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CURSES

CURSES_FLYER

Black Canyon is proud to present CURSES – a group exhibition at OKLA in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia.

CURSES brings together the work of 5 prolific young graphic artists – Nathan Alexis Brown (Canada), Georgia Hill (Sydney), James McKenna (Perth), Sean Morris (Melbourne), and Melissa Grisancich (Melbourne.) It’s a celebration of both grim and delicate art spanning painting, prints, sculpture, animation and murals. Curator Sean Morris took time to talk to Damo.

What was the concept and the brief to the artists?
All of the group exhibitions that I’ve curated up until now – the 3 Magic Weirdos shows, the Black Canyon shows with Tom, and the Kingbrown Mag launches – have been pretty big, at least 20 artists. The Kingbrown Perth show in March had 60 artists. I wanted to change it up and work on something smaller and less planned out, where the artists had more room to flex. There was no brief, but I encouraged everyone to explore installation work if they were up for it. We’ve ended up with a mix of paintings, drawings, print work, sculpture, animation and murals.

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‘Tattoo Me’ – Mike Watt

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Last year, we spoke with Sydney based illustrator Mike Watt, who hinted at a project where he would provide an unique character to an artist and they would tattoo it, pretty much doing whatever they wanted to it.

Good news, the time has almost come for this to be release in all its 130 collaboration glory. If you want to get on board, all you need to do is click here.

Featuring:

6SETA, ADAM TOHT/ATOMOL, ADRIAN REPETI, ALEXANDRA LEDERMAN, AMY BEAN, ANDREW MILLIST, ANDRI MONDONG, ANDROS, APE 7, BAFCAT, BEC KILPATRICK, BEN BROWN, BEN OWENS, BEN MARRIOTT, BEN MITCHELL, BILL HOPE, BILLMUND, BIRDHAT, BORJA BONAFUENTE GONZALO, BUNKWAA, BUTTONS, CAM SCALE, CAM WALL, CARLOS BOBI, CARL MORGAN, CHRIS NIXON, CHEHEHE, CHRIS WAHL, CRABLO, CRISIS, CULT DE SAC, DAVID CRAGG, DAVE FOSTER, DEAMZIE, DEANIST, DIGABLE GOODS, DOGFIGHT, EDDY-LOU, ELEVEN, ELSA ISABELLA, FERNANDA PORTO, FIELDEY, GABRIELLE FILTZ, GARETH LLOYD, GEORGE ROSE, GEORGINA ANTON, GEORGIA HILL, GINA KIEL, GLENNO SMITH, GRIZZLE, GRIM FINGA, GWEN WATT, HOUL, HULES, IRENE FELEO, IRESH, ISA FLORY, JAKPOT, JAMES BRISCOE, JACK DOUGLAS, JAK M.C.S, JASON PAULOS, JAYA, JESSE BROCKIS, JIMMY SK, JOE42, JO LEY, JOAO PERES, JON FOYE, JOSH 2000, KALIS, KARL TAGLE, KENTARO YOSHIDA, KEO MATCH, KRISPE, LACHLAN BRUCE, LADY J ADAMS, LEE McCONNELL, LOSOP, LOUIE JOYCE, LUCY IZZARD, LUKE OKAY, LUSCH, MARTIN E WILLS, MATTHEW BOURNE, MATT DAMPNEY, MATT JACKSON, MELLO, MICHAEL LANGENEGGER, MIKE MAKATRON, MITCH WALDER, M-LON, MULGA, MR. EDWARDS, MR.FRENCH, NICO, OHNOES, O’SILVA, PHIBS, PIGEON BOY, PLOY CHEUNPIS, PURE, QUER 162, RILLA, ROBERT BAIRD, ROBBIE ELLIS, ROMERA 762, ROSEVICH, ROTBOTS, SADAO, SAM BRUNWELL, SAM FELIX JOSEPH, SAMMY BATS, SARAH HOWELL, SAXON DUKE, SHU/MONSTERY & ME, SINDY SINN, SKULK, SMALL KID, SMC3, SOFIA FITZPATRICK, SOSIO, SOURS HOS, SWERFK, TERHOR, THE DIRT, TINIES HOS, TRAIT CROSS, TRAVIS PRICE, UD3, VOIR, WARRICK McMILES, Y_T, ZEKE’S LUNCHBOX

‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Berst

In the final episode of our ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ series, we chat with Berst. Instilled with the working-class ethics of his Chinese family, Berst has applied his full energy and dedication into his passions, education and the evolution of graffiti letter styles. After completing his Masters Degree in Education in 2014, his attention to his students and himself as an Urban Contemporary artist have organically become his new lease on life. Incorporating both his worlds into his innovative and current teaching programs for tertiary institution Unitec, his outreach amongst students and youth have made him highly popular. Having immigrated to New Zealand as a child, Berst’s current post-graffiti works explore the commonalities of Chinese and Maori mythologies using bold and intense illustrations and symbolisms.

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Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of Post-Graffiti Pacific?
Berst: Over the past fourteen years my art practice has been situated within the exploration of graffiti and lettering. I’ve always had an interest in other art forms such as illustration, comic books, cartoons, and tattoos, and over the last five years I haven’t stopped doing graffiti but certainly shifted a lot of my attention to creating more illustrative work. My main goal is to maintain the same type of graffiti mentality and approach to painting outdoors while painting different forms. Within the last ten years the term ‘street art’ has become extremely popular and recognized and maybe I fall into that category and maybe I don’t but when people see my illustrations on the street its recognized as street art so it is great to be apart of this movement that is ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’. Not quite street art and still having our roots firmly planted in graffiti while physically located geographically in the pacific.

Damo: Can you talk us through your piece, and how you responded to the brief from conception to finalisation?
Berst: I’ve been working on a series of illustrations where a majority of my work over the past couple of years has been an exploration into Maori culture and wider global culture. The inspiration for the series of paintings presented at Ambush was inspired by an old Maori myth and a battle between two female goddesses in the sea. I do not try to replicate the story but rather use it as a starting point for creating my own world and my own narrative. In this instance the world is underwater and all the characters are soldiers that are about to go to war.

Damo: How does your piece reflect the ‘dawn of a new movement in art’?
Berst: I wouldn’t say that my work reflects anything new or groundbreaking but I am attempting to appropriate a variety of visual culture from a variety of different sources to create a remix of the world and as a representation of my world. While painting graffiti for fourteen years has been exciting and ultimately shaped my aesthetic, it lacked the narrative and dialogue that enabled audiences to engage. Graffiti is very one sided in conversation and people are forced to engage while a piece of work with a story can be interpreted so I’m working to create works that can have this type of presence rather than just writing my name.

Damo: How do you define street art? Has your inclusion in Post-Graffiti Pacific changed your view on this?
Berst: I’ve done a lot of reading over the past couple of months and a part of my Doctoral thesis at University is actually research about Street Art. I think street art is great and it’s awesome to see a variety of artists from totally new disciplines playing with the visual environment. You do not need to come from a graffiti background to participate in street art and as far as I’m concerned if you’re putting work out on the streets you can call yourself whatever you want to be called. The term ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ is really just to highlight that we don’t quite fit within the street art paradigm but work outdoors and create works that aren’t exclusive to images.

Damo: How does it feel to be included in an exhibition among several of your contemporaries? Did this influence you in any way?
Berst: All the artists that are apart of the ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ movement is a stable of artists represented by Olivia Laita Gallery and we are also all in the same crew TMD (The Most Dedicated). We all feed ideas off each other whether it’s intentional or subconsciously but how you could you not? It’s natural to be influenced by your surroundings and environment so I definitely take a lot of inspiration from my peers.

@berst_1

Berst is part of ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ now on show at aMBUSH Gallery.

‘A Feature Presentation’ – Hanna Newman and Joshua Smith

Curse of the Coven

The USA based Unearthed film production studios were a horror film studio at large in the 1970s. Rivaling the Amicus and Hammer Horror film studios, the company, formed by Hanna Newman and Joshua Smith was big hit in Grind-house theatres until an explosion occurred on the set of the unreleased film ‘The Sisters of Satan’ in 1979 engulfing the entire film studios in fire.

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‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Benjamin Work

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Part three in our ongoing ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ roles out today, with a comprehensive chat with artist Benjamin Work. Benjamin is of mixed Scottish and Tongan ancestry, and intially struggled to find a sense of belonging and gravitated towards the pop-cultural influences emanating from Los Angeles in the 1990s, such as skate, fashion, gang and graffiti culture. Today, Benjamin’s journey to learn more about his Tongan ancestry has led him to discover images of antique Tongan weapons finely carved with often overlooked symbols of warriors and royalty. These key figures in motion, form the majority of Benjamin’s works with strength and power and occasionally, the Lupe, a pacific bird of peace, feature in his works. He continues to explore the power of kula (red) and uli (black) and their connections to titles, Christian beliefs and youth gangs in Tongan thinking and practice.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’?
Benjamin: It’s a statement from a group of creatives that marks a place in time (tā) and space (vā). We are situated in a unique and rich part of the globe that has been subject to many misconceptions throughout the ages, so we are one part of that voice telling our stories from this region of the world. Just like our forefathers who were explorers venturing into uncharted waters, also with us, as we explore what it looks like to be Post graffiti in the Pacific Region.

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‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Route52

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Next up in our ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ series is Route52. Route52 (Brendan Kitto) expanded from the activities of skating and graffiti to the documentation of what he perceived as important youth culture. With age, this concept was further refined. His need to document process and happenings, capturing a time and place, became his point of difference in graffiti documentation, since most people at the time would only photograph the final result. This patience to capture THE shot in urban popular culture and fashion, has enabled him to exhibit his photos in both group and solo shows. With respect to the past and moving forward with the future, Route52 embraces medium format, 35mm and digital photography, with his own in-house black and white development dark room.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of Post-Graffiti Pacific?
Route52: Being able to take the next step into the art arena with friends I have been doing graffiti with over the past 10 – 15 years.

Damo: Can you talk us through your piece, and how you responded to the brief from conception to finalisation?
Route52: There was no brief really, apart from bring your best. I concentrated on a body of work that that I have been working on over the last 4 – 5 years, which is the protests that have been happening regularly over that time.

I chose to work with images from the deep sea oil drill protests and visited parts of New Zealand’s West Coast to shoot images of the landscape that would be affected if a oil spill was to happen.

Damo: How does your piece reflect the ‘dawn of a new movement in art’?
Route52: I wouldn’t say my piece is the dawn of a new art movement, I would like it to make people think of the larger issues rather than their favourite contestant getting voted off a reality TV programme.

Damo: How do you define street art? Has your inclusion in Post-Graffiti Pacific changed your view on this?
Route52: I have no idea on how to define street art , I painted graffiti.

Damo: How does it feel to be included in an exhibition among several of your contemporaries?
Route52: It is great to be alongside people I now call my friends, people I looked up to whilst learning the ropes of graffiti and to be here with them now is surreal sometime.

Damo: Did this influence you in any way?
Route52: It totally did, started from the bottom now we are here.

@route52
www.route52.co.nz

‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ is now on show at aMBUSH Gallery, Central Park, Sydney.

‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ – Askew One

As part of ‘Post-Graffiti Pacific’ currently on show at aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney’s Central Park we have been lucky enough to have a quick Q&A with some of the contributing artists. To begin this ongoing series we present to you, Askew One.

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With a strong self-taught background in graffiti, graphic design and videography, Askew One’s geographical isolation of Auckland, New Zealand, hasn’t held him back from presenting his work to the world and he is now considered to be one of the leading figures of graffiti and urban contemporary art from the Pacific region.

Using skills in photography, graphic design, graffiti and traditional painting, Askew One captures his audience with visually complex and pleasing paintings whilst drawing attention to the economic and environmental issues affecting the smaller Pacific nations of Oceania.

Damo: What does it mean to you to be part of Post-Graffiti Pacific?
Askew One: I’m stoked to see this show come to fruition. From many late night debates amongst my friends over drinks, trying to define who we are as artists to first connecting with the aMBUSH guys and them giving this chance to share this revelation.

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Post-Graffiti Pacific

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Post-Graffiti Pacific is not just another graffiti exhibition. It’s a statement and a definition – a bold assertion of language, history, culture, expression and the significance of place in art making. Curator Olivia Laita and her line-up of seven leading Post-Graffiti Pacific artists are proposing, with conviction, the dawn of a new movement in art.

Post-Graffiti Pacific seeks to clarify the way we discuss urban contemporary art. Today’s urban contemporary artists have evolved to straddle the divide between public and studio practice and terms like ‘graffiti’ and ‘street art’ have become insufficient to describe their activities and motivations. ‘Post-Graffiti’ is now a recognised term, used to describe the work of artists whose backgrounds in graffiti inform their professional artistic practice.

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‘Satellite’ – Kyle Hughes-Odgers

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Australian Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ newest solo show opens at Turner Galleries (Perth, Australia) this week.

Turner Galleries have said “In the five years since we first worked with Kyle Hughes-Odgers, his career has taken a meteoric rise. From fairly humble beginnings as a street artist, this career has evolved rapidly to include major public art commissions, three children’s books, gallery exhibitions in Australia and overseas, and of course the (now international) street art has continued unabated. The spindly limbed characters that populate his artworks have certainly struck a chord with his viewers. They have a universal narrative; they struggle with their lives, carry their burdens, face difficult choices and are not afraid to dream.

Hughes-Odgers’ most important commissions include an eighty meter building exterior (including LED lighting design) at the new Perth international airport. Other recent career highlights include winning the Crystal Kite Award (Australia/New Zealand) with Meg McKinlay for their children’s book Ten tiny things, a forty meter mural for Murdoch University, a three storey building exterior in Washington DC, an interior mural for Jamie Oliver’s Perth restaurant, a four storey mural overlooking the Mitchell Freeway in Perth, solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Berlin, plus his third children’s book is due to be published in November 2015.”

The show consists of new drawings, works on linen and small sculptural works and if you can make it, is unmissable!

Exhibition runs June 26 – July 25 2015.

www.turnergalleries.com.au
www.kylehughesodgers.com
@kylehughesodgers

DEM189 – ‘Ricochet’

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Born in the late 70’s in Beirut (Lebanon), DEM189 was quickly confronted to chaos and hysteria. Tarek aka Dem189 had to learn the limits of a city at war. Confined at home, during most of his free time outside school, he had to develop his own creative universe. From Lego to drawing, he built his own fantasies. Fascinated by war, he also lays on paper his fantasised weapons and war crafts, genesis to his future work.

In 1989 Dem moved to Paris, and discovered a whole new biotope with different rules and cultures. Ecstatic and overwhelmed by the prospect of this new life, Dem launched into graffiti in his early teens. Integrating various movements from punk rock to heavy metal, electro to hip-hip, switching from one to the other, he developed his own style.

Over the last 7 years, Dem has been working on paintings and installations in an abstract style, parallel to his graffiti world. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Moebius, Lebbeus Woods, Crumb… as well as urban architecture and decay.

His style is unpredictably diverse. Passed 30, Dem still refuses to limit himself to any particular movement. His inspirations and influences are countless. He focuses on exploring many sub-cultures. Urban by essence, he finds what inspires him roaming the streets, and allows himself to experiment with any technique and tools. His work in recent years has left the shores of lettering to venture into the realms of illustration and abstraction.

DEM189’s show ‘Ricochet’ opens at Backwoods Gallery Friday June 19th from 6pm and continues until Sunday July 5th.