Thursday, 29 August 2013

Lamington Drive Illustration Residency

One of my goals with CUTESEUM is to write more about art and artists. Tonight I went along to the opening of an exhibition at Lamington Drive in Melbourne's inner north. I had previously heard about this particular gallery space because the agency that runs it represents some of my favourite artists including Caitlin ShearerDawn TanLilly Piri and Mel Stringer.

During the month of August Lamington Drive hosted four talented artists for their very first Illustration Residency. My talented friend Sarah McNeil was one of the artists taking part in this project and I popped over tonight to see the new works she made for the show as well as see the works of the other artists involved - Ashley Ronning, Emi Ueoka and Sophie Blackhall-Cain.

The idea behind the residency was that the artists would work directly in the gallery, thereby transforming the space into their own studio over the duration of the month. The public were invited to come visit the artists at work during certain days of the week. In this way, the idea of a "second home" became very significant, and the title of the exhibition as Slumber Party was very fitting.

This theme of home was also seen in the way that the artists transformed the gallery space with installations of their own beds and spaces. I thought that this gave the feeling that we were walking into each artist's personal bedrooms, and I really enjoyed gaining this insight. I spent as much time looking at all their personal artefacts as the artworks!

Sarah's work for this show consisted of a number of drawings, handprinted poems (which were also compiled into a zine), printed fabrics, comics, and a mosaic of lists, drawings and graphs. Sadly I was not able to take many good photos of her works because there were always so many people in front of it! I fell in love with Sarah's art about five years ago, and she still continues to impress me with her wide range of talents. You really have to see her drawings up close to see the care she puts into everything she makes. My photos do not do her work justice at all because of how finely detailed her work is, so please have a look at her work here or visit her Etsy shop.

Next to Sarah was the work of Brisbane based artist Sophie Blackhall-Cain. I had seen her work on the interwebs but this was my first time seeing them in real life. Whereas Sarah's work were mostly worked with pencils and inks, Sophie's digital prints were full of colour and displayed together with what looked to me like a shrine to 90s pop culture complete with Friends VHS and a Spice Girls poster.

Since my camera could not capture the vibrancy of Sophie's works, I have borrowed the above image from her blog where you can see more of her work.

At the back of the gallery space were the works of another multi-talented artist Ashley Ronning, who is based in Melbourne. Another multi-talented artist, Ashley's works included linocut prints (with the original piece of lino on display as well), drawings, and arguably the most amazing thing of the night - pinatas! I did not stay around long enough for the pinata hitting unfortunately, but everyone seemed very excited about them. 

I wish I didn't spend all my money in Melbourne already because I was so close to buying that DO NOT drawing by Ashley. It was $40, I might go back for it if it's not already sold!

I will end this blog post by going back to the artist whose works are shown in the second picture of this post. Emi Ueoka was a standout artist for me, and I was completely captivated by her delicate works. In fact when I first saw her works on paper I thought they must have been prints, because of how finely detailed and smooth the finish was. Closer inspection revealed her works to be in fact, drawings! All done meticulously by hand.

Emi's work was like Sarah's in that it was hard to capture in photos, so I have once again borrowed some pictures from her artist website. These two drawings are entitled "A Schoolgirl with her Sketchbook" and "A Girl with Tulips" respectively.

What I loved about Emiko's work is the timeless beauty and her strong sense of design and composition in her drawings. My favourite work of hers on the night was the one pictured above, because I think it couples an abstract sense with the figurative in such a wonderful way. I will be definitely watching Emi's work in the future.

As I was saying to my boyfriend tonight, I really liked the Lamington Drive gallery space because the grey walls really allow the works to pop. Particularly in illustration art, where artists often work with paper, it was nice to see them displayed in this manner. More than just a show of these artists illustrative talents, this exhibition used the theme of home to bring us an insider's view into the personal lives of the artists.

If you are in Melbourne I urge you to check this show out before it closes this weekend!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aw what a lovely post! Thank you so much for the lovely review.