Vintage Sale Phillips Shirt Factory

 

shirtfactory

A Melbourne City Council email advertising a Vintage Sale at Phillips Shirt Factory in Little Lonsdale St piqued my interest. Gasp! a post industrial factory, hidden in a Melbourne laneway, not accessed by the public for aeons, selling vintage shirts and retro fabrics. Sounds like my dream come true. It was!

Shirt Factory
Shirt Factory

Vast quantities of vintage garments, dishevelled, abandoned sewing machines and garishly printed cotton. The only problem, it was all mens wear. Sigh.

 

Me At Shirt Factory
Me At Shirt Factory

I managed to bag a few small sized shirts which I will alter to fit my frame with the help of Mum’s old Singer sewing machine. A remnant of vivid seersucker also came home with me to be transformed into a nice frock.

The fittings and fixtures are straight from the 1950’s, and provided endless fascination to my creative eye. The building has been sold, I don’t know what will become of this treasure trove of fashion and nostalgia, her heady days as a doyen of the rag trade clearly behind her!

Seersucker for a nice frock
Seersucker for a nice frock
Shirts and more shirts
Shirts and more shirts

Dominoes

Dominoes, no not the age old game I played as a child, but a living art installation played out in Melbourne’s CBD,  on a hot, lazy summer afternoon last Saturday.

dominoes
dominoes
flinders lane dominoes site
flinders lane dominoes site

 

My niece was in from out of town for a few days and cajoled me into going. I’m glad I did. The circuitous route of the domino path embraced parts of flinders lane, the Melbourne Town Hall, St Pauls Cathedral, Degraves St and even beat a path through the Crumpler store.

 

The domino pieces, which were blocks of chalky, lightweight concrete mix had been placed in perfect symmetry  along the route, some lying, many upright but all in perfect accord of the overall plan. This plan was for each to tumble onto the other, causing all to fall in a sequential order. Volunteers were placed along the route to hand out information and guard the blocks. From my vantage point our “marshall ” complete with walkie talkie told us when they had started and how far away they were. A victory yell went up from the crowd as they tumbled toward us. Yes they fell in perfect formation, spectators stood transfixed, and it was evidence of an art installation involving all that captivated and engaged the audience.

doms1

dominoes
dominoes

Brilliant Dilletantes

Brilliant Dilletantes, Subculture in Germany, in the 1980’s,  is on at RMIT Storey Hall Gallery now until 27 February 2016. I liked what I saw. Tonight, 3rd December at 5.30pm a talk is being given about a new book by Australian writer and Berlin resident, Stuart Braun, discussing his new book  “City of Exiles:Berlin from the Outside In” with Dr Peter Milne.

Brilliant Dilletantes
Brilliant Dilletantes

I believe both are worth a look.

Subculture in Germany in the 1980's
Subculture in Germany in the 1980’s

MADA Graduate Show 2015

I walked to Caulfield, from my home in Elsternwick to see the MADA Graduate Fine Art and Visual Art Exhibition. I wasn’t disappointed. The work on display was extremely innovative, explorative, and visually stunning. It covered a diverse range of visual practice including installation, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture and drawing.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

Spread over the entire floors of the old, iconic, former CIT Building, in Dandenong Rd, it embraced a fine visual aesthetic and displayed a comprehensive skill base of the newly graduated practitioners.

Of particular interest was the area where the Honours Students were exhibiting. This is the proposed 2016 studio space for the first year, Bachelor of Fine Art Degree students.

Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O'Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson
Jamie O’Connell interviewed by Bess Davey & Tom Nicholson

Thursday afternoon Talk by MJ

Wheel
Wheel

Peter Burke, organised a talk from a VU former vu student, MJ, who is currently exhibiting in the VU Gallery, 17th Floor Flinders St, Melbourne.

MJ, talked about his work, his love of his craft and his passion for the work he produces . He was successful in getting into Monash University, completed a Fine Art Degree in just two years, and is now a working artist with plans to open his own gallery shortly.

What i took away from the talk were, “just have fun , try lots of different things and keep working”.

 

flinders st
flinders st

Interesting artist, inspirational talk and valuable skill share.

RMIT Open Day

I went along to RMIT”s open day, with some trepidation. It was thirty five years, since I’d walked these hallowed halls. The place was jammed, roads closed, and an army of helpers wearing red tshirts, had descended on the usually austere end of Swanston St. Upon locating the building housing the Fine Art Degree talk I quickly darted up the stairs, only to be pursued by a youngster, wanting to know if she could help. The talk was found, it had started fifteen minutes early, and the man giving it was enthusiastic, jocular and verbose, but it put me in mind of a real estate salesman, hoping to clinch the deal. A dizzying array of facts and figures were reeled off and we were left in no doubt that RMIT, is the best Art and Design Faculty in Australia, and also boasts a stellar reputation internationally.

 

Art School
Art School
sculpture studio
sculpture studio
Studio
Studio

 

 

 

 

RMIT
RMIT

A whirlwind tour proceeded of the cramped sculpture studios, minuscule painting studios, and shabby printmaking facilities. Perhaps the scales have fallen from my eyes and I have recovered from the stigma of failing third year painting, back in 1979, but I just found the facilities sadly lacking, particularly compared to other Fine Art schools I have recently visited. Conversely the lecturers seemed mightily enthusiatic, the students inspired and the vibe a creative one. I gazed disconsolately at the Painting Studios and realised they weren’t for me. A cubicle the size of a wardrobe in a vast shared space with no natural light is not conducive to my art making. I can barely contain myself now in my VU studio,and my tired eyes seek daylight.

Sculpture Studio

Sculpture Studio

Linden Postcard Show

I am an exhibiting artist in the “Linden Postcard Show”

postcard show
postcard show

. My mixed media work , entitled, “Luna Park “, was delivered today. I registered and paid the entry fee on line. Although reluctant to enter I was encouraged by a friend who has entered in the past and sold some work. Also as a visual artist I believe it is important to exhibit work , as part of the creation process.

Housed in a beautiful old Victorian mansion, down the quiet end of Acland st, St Kilda, Linden is an innovative gallery space showing ambitious, creative work .

The postcard show will be an eclectic collection of many diverse visual artists work, displayed together, all of uniform size, but of diverse theme and execution.

I,d better go and see how ” Luna Park ” fits in the space, and whether I sell it !

linden 2
linden 2

Melbourne Art Fair

I went to the Melbourne Art Fair @ the lavishly refurbished Royal Exhibition Buildings on Saturday , 17th August , 2014 .

It was many smallish stands , spread over the two main floors of the building .

Interactive displays , installations , gigantic canvases , small & large prints abounded .

It was sensory overload as I gazed upon this vast display of contemporary Australian art . Exhibitors had come from far & wide within Australia , including Brisbane to Perth  . The creative output of Aussie artists is enormous . Old stagers like Andrew Sibleys portraits of the 70’s , nestled beside Del Kathryn Barton’s , stunning , recent portraitures . Cars , chocolates , flowers , and roving champagne carts were all in the mix .

Particular favourites included one of Adam Cullen’s paintings from his Ned Kelly , the Bushranger series , & ” the Skipping Girl , Little Audrey 2014 , Jim Thalassoudis . I love the bold use of colour and strong figurative style of the former , and the childhood memory the latter evokes .

An interesting,  interactive performance , titled   ” love is in the Fair ” challenged onlookers . It was a bold , fun concept , cleverly conceived and innovatively performed , by charming hosts Adele and Peter .

Go , have fun and enjoy the inspiring work .

Budding artists
Budding artists

Rain

sandcastle
sandcastle

Grey rain its Melbourne’s turn  to be bleak again
Windows streak
Rain turns to sleet
Gums wave in the night sky
Sodden branches flex and fly
Icy freezing artic winds make my coat spin
This winter has been grim
unrelenting cold has made me feel old
I yearn for summer
Her warm embraces and
Soft gentle touch that lanquidly grazes