Street art and campaigning are age-old buddies; having gone hand in hand since their gestation and covering a range of topics, from political propaganda to raising awareness against media takeover. However one artist is bringing things a great deal closer to home alongside a slightly offbeat subject. For the past year London-based ATM has been re-inhabiting rundown areas of the capital with the ghosts of times gone by in the form of its forgotten bird species. Having recently featured in some of the big dogs of mainstream media, we put Jodie on the case to see what all the flapping was about. Excuse the pun.
‘The Chop Shop’ is here to enliven Canberra’s street culture. They will present the best artists every Friday night and the craziest events every Saturday, we’re talking spray painting, custom car spray off’s, indie music festivals, hip-hop nights and skate jams just to name a few of the events on our crazy calendar.
Coming completely organically from the creative community, championed by Pat Rose and Sancho Murphy; ‘The Chop Shop’ has garnered the support of everyone and everything this side of the Burley Griffin (Canberra) and beyond. ‘The Chop Shop’ smashed it’s crowd funding goal, had polished it’s floors and was ready to party; when a big piece of red tape came along and asked for $80,000 worth of changes and far stricter conditions than those that were originally on the table.
‘The Chop Shop’ need you to get behind them and show that the people are crying out for this project and we aren’t going to let it be soiled by a handful of grinches in the community. Sign the petition and let ‘The Chop Shop’ soldier on as originally planned!
Please share, sign and support ‘The Chop Shop’: https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/andrew-barr-save-the-chop-shop-2
Lush and Dscreet teamed up in Amsterdam to make this film about Bodhi, cus Bodhi rules! Lush is currently driving a converted boxtruck mobile gallery through Europe and doing shows whereever he can find free parking. Check the site to find out where hes at; http://www.lushsux.com/
‘The Chop Shop’ will be taking over an abandoned warehouse in the heart of Braddon (Canberra, Australia) for 4 months, with a total of 26 weekends of events, running up to the New Year. Billed as a place to support the arts, music, fashion, and the fringe culture; but without the wank. An independent community based house of fun. In amongst making the venue entirely out of recycled materials, Sancho (of Sancho’s Dirty Laundry fame) took some time to chat with our Canberra correspondent Damo to give us the low down…
DW: What is ‘The Chop Shop’?
Sancho: Oh oh, you know that episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where Bart emancipates himself and moves into a loft downtown and finds that Tony Hawk lives within the building in a max-chillax pad – complete with a skate ramp and throwing a party with Blink 182? Cross that with Hansel’s pad from Zoolander, and that’s the Chop Shop! Haha.
On a more serious note, the Chop Shop is here to enliven Canberra’s street culture. We’re not re-inventing the wheel, just filling a much-needed gap in Canberra. Essentially, we just want to provide a platform where we can showcase Canberra’s creative talent that gives our city character. Friday’s are dedicated Arts nights and Saturday’s are gig nights. A point of differentiation with this initiative is, unlike a gallery, we won’t be charging rent or taking commissions, 100% straight up back to the artists.
We’ll also be focusing heavily on arts from the fringe such as street, graff, tattoo, bike/custom car culture as well as running street food festivals, art markets, independent movie nights to name a few.
Mere hours after hopping off a London-bound flight from Montreal, Puerto Rican animal-splicing artist Alexis Diaz got talking to VNA’s Jodie about how things are looking for his rapidly expanding career. Having made a splash in London’s Shoreditch area last year with his iconic Octophant, Alexis let us in on his upcoming plans for his current return visit and gave us an update on how things are shaping up in the street art scene of his home country.
“Inner Myths”, a collection of new paintings and sculptural works by Shida is a dynamic record of Shida’s development as an artist who envisions infinite worlds. Influenced by the work of Frank Frazetta, Paul Gauguin, Mikhail Vrubel and Nikolai Kalmakov, for “Inner Myths”, as Australia’s most prolific young street artist, Shida reinvokes two centuries of art history in his characteristic style. Shida is considered an asset to Australian contemporary art, who is constantly challenging himself against the sources of his inspiration.
Shida took some time out to talk about his upcoming show….
Melbourne based artist 23rd Key has just submitted two mind-blowing stencils into Australia’s ‘Archibald Prize‘. She took time to chat with Damo about how this all came about.
DW: Thanks for taking the time to chat. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, what led you to becoming a stencil artist?
23rd Key: No worries. I actually kind of fell into it- I made my first stencil when I was in high school. Being from Melbourne, stencil art was still emerging at the time, my brother knew some of the basics and taught them to me. I happened to really take to the medium though, I found the process of cutting/making stencils really cathartic and have been doing it ever since- I enjoy doing it now more than I ever have. I got to a stage where I’d made so many artworks that I decided I needed to do something with them – being an artist was never something I thought I’d be, ‘when I grew up’.
DW: Often there can be a story behind a name. Is that the case with you?
23rd Key: I struggle a lot when it comes to names, even when I used to play roller derby, I found coming up with a name harder than learning how to skate. The first show I was ever in I went under the pseudonym ‘Keys’, it was basically just because it sounds like my real last name and was my nickname for a long time. Twenty-three has been my favourite number since I can remember and is actually the date of my birth, so I kind of just put the two together. It’s a pretty poor story I guess, hopefully the work I make makes up for it.
Melbourne based Fred Fowler completed his Master of Contemporary Art in 2012, a decade after establishing himself as one of Melbourne’s pioneer street artists. Complimenting his origins in graffiti, Fowler applies a sophisticated, abstract style and a process driven approach. Visual poetics and subtle symbolism are expertly blended across his paintings, etchings, sculptures and installations. ‘In Decorating The Apocalypse’, Fowler’s debut exhibition at Backwoods Gallery, commercial iconography clashed with graffiti tribalism. For his upcoming show, ‘New Landscapes’ opening on June 20, Fred has expressed the effects of modernity and colonization across the Australian landscape. Fred kindly took some time to talk with VNAussie Damo about ‘New Landscapes’.
This is not Just Another Interview. This is an interview with Toby, head honcho of ‘Just Another Agency’. I have been lucky enough to hang out with Toby a few times and she is the hardest working person I have ever met! The scene in Melbourne would not be where it is without her contribution. Toby does. not. stop! A ‘mum’ to almost 40 artists (and a ring-in VNA contributor), Toby kindly made some time to chat….
DW: How did ‘Just Another Agency’ (JAA) come to exist?
JAT: Upon moving to Melbourne from Perth in 2007 my partner and I at the time were looking for somewhere to live and we came across what I like to describe as “a squatters hole”. It was a 2 storey building containing three rooms downstairs and four rooms upstairs along with an amazing outdoor space. When we moved into it however there was no flushing toilet or electricity upstairs. However it very quickly became home. Once moving in everything else just happened. We turned the downstairs rooms into a shop front and gallery along with an outdoor exhibition space and started supporting emerging and established local, national and international artists. Located at 696 Sydney Road, Brunswick (Victoria, Australia) we only found it fitting to call the space ’696′. However after running the gallery for three years, we decided to close taking what we loved from the space and transforming that into the agency. Just like that, ‘Just Another ‘was born.