Tag Archives: Melbourne

‘The Resistible Rise Of A Bear of Little Brain’ – An exhibition by Stephen Ives

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Stephen Ives is an architect of fantastic worlds.

Stephen Ives, employs a rare level of expert craftsmanship to present an unfiltered and lucid exploration of his brilliant imagination. Ives’ subconscious pours free-style poetry into his sculptures and illustrations, lacing his work with a playful language of archetypal symbols and colours.

As his audience, we are free to enjoy the surreal, superficial brilliance of a B17 Bomber with a baby’s face or a gun turret placed in dissected eyeball. However, if we choose to delve deeper into his work there is hidden meaning in each and every detail, waiting for us to decipher.

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‘Surface Tension’ – Silk Roy

Celebrating over a decade of creativity, Melbourne artist Silk Roy brings his debut solo show ‘Surface Tension’ to Melbourne. In the lead up to the show (opening this Friday), Silky was kind enough to chat with us.

How and when did you get into art and why?

I always enjoyed drawing when I was a kid, but it wasn’t ever something I thought I’d pursue until I moved to Melbourne in ’98. I’d never seen graffiti before having come over from Singapore, which in comparison was/still is a spotless city. I’d take the train to school and back everyday and it was hard not to notice the smashed insides and the walls on the line changing nightly. For a 13 year old, the idea of having an alias that people identified you by and going out on missions was pretty appealing. It wasn’t until years later that I’d realize this daydream, but of course now being an active writer, artist, creative is much more that, it’s given me a sense of ‘self’, and outlet to express my ideas and thoughts and a platform to continue my creative journey.

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You run two identities, Kid Silk and Silk Roy, How did this come about?

Basically I arrived at a point where I needed to let my graffiti and studio practise have their own shine as trying to put all my work under one name was confusing and felt forced. Silk is an old nickname I was given a long time ago so it was a no-brainer as far as putting it up as a writer.

‘Kid Silk’ came about because of my insta handle, other writers would meet me and ask who I was, I’d reply ‘Silk’ and they’d ask ‘Like Kid Silk?” It also works in terms of me keeping graffiti for myself, I don’t intend to profit from it or ever make it feel like work, it’s fun and I get to go out and essentially be a kid.

Silk Roy on the other hand is the name I work under when I’m showing / producing studio work. Two identities works for me now as I’ve started getting opportunities for both which is cool as far as keeping things varied creatively.

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‘ZERO TO THE LEFT’ – Luke Cornish (ELK)

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For many years, Cornish has challenged himself and others with his art. Often confronting and always compelling, he never ceases to spark conversations around race, religion, conflict and the human condition,. His work sees him travel to some of the most dangerous conflict zones in the world. The artists most recent trip abroad was a venture to Syria. In one of the artists most significant bodies of work to date, ‘ZERO TO THE LEFT’ intends to:

‘Put a human face on the effects of this war and raise awareness for the people caught in the middle of this conflict…It’s these people I want to support, the ones that left and the ones that have stayed…the ones that have no say in how their government fights this war, the ones who have no say in the sanctions that are crippling their lives and the ones who have no say in foreign invaders bent on destroying their secular society; the everyday people just trying to get by.’ – Luke Cornish

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Artist profile: BAILER

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.

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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.

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Artist profile: Mic Porter

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.

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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.

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DVATE – ‘Thirst’

DVATE is a Melbourne based artist who is well-known for his graffiti art and large photo-realistic images of wildlife. His work can be seen from trackside to galleries, festivals and zoos and his unique lettering which is often integrated into his portraits of the natural world create a dynamic juxtaposition between the figurative and the abstract forms of graffiti.

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His interest in conservation and climate change issues led him to be commissioned as the first artist to paint a wall for the festival, Climate+Art=Change a partnership between CLIMARTE (the not-for profit organisation aimed at creating awareness of climate change issues through art) and the City of Port Phillip in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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Brandalism & Friends launch ‘Subvertisers International’

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Over 60 internationally recognised street & visual artists including Hyuro, Escif, David De La Mano and Robert Montgomery have taken part in the world’s first coordinated ad takeover in 12 countries as part of #SubvertTheCity – a week of creative action that saw artists and the public imagining a world beyond consumerism. The artworks installed in advertising spaces share images and ideas of hope & solidarity in order to challenge the politics of fear and division that is gripping western societies.

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Kaff-eine – Happyland

Street artist Kaff-eine and her cheeseagle team created an onsite art installation as much-needed shelter with two notorious dumpsite slum communities in Manila, Philippines. The global premiere of their ‘Happyland’ documentary and exhibition will be held at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Melbourne, May 2017 Kaff-eine and her international team reunited with two notorious and impoverished dumpsite communities of Baseco and Happyland, Manila, creating and installing a collection of ‘art tarpaulins’ that featured Kaff-eine’s portraits of 10 community personalities. The resulting open-air exhibition celebrated the communities, while also providing them with much-needed resources for shelter.

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Lousy Ink – Lousy Show

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Melbourne based ink recycler’s Lousy Ink are hosting their first group exhibition, ‘Lousy Show’, which will celebrate local talent, featuring over 40 creatives.

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PORNO!

Melbourne is known worldwide for its graffiti, and has many crews with a number of big names. One of these names is PORNO. Having recently dropped his very first print, we thought it best to catch the man from his lair at Everfresh Studio to get the low down.

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Damo: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Porno: Sure. I write Porno… ISO, CDF, LED, STD, 321, ADC, INN, WS4, WSO, ID.

I’ve been writing graff for 22 years. I started painting in 1994. My painting was originally influenced directly through hip-hop, older friends, older brothers and the people I hung out with as a hyperactive kid.

I pretty much started DJing, B-Boying, trying to MC and was part of the start a crew called “ISO” which was a hip-hop crew. Many years later that I was only really interested in painting graff. I ended up working in signage and doing a design degree. From there on I decided I wanted to get into my own signage biz because it was the most relevant thing to painting at the time for me. I had worked for numerous signage companies, became a production manager, and became really interested in production, manufacturing and technology which changed a lot of my perception of my art and my processes.

Painting is how I first I started to intertwine with people of the culture. At one point I stepped away from painting all together for a couple of years (around 2006 or 2007). I got back into it around 2008-2009 when I decided I would set up my own signage business. I met with all the guys from ‘Per Square Metre’ and got back into graffiti painting with more positive people and a fresh outlook. I ended up setting up another separate studio after ‘Per Square Metre’ ended called ‘Safe House Studio’ where it was a similar sort of vein; a heap of graffiti artists and artists who ran their own businesses from there and worked together on numerous creative projects, murals etc. The studio got its title from a police raid which occurred within the first month of opening. One of the transit police officers claimed it was a graffiti safe house!

Eventually that closed down and I moved in at the Everfresh Studio, still running my signage business. Here, I’m surrounded by all these amazing paintings and people who are proactive enough to do what they want to do. It’s invigorating and essentially it’s really motivating.

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