Art Pharmacy’s latest exhibition at VANDAL Gallery, INSIDE & OUTSIDE, opened last Wednesday nightRead More
Art Pharmacy teamed up with our good friends at Saint O'Donnell to bring together their first “Select Talks” a creative discussion series centred around supporting emerging creatives in Sydney.
St. O’Donnell is a music artist, event, creative and venue management agency.
This time Tom Huggett (Astral People), Alexander Franco (Future Classic) and Tessa Kerans (Stop Start Music) chatted about Artist Management right here in our Vandal gallery space, in Redfern!
Sponsored by the ever generous Jameson's and Young Henry's.
See more images below
Last night at VANDAL Gallery was the opening of a unique art exhibition mixing a touch of gasoline culture with Australian contemporary art. Art Pharmacy had the pleasure of collaborating with the guys from Sabotage Motorcycles to curate a show consisting of 20 DMD Helmets that have each been hand-painted by a hand-picked group of Sydney-based artists. With a truly wide range of styles, from renowned mural artists such as Scott Marsh, Sindy Sinn, Mike Watt, and Karen Farmer, to contemporary aboriginal artists Blak Douglas and Jason Wing, and the bold geometric styles of Nico, through to exceptional emerging talent such as Apeseven, Ingrid Wilson, Vincent Buret, Amy Roser, M-Lon and Skulk to name a few. The opening night saw well over 400 people through the door with Young Henrys and Sailor Jerry providing refreshments and some bids already placed!
If you want to own one of these wearable and truly one-off works, then now's your only chance. They are being auctioned right now through eBay - but be quick, the auction ends on 7th December. On top of that, 100% of the profits raised from the helmet auction will go to the incredible cause Movember Foundation, which funds research into men's health and prostate cancer. A huge amount of support has been given for this event, with DMD kindly providing the 'blank canvas' helmets, Smith Concepts have donated their time to clear-coat each one to ensure a shiny and durable finish, Vandal Sydney for the gallery space, and Throttle Roll for some great images of the night and also some of the artists working on the helmets in their studios.
VANDAL even put their own spin on the exhibition with an incredible showcase of a superb augmented reality helmet!
Special thanks to Pete Cangnacci for snapping away on the night!
VANDAL Gallery: 16-30 Vine St, Redfern NSW 2016
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Bidding is live NOW on eBay, and closes 11.30am on 7th Dec!
Art Pharmacy and Vandal Gallery are hosting a motorcycle helmet exhibition in conjunction with Sabotage Motorcycles with twenty of Sydney’s best artists decorating the helmets in their individual styles. The helmets will be auctioned for charity via eBay, with 100% of profits going to Movember Foundation. There will be a gold coin donation for entry (or more if you’re feeling generous!) and drinks will be supplied by the lovely Young Henrys and Sailor Jerry teams.
There's a broad range of styles from a long list of Sydney-based artists - Amy Roser, Sindy Sinn, Mike Watt, Chico @ INSACIOUS, Jason Wing, M-lon, Lauren Webster, Kentaro Yoshida, Vincent Buret, Skulk, Nev Sety, Scott Marsh, Blak Douglas, Karen Farmer, Ingrid Wilson, Nico, Ginger Taylor, Kyle Smith, Simon Lovelace, Apeseven, and Joi Murugavell.
When: 30 Nov, 6pm-10pm
Where: Vandal Gallery, 16-30 Vine St, Redfern
Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/294188104399528/
Written by Montana O’Neil
Inspired by the everyday magical moments, as well as climate and human driven catastrophes, artist Kevina-Jo Smith sets to work transforming everyday items of waste into works of art.
“I try to process and translate my thoughts into a more positive outcome.”
“I am a total bowerbird, I collect with the intent to turn the mess into something eye catching with a million details.”
I recently had the chance to catch up with the artist to discuss sustainable living, her unusual art practice and her upcoming Vandal exhibition, Magic and Mayhem in Sydney.
What does sustainable living mean to you, and how has it affected your life and art practice?
I try to make thoughtful choices in my everyday life, sustainable living to me basically means to limit my contribution to the waste of energy and raw materials needed to produce cheap, single use products. Also to give back, contribute rather than use up and throw away.
This is what led me to the challenge of using up-cycled and found materials, so as not to create more waste such as chemicals and single use packaging. It can get really frustrating and messy, sometimes it feels like a huge burden. I dream of being able to paint again, sometimes I cheat by collecting mis-tints and old paint, they are technically waste.
You mentioned you used to paint: has the shift to your current use of found materials affected the motivation, focus and subject matter within your works?
I think it did to begin with, because I focused more on figuring out how to use the materials and in what ways I could use them that were different to other waste art projects; I didn’t want to fall into that category.
I guess, for a time I was more concentrating on the materials, but my original subjects definitely came back. I’ve still been working on those and just going deeper with them.
How has your move to the Blue Mountains affected your art practice?
I moved to the Blue Mountains six and a half years ago; immediately I was inspired. I was high on fresh air for a while… I became addicted to the high rate of production within my practice.
More recently, I appreciate that my practice still exists because I can afford to live here. I truly appreciate the headspace, but I always liked the idea of celebrating other artists achievements - we work hard!
I do miss the creative communities I have had previously in Melbourne and Sydney, but I have an incredibly supportive community up here. In many ways being outside of a city makes me think more about being part of a broader, global artistic community. I have to work harder, but it’s ok, it’s all I want to do.
Is there a theme or a particular idea you explored in creating the works for Magic and Mayhem?
I always work to a theme. I get a bit lost in creating a world for the work to belong to. In the lead up to Magic and Mayhem I have been thinking a lot about trying to appreciate balance.
Our everyday lives are full of distress and anxiety, we are consumed by social media and news platforms that are streaming natural disasters, humanitarian disasters, equality issues, climate and environment extremes, mass extinctions, domestic violence… there is no end.
I guess I am trying to find balance and shift focus to some positives, such as new species being discovered and the rise of renewable energy support. But not just big things - tiny magic moments, rainbows, collecting and eating food that you have grown, laughing with loved ones. Celebrating the small stuff to give you energy to deal with the big stuff.
My work has always been about different forms of protection and shelter, I began by looking at it from a very selfish point of view… a lot of self-portraits and self-analysis which developed into struggling with how to protect everything. Clean water, forests, oceans, animals. Everything. Most of my works are abstracted forms of shelter, such as clothing and structures.
What feelings would you like the exhibition to inspire in its audiences? What messages would you like them to take away?
I was thinking about this actually. I guess a sense of comfort, the way I try and represent the feeling of protection or the idea of shelter. I want to make people feel secure and comfortable but also more aware and conscious.
Within the growing awareness, but making it approachable. It seems like a lot of people are afraid to make changes, so I guess making it more approachable and making people more aware.
Your works are very impressive! What tools and materials do you use most? Which are your favourite?
Thank you! My main tool, at the moment, is my hands. The materials are predominantly rubbish. It’s hard to have a favourite. I have a few people in my life who collect incessantly.
For me, my lifestyle choices don’t really produce much waste, so I enlist people to save bits and pieces for me. I guess I observe materials for their texture, colour and availability. For example, I was recently making beads from straws and lollipop sticks because they are everywhere on the ground, at the beach etc.
I guess when I see something on repeat I start to formulate ideas through the frustration. I remember at one point my partner and I were buying a lot of oranges at the fruit market, so I was making various things with the fluoro plastic string bags: sewing them together, weaving through them.
I did a series inspired by the Japanese art of Kokedama. Instead of wrapping the root ball in string, I nestled plants into the string bags and strung them up. I guess my tools and materials evolve depending on what is being wasted around me. I look for solutions.
Review by Melanie Booth
Tuesday evening saw the return of the artist Joel Dickens with the emotive ‘Pressure Sensitive’ exhibition at V∆ND∆L Gallery in Redfern. He presents a collection of fascinating works in his exhibition ‘Pressure Sensitive’ at VANDAL Gallery which evoke a sense of tension between various sets of dichotomies.
In a speech to attendees on the night, Joel Dickens explained that the approach to his works was tempered after several brain surgeries, but also the birth of his twin children.
Through his process, Joel consciously challenges himself and his usual practice in an effort to acknowledge the complexities of adulthood, while referencing the sense of spontaneity and lack of inhibition that is habitual to youth. In his bright, raw works he reconciles a personal truth that is both personal and broadly relatable in that nothing is really black and white.
The works exists in the realm of thought where one can simultaneously acknowledge multiple possibilities while never fully submitting to one.
Melanie Booth: Can you tell me a little bit about the process of creating these works? Is the colour of the ‘squiggle’ we see on the surface actually the base layer of paint?
Joel Dickens: Yes that’s a base layer - there will be a number of those layers that will be put down to get it to the right opacity. Then the oil layer is put over the top. It’s about trying to get the right balance in the oil so that it’s not too oily and drips. There’s definitely a time factor.
M: It sounds like quite a painstaking process. At first I thought the squiggle was done over the top of a block colour background.
J: That’s sort of what I wanted. People seeing it from a distance and thinking it’s a solid line then realising it's quite raw.
The process has been developed: what seems like a very emotional, spontaneous gesture actually takes quite a long time to produce.
M: Do you find that process quite meditative?
J: In a strange way it’s kind of nerve racking. You take a while to plan it but you never really know how it’s going to pan out. It is kind of meditative, more so than expressionistic but it’s essentially a race against time. You’re sort of volunteering yourself for a stressful six hours. The preparation of the canvas takes a few days but the actual gesture is done in one sitting.
M: You mentioned in your artist statement that these are paintings you feel you need to paint, not ones that you necessarily want to.
J: I have a certain set of criteria in my work: I wanted to take the indulgence of the mark making out of this series. It’s something I feel quite strongly about.
M: Is this because if you were to just do a scribble of paint, that would be too easy?
J: I love children’s art and scribbles, but I’m not a child. It’s paying homage to that spontaneity, but recognising the struggles and tensions of becoming an adult.
I wanted to take that inhibition to an extreme point. It’s also the conceit in the work: it looks like they’re produced quickly, but they’re not. That’s the tension I’m trying to create for the viewer.
M: Do you plan the form of the scribble?
J: No, not really. The actual scribble shape is quite spontaneous. There could be something on the TV or something political that inspires it. It’s about choosing that kind of specific event and then trying to be as spontaneous with that initial gesture as possible.
M: Do you often work with this kind of style?
J: I used to do a lot more of throwing paint around. My last exhibition was close to four years ago and a lot has changed since then. I think where it has come from in terms of responding to these immediate events is the same, but the response has been different.
M: Do you feel these works come from a personal place or speak more generally about the human condition?
J: I feel they’re both micro and macro. Some of them are deeply personal. I like to think that there’s something philosophical about them as well and that they can be appreciated on that level.
M: You mentioned that you have undergone a few medical procedures recently. Has your concerns with your physical health and the effect on your family influenced these works?
J: Yes, definitely. I believe that everything in your environment affects you and hence your work. With the health thing, it really did make me consider my own mortality and I think the work sort of mirrors two things – an appreciation of life but also a fear of death. It bridges both things. It’s me wanting to get stuff done quickly in case something happens tomorrow, but there’s also a defiance in the work in taking my time and engaging in a laborious process.
M: You’ve mentioned the act of ‘bridging’ contrasting concepts several times. Is this a predominant theme in this exhibition?
J: I see things in the grey quite a lot. I don’t know whether it’s an age thing. Actually I’m not too sure. I’m very conscious and scared about people sitting on the fence, but I find myself sitting on the fence on so many different things. In a way this is me sitting on the fence between a meditative, philosophical approach and an expressionistic one. I think someone said that truth lies between two extremes. If there is a truth, then it exists between those areas – which I’ve consciously tried to reconcile.
V∆ND∆L Gallery will soon be celebrating the opening night of ‘Pressure Sensitive’, an exhibition by artist Joel Dickens
“Children unleash scribble in a moment of uninhibited, spontaneous, emotional expression - subconscious, absent-minded and pure.
This is not that.
Here, childlike and spontaneous gestures are constricted by the neuroses of adulthood. The paint never reaches the boundary; staying within the lines. Identity is restricted by the adult ego, and passions are sacrificed to the day-to-day realities of life. Good intentions meet their limitations. A nervous breakdown that you’re not allowed to have.
The paintings are created by laying many layers of paint, before meticulously chipping away to create a calculated expression of hi-key emotional outburst.
The gestural works encapsulate a tension between the modern adult’s state of freedom and imprisonment. Taking flight in a cage.”
Over the past couple of years Joel has experienced a number of confronting events which have both inspired and hindered his practice.
‘Pressure Sensitive’, is a series of works made around these events, the title alluding to this period in the artist’s life. This exhibition at Vandal Gallery will be the first time these new works have been shown as a series, showcasing his new approach and marking a new period in the artist's career.
Art Pharmacy writer, Karl Sagraab sat down with Joel to discuss how he came to create ‘Pressure Sensitive’.
What made you decide you wanted to be a painter?
I saw a photo, when I was about 15, of Guernica hanging at the UN which made an impression on me. It suggested to me, that painting could make a difference in some way, and that's what I wanted to do. It turned out that Guernica was a tapestry copy and that the UN is less than perfect, but at the time it pulled two things together in my mind, art and wanting to make the world a better place. I'm a bit more cynical now but I continue to believe that art can make a difference to people's thinking and that the ripple-effect from one person's interaction with an artwork or book, upon society, can be significant.
Can you describe your practice, your use of medium and material, for the series of works in Pressure Sensitive?
Like most artists I struggle to find the amount of time I would like to paint. I have a family, a house and a day job. In this way the work has a performative aspect to it, inasmuch as it is created within and in reaction to life's events. Time to paint is snatched from the jaws of everyday responsibilities and the work is, in no small way, inspired by this predicament. In terms of medium, I use both acrylic and oil; a number of layers of acrylic underpainting and then an oil layer which I extract the gesture from. The title refers to both the technique of the production and the environment the work is painted in.
Did you have an underlying theme in mind when creating the works or did they come about individually and come together in exhibition form in the end? In other words, was there a particular inspiration for these works?
The inspiration for each work can differ dramatically. As with previous work, they are painted in reaction to events, be they personal, political or environmental. With this work now, however, there is a greater emphasis on the language, the motif, which I've spent a few years developing and arriving at. The individual works are painted in their own space and time and in response to a particular event. But the exhibition might be read as a series of diary entries, scribbled utterances, or a cross section sample of one person's existence.
This exhibition is in Sydney but do you have a favourite place to exhibit your works?
I had a couple of exhibitions in Buenos Aires which was exciting. There's a vibrant painting scene there and, for some reason, my work went down well. In terms of where it ends up, my work has been bought for display in foyers and restaurants. It gives me a kick when the work can be seen in public spaces, where the viewers are many and constantly changing.
Are there any painters or artists that inspire or influence you and you work?
The work I'm influenced by is the work that has had the greatest emotional impact on me. I'm a fan of anything that investigates the human condition. There are many artists I like but I have been inspired and influenced by; Pablo Picasso, Franz Klein, Willem De Kooning, Ernst Ludvig Kirchner, Edvard Munch, Kathe Kolwitz, Helen Saunders, Bram van Welde, Graham Sutherland, Alexander Calder, Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Sylvia Plath, Hermann Hesse, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I sometimes feel embarrassed that my influences aren't more obscure, but there you go...
Vandal Gallery will be hosting the opening of Pressure Sensitive on Tuesday 5th of September.
Review by Melanie Booth
On August 10 ‘Desert Stars’ debuted at V∆ND∆L Gallery in Redfern. V∆ND∆L exhibited works from incredibly talented Indigenous Australian artists with a key focus on their connection to the land and the ethics behind exhibiting Aboriginal work.
All works originate from art centres in extremely remote desert communities within Australia, for example Martumili, which is located in the very heart of the Western Desert. The exhibition provides a platform for these usually inaccessible works to be viewed by an urban Sydney audience.
Nichola Dare, the guest curator and owner of Aboriginal Contemporary is one of the lucky few that has earned the trust of some members of these communities in order to gain an understanding of their practice and to form strong, supportive relationships.
The works all share a common theme in their connection to ‘country’, a vital concept for all Aboriginal peoples. According to Dare, “some of the works tell stories of country tens of thousands of years old, others are depictions of country, the locations of tracks, hunting grounds and waterholes.”
Specific care has been taken in the orchestration of this exhibition to engage in ethical practices in displaying the work of these artists within an urban setting. This is a crucial, positive step forward within the Australian art scene in its engagement with, and representation of, art created by remotely located Indigenous people who may have difficulty having their work represented to a city audience.
The event was opened by Sophia DeMestre on behalf of Art Pharmacy, the Welcome to Country was given by Donna Ingram, a Wiradjuri woman and active local community leader, while curator Nichola Dare gave some background on the artists and their works.
Written by Louisa Tiley
The latest MCA Young Ambassadors event was much more personal than regulars are used to. Hosted by Redfern’s new kid on the block, Vandal Gallery, it was an intimate gathering of artists and art lovers - all curious about the relationship between creatives and their work.
It was a unique evening which endeavoured to break down the often impermeable barrier between artist and audience. To achieve this the three exhibiting artists were part of a speed-dating style session during which attendees could “ask them anything” about their practice, creative process, mentality or career.
A bell was used to signal three minute intervals, when guests rotated to the next artist. However many of the more sneaky patrons ignored it to stay for 6, 9 or 12 minutes, in order to delve further into compelling discussions.
Marnie Ross was the first artist I spoke to. Seated beneath a selection of her bright, graphic paintings, we chatted candidly about how printmaking and design inform her abstract compositions. She is closely influenced by the detail and movement inherent in nature - something strongly evident in the wooden textures of Every Night.
Ariella Friend’s work provided an interesting point of contrast, as three dimensional pieces which challenge the boundaries between painting and sculpture. I loved hearing about her sustainable approach - particularly the way she reuses discarded items alongside new materials to reflect the complexities of consumerism. This was most clear in my favourite of her works, Composition in Metallics.
Joi Murugavell completed the collection. She was wearing one of her signature outfits - a blazer, pants and hat combo printed with her own artwork. I was immediately drawn to her bold, witty paintings, with works such as Bad Art Day and A Small Plot Change cleverly playing with cultural iconography.
It’s interesting to note that all three artists began their creative careers with design backgrounds. Because of this Vandal’s exhibition subtly confronted the stigma against graphic designers which often influences contemporary art critique.
This was just one of many refreshing aspects of the night. Having honest, open conversations with artists brought up insightful questions about the future of the industry and how young artists can carve their own unique paths to success.
Tuesday morning Art Pharmacy attended the opening of the new, revamped Birkenhead Point. A multi-million makeover that included players such as creative agency Vandal, Sweaty Betty PR, Michael Kors, Peter's of Kensington and Zanerobe; Art Pharmacy worked to head up the art curation strategy.
Over the year, Art Pharmacy will be showcasing a selection of artists over the year from all over Australia. Each one will create bespoke work themed to our seasons whilst paying homage to what Birkenhead Point does best – premium fashion and lifestyle!
The art will sit in the giant window display and be interpreted digitally on a large screen, offering customers an almost parallel art experience using both traditional and modernised visual platforms.
First up to the plate is Sydney based paper artist, Jo Neville, who this week showcased a stunning bespoke paper floral installation, incorporating blooms and foliage inspired by a palette of muted pastels and dark colours. With her work often at scales exceeding 1,200cm per individual bloom, Jo will certainly open the project with a bang.
The inspiration behind Jo’s dark floral installation is the transition from Winter into Spring. The fashion seasons just as nature ebbs and flows - the once leafless trees burst their glossy buds into flower. Jo’s artwork tells the story of trans-seasonal Sydney in both fashion and florals, a bare branch mounted with tiny paper buds that transform into giant burgeoning petals. The dresses evolve along the wall and the dark romantic tones are highlighted with glimpses of honest and sweet pastels. Made entirely from paper, this artwork is representative of the fervour and ever transient phenomena that is fashion, art and nature.
In addition, the new entry statement on Roseby Street showcases an impressive glass window display and state-of-the-art digital screen technology by Vandal.
As the year progresses, we will announce the four other artists set to work their magic at Birkenhead Point.
Interview with Nichola Dare, conducted by Jennifer Hesketh
V∆ND∆L Gallery will soon be celebrating the opening night of ‘Desert Stars’, an exhibition of Indigenous art to be guest curated by Aboriginal Contemporary owner, Nichola Dare. ‘Desert Stars’ consists of works from talented Indigenous Australian artists who live in remote communities.
‘Desert Stars’ will showcase the work of some of our finest living contemporary artists to an urban Sydney audience.
Jennifer Hesketh AKA Art Pharmacy artist Quirky Bones talks to Nichola about bringing remote indigenous art to an urban audience, sourcing art and ethics.
You’ve curated a very diverse selection of artworks and artists for this exhibition. What themes bind them together?
Nichola Dare: Essentially, two things link all the work in ‘Desert Stars’. The first is provenance. All of the paintings are from art centres in extremely remote desert communities. Some of them, such as Martumili, in the very heart of the Western Desert, is one of the most remote communities in all of Australia, many hours by 4WD from the nearest town of any significance.
The other thing that binds all these works is their connection to ‘country’, which is a profound concept for all Aboriginal peoples. Some of the works tell stories of country tens of thousands of years old, others are depictions of country, the locations of tracks, hunting grounds and waterholes.
The link between people and country is so complete in fact that there is a contemporary painting by Tjungkara Ken from Amata in the APY Lands in this year’s Archibald Exhibition, which, as you know, is a portrait prize, that is actually a representation of the land but submitted as a self portrait because of her connection to her lands. All credit to the Archibald curators for not insisting all portraits need to show eyes and a nose!
A big part of sourcing your art is travelling to these remote communities. How has your relationships with these art centres, artists and communities changed over time?
I consider it an extraordinary privilege to be able to go into these communities, most of which are totally off-limits to the general public and even some art dealers. Even though I’ve travelled to these communities many times, the raw beauty of the landscapes and the warmth of the people still fills me with excitement and awe.
The communities themselves are understandably cautious of strangers so it has been a long process of slowly earning their trust, listening to their concerns and always doing the right thing by them. Once you are accepted the relationships are very strong and need to be, as individual art centre managers move on and the communities of artists are also fluid. The work I sell through Aboriginal Contemporary in Bronte is one of the main sources of income for many of these communities so I feel a real sense of responsibility towards them. A big upside of building authentic relationships with communities, art centres and artists over many years is getting access to some of the very best work that those art centres produce. I’m very lucky.
More and more people today are concerned about ethical practices in Aboriginal art. What role does this play in the way you select work and curate exhibitions?
Some of the stories of unfair and unethical exploitation of artists make my blood boil. People are right to be concerned and wary but at the same time it’s important they aren’t scared away from the category or both themselves and the communities who rely on art sales miss out.
My responsibility as a gallery owner is to ensure my customers can be confident they are buying work with impeccable provenance and can be confident that the artists are treated fairly, respectfully and ethically. The simplest way to do this is to work directly with the community art centres, who always issue certificates of authentication for every piece. Art centres also provide opportunities, training and career development for practising Aboriginal artists and arts workers and act as agents between artists and galleries, museums and institutions. Most art centres will sell directly to the public but as they are often in very remote locations it’s often more efficient for them to work alongside reputable galleries in urban areas, who are better placed to sell and promote the artwork.
Why is it important to bring regional Indigenous art to an urban audience?
It is not only important to bring remote community art to Sydney it is essential, for both the artists and customers. Having worked with remote communities for the last seven years I know that people will look at this exhibition and be amazed at what they are seeing, this is as exciting for me to see as it is to sell an artwork. It is also important for people to understand how scarce some of these works are, for example the only other works available in Sydney at the moment by Mabel Juli are held in the public collections by the MCA and the Art Gallery of NSW. My belief is that every home should be filled with art, as it is good for the soul, and when Australia has one of the richest art cultures in the world it makes total sense for that art to be indigenous art.
RSVP to event here
Written by Kelsey Neumann
Thursday night saw the opening of ‘Somewhere Between’ at VANDAL Gallery. Presented in collaboration with Art Pharmacy, the show is the first group exhibition in the space; a collection from Joi Murugavell, Ariella Friend and Marnie Ross. The works connected effortlessly while still retaining individual styles that portray their experiences of the world around them.
Joi Murugavell’s paintings are a whimsical experience of bold colours and quirky characters. All her works are annotated with parts of dialogue and inverted sayings that combine to show, “rare moments when I see things as they are” (Joi). An interactive performance piece set the mood for the event as Joi enthusiastically invited people to sit across from her and engage in conversation in ‘Ask me Anything’.
The works from Ariella Friend inject further variety to the show. Through her architectural installations of recycled wood, Ariella has combined the natural, through her materials, and the effects of society. Hanging low from the ceiling is ‘Playful’, 2017, with striped blocks of bright colours that catch the eye as the wooden planks splay out.
Marnie Ross’ works highlight small moments in nature, particularly interactions of shadows and shapes. Marnie describes her works as, “abstract compositions layered with vividly coloured organic shapes” which, when clustered together, create a generous appreciation of small moments.
Well done to the artists, and thank you to those who supported them through purchasing works! They will be displayed at Vandal Gallery, 16-30 Vine Street, Redfern until the beginning of August.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for our next exhibition…
Have you always been interested in art?
Ariella: I was always busy making things as a child but didn’t really have a serious interest in art until adulthood.
Joi: Yeah, drawing is one of my earliest memories. I didn’t know it was art though. I didn’t know much about art, artists or the art world till I was in my late teens. I often wish it remained that way as outside influence can be a pain in the ass.
Marnie: I’ve always been creative and interested in art but I only started pursuing Fine Art seriously after completing a Master of Art, as a mature aged student. I previously had a career in Graphic Design.
Do you have an alter ego or do you moonlight as anything other than an artist?
Ariella: I am officially a full time artist these days. I balance this with being a mum to two young kids.
Joi: A studious geek, who on average only ventures out of her home once every two weeks.
Marnie: I am a mum and I do the occasional Design job. I also run Little Things Art Prize which focuses on artists expressing gratitude and the little things that bring them joy.
What inspires your work?
Ariella: Anything from looking at the colours in the sky, to Instagram (is that bad?), to other amazing artists and creatives.
Joi: Human Beings and Music (both deserve capitalisation, one is definitely a lot more fun).
Marnie: My work is inspired by tiny details found in nature and evolving shadow patterns created by light, time and movement. Printmaking processes also have a strong influence on my painting techniques encouraging layering and activation of the surface.
Describe your artistic style in one sentence.
Ariella: Colourful, abstract expanded paintings that explore the relationships between found materials, paint and architectural spaces.
Joi: My style was in a marching band for 5 years, with white boots and a bright orange hat, played a snare drum but started out with the tambourine.
Marnie: Abstract compositions layered with vividly coloured organic shapes floating on a base of raw linen or wood.
All artists are storytellers, what story are you trying to communicate through your practice?
Ariella: I am interested in the dualities of the natural and human- how we value everyday materials and how consumerism is destroying the planet.
Joi: The rare moments when I see things as they are. And by sharing it, I may catch someone at the very moment they've seen the same thing. I feel more connected to all of the things that way.
Marnie: Although I have a clear concept in mind when creating the work I am very happy for the art to speak for itself, allowing the viewer to interpret the abstract work as it relates to them.
What is the favourite part or stage of your practice?
Ariella: I really love the initial ideas phase- researching, thinking, dreaming… I’ve always loved how you can think about something and then bring it to life with your own hands. I am learning that making mistakes is actually a really important part of the creative process- something you can’t control but ends up enhancing the work somehow.
Joi: All of it, I often play loud music and feel I’m at the best party ever when I’m painting or drawing. Even applying gesso to a canvas has its part in the party. I’ve been looking up battery operated disco balls on eBay, unsure how well they work during the day though.
Marnie: My favourite stage is when I am fully immersed in the process and able to experience ‘Flow' which positive psychologist describe as a “complete absorption in what one does and loses sense of space and time.”
Joi, Ariella & Marnie will be exhibiting at VANDAL Gallery 16-30 Vine Street Redfern from the 30th of June.
Current Exhibition: ‘Alchemical Spills’ by Tamara Mendels
Past Exhibitions: ‘Icon’ by Alun Rhys-Jones, ‘Rainbow Warriors’ by Sarah Beetson
Opening night for Tamara Mendels ‘Alchemical Spills’ exhibition at V∆ND∆L Gallery attracted a diverse crowd of artists, media and creative industry patrons from the local precinct and broader Sydney city. In collaboration with Vandal, exhibited eleven artworks in total from Mendels’ new collection. Created from acrylic, epoxy resin and pigment on canvas, the works included four with tactile and protruding features.
Mendels was quite pleased with the attendance for the exhibition, although mentioning, “[at least] 20% of the crowd were some of my friends [who came to lend support]!”.
All White Ceremony (2017) a large canvas painting made from acrylic, epoxy resin and enamel will have a new wall to hang on in a couple of weeks, as it was sold just prior to the official opening of the exhibition. As early as her third year of art school, Mendels has been selling her works -0 so it’s not surprising this work was snapped up so quickly. However, it continues to receive an impressive amount of attention.
“My process is quite thrilling, I have only a few minutes to make my marking with almost no room for adjustment as the painting is decided in minutes…”
Read our interview with Mendels here
Stay tuned for announcements regarding next month's Vandal exhibition!
Contact us here for purchase enquiries
Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I always knew that I would do something creative. It wasn’t till I went to art school that I began to study other artists and take painting seriously. When I started selling artwork in my third year, I knew that making paintings could be a real possibility as a career path and it felt really encouraging that people responded to my art in a positive way.
How would you describe your artworks? Are there any particular themes you have in mind when you're working?
I am creating non-objective markings by pouring resin onto a pre-painted canvas. Some of my pours are loose and uninhibited, violent spills produced out of a rhythmical physical act. Other pours are carefully predetermined as I rehearse the physical act of the marking to play it out like a performance on the canvas. I am always trying to create a marking that is completely new and to do this I try to get to a place of stillness within my mind. My process is quite thrilling, I have only a few minutes to make my marking with almost no room for adjustment as the painting is decided in minutes, its those few intense minutes that keep me coming back to my practice again and again excited for what I might do next.
In addition to being an artist, you are also a curator. Which came first? Has one influenced the other?
I started helping to curate art shows during art school in order to exhibit my own work alongside my contemporaries. With fellow artists Nicholas Pike, Israel Adams, Conrad Ross-Smith, and Sardar Sinjawi we became a small group of artists exhibiting together in artist run spaces in Sydney. In 2009 Nicholas Pike and I moved to New York where we started The Jon Frum Art Foundation, a gallery focussed on exhibiting Australian emerging art to international audiences. With countless exhibitions and participations in art walks and art fairs, we moved to Los Angeles and continued the gallery in downtown LA. We returned to Sydney and started the first “20/20 art shows” 20 art shows in 20 days, held at the Damien Minton Annex space (2011 and 2012). Curating shows has always been something I do in conjunction with my art practice and with other artists working and playing through ideas together.
You have worked and exhibited all over the world. Is there one city in particular that you enjoy working in?
I have loved showing work in New York, the enthusiasm of art audiences is so encouraging. There are so many people engaged and interested in art, there seems to be an openness where people see that your doing something interesting and they want to be a part of it, we had many artists and writers offering their time to assist for free just to experience something cool. Some of my best paintings came out of a tent inside our loft in Brooklyn, I could barley make more than two works at a time inside a completely air tight dust free tent, my studio was a space in side a space, the limitations of this space saw fewer works being made but I loved those pieces. I loved L.A for the same reasons, L.A was more like Sydney so I felt a sense of familiarity, with great beaches and warm climate, I could live there again if the opportunity presented itself.
Are there any other artists or creatives that you are inspired by?
I am inspired by artists all the time, I feel such excitement when a piece of art moves me to feel a sense of wonderment, this happens when I feel encapsulated and entranced by the work stunned in amazement. My earlier influences came from the Lyrical and Abstract Expressionists such as Sam Francis, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline and Morris Lewis. A handful of my contemporary influences are artists whose works seem to transport me to another dimension such as; Dan Colan, Stearling Ruby, Dale Frank, Katarina Grosse, Markus Linnenbrink, Jonathan Lasker, Gerhard Richter (abstracts) and Anselm Kieffer.
To see Tamara's exhibition, visit V∆ND∆L Gallery at 16-30 Vine St, Redfern from 8th June - 26th June, open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm
Exhibiting: 30 May – 5 June 2017
For an excitingly brief interlude, Vandal Gallery will be host to the RCM Collective’s kinetic sculptures, The Bottles (2015).
The Bottles by RCM Collective is a kinetic posse of enlarged squeegees. Showing at Vandal are two pieces from a series of seven, first exhibited at Sculpture by the Sea Bondi, in 2015.
With a spin on the quintessential Spray and Wipe product, the bottle forms are dubbed with life-like qualities. Designed and sculpted by hand, The Bottles hold anamorphic shape, with figurative proportions and a sympathetic inclination of the bust and nozzle.
At Bondi, each animated character was built to spit; with a manual push of their red triggers misty sprays and fountain-like squirts are released from the nozzles.
The work was inspired by a photographic series by one of RCM’s members Megan Hales, which involved portraits of commercial cleaning agents from supermarket shelves.
RCM is a collective of three Melbourne and Sydney-based artists: Corey Thomas, Roger Mitchell and Megan Hales. With diverse backgrounds in public sculpture, painting and film, RCM’s members are involved in multiple avenues of the arts and have exhibited nation-wide.
THE BOTTLES (2015) by RCM Collective. fibreglass, steel armature, automotive paint, water/pump system
16-30 vine st redfern
On Thursday night we (literally!) rolled out the red carpet for a buzzing crowd of art lovers, advertising heavyweights, and everyone in between to celebrate our newest exhibition at VANDAL Gallery! After the launch of our first permanent, physical gallery space last month we were very excited to welcome Sydney-based artist Alun Rhys Jones presenting his new exhibition, entitled ICON.Read More
Art Pharmacy has made the leap from virtual to physical. Starting from a pop up exhibition on Sydney's Oxford Street in 2012, Art Pharmacy has once more returned to an exhibition space in addition to it's highly successful online gallery. Taking over the gallery space of VANDAL, Art Pharmacy brings the best of contemporary art to Redfern’s leafy backstreets.Read More