Our man Liam Keown has been over to catch up with George Morton-Clark in the studio.
Last time I saw Scott, we were playing ping pong at The Marcy Project in Brooklyn. Sadly for me, he beat me in a best of 7. It still stings a bit. I mention it here as a form of therapy I think. Anyway, I’m catching up with him now as his two person show with Mary Iverson called ‘Correspondence’ has just opened at Andenken in Amsterdam on November 11th.
‘FACING DECONSTRUCTION’ by Unwell Bunny is somewhat of a self-portrait for Unwell Bunny otherwise known as Ed Bechervaise. It represents a point of reflection both on himself and the urban art movement he has a lengthy relationship with. Captured are faces of Ed’s contemporaries, mentors, figure heads and the new breed of an independent disestablishment art movement.
‘FACING DECONSTRUCTION’ opens at Backwoods Gallery on October 20th from 6pm. Visit the exhibition page for more information. In the lead up to the show, Ed sat down with Damo….
Damo: We’ve finally managed to actually speak in person! Could we just start with who is ‘Unwell Bunny’ and how do you describe your current style?
Unwell Bunny: Unwell Bunny is kind of like my second artistic incarnation; an incarnation of Ed Bechervaise and my first graffiti name in Adelaide that I ran for about seven years. Moving to Melbourne I felt the need to reemerge in a slightly different form and Unwell Bunny was the reemergence. It came from a comic book that I did very early on in about 2002 or 2003 whilst I was actually witnessing the Melbourne street art boom happening. I had not quite ten years’ graffiti heritage and the street art boom was just completely new and I’d never experienced anything like that before. So, Unwell Bunny is the reincarnation of my graffiti past in a new form which has gone on to resemble urban contemporary art -giving me another sphere to project myself beyond my own name.
This allows the work to have secondary perspective on things and that works quite well for me. Keeping my name as a part of the linkage to my artistic practice with Unwell Bunny being an easier vehicle to move forward with.
‘Content by the Kilo’ is Callum Preston’s first venture north to exhibit artworks from his home town of Melbourne, with Church Brisbane being the perfect venue considering his history creative visual work in the music industry.
The artworks are a collection of what he calls ” fast and loose” butchers shop signs, the kind of thing you would have seen as a kid while shopping with a parent, proclaiming the finest cuts, the cheapest prices or the freshest produce. Big bold and eye catching, from a time before social media, you wanted to say something, you wrote it down and put a splash of neon around it.
Callum sat down with Damo over at Everfresh Studios to have a yarn about his show and what else is happening in his world.
Damo: Thanks for taking the time to hang out today. Can you introduce yourself and talk about your various artistic practices?
Callum: My name is Callum Preston I am based out of Everfresh Studios in Collingwood (Melbourne, Australia). I’ve been part of Everfresh since around 2004/2005 when I was a lot younger. I’m currently 33 and I’m a full-time… I don’t really have a full-time title but I’m sort of a full-time artist / designer / sculptor. It’s kind of very blurry; basically I’ll have a go at anything. That’s sort of my motto. I have just come to accept that I don’t really like the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ phrase. I think it’s not as simple as that, it’s more that will do a lot of things to the best of my ability and then I have to decide whether I think that’s an acceptable quality. I’m sort of still finding my feet in all elements of my practice but I really am enjoying myself.
L A T E R AL I S AT I OИ
The functional specialisation of the brain with some skills, such as analytical and mathematical occurring primarily in the left hemisphere and others, such as perception of visual and spatial relationships occurring primarily on the right.
Liam Snootle presents new paintings that encourage an internal dialogue by stimulating the viewer’s lateralisation.
VNA: It’s been 12 months since we last spoke, what has been happening in your world?
LS: Yes, well if I’d said it’d gone quickly I’d be lying. At the time of my last show we were blessed with the very early arrival of our first child, little George. He had a pretty hectic first few months, I think it was 137 days in the hospital but now he is home and doing amazingly well, such a happy and inspiring person.
Photo: Nik Epifanidis
VNA: How has the birth of your son changed the way you look at things? Has it changed your artistic practice at all?
LS: I’d have to say it has completely changed me, priorities have been totally reworked. I struggled to find time to paint but I’m in such a great space at the moment, after a really tough time and I’d like to think this newfound optimism and inspiration is reflected in my latest body of work which has come together nicely.
Photo: Nik Epifanidis
VNA: Tell us a little about ‘Lateralisation’. There is often a lot in the name of a show, why did you go down the ‘Lateralisation’ path?
LS: Lateralisation is the theory that people have a tendency to use different hemispheres of their brains in different ways, a preference of one over the other, mathematical/analytical on one and creativity on the other. I’ve always felt I did both of these naturally and these paintings are my attempt a creating an environment where the viewer was forced to get both hemispheres working in unison.
VNA: What is the make up of the show? Is there a piece you are particularly proud of?
LS: Most of the paintings are diptychs of colour blocks with a black and white dynamic geometric expression. I’m hoping that the two halves complement one another. I’m fond of all of them but there is a personal favourite that I’m hoping stays unsold (they probably all will).
Photo: Nik Epifanidis
VNA: What do you hope people will take away from the show? What messages (if any) are you trying to convey to your viewers?
LS: I’m hoping that people that usually walk away from contemporary art saying “I don’t get it” might have an awakening.
VNA: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you choose and why?
LS: I’ve got a soundtrack that plays during the show which was designed and recorded by my brother, Dylan. He’s an amazing singer, songwriter and guitarist and I guess this was our first art/music collaboration. It’s something I’d love to build upon for future projects.
Photo: Nik Epifanidis
VNA: When we last spoke, you commented on the generational gap between you and your students ever increasing and your goal is to make art full time. How is that journey coming along?
LS: Oh yeah that gap is getting wider and wider, they’ve just made me realise that cool music is now called Dad Rock and that my preference for double denim is downright embarrassing. As far as full time art is concerned, well I still have a mortgage and the bank insists that I keep going back to the classroom most days!
‘Lateralisation’ opens this Friday at ‘Off the Kerb Gallery’ 66B Johnston St, Collingwood.
Our man Liam Keown has been over to catch up with London-based artist and East-London art-throb, Ben Slow…
Our man Liam Keown has been over with artist Hannah Adamaszek in the studio for a little visit and an insight into her practice…
Our man Liam Keown has been out and about again with his camera taking snaps of artist’s studios. Here’s the second of a series giving a little insight into the artists and their work spaces…This time he visits Nick Gentry and gets a few words from him about the space.
Bailer has been a leading proponent of the Melbourne graffiti and public art scene for over a decade.
Actively contributing artistically for nearly twenty years he has dedicated the best part of his adult life to creating public works and supporting other creatives. Growing up with a graffiti addiction constantly painting letter after letter line after line he now wants to focus on progression. Pushing his style outside the boundaries and confines of the traditional graffiti structure Bailer hopes to continually increase the scale of his works and to paint them on new surfaces.
Mid mural, Damo had the opportunity to go one on one with Bailer, to talk about the current lay of the land in Melbourne, what makes him tick, and also what pisses him off.
Damo: Thanks for taking the time to chat today. I just was wondering if we could start at the beginning. Who or what is Bailer?
Bailer: I guess Bailer was a separate entity to myself. I think you build an ethos around the name that you create in the graffiti world, so for a while Bailer was a name that I tried to live up to.
This was quite detrimental to my life as I was doing violent and extreme things. You create hype around your own bullshit and then you have to live up to it. You do a few stupid things and your dirty washing on line gets aired down the grape vine. It got quite strange at one point, meeting people who would say shit like “You’re not Bailer, I know him.” Or “I heard he was 7 foot tall.” This that and the other. Bizarre really.
I’m at a point in my life where I’m sick of having multiple facets, divided up: a real identity, a fake identity, a graffiti entity, a business persona etc. I’ve been trying to simplify my life cutting out many of the negative aspects and focusing on art, music and health. I have been creating artwork, rap as well as graffiti under the same name instead of constantly shifting between split personalities. I guess that’s what it is; a projection of the creative self mixed with the ego.
Mic Porter is synonymous with graffiti, urban and contemporary art in Melbourne. Having been beautifying Melbourne’s streets since the early 2000’s, Mic has recently returned with a vengeance. Speaking from his new studio in Melbourne’s inner north, we took ten minutes with Mic to discover a little more.
Damo: Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your art?
Mic: My name is Mic Porter and I am a painter and sculptor, with a background in a few other mediums as well. I have been practicing for several years and really enjoy what I do. I am based on Melbourne but have travelled quite a bit and manage to experience many cultures. More recently I lived in Auckland for three years.
I don’t exactly know how to classify my style whether or not it is a style or not. I try and jump around a little bit from being like really loose and free with my line work and then make it really tight, either way I tend to be fastidious. I mostly create figurative painting and sculpture but I’ve also done a lot of installation sculpture.