Recently we were invited to join the amazing Melissa Loughnan, Founding Director of Utopian Slumps Gallery, on an exploration of Melbourne’s independent art galleries and spaces.
Led around the CBD, we were invited to experience a side of the city that is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. Melbourne is home to a wide range of independent art spaces ranging from artist-run initiatives to government funded spaces. If you know where to go, you quickly realise that the city is absolutely full of small creatives spaces that exist through unmarked doors, up crooked stairs and down dumping-smelling alleyways.
Melissa introduced us to a range of local artists and designers, starting with Nik Pantazopoulos who has a small studio space inside the Mitchell House (the large old art deco building on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale streets).
We then made our way to TCB to meet Ry Haskings to see the exhibition space as well as his studio upstairs. TCB is a space run by artists and supported by volunteers, which has a new exhibition every 3 weeks - so there is always something new to see.
Our visit to West Space was a different experience, as it is supported by a handful of government bodies and has the funding to put on bigger cultural events. We then met Geoff Newton at Neon Parc gallery and he spoke to us about the challenges that the gallery faces to exhibit pieces from international artists.
We finished the day by meeting the lovely Lucy Folk at her tiny but beautiful jewellery shop, where she sells pieces designed by herself. Her amazing collection contains everything from friendship bracelets with gold details through to pieces featuring tacos, cloves and even a real gold pretzel necklace!
So if you fancy embarking on your own adventure of Melbourne’s independent art spaces, all you need is a map (Google maps) and a compass (a list of the spaces that we visited):
Nik Pantazopoulos: Suite 7, Level One Mitchell House [http://npantazopoulos.blogspot.com.au]
TCB Art Inc: 1/12 Waratah Place Melbourne [http://tcbartinc.org.au/]
West Space: Level 1, 225 Bourke St Melbourne [www.westspace.org.au]
Neon Parc: 1/53 Bourke St Melbourne (enter via Mcllwraith Place) [http://www.neonparc.com.au/]
Lucy Folk: 1A Crossley St Melbourne [http://www.lucyfolk.com/]
The iconic Art Deco Mitchell House.
Inside Nik’s studio.
Our tour guide Melissa Loughnan and possibly the coolest shoe/sock combination ever.
Inside the studio space above TCB.
No Ed Hardy, ok?
Lucy Folk’s store.
The talented Miss Lucy Folk.
Friendship bracelets for grown-ups.
Taco Necklace or Nacho Earrings anyone?
Photos by Bron Hazelwood.
We talk a lot about ethical clothing. There are lots of elements that factor into clothing being ethical or not - the environmental impact or production, the working conditions of the people that manufacture the garments, the types of fabrics and materials used, and so on.
Ethical Clothing Australia audits and accredits labels with an ethical clothing certification to acknowledge ethical production of fashion in Australia. The process helps designers to ensure better working conditions for fashion production workers, and to deliver higher quality fashion to the consumer.
You can check out a list of accredited Ethical Clothing Australia labels and information on ethical fashion issues on the ECA website!
In the last issue of Thelma we ran a feature on the 'top 11 ethical sneakers'. Included in our list were some great hi tops from Gideon.
Gideon are an Australian footwear company that manufactures Australian made, environmentally friendly, ethically produced sneakers. Gideon also runs a ‘street university’ that runs programs to help youth affected by drugs and alcohol problems to manage their lives.
We love these bright, colourful canvas slip-ons called ‘giving shoes’. They’re vegan and ethically made, but what we love most about them is that 100% of the profits from these shoes go towards building street universities around the world.
Getting tired of your iTunes collection? We stumbled across French singer Stéphanie Sokolinski, who performs under the name SoKo, and her album I Thought I Was An Alien. Spike Jonze was involved in the making of the video of her title track so you know she’s doing something right. We think you may like it! You can stream the whole album on Stereogum.
SoKo, from her lovely website.
I Thought I Was An Alien
With so many young creative professionals leaving uni and looking for work in the big wide world, what can designers and creatives do to stand out?
Technology is pretty cool quite often. Definitely cool in the case of this camera that shoots at a trillion frames per second.
So, here’s some impressive maths. One trillion seconds equates to about 31688 years. This camera captures waves of light in real time. Soooo cool.
You’ve probably seen a stack of videos by the Improv Everywhere crew on YouTube. They’re the guys that pull off hilarious skits and flashmobs in public places to entertain and freak out the general public - and they’re great.
Now they’re putting together a documentary about the work they do! Check out the trailer.
We’re looking forward to watching the doco when it’s complete!
check out this awesome iPhone alarm dock! most of us just tend to use our phones to wake us up in the morning anyway, so designer Jonas Damon has produced a home for your phone - a nicely crafted block of wood in the shape of a digital alarm clock. what’s the best part? it comes with a free app that enables you to wake up before you go go to any song from your music collection! Your can buy your very own right here.
Ever wondered what you’ll look like 45 years from now? Or how many hairstyles you might go through within that time?
‘Chickflashwhirr' has started a pretty cool blogging project - she's decided to take a photo of herself every day for 45 years. She’s been doing this for around 5 years so far, and has made all of the photos into a video. Watch her past 5 years flash past in a matter of seconds.
Amongst Liverpool’s collection of classic art in the Walker Art Gallery you can now find its latest addition - a Bansky statue. The bust of a priest with a pixelated face entitled ‘Cardinal Sin’, appears to be a comment on corruption and scandal in the Church. Unlike his previous works in other museums around the world where he was heavily disguised and planted them without permission (see a video of his amazing prank right here), we were told that Banksy approached the Liverpool gallery about displaying his sculpture under strict instruction that it be placed in a specific wing of the Old masters. While some may find it controversial, it’s good to see that Banksy is still doing what he does best: stirring up the public.
Melbourne has a new addition to its range of open-air cinemas this summer; the Shadow Electric at the Abbotsford Convent. We we there to watch the incredible Drive for its first film screening, and the venue has a delightful combination of deck chair seating, full bar, picturesque setting and a large cloud* of bats flying over the screen as the sun goes down. They program is full of independent, local, classic and cult films, check out the lineup right here.