Wonderwalls, a 3 day street art and graffiti festival up north in Wollongong looked awesome, featuring a great line up of Australian and International artists. From Melbourne Shida, Wonderlust, Adnate, Two One, Idiot and Sirum.
Backwoods Gallery had their last show “A Study of Hands” for 2013 and it was a cracker, continuing on in the anatomy series – which will apparently continue over ten years – epic. I particularly liked works by Dave Kinsey and Lister.
Alex Mitchell, Curator of Backwoods Gallery and writer for The Opening Hours was back in Melbourne for the month. Alex did some great studio visits with Two One, Miso and Ghostpatrol. Some great, intimate photos.
Everyone’s been talking about this abando and I can see why. David Russell managed to find his way in and capture some amazing work. I really love Slicer’s geometrical shapes filled with his signature slices, as well as Deams, and Rashe’s pieces. All of this work feels so at home in this place. I do love abandos! More here.
Wow! What a year it has been in Melbourne street art and graffiti, this is my 2nd last post covering 2013. December post coming soon. I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Years Eve whatever you got up to.
I’ll start off with this great talk Ghostpatrol gave at Renew NewcastleCreative Talks. GP talks about his current life as a full time artist, growing up and the influence and importance of street art on his current work. GP also mentioned the ABC documentary made about him (and his partner – Miso) which is also definitely worth a watch – available here.
Kaffeine used the All Your Walls event as a launching board for her latest project HEARTCORE. (I’ll be doing a separate article on All Your Walls Part 2 soon).
Kaffeine painted her 1st piece for her new projectHEARTCORE. For this amazing project Kaff is working with Berry Street, a child and family services organisation, and using real stories created by young people at the at Berry Street.
From the Just Another Blog “Creative writing and poetry from young people in Berry Street School will be interpreted by renowned Victorian street and contemporary artist Kaffeine and painted as a series of large and small street art murals on walls across Melbourne; including one that will take up a whole inner-‐city laneway. A coffee-‐table book titled HEARTCORE will then be launched at the conclusion of the project, made up of professional and artistic photographs of the murals together with the writing”.
This post is super late but definitely worth sharing with you all. I have been flat out working on the 2nd and final installment of ALL YOUR WALLS (last Wednesday through Friday – which was a HUGE success, I’ll be doing a full post on that soon). October’s post is short and sweet with some amazing content. Take some time to watch the videos and check out some of the awesome pics below.
This interview from Upstart Magazine with Australian stencil artist Damien Mitchell is a great way to start (Damien now lives in Brooklyn NYC). Damien gives a good insight into Melbourne’s scene and some great shots of some of the city’s best spots for street art and graff. Being a dog lover I’m a huge fan of the story behind the dog stencil.
This great short doco reappeared on vimeo after a long time in hiding. Melbourne Ink was filmed back in 2008 by Julien Sena and Romain Levrault while visiting from France. The video features the work of and interviews with some of Melbourne’s best artists; right in the midst of the massive explosion of street art in our city. Big ups to Fletch for the link!
Seeing this music video was a great surprise. Australian band Spiderbait recently released the music video for the track ‘It’s Beautiful’ (from their self titled album). A great video showing off some of Melbourne’s best lane ways and featuring the work of many Melbourne street artists and some music by a rad band.
Miso’s latest show ‘Bright Night Sky’ at Backwoods Gallery was amazing to say the least! Each piece created with a series of intricate pin pricks that come together to form beautiful pieces. Sold out before it opened, nice! These great shots show off some of her work and the awesome installation (in particular the fish eye shot).
My friend Lou Chamberlin launched her new book “Street Art Melbourne” in Hosier lane. Lou has been collecting shots of Melbourne’s amazing street art in our streets and lanes for the last 6 years or so, and the result is this great new book, showcasing some of Melbourne’s best artists alongside interstate and international visitors. Lou also invited a bunch of artists down and provided some paint to help colour the lane. I was asked to write the forward for the book which I was happy to do. Check out some of the work painted on the day here. You can preview the book and grab a copy here.
Kirpypainted his iconic Metcard stencil at Revolver. A common sight around Melbourne a few years ago, before it was replaced by the latest ticketing system. If you don’t get why it’s ripped then you probably won’t appreciate the stencil as much 😉 I love the crispness of the stencil against the texture of the wall, it sort of looks like it’s floating.
Reka painted this awesome mural in San Francisco – a mad piece. He also did a great interview on the local news.
He also painted in Portland this Autumn themed wall, titled “The Fall”. I’m really loving the direction James is taking with his work, to me it seems like he is incorporating more traditional shapes and objects meshed with his awesome style that we know and love!
This recap of Project 5 in Sydney, featuring Rone and Adnate from Melbourne. A great little project with Rone, Adnate, Numskull and Jodee Knowles. All proceeds from the works went towards supporting a great charity (ICE). A good close up of the live work and interviews with the artists.
David Russell’s “Through the Lens” for October brings the goods from around town, as usual. Here’s some of my faves.
And to finish up a couple of rippers from Dean Sunshine’s Top Ten.
Photos courtesy of Dean Sunshine, David Russell, Dreaded Cat Studios and Reka.
Here’s some of the amazing stuff that happened in Melbourne last month. I’m sorry it’s so late – I am already working on the March post. Damn I am proud to post about my home town. So much goodness every month. Enjoy!
Last month, I was at the Living Walls Conference in Atlanta, but it’s only now that I’ve really had a chance to sit down and write about it. I thought that I was going to write this really long post, but the environment at Living Walls is difficult to capture in words, so this post isn’t nearly as long as I would have hoped.
Living Walls is, as far as I can tell, the best mural conference/festival/program going on right now in North America. Living Walls doesn’t tend to just invite all the artists who are painting at other mural events around the world. They invite good artists. Sometimes those artists are guys like Roa who are everywhere, and sometimes it’s women like Miso who have only ever painted one or two murals. As a result, Living Walls sets trends among mural festivals.
For their main conference this year, Living Walls really bucked popular trends and tried to put street art on a new track by having a festival made up almost entirely of female muralists. While guys like Gaia, LNY and I were still invited to speak at the lecture and panel portion of the conference, the murals by Lex&Sten and Indigo&Andrzej Urbanski were the only two where male artists were contributing.
While the murals weren’t as amazing on the whole as they were last year and the crowd of artists wasn’t nearly as rowdy (although that might have been a plus), this year’s Living Walls did bring some great work to Atlanta and really showed that there are some underrated female street artists and muralists out there who could be on the mural circuit as much as guys like Jaz or Roa. My hope and expecting is that the top-tier of artists from the conference will get more attention brought to their work thanks to Living Walls and some will start getting invited to a lot more mural festivals. As I’ve said in the past, I do not generally get excited to give artists preferential treatment based on them belonging to some underrepresented group, but I can see why an all-female Living Walls may have been the right move for this year even if the quality of the work did drop slightly.
This Living Walls conference had more artists than ever before who were either more on the community mural side of the spectrum or had never painted a mural before. The results of that move were mixed, but there were some artists like Jessie&Katey and Mon Iker who took the opportunity and absolutely crushed it.
One thing I have to add isn’t so much about the art though. Whether Living Walls were inviting only artists that none of us have ever heard of before or stealing their line-up from Nuart, it would still be at least one of the best mural conferences in the world. That’s because Living Walls’ secret is in their amazing staff. Living Walls has best team of volunteers of any mural festival I’ve ever seen or could imagine. They are unbelievably dedicated to the festival and to getting more world-class street art and murals in Atlanta. Every day, the media team led by Alex Parrish was up until something like 4am putting together a video of what had gone on that day, and then they’d be back up at 7am to start filming all over again. Just last week, I was emailing with Keif Schleifer, their Logistics Director, who was spending her free time advising me on cherry-pickers. The day of the Vandalog Movie Night, volunteers showed up out of the blue to help us set up and run the show. Laura Calle and pretty much everyone else on staff who spent their own money to pay for the gas to drive myself and the artists around Atlanta. The drag queen who was a volunteer last year and this year helped arrange a drag show for the Living Walls Block Party. The artist assistants who stand in the hot sun alongside their artists all day long, offering any help they can. And of course, Monica Campana, the Executive Director of Living Walls, who is the amazing glue holding everything together without ever sleeping or slowing down. Everyone on staff or volunteering at Living Walls works at least as hard as the artists, and they were certainly working harder than me. After visiting two years in a row for just a few days each time, it honestly feels like I have family in Atlanta.
This year’s Living Walls Conference has begun and the team are posting daily updates to Vimeo. Here are the first three days. I’ll be arriving in Atlanta for the conference in less than 24 hours. Please join me on Wednesday night for an evening of short films and Friday evening for a panel about gender and identity in street art. And also, I’m sure the rest of the conference events will be interesting too. Here’s the full line up of Living Walls activities.
Space Indavers is a collection owned by the National Gallery of Australia featuring street art, stencils, posters, paste ups, zines, stickers and graffiti from the last 10 years from across Australia.
The exhibition is like a time capsule containing some of the most well known pieces from the last decade or so.. So many memories! 🙂 There are far too many artists to mention, so have a look here. The exhibition explores the movement from the street into the gallery as many of these pieces signify the explosion of the scene in Australia and also the start of many of these artists gallery based careers.
While the show is running, RMIT is also hosting a number of interesting discussions including ‘Vandals or Vanguards?‘, discussing the political, social and artistic aspects of street art and zines. Nice work RMIT!
I went down to the opening last week to check it out. Enjoy.
This post aims to show two things: 1. Street|Studio: The Place of Street Art In Melbourne by Miso, Ghostpatrol, Timba and occasional Vandalog guest poster Alison Young is a much-needed addition to the crowded world of street art books, and 2. I am really slow about reviewing books and if you’re writing a book and want it reviewed here, it’s probably better to ask one of the other writers to check it out.
I’m going to start with the second aim because it’s brief and less important. I got my copy of Street/Studio just before the London launch event in July 2010. I was then traveling a fair bit, so probably didn’t end up reading it until August/September. And it’s been sitting on my desk since then solely because I am lazy when it comes to actually writing book reviews. So hopefully that clears that up. Now on to the important stuff.
Excluding the Everfresh crew’s book which I’m guessing is more focused on the single crew who are also included in this book, Street|Studio is the only book I can think of that looks specifically at the street art scene in Melbourne, Australia. Given the strong street art scene in Melbourne, something like Street|Studio was long overdue. The book is made up primarily of 10 in-depth profiles a select few street art stars working in Melbourne. Of the artists in this book, I’d probably heard of about half of them, but that does not mean that this book is filled up with random talentless hacks. Melbourne has an active street art scene, but many of Melbourne’s very talented street artists are rarely discussed outside of Australia. Maybe Street|Studio‘s greatest achievement is that it can work as an introduction for the rest of the world to a street art community that, for whatever reason, often seems more cut off from the global community than other cities.
That said, the interviews with each artist are very in-depth, so I was learn a fair amounts even the artists who I was familiar with before reading Street|Studio. I did realize, after finishing, that I hadn’t read the book in the best way though. I read it straight through, except that meant reading extensive interviews of artists whose work I was just being introduced to. That’s a lot of information to take in. For anyone who picks up this book in the future, I’d recommend flipping through the entire thing and primarily looking at the images, finding a bit more about your favorite artists online and then going back to read the interviews. I think I would have gotten even more out of Street|Studio if I’d done that.
The other day over Twitter, Inkfetish asked if anyone could name some innovative London-born street artists. I had some trouble with that (I think some of the current or former BC guys were raised in London but I’m not sure…). Of course, there are some innovative artists like Banksy who moved to London but didn’t start out there, but even including them, it can sometimes seem like a lot of the strength of London’s street art community is that lots of people want to visit. On the other hand, Street|Studio shows very the Melbourne scene as innovative and active, but that activity is coming, primarily, from a Melbourne-based (though not always raised) community. I guess I’m trying to say that after reading Street|Studio, I want to visit Melbourne.
Seems really interesting that this piece has text in English even though it’s placed in Iran. As if they intended for a good number people to see it online in the Western world and placed as much importance on that as on people seeing it in person.
Here are a couple of shows opening this month that should be worth checking out…
1. C215‘s book launch in Paris: Community Service at Gallerie Itinerrance is a solo show for C215 and will also serve as the book launch for his upcoming Community Service book. The show opens on November 12th at 6pm.
2. Gallery Heist‘s 1-year anniversary exhibition: Till Death Do Us Part is a group show c0-curated by Allison and Garrison from Ad Hoc Art to celebrate Gallery Heist’s 1st birthday. The list of artists here is long but includes Gaia, Ludo, Mike Giant, Justin Lovato and Miso. The show opens on November 13th from 7-11pm, and runs through the 27th. And this show is not at Gallery Heist’s usual space. It’s at 1036 Hyde Street in San Fransisco.
3. Ghostpatrol and DeadLeg in Manchester: Mooch N4 in Manchester has a group show towards the end of November. I don’t know much about Mooch N4, but anybody who is showing Ghostpatrol outside of Australia is okay in my book. And DeadLeg has done some nice collaborations with Best Ever, so that should be interesting too. That shows opens on November 25th and runs through January 31st.