Tag Archives: Backwoods Gallery

‘Rockgroup’ – sheOne and O.Two

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rockGroup™ was formed from the NOGODSTUDIO in London, 1999, in order to give an international identity to O.Two and sheOne’s collaborative brand of work. Originally sharing walls writing graffiti, then sharing a studio making canvas work, and eventually, sharing gallery space exhibiting work together.

Work for the ‘rockGroup’ show at Backwoods was undertaken by the artists completely separately. With sheOne in Barcelona, and O.Two in the countryside outside London, the artists set themselves parameters – work on paper, one size, limited colour palette – and let the work unfold naturally across their unique painted language.

SheOne’s unique brand of Abstract Typography is rooted deep in the new wave graffiti era of early eighties New York, however his trademark strokes and bold expressive approach to image making put him firmly in the present. His paintings are a constant re-rendering of now. Hip, data injected splats and over sprays, accurate spills and bloodloss ornamentation reveal a deliberate and complex layered story. His works relay an emotional argot, mapped out in a highly personal and stylised shorthand, derived from years of acute mark making.

Sheone is of the pioneering generation of English artists to work exclusively in spray paint, committing works to unruly curator free environments and eventually transferring this aesthetic style and medium to canvas.

Sheone began to make works on canvas in tandem with his wall painting as a reaction to the transient nature and short lifespan of such works in the early 90’s. In recent years he has managed to successfully transfer the scale and energy of illegal street painting into the well lit confines of the gallery creating international exhibitions and site specific installations.

He says “I was fortunate to start making graffiti as a teenager, fortunate because spray paint and the application of graffiti, unlike today, had no legitimate artistic legacy and so I was free from any preconceived critique of my approach to image making”.

James Carey, also known as O.Two, creates work based on abstractions of the written type-form. Working initially with spray-paint on large scale murals, the artist has built a working process that when applied to canvas, lures the viewer into mists of dark, ambient colour illuminated by bold, abstract gestures, appropriated slogans and wordplay, offering glimpses of the guilty rhythms, hooded themes and veiled motives layered within the work – intricate adaptations of distant teenage delinquency, off-key philosophies and blurry mementoes.

‘rockGroup’ by SheOne and O.Two opens at Backwoods Gallery Friday 4th September from 6pm.

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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.

Backwoods Gallery: ‘A Study of Camouflage’

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Backwoods Gallery proudly presents ‘A Study of Camouflage’ – a new show within the A Study of… exhibition series. This is the fourth exhibition in row in the long-term project consisting of annual shows that focus on different study subjects.

With this series of exhibitions, Backwoods are creating a vivid archive of works by renowned artists from around the world whose works intersect on the same subject-matter. No matter the artistic style or technique used, a magnificent plurality of different approaches and representations of a single subject contextualises it, and places it in a dominant understanding of both the artists’ and audience’s views. Logically, this library becomes a diverse overview of different representations of a single subject, as seen and created by leading contemporary artists.

A Study of Camouflage brings together some of the leading contemporary artists whose art, in some way, touches the subject of camouflage. The concept seeks to deconstruct the dominant perception of camouflage from its military driven narrative, and to bring back the camouflage patterns to its natural roots. Camouflage is usually linked with military uniforms and inherently with violence and rigorousness. However, camouflage patterns are much more than a simple military feature. Its different forms can be observed and understood as an artistic product, both in terms of aesthetics and conceptuality. Aesthetically, camouflage can assume different shapes and forms, creating beautiful design and art products, while conceptually, it may be detached from its military connotation, and transformed to different purposes depending on the given context. Always depending on artistic approach towards it, camouflage has enormous potentials for being a perfect medium for countless interpretations of contemporary society. The use of camouflage in art may lead to more abstract forms, while on the other hand it can serve as the perfect material for figurative and conceptual approaches as well.

The exhibition will open on Friday, May 29th, and will be on view until Sunday, June 7th. It will take place at a warehouse space, just next door to Backwoods Gallery, at 5 Easey Street, Collingwood.

Evie Cahir and Gemma Topliss: ‘Heavy Leisure’

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This week, Backwoods Gallery presents an exhibition of illustrations by two young artists, Evie Cahir & Gemma Topliss, who are representative of the bright future of Australia art.
In ‘Heavy Leisure’, opening on the 17th of April, Cahir and Topliss will present a series of delicate, illustrative works. The collection re-evaluates the seemingly mundane moments, objects and routines of daily life, imbuing them with emotional undertones.

Evie Cahir’s illustrative works offer a new, more attentive regard on the banal but precious objects and moments encountered in daily life. Cahir is fascinated by the hidden meanings of routine and the interplay between light and shadow. Her artwork employs sophisticated composition, refined techniques and subtle humour to present her point of view in a truly unique and beautiful way.

Gemma Topliss explores the connection between the interior and the exterior, both spatially and emotionally. Her charcoal and graphite drawings are intimate, fragmented and personal. At only 19, Topliss is the youngest artist that has exhibited at Backwoods.

In the lead up to the exhibition, they both took some time to speak with VNA.

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‘DAZZLE’ by CLEMENS BEHR

Dazzle: The Hidden Story of Camouflage from Jonnie & Kate Films on Vimeo.

Clemens Behr is a German artist who creates site-specific complex sculptural installations composed of discarded materials and imposing geometric murals that reflect the architecture of the surrounding environment. He will be creating an installation at Backwoods Gallery to demonstrate the use of camouflage for the documentary film ‘Dazzle: The Hidden Story of Camouflage’.

The installation will be open for one weekend only, Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March from 12 – 6pm at Backwoods Gallery.

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‘The Genuine Anti-Cool’ – Backwoods Gallery

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Backwoods Gallery will be kicking off the 2015 calendar with a huge 5-year retrospective exhibition; ‘The Genuine Anti-Cool’ curated by Sean Carroll and featuring Backwoods artists.

The exhibition will also include some never before seen pieces. Featuring; Shun Kawakami, James Reka, Stabs, Miso, Ghostpatrol, Slicer, TwoOne, Shohei Otomo, Shohei Takasaki, Lush, Fred Fowler, Yusk Imai, Jun Inoue, Stephen Ives and Shida.

‘The Genuine Anti-Cool’ will be a unique insight into the current state of Australia’s maturing street art and urban contemporary scene. Backwoods Gallery will also be using the exhibition to present their latest book, ‘The Genuine Anti-Cool.’

Friday 6 February, 6pm. Backwoods Gallery.

Shohei Otomo and Kosuke Kawamura – ‘Flat Bend’

Shohei Otomo is one of the most high-profile names of Tokyo’s independent illustration scene. His hyper-realist ball-point pen illustrations combine traditional japanese and pop-culture imagery to present a biting commentary on contemporary Japanese culture. This video was shot in the lead up to FLAT BEND, Shohei Otomo’s latest exhibition at Backwoods Gallery, Melbourne.

Flat Bend is series of collaborative works by Tokyo artists Shohei Otomo and Kosuke Kawamura. Together, these two artists present a “stereoscopic” vision of the twisted underbelly of Japanese society.

Backwoods Artist Profile : SHOHEI OTOMO from Alexander Mitchell on Vimeo.

Limited edition prints by Shohei Otomo are available online at
backwoods-gallery.myshopify.com/collections/shohei-otomo

TwoOne – ‘OUTSIDERS’

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TwoOne is one of Australia’s leading street artists and ‘OUTSIDERS’ is a body of work completed in a new Berlin studio.

‘OUTSIDERS’ opens this Friday at 6pm (Oct 10th) at Backwoods Gallery.

TwoOne has been kind enough to chat and tell us a bit more about he exhibition and his processes. Keep reading as there is a terrific process video too!

Damo: Tell us a bit about yourself, how you got into art, and how you describe your work to someone who hasn’t been lucky enough to encounter it before:

TWOONE: I’m originally from Japan, move to Melbourne at age of 18. I then lived and started working as artist in Melbourne for 10 years. I moved to Berlin early this year.

I work with lots of different material, and form, and my style changes depending on what I use. There is loose theme that goes through my work, which is psychological portrait.
Psychological portrait is visual translation of people’s emotions, and personality, often usings animals as symbols.

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‘A Study of Hair’ – Dave Kinsey

In the ongoing series interviewing contributors to ‘A Study of Hair’ opening at Backwoods Gallery on Friday, we speak today with Dave Kinsey….

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‘Michelle, Ma Belle’ – detail – Dave Kinsey

Damo:  for the uninitiated, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

DK:  Dave Kinsey, full time painter, part time designer, living la vida loca in the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Los Angeles.

Damo:  Can you tell us about your piece, and how you have responded to the artistic brief?

DK:  “Michelle” by The Beatles was playing while I was sketching the piece. I’ve always loved that song, and since my wife’s middle name is Michelle too, I had that all in mind. Such a calming sound to it.

Damo:  What medium have you used?  Why did you choose this medium?

DK:  I really enjoy working with acrylic and collage utilizing old books, discarded postal envelops. etc., which I feel melds nicely together on the canvas. I especially love working with vintage book pages because of their interesting visual tonality, fragility, and personal histories.

Damo:  Why did you agree to be part of the ‘Study Of’ project?  It is a very ambitious task – how do you think it will be viewed on completion?

DK:  I really liked the concept—it’s one of the few thematic group showings that really makes sense to me. It’d love to see a book produced after 10 years or so of this continued series.

Damo:  On a more personal note, what can we expect to see from you in the next 18 months?

DK:  I just finished a huge show that opened at Library Street Collective in Detroit and now I’m back in the studio working on new pieces for Miami in December and Cologne, Germany in 2015.

kinseyvisual.com