread the word and have the opportunity to speak to others passing by than Hosier Lane.
I hope a message was sent out to the public that what we did was not a sign of disrespect for painting over the mural, but simply a way of raising awareness to others in the community to speak out and help one another. Woman and young girls should absolutely feel safe walking Melbourne streets alone. We left the ‘Jill’ section of the wall out of respect to her and her family, and it is sad to see that the next artists to paint the wall went over this. I hope that more people will choose to join the annual marches and tell their friends about it. We need more woman standing up for our rights and to help stop Violence against Woman.
I wanted to keep drawing on the media coverage of this repulsive act, that women and children, even men, are being sexually violated by predators and unjustly victimised by persons of the law.
The bottom line is we should be safe in our streets, that’s our right no matter what age, sex, social status, mental state, attire or anything else the law can put in the mix that ‘forced’ predators to act in this way.
Reclaim your right, reclaim your night!
(Please click on the image above for a detailed view of the actual work that replaced the Jill Meagher Tribute Piece)
Ed. We’d like to say a big thankyou to Joske, Lilar, Maiden, Skies and Moisel for sending us through this story. We wish that the media had of actually paid attention to this, and we share your disgust at how the whole thing was handled by them – why invent the truth when the real story is so much more important?
We hope that your words find their way to all those who need to read them.
Tonight will see the launch of a book that many have long looked forward to – the culmination of a passion project that we’ve followed from its inception. Having been “paintspotting” around Melbourne for years, Dean Sunshine started sharing his captures way back in 2010 – opening up his blog, Land Of Sunshine to the masses. Back in March, 2011, Dean became a regular contributor here on Invurt, sending through his monthly roundup of Top 10 pieces he’d seen around the streets of Melbourne – and Dean and I have been great friends ever since.
Now, he’s taken that collection of thousands of photos and somehow, extraordinarily, managed to cut them down into a book – named, of course Land Of Sunshine. How he managed to do this, I have no idea – but the result is 300 pages of incredible art from across Melbourne in the past two or three years. This isn’t any old work, either – it is the cream of the crop in many ways, much of the artwork inside it will be familiar to you if you’ve followed Melbourne street art over the past few years. If you’re just getting into it, well, its an amazing introduction and primer to what goes on down here in the ‘Burn.
I’m not going to talk too much about Dean here, because I was honoured enough to do so for the introduction to the book itself – theres plenty of jibber jabber in there. So please, read on for a little bit behind about one of the best people I know amongst this crazy world of the Melbourne street art community …
How long have you been enamoured by the Melbourne street art scene, and where did your affinity for art on the walls spring from?
I’m lucky to have grown up in Melbourne during the hip hop/graffiti explosion in the 80′s. Being an impressionable teenager I was hooked straight away. Over the last twenty years I have been surrounded by ever changing art on the streets whilst driving across Melbourne as part of my daily work routine. For the last five years, I’ve been taking photos and documenting the street art scene – my blog, Land of Sunshine, was started in 2010.
How long have you been working on the book and where did the idea to do it first come from?
I started to think about producing a book earlier this year after realising there was a lack of printed matter showcasing the overall scene in Melbourne, specifically the last few years. As I had all the content (over 12,000 images) it only took three months from starting the process to pressing print.
What did you want to represent with this book, and how did you want to accomplish this aim?
I wanted to represent the post stencil Melbourne street art acene and specifically to showcase the artists and pieces that have impressed and inspired me over the last few years – there are so many … it was very difficult to cull them to just 300 pages …
What were some of the more challenging aspects of putting together the book, and what were some of the unexpected difficulties you encountered along the way?
I think the most challenging aspect of doing a book is the content, but as I had hard drives full of images that was pretty easy. Sorting the artists’ images and organising the other chapters definitely took some time, but again, not too difficult. The hardest part of it all was acknowledging that my photos needed re-touching for print, and that I didn’t know how to use InDesign to get the files ready for the printer.
With the keen eye and help from both Elizabeth McLeish and Georgina O’Connor these two issues were skilfully taken care of. Once I started this project it could not be stopped – it literally took over my days and nights, and I’d often wake up with even more ideas.
You’ve gone and checked out a large amount of work up on the walls – what have been some of your favourite locations/painting sessions you have seen?
Anytime you see these artists at work it is inspiring – I am in awe of their incredible talent when all I do is push a button on a camera.
Some memorable moments include late night pasting with D*Face (right next door to Malvern Police station) … watching DMV paint the huge piece in Chinatown … spending an afternoon with Hush and ELK painting my warehouse … driving around Brunswick and Fitzroy bombing with Will Coles … There’s More Festival in Brunswick where we had 40 artists painting the whole exterior of my warehouse … hanging with Slicer at an epic abandoned warehouse in Yarraville … watching Adnate paints those phenomenal faces … pasting with Phoenix and at other times Drab … hanging with the WSW crew while they paint both north and southside … helping CDH erect the Atlas piece opposite the NGV on St.Kilda Road … painting with Unwell Bunny and Mysterious Al at the Brunswick warehouse … bringing cold beer to Drew Funk as he painted the whole side of a building solo in St.Kilda …
(Urban Cake Lady)
Where do you see Melbourne and its art in regards to the international street art community? What do you believe it provides in terms of art up on the walls that other countries may not, and what do you believe that it doesn’t offer, that other countries do?
A few years ago a friend of mine said Melbourne street art didn’t rate internationally – he even sent me a list of global sites with no mention of Melbourne. I disagreed with him, so I set out to prove him wrong. I have travelled quite a bit and, without sounding too biased, our street art is world class!
I think Melbourne has such a large diverse range of different art on the streets – in many cities you just dont see such a range of styles. I think the only thing we lack are huge murals on whole buildings – like you see in Berlin. Those just stop you in your tracks.
Tell us a bit about the preparation that you have done for launching the book, and what some of the more interesting behind the scenes aspects of it have been?
Last weekend I was supremely fortunate to have some of the best Melbourne artists put their time, paint and energy into painting the space for the book launch. Andate, Kaff-eine, Slicer, Lucy Lucy, Heesco, Shida, Mysterious Al, Facter, Jack Douglas, RAD, Hancock, Junky, Eleven, Steve Cross, Choq, Ryan Boserio – I thank you all and it will never be forgotten, nor will the smell of paint fumes.
Tell us a bit more about where the book will be available and how people can get a copy of it?
For the past two years Dean Sunshine has embarked on a passionate mission to capture the vibrancy and beauty of street art across Melbourne.
With a long history of association with graffiti and street art, Sunshine has witnessed countless works in action, discovered hidden gems and documented artwork loved by street art communities and dedicated fans both locally and around the world.
Dean’s blog, Land Of Sunshine, has been a beckoning destination for all who enjoy their photographic fix of art on Melbourne’s streets and lanes. With this print version, Dean has created a 300 page book titled Land of Sunshine, the first in many years that represents the globally recognised Melbourne street art movement in its cross-genre entirety.
Over a hundred Melbourne artists are featured, with special exposés on a dozen specific artists who have made their impressions on Melbourne’s walls, including: Adnate, Be Free, CDH, Deb, Drab, Heesco, Kaff-eine, Makatron, Phoenix the street artist, Slicer, Suki and Urban Cake Lady.
All the photographs contained within the book have been captured by Dean on his many paintspotting adventures. The wide variety of mediums used and the Melbourne street art community as a whole are also well represented with chapters on walls, paste ups, exhibitions, international artists and installations.
“Land of Sunshine is a moment of captured time in the kaleidoscope of art that has adorned Melbourne in this, the second decade of our ‘new millennium’. In my mind this book, in regards to Melbourne street art, is as critical a piece of cultural documentation as any other produced.”
Returning to Melbourne for a second time, Mark Bode has been a hell busy man since his last trip down here for his successful solo show at House Of Bricks. Now, he returns with a spin on the Australian culture, for his whimsically cool show “Ned Kelly Maps & Other Outback Stories” …
“In the graffiti pantheon, Mark Bode is one of the living gods.
Son of the iconoclastic New York underground comic book artist Vaughn Bode. A prolific and charismatic artist in the 70’s who universe of characters and stories resonated so strongly with rebellious mentality of the burgeoning hip-hop and graffiti scene that they we’re adopted by the earliest graffiti artists, becoming the first illustrated characters to appear in graffiti. Soon the Bode style of illustration became as ubiquitous to the development of graffiti as wild-style.
As the inheritor to this global movement Mark Bode spent his formative years in the surreal world of comic book, illustration and fantasy artists. Raised in New York with the familiar work of his father speeding past him on the subway and painted on walls throughout the city, Mark also soon became actively involved in the graffiti scene himself and is today one of the worlds most respected graffiti artists.
Mark is a comic book writer and artist, a tattooist and a graffiti artist, he has expanded on his fathers legacy and continues to this day to act as the guardian of the universe, overseeing it’s development with projects throughout the world.
Mark is presenting new body of work focused on the life and crimes of the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.
During a road trip to Sydney earlier this year and an impromptu stop at Glenrowan, Mark was introduced to the story of Ned Kelly who has since become a regular addition to his universe. In this show Mark is presenting a series of sketches and original works on Australian road maps featuring the Kelly Gang and a Bode interpretation of their universe which in his opinion deserves further development in the global consciousness.
This exhibition is only up for one weekend from the 16th of November until 18th and is being presented at a Backwoods pop up space, on 143 Johnston Street, Collingwood.”
We interviewed Mark last time he was down in February, and we’d heard he was going to be making another trip down this way – we loved his show at HoB and this one we’re sure will be no exception. We’d heard that this was going to be at House Of Bricks or Backwoods, but we just received an email saying that it is now going to be at a special popup space on Johnston st in Collingwood – so head down there to check it all out this Friday – you wont be disappointed.
Who: Mark Bode What: Ned Kelly Maps & Other outback Stories Where: Backwoods Gallery POP UP SPACE – 143 Johnston St, Collingwood When: Friday 16th november from 6pm til 9pm, show runs until 18th November only.
Invurt webzine provides information on AustralAsian street, urban, illustrative, graffiti and other genre defying, nu-contemporary art to readers around the world. It specialises in events and artists who are working, displaying and visiting Australasia – particularly with a focus on exhibitions, live art and other events the artists are partaking in.