THE HILLS COLLECTIVE PROJECT.
The Hills Collective Project 2011 By Bianca Lentini www.biancalentinidesigns.com Editor Sandi Sieger Contributors Axel Axelrad Barrie Salau Brent Dakis Carli Wilson Glen Barnaby Jemma Maree Radocaj Jillian Allan Joel Noon Joy Serwylo Leah Rachcoff Melissa Curtis Steve Warburton Sue Jarvis Tiffany Morris-North Unless otherwise credited, photography and design by Bianca Lentini Special thanks Brad Haylock, Gene Bawden, Robyn Robbins, Stuart Geddes and Warren Taylor Typefaces Seattle Sans and Scala Sans Printed by Ferntree Print www.ferntreeprint.com.au email@example.com www.thehillscollective.com This is a research project that is conducted by Bianca Lentini as part of her studies in the Visual Communication (Honours) Program at Monash University, under the supervision of Dr Brad Haylock. For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org ÂŠ All rights reserved. Under the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced by means eletronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior permission. Copyright for interview texts and artwork images in this publication is held by the artists and designers.
The Invitation and Launch
AXEL AXELRAD Puppet Designer
BARRIE SALAU Jewellery Designer
BRENT DAKIS Jewellery Designer
CARLI WILSON Photographer
GLEN BARNABY Photographer
JEMMA MAREE RADOCAJ Jewellery Designer
JILLIAN ALLAN Fine Artist (Printmaking & Artist Books)
JOEL NOON Photographer and Digital Artist
JOY SERWYLO Fine Artist (Artist Books)
LEAH RACHCOFF Illustrator
MELISSA CURTIS Fine Artist (Painting)
NARELLE GLEESON Jewellery Designer
STEVE WARBURTON Fine Artist (Painting)
SUE JARVIS Fine Artist (Painting)
TIFFANY MORRIS-NORTH Fine Artist (Painting)
DEDICATION As part of the Hills Collective Project it is my honour to recognise the creative puppet designs by Axel Axelrad and to acknowledge his contribution of design in Australia.
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PREFACE Growing up in the Dandenong Ranges, commonly referred to as â€˜The Hillsâ€™ has been a special aspect of my life. Inspiration from the beautiful landscape and emerging works of talented artists and designers has driven my passion and enthusiasm for my Visual Communication Honours research project, The Hills Collective. Situated on the outskirts of Melbourne, the Dandenong Ranges is home to a thriving community of artisans who rarely capture the attention of their peers in the city centre. Limited opportunities and exposure also makes it difficult for the community to get access to the works of local artists. I began the process of seeking out the local creative community and encouraged applicants to be involved with a research project which would give a creative voice to the artists of The Hills. Working as a graphic designer enabled me to bring together an array of art and design practitioners covering disciplines from photography, painting, print-making, jewellery design, puppet design and illustration. The platform for representation would be this publication and an online gallery. The process of documenting and curating this project attempts to dispel the preconceived idea that regional areas are simply centres for hobbyists and handmade crafts. The artists selected have pushed all boundaries of intrinsic skill and this has provided a collaborative display of exceptional and professional works. To some extent the inspiration of the location of The Hills is a reflection and source of the artists works, but in most cases, simply breathing space to create and work at their own pace. Bianca Lentini Founder and Researcher of The Hills Collective Project
THE INVITATION AND LAUNCH
Bianca Lentini Poster Invitation 2011 digital print 297 x 420mm
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Bianca Lentini Celebrating the Launch 2011 Main Street Belgrave digital poster print 297 x 420 mm
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Bianca Lentini Celebrating the Launch 2011 Sherbrooke Forest digital poster print 297 x 420 mm
Having Axel Axelrad apply for the Hills Collective Project was a pleasant surprise. Receiving a parcel containing a letter and several old Kodak pictures of some of Australia’s iconic puppets like Ossie the Ostrich and Matilda the Mouse brought back past television memories. He was qualified as an aircraft engineer and was an instructor at the training school of Hawker Siddlely. From a young age he had been constructing and researching puppetry in which he had the experience of creating handmade rod puppets, marionettes and specialist puppets for television, film, stage and school. Among his many characters over the years he has designed many puppets, which are easily identifiable in some of Australia’s television programs and shows during the late 1960’s such as Adventure Island and The Magic Circle Club. Working also as a commercial puppet designer, he also has been recognised for his range of Lamont Puppets, which he was awarded the Good Design Label from the Industrial Design Council. Over the years Axel taught in various workshops for overseas designers and puppeteers. At the age of 92, Axel is retired and has lived in the hills for the past 50 years. During the interview Axel noted that puppetry making and design is not highly recognised in Australia as an art compared to other parts of the world.
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Axel Axelrad Interview with Axel Axelrad and Ossie the Ostrich 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to puppet design? As a young boy growing up in Berlin before World War II, I went to a puppetry school and became a student of H.W. Whanslaw where I studied with many other children; puppetry, drama and art. I worked also as an aircraft engineer as puppet making couldn’t financially support my living expenses, though back then the companies I worked for shutdown and I decided to keep designing, producing and operating puppet shows in London. I came out to Australia in the late 1950’s with my wife Janet. We first lived in South Yarra and later moved to the Dandenong Ranges. I continued to make all sorts of puppets for my own company in Australia called Lamont Puppets that specialised in puppet shows on television programs such as Kindergarten Playtime, School Telecasts as well as for a variety of television commercials. What sort of creative projects did you work on? I worked on creating Ossie the Ostrich, Matilda Mouse, Waldo the Dog and Tuckerbag, as well as a variety of designed rod and hand puppets that I produced for commercial companies and theatre productions in Australia and overseas. I also taught at puppet making workshops and lectures for various schools and universities. What sort of materials, techniques or methods did you use and why?
Axel Axelrad Making Rod and Hand Puppets c.1970 archived photograph Courtesy and © of the artist
I tried to produce puppets that were easy to make and had changeable parts without strings attached so that I could make large quantities. I would use all sorts of tools like scissors, trimming knifes, a hand drill, glue guns and clamps to make the structure of the puppet and then create dress fabrics or felt to create their clothes or face. My wife, Janet used to help me stitch the clothing for some of them and I would put it together. Often the puppets were made from a rode tube as it creates the possibilities for character development and that the design would be kept simple as possible for speedy construction and the use of inexpensive materials to make them work.
â€œI design and make puppets. Not as much considered in Australia as an art in other parts of the world.â€? AXEL AXELRAD
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Where do your ideas come from? Mostly in my head. I would draw them onto paper and often look as some of my collected puppet books to see how others were produced to give me more ideas with the designs and structure. Where did you create your works? Well, when I lived in South Yarra in an old flat I started making my range of puppets in a rented garage space that allowed me to store all my sprays and paints, materials and equipment until I moved with my wife to the Dandenong Ranges and worked in a small studio so that I could continue making more puppets. When I worked for some television companies they had a room for myself and other creative designers so that I could make the puppets for some of the shows they would broadcast on air. Have you learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practise? For me, Europe was a great place because puppets were considered as art. I was mostly inspired by the puppets found in England because they were a lot easier to see how they were made. I taught myself how to make the construction of the puppets as I would look at books and study how they were made and worked so that my own puppets could function well. Axel Axelrad Interview with Axel Axelrad and Matilda Mouse 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? No, not really. The Hills is a place that my wife and I decided to live because we had friends in the area and wanted a change from the busy city life to somewhere more quite and peaceful.
Axel Axelrad Interview with a Lamont Puppet 2011 dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Axel Axelrad Interview with Ossie the Ostrich and Waldo the Dog 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Combining the elements of nature as a source of inspiration from the garden that surrounds the gallery, Barrie Salau jewellery designs are exquisite and delicately designed. Each of his pieces, including pendants, rings, bracelets or earrings are each individually crafted by hand to capture the essence of his work environment which becomes an integral part of his developing ideas. Barrie designs and produces his collection of jewellery at his studio, Maple Corner. Each of his pieces combine various jewels such as diamonds and pearls and other precious stones that incorporate intricate motif and Art Nouveau patterns. His designs demonstrate unique craftsmanship and works with 9ct or 18ct, white, rose or gold and also uses sterling silver. His works celebrate a wonderful collaboration of traditional and his own silversmith techniques that demonstrate his remarkable focus for detail. Barrieâ€™s skills are not just limited to jewellery making- he is also a gifted fine artist creating grey-lead sketches of still life and has produced various hand carved sculptures. Barrie is part of the Australian Gold and Silversmiths of Australia and has been awarded the Australian Design Award in 1985 as well as Australian Jewellers Association Design and Craftsmanship Award.
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Barrie Salau Ceylon Sapphire Ring 2011 18ct yellow gold with ice enamel Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? As a student, I was always interested in art, craft, and design subjects. I embarked on a four year Jewellery apprenticeship in 1982. I was extremely fortunate to learn from a master who was knowledgeable and proficient in older, classic and contemporary techniques of the craft. Completing my training at NMIT wining the Australian Apprentice of the year, JAA design and craftsmanship award for final year students and silver and bronze medallions for industry craftsmanship. I travelled around Australia for a year exploring and sketching. I then returned to my hometown of Berwick in 1988 and established my business, which I continued to date. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? A multi-coloured gold and diamond dress ring that screwed together with handmade screws. This was a finalist in the 1995 DeBeers Diamond Awards. A platinum and diamond sculptured Dress ring that was finalist in the 1999-2000 DeBeers Awards. In 2001 I showed work in Japan as part of an Austrade Exhibition. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? The method I mainly use today came out of necessity. In 1995, I was diagnosed with an aggressive arthritic condition that affected the joints in my hands. As a result I moved from the heavier fabrication and forging techniques to sculpting in wax and casting which allows for a more organic, soft appearance to the work. This combined with enamel and coloured gems, pearls, and diamonds creates my very own Art Nouveau inspired style. I use all the precious materials in all the ranges of colours. Where do all your ideas come from? I am really trying to reflect the environment in which I live and work, so the shapes and colours of the garden in all seasons have a great influence in my work. Architecture of all periods, I find is a source
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of inspiration. I am always on the look out for shapes and colours in all aspects of life that can potentially be conveyed as part of a piece. How important is the subject matter of your works? The subject matter is the underlying theme throughout the work and binds it all together. It allows me to stay focused, whether that is for the overall appearance of the body of work or sub-collections that may concentrate on specific colour combinations of enamels for example. The organic theme underpins all the work at present and sculpting in wax allows me to achieve this. Jewellery, to me is an adornment that should enhance the wearer. Where do you create or design your work? I live and work on a three-acre property in Olinda. The garden is quite old and very established with many varieties of flowering shrubs, deciduous trees and bulbs. I have a gallery in which I display my work, painted in bold autumn tones and a workshop in the style of an old miners cottage. Have you ever learned something from another artist/designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I am particularly in awe of the famous Art Nouveau goldsmith and glass creator Rene Lalique and the great Spanish designer and architect, Gaudi. The early works of Tiffany and Faberge are also wonderful creators of beautiful pieces and an immense source of inspiration. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? The Hills community is wonderful; a vast array of characters whom all share a common love for the environment in which we live. You never know who you are going to meet- artists, crafts people, writers, musicians, professionals from all walks of life. People tucked away just doing their thing. As I have mentioned the environment is everything to me as an inspiration for my work, it’s an infinite source that keeps giving each changing season.
Barrie Salau Fox Glove Pendant 2010 18ct rose gold with sterling silverbacks, pendulum set and briolette aquamarines Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Barrie Salau Aqua Ring 2009 18ct Australian aquamarine yellow and white gold Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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â€œThe organic theme underpins all the work at present and sculpting in wax allows me to achieve this. Jewellery to me is an adornment that should enhance the wearer.â€? BARRIE SALAU
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opposite Barrie Salau Camelia Pendant 2010 sterling silver, dusty rose and green enamel set with a moonstone Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Barrie Salau Blue Tulip Pendant 2010 18ct rose gold, sterling silver and 9ct platinum, baroque south sea pearl and diamonds Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Combining nostalgic recycled materials and found objects, Brent Dakis forges collections of uniquely designed jewellery under his label of Depths of the Never Never. Brentâ€™s designs came to my attention when I first visited Limerence, a unique retail and exhibition space that showcases and curates a wide collection of handmade creations by Australian artists and designers. Brentâ€™s works explore the simple nature of using objects he is surrounded by, or comes across during his travels. He believes that there can be beauty found in jewellery when old, unused materials that are forgotten or hidden away can be twisted and configured into something to admired and cherished. Whether crafting rings, brooches, pendants, cuff links, or earrings, each item is delicately crafted to transform unwanted treasures into unique pieces of wearable art. His focus on environmental sensitivity leads him to the use of a range of recycled items, from old rusty keys, brass cogs and light globes to metallic snippets or old watch parts which he combines creatively to produce one of a kind pieces with a distinctive rustic aesthetic. Brent has a background in graphic design and fine art but always had an interest for creating intricate designs. His jewellery can be found at his studio based in Limerence as well as various stores across Melbourne.
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Brent Dakis Untitled 2011 sterling silver and found objects Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Brent Dakis Untitled 2010-2011 recycled grandfather clock keys sterling silver and copper Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Brent Dakis Wound Up Cuff links 2008-2011 recycled watch movements Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I consider myself a jack of all trade and master of none. I seem to have done so many careers so early on in my life and there is no doubt in my mind I will continue to live that way for a very long time to come. I started my first business in Grade 2, designing, painting and selling T-shirts for a quick profit to other school kids. Later in school it was making use of the newly developed CD burner and then starting a graphic design company. Once I left school I studied Interior Architecture at Monash University, dropped out of that to study Fine Art in print making at the Victorian College of the Arts dropped out of that and began to teach myself jewellery. A few years later Depths of the Never Never was drawing a solid income and Limerence was born. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? I struggle to rack my brain about past creative projects as once again they kind of just happen. Currently I get to manage creative projects in the shop, holding exhibitions each month, designing flyers and posters, managing the website and so on. However away from here I’ve been doing T-shirts for my gym, about to embark on filming a documentary and was approached by a friend today to create visual pieces for his music which I hope to work on soon. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? My favourite method of work is organised chaos. My aesthetic is messy, unruly and impulsive but that can only work so far, it’s about putting this fluid attitude into a constructed environment (this is where my graphic design brain kicks in). Design rules are in use all the time, the most common being balance and composition and even in jewellery this applies. As for technique, I love the fact that I am untrained; a lot of the aesthetics I achieve are only found through mistake and play, and if I were trained I would not accept some of the results because they are ‘technically’ incorrect, but at
the end of the day it’s all about the aesthetic, and if overheating metal, or using too much solder creates an interesting and unique design that’s all that matters. Where do all your ideas come from? I don’t know! Daily life, it might be something I hear or see, or something so trivial as a pen lid. As most creative people will know its just being tuned into your eye and creative brain to pick up on things when you see them, and write them down, rather than just forgetting it and moving on. This is also my main issue with university and why I left so many times, in a creative course it is very difficult to ‘force’ ideas for the sake of work which is expected. It burns you out and for myself, like many others deter you away from creativity all together if you’re not careful. How important is the subject matter of your works? Very, if nothing else as to broaden my understanding and knowledge I love to have meaning and purpose in a work. 90% of the time I won’t even tell people that there is meaning, after all most people don’t want to know the intricate messages of their new necklace that is a representation of a society bent on fixing things that aren’t broken, and that has removed natural selection from the process of evolution, that we can manipulate our environment to suit ourselves rather than the other way around. That kind of information will make that necklace four times heavier on someone’s neck, but the point is that for me, I couldn’t have developed such a range without the thought and feeling in the development of it. Where do you create or design your work? 20% in my studio at the store, 20% on my computer at home, 60% in my brain whilst falling asleep.
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Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I’ve never been a big fan of studying others work, for me it never seemed relvant to what I was doing or what was coming from my mind. Theory annoys me, particularly when you have to link “how Picasso’s imagery links into my own, elaborate.”, however William Kentridge was the first artist who made me feel that mess and impulsive expression could be coupled with meticulous application to create truly inspirational work. All of that being said however, in a personal realm artists have a hugely profound impact on what I do; I would not be involved in jewellery at all without the encouragement of my partner CJ (fashion designer behind Twisted Fig, and also my partner in crime at Limerence, and the rest of our life really) and without the other creative minds around me like Greg Mann who taught me the beginning steps of jewellery design. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? A few years ago I would have said no, however now having consistent contact with the public in a massive way it certainly does as I run ideas past people, discuss the pros and cons of my new works and also get given fantastic ideas from other creative minds.
“My favourite method of work is organised chaos. My aesthetic is messy, unruly and impulsive, but that can only work so far, it’s about putting this fluid attitude into a constructed environment” BRENT DAKIS
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opposite Brent Dakis Untitled 2011 sterling silver and found objects Courtesy and © of the artist Brent Dakis Untitled 2011 sterling silver and found objects Courtesy and © of the artist
Using alternative processing techniques and a range of both film and digital cameras, Carli Wilson produces stunning tactile and raw photographs that capture such vivid images of people, objects and places. Since Carliâ€™s introduction with the darkroom, photography has become her passion, and she also teaches photography and works as a freelance photographer specialising in weddings, portraiture, and working on self directed projects. She finds utilising and experimenting with toy cameras like the Dina or Holga a way to capture unpredictable results using darkroom methods to produce her photographs from film. The vintage essence that her works provoke through the faded and delicately soft combination of tones and vibrant colours from using traditional developing methods is a key aesthetic to Carliâ€™s works. Often her photographs combine various textures and she also processes digital photography and prints her images onto a variety of papers. Manipulated in such a way with an old retro attachment and become a sequence of repetitive or single elements of imagery. She strives to replicate the old processing techniques in her photographs by also using digital techniques and tools due to traditional methods and materials no longer being available. The use of a film scanner or flatbed scanner also becomes a camera for Carli in which she employs both digital and film processes together. Most of the time, Carli takes her photographs on location capturing the key focus of moments or the fine details of her subjects. She finds the use of the natural ambient of light as an inspiration in her works, in which on rare occasions she uses studio lighting.
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Carli Wilson Ferris Wheel 2010 LOMO octomat toy camera film, type C print dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I began university at the age of 17 and began a degree in Visual Arts and Graphic Design at Deakin University. It was the first time I ever had the opportunity to learn photography and explore a darkroom as we didn’t have this subject at my high school. Needless to say I totally fell in love with the medium and after two years at Deakin, I transferred to RMIT Melbourne and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. I’ve been working as a freelance photographer ever since. After teaching students from Istanbul in a country village of Turkey whilst travelling, I decided to complete my Diploma in Education when I came home. In 2006 I graduated from Melbourne University and applied for a job at Monbulk Secondary College. I am now very lucky to combine teaching photography with my freelance work. This tree change has been an incredibly inspiring part of my life and is where I intend to stay for quite some time. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? I feel everything I do is a creative project! Life is busy and you never know what kind of photo-shoot you’ll be doing next. I am always working on weddings and gathering inspiration for workshops. I’ve had solo exhibitions along with a local collective exhibitions with other Art Teachers. My biggest personal project was opening a café/wine bar on the coast, which included a separate gallery space for my photography. In 2010 I was asked to speak to NGV, the National Gallery of Victoria and showcase my teaching methods, this was incredibly inspiring and as a result, I am currently planning and photographing a huge folio of work that demonstrates achievable techniques for students in the hope of publishing an educational book. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? I use Nikon cameras and employ both film and digital equipment. I often use a film scanner and a flatbed scanner as a camera. I love
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using Holga or Diana toy cameras and I am most excited about waiting for their unpredictable results. The aesthetic qualities of all alternative processing techniques are what I aim to achieve. Due to many of the traditional methods being no longer available or too expensive, I strive to replicate their visual appeal using Photoshop and creating tactile texture by printing on art papers. For digital work I capture images in RAW format and use Photoshop as my digital darkroom on our Mac computer. I favour the use of natural ambient light but on rare occasions I use studio lighting. Where do all your ideas come from? Art books and documentaries! I am forever looking for artists and photographers that are contemporary and that will inspire my students. By spending hours on websites and looking at books for my teaching I inspire my own ideas in the process. How important is the subject matter of your works? The subject matter of my artworks is not of huge importance. What is important is the quality of light, textures and a large tonal range. My photographs always have a defining focal point which is emphasised using shallow depths of field. Where do you create or design your work? I capture my photographs predominantly on location using available light. However I sometimes set up studio lighting at home and just use the kitchen table. We live in a teeny tiny 1940’s Hills cottage and space isn’t in abundance. Luckily I have access to my school darkroom and have a Mac computer at home for the editing process. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I am constantly learning from other artists. I visit the Ballart International Foto Biennale for my ‘fix’ every two years as I believe as a creative person I am constantly evolving- education and inspiration are a large part of this process. I read many online blogs
and have a huge library of photographic books. I enjoy hearing artists speak about their work, a recent one I attended was Bill Henson at Monash Gallery of Art. I have a hug admiration for photographers such as Sarah Moon and Australian contemporary photographer Samantha Everton. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? My local community has a huge influence on my practise. As a teacher I am always visiting local exhibitions and working with gallery staff. The Hills has an exciting group of young artists and spaces that are supporting each other and this is extremely evident within the online network/community. Projects such as this one and local magazines give artists a reason to come together and create.
opposite Carli Wilson Irish Pub 2011 35mm SLR, fibre based silver gelatin print 203 x 305 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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“I love using Holga or Diana toy cameras and I am most excited about waiting for their unpredictable results. The aesthetic qualities of all alternative processing techniques are what I aim to achieve.” CARLI WILSON
Carli Wilson Skatin’ 2010 35mm DLSR Digital Collage dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist Carli Wilson Box Brownie 2010 LOMO octomat toy camera film type C print dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist opposite Carli Wilson Get your skates on 2010 35mm DLSR dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
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GLEN BARNABY PHOTOGRAPHER
The urban and industrial scenes of abandoned buildings, hidden alleyways and abattoirs that Glen Barnaby photographs are mysterious and eerie. Depicting a deep palette of illuminated colours, he utilises natural lighting within the location and explores the essence of decay and time that has passed. Some of his photographs focus on old and worn type that have been disregarded and have aged over time. Glen tends to capture these scenes whether he is looking for a subject matter to photograph or accidently finds it along his travels. He feels being surrounded by these urban industrial landscapes such an immerse element to capturing the strong textural qualities of destruction, and focusing on still life objects that were once pre-loved. Glenâ€™s series of photographs Camperdown Abattoir, explore the scenes of a vacant and unused space. Each delicately capture the source of natural lighting peeping through the rooms that reveals the harsh textured walls and floors. The combination of blue and green tones in the photographs sets a calm and surreal atmosphere. The photographs collectively are an intriguing narrative that focuses on particular aspects of the abandoned space. Glen has a visual arts background and has worked on several self directed screen-printing and painting projects. Since he has moved to The Hills he has focused predominantly with photography and working for a local printing company.
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Glen Barnaby Camperdown Abattoir 1 2010 35 mm DSLR dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I have always been inspired by the Arts. I play guitar and for a number of years, my life focused around a band in Sydney. I studied Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts before beginning my career in the printing industry. My life in a band lead me to work for a well know screen-printing company that created band T-shirts and in my spare time I continued to create which included my own independent magazine or ‘zine’. Ten years ago I moved to Melbourne and discovered a mud-brick cottage in Emerald. It was living in this inspiring, artistic space that really allowed me to focus more on my painting and photographic skills. It was during this time I met Carli and we quickly merged our ideas to form the business ‘Barnanby + Wilson’ Photography. I still balance working for a local printing company with our photography. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? In the past I’ve worked on many creative projects including collaborative performances on stage with other musicians. I have produced performance art and music and sound installation works. My main focus now is photomedia projects including a body of work with the subject matter of urban decay. I am also looking at studying film-making. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? My technical aim is to create visually pleasing images from subject matter that may normally go unnoticed. Aesthetically I aim for soft lighting that illuminates the harsh subject matter creating tonal contrast and atmosphere within the image. I shoot in RAW so that I can manipulate the tones at a later stage and manipulate the colours to further illustrate the aesthetics I am looking for. My painting technique is to gather inspiration, pin it up and then to begin building up textures on a canvas using acrylics. I manipulate the paint using various tools in a scratching technique along with introducing collage and mixed media.
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Where do all your ideas come from? At the moment I’m focusing my inspiration from my work environment, as I seem to spend so much time there. I’ve always been surrounded by industrial settings whether this is a gig in a backstreet pub or the noisy factories I found myself working in. The urban and industrial landscapes have an immense beauty that I enjoy focusing on. I love the aesthetics of abandoned buildings, industrial decay and ghost like atmospheres. The cold harsh metals, grungy textures and evidence of something that ‘once was’ are intrinsic to my artworks and are a direct contrast to the way I choose to live my life amongst nature. Inspiration for me can come from many forms of ideas, whether it be a scene in a film, a certain chord change in a song, something I hear in a passing conversation, the way light may fall on a certain subject matter. I try to take direct influence from my own experiences, to use what is right in front of me. That is why I’m now focusing on environments that have been, and still are, a major part of my life. How important is the subject matter of your works? The subject matter that inspires me most is that of decay, destruction and evidence of a past that no longer exists. This could come from environments such as abandoned homes, factories and streets or still life images of pre-loved items. It is important that my subject matter has strong textural qualities. Where do you create or design your work? My photographs are always captured on location, especially in factory environments. I then work on them at home using a Mac computer. My painting is created in our courtyard, which limits me to working in warm weather! I hope to have in the near future, a space big enough to continue screen-printing. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? There are too many artists to mention! I learn a lot from studying artwork and visiting as many galleries as possible, studying
Glen Barnaby Laneways 3 2009 digital compact camera dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Glen Barnaby Laneways 2 2009 digital compact camera dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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technique and researching work methods. My partner Carli has also been a great mentor for my photography development. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I love living amongst nature and being inspired by the mountains and the vibrant, creative community of Upwey. I still work in an industrial estate, so it’s a nice change to come home and smell the fresh air! It is the calm surroundings of the trees at home that enable me to think clearly and have the energy to go out and shoot or begin a new painting. It’s also a great to know there is a local artist’s community really building at the moment, which gives me great inspiration to continue creating and growing as an artist.
â€œThe cold harsh metals, grungy textures and evidence of something that once was are intrinsic to my artworks and are a direct contrast to the way I choose to live my life amongst nature.â€? GLEN BARNABY
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opposite Glen Barnaby Camperdown Abattoir 4 2009 35 mm DSLR dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist Glen Barnaby Camperdown Abattoir 2 2009 35 mm DSLR dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist Glen Barnaby Camperdown Abattoir 3 2009 35 mm DSLR dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
JEMMA MAREE RADOCAJ PHOTOGRAPHER
Following the passion of her mother taking photographs documenting life around her, Jemma Maree Radocaj has been influenced to do the same. She finds photography to be a major component of keeping memories alive and capturing events or people that she feels are extremely important to her. The main focus of Jemmaâ€™s work is portraiture -in some of her photographs she has explored her figures to be captured in secret garden scenes and urban locations. To the fine details of her photography, she creates and coordinates the clothing or costumes that are worn by the models. Though in some cases her photographs of people or still elements of life are accidental shots. She has used several gardens in the hills as her backdrop and inspiration for some of her photographs. Jemma enjoys working with natural lighting as well as working within her studio experimenting with artificial lighting and digital effects. Her works often depict a delicate essence of life and at times are quite vibrant or softly detailed and her digital photographs are either in colour or black and white. Jemma keeps several sketchbooks containing researched and found pieces of digital photography that inspires her to develop various themes. She has completed her studies at PIC, Photographic Imaging College in Melbourne and continues to work on self-directed photography projects.
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Jemma Maree Radocaj Summer 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
“The main two reasons I take photos is I want to make memories to be able to show my children one day and it is my passion. It makes me happy.” JEMMA MAREE RADOCAJ
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? When my brothers and I were young our Mum would always have her old Pentax 35 mm out taking photos of us, and everything around us, documenting our lives. When I look at the photos now, they are a huge part of remembering my childhood. The main two reasons I take photos is I want to make memories to be able to show my children one day and it is my passion. It makes me happy. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? In the first year of my course I did a photo shoot of two little girls dressed as fairies. I planned it right down to designing making the costumes myself. Textiles and art were my favorite subjects when I was at school so I get a lot of satisfaction when I put so much into a shoot and it turns out how I had planned. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and I swap between a 85 mm lens which is great for portraits and a 24-105 mm wide-angle lens which is perfect for landscape style portraits. I mainly work with natural light, but love playing with lighting in the studio. I am currently working on getting my own little studio up and running. Where do all your ideas come from? Jemma Maree Radocaj Ashleigh 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
A lot of the time through inspiration that I find in galleries, magazines or websites like Flickr, Deviant Art and even some blogs, but mostly in everyday life. Sometimes my ideas will come to me in dreams. Sounds pretty clichĂŠd, but some of my best ideas come to me then.
Jemma Maree Radocaj Samuel 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Jemma Maree Radocaj Ashleigh 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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How important is the subject matter of your works? Very important. People are so unique and I have a lot of interest in photographing them, whether it is candid or posed. Where do you create or design your work? When an idea comes to mind I write it down. Then I work out the finer details like the model,costumes and clothing. I will sometimes make the costume or use either the models wardrobe or mine. On a shoot I will have an idea of how I want the final image to turn out like, but I never have a certain expectation. I try to keep an open mind because I find that way you can really surprise yourself. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I am constantly learning from other artists. People in general. A bit of constructive criticism is always welcome. It’s good to hear another person’s point of view. When I do a shoot where I’ve made the costume, I feel very satisfied at the final outcome because I have put so much into it. The photo of the two girls dressed as fairies is a project I put a lot of time into and I was extremely happy with the finished product. I really enjoy putting myself right into my work. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? Yes but not completely. I feel so lucky to live near some of the most beautiful gardens you will ever see. I have done a lot of photo shoots in those gardens. They are so serene and pretty. I use them a lot as the backdrop in my shoots. I also feel it’s refreshing to step out of my community and shoot in different settings. But it’s always good to come back home.
Jemma Maree Radocaj The Boys 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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FINE ARTIST (PRINTMAKING & ARTIST BOOKS)
The delicate and exquisite print making works by Jillian Allan are a series of investigations into the roles of women in society in the historical as well as contemporary sense. Her works combine linocut prints onto a variety of papers and objects that include prints on gloves, artist books and feathers. Each piece explores the affiliation between women, nature and animals, that combines the crafted elements of floral fabric patterns that are transferred from ink onto such objects like feathers and hand-sewn Japanese paper gloves that depicts a soft and feminine approach to her works. Each element of type and pattern is cut individually from lino blocks by hand that are then processed onto paper and constructed into form. Jillianâ€™s focus and of her works explores an insight into the female psyche and this notion of longing to escape to a world without being bound by restrictions. Her works convey a strong presence and fragility. For every print there is a purpose and meaning behind it that demonstrates her collection of ideas that are beautiful and deeply emotive through their delicacy and gracefulness. Jillian has a background in visual arts with a passion for print making. She has completed her Honours certificate at RMIT University and has currently completed her Masters of Fine Art (by research) at Monash University.
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Jillian Allan Floral 2006 Linocut on feather dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Jillian Allan Give and take 2011 Reduction linocut with hand sewn paper gloves (machine made Japanese paper with silk thread) photograph supplied 390 x 500 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Jillian Allan Imitation 2006 Artist Book, linocut on rag paper photograph supplied dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? After an eighteen-year absence I returned to art, in particular portrait painting, in 2002 (a subject I had majored in for Year 12) as a form of therapy. Before I knew it I was enrolled at the Swinburne University of TAFE’s Wantirna campus in a Diploma of Visual Arts course. It was there I developed an appreciation for print-making. This was followed by an undergraduate degree with honours and postgraduate certificate at RMIT University, which has led me finally where I’m at now- having just completed a Masters of Fine Art (by research) at Monash University. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? As an undergraduate and postgraduate student I was always been involved with creative projects that related specifically to the themes I was researching at the time, for instance animals/women, myths, memory and contemporary mourning respectively. Commissions have involved being selected in 2007 by the Print Council of Australia to produce an edition of prints for their collection. In addition to this I have been involved in creating an installation in the once Rembrandts building in Knox, of three full-scale paper printed debutante dresses with gloves. At present I’m working on a series of prints that relate to particular narratives. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? Besides oil painting, a majority of my work is relief printing, a method using lino blocks and cutting tools as well as inks. This printing method is the easiest for me, as I don’t have ready access to acid baths to do copperplate etching. However I have used poly carbonate sheeting to produce dry point etchings. Some of my work involves printing on delicate lightweight paper such as Japanese tissue and rice papers. These two-dimensional images are later transformed into three-dimensional objects such as paper gloves, dresses and collars. I love to use paper in this way, as well as creating a tactile object it also plays with the idea of fragility.
Jillian Allan Captured(Blue) 2006 Linocut on rag paper with silk thread and glass beads 450 x 300 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Where do all your ideas come from? The ideas for my work can vary according to whether the work is commission or not. Normally, I like to use familiar themes such as folklore, animals or women. Although these themes may be common, it’s how I convey them to an audience that makes the difference. However, if the work is commissioned, then the ideas may come through from the research. For instance with the Rembrandts project, the idea for the three debutante dresses came from the fact that for many years the venue was used for Debutante Balls by the local Secondary schools. How important is the subject matter of your works? My work is a delicate balancing act at the best of times so subject matter is very important, as without it my work and what it relates to would not exist. Where do you create or design your work? I don’t have a studio as such, so the work is created either in or around various points of my house and/or garage. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I have been fortunate in my travels to have been taught by some of the most influential print makers in Melbourne or indeed in Australia, such as Jazmina Cininas, Deborah Klein, Heather Shimmen and Ruth Johnstone. However it was my teacher at Swinburne, print maker Larry Parkinson, who taught me patience and the beauty in making a print. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? Where I live feels at times so removed from the hustle and bustle of where my prints and paintings end up. And although my local community doesn’t directly impact upon my work and practice, it does give me breathing space to think and work at my own pace.
â€œSome of my work involves printing on delicate lightweight paper such as Japanese tissue and rice papers. These two-dimensional images are later transformed into three-dimensional objects such as paper gloves, dresses and collars. I love to use paper in this way, as well as creating a tactile object it also plays with the idea of fragility.â€? JILLIAN ALLAN
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PHOTOGRAPHER & DIGTIAL ARTIST
Joel Noon’s stunning and fascinating digital photographs of portraits, landscapes and stage set narrative scenes are mysterious and capture such vivid dark tones that portray such detail and an expressive angst of human conditions. The bold and dramatic reference of colours and subject matter of people and various scenes reveals such an emotive stance of lowliness, and the psychological effects of sleep disorders and parallel universes between reality and fantasy. He works often depict a symbolic nature and reflection of split personalities and the presence or position of one self’s emotional state being captivated by the beauty and fear of landscape sceneries. Joel’s technique and combination of digital photography and digital manipulation is inspired within his works that depicts a bizarre and intriguing narrative sequence of photographs that screams attention and such a high quality of professionalism and uniqueness. His works often convey themes that deal with anger, still life, and the effects of consciousness and drawing inspiration from the landscape sceneries of The Hills, such as Birdsland. Joel has also worked in commercial photography and completed various fashion photo-shoots as well as completing some film clips and stage photographs for a few bands. He has received 3 Silver Awards at the Australian Professional Photography Awards for 2011 and has currently completing his last year at PSC, Photography Studies College in Melbourne.
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Joel Noon No Escape 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? Ever since I was young I always knew I wanted to become a photographer. I think I picked up my first camera when I was about eight years old and always enjoyed taking photographs. I have always thought it was really cool. I went to high school at St. Josephs College, Ferntree Gully and am currently in my third and final year at Photography Studies College, Melbourne where I am majoring in Commercial. I have never wanted to do anything else but take photos. I love the feeling of freezing a moment, or creating another world. Photography gives me ultimate freedom with my work. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? I have only really worked on folios for my course. Though last year I did a collaborative folio with one of my fellow students, Brad Price. We did a series of fine art photos focusing on a sleep disorder called Non-24. The work received great feedback and I have just finished my latest folio, Chaos Theory. I created a band and shot the promotional advertisement for them, the album art, and even wrote the lyrics for 10 songs. I am in a development stage at the moment for my next project. What sort of materials or techniques or methods do you use and why? opposite Joel Noon Untitled 2010 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist Joel Noon Untitled 2010 digital photograph Dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
I shoot with a Nikon D7000 and have a variety of lens that I have in my arsenal of equipment. My favourite lens is currently the 50 mm @ f 1.4, its so crisp, clear and gives me power produce outstanding quality in my photographs. I work on a Mac and use the CS5 creative suite from Adobe. I love Photoshop and work hard on all my images in postproduction. I am not afraid to show that my images are heavily over the top and Photoshoped. I think in this day and age it is necessary as everything is becoming more and more digital and unreal.
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“Ever since I was young I always knew I wanted to become a photographer. I think I picked up my first camera when I was about 8 years old and always enjoyed taking photographs.” JOEL NOON
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Where do all your ideas come from? Mostly at the weirdest times, when I am thinking the least about trying to come up with an idea. I have more of my idea break thoughts when I am trying to sleep, or showering, or when I am driving. But I also draw inspiration and reference other artist’s work, not just from photography but film, graphic artists, paintings, illustrations and music. How important is the subject matter of your works? If the subject isn’t getting my viewers engaged then I don’t think it is a successful photograph. I am saying that from more of a commercial stance. From an artistic perspective I guess its more the idea, message and concept of the artist. Overall it is very important. Where do you create or design your work? I have a study area in my house where I am often up to ungodly hours of the mornings thinking, looking at work, story boarding. Then I take that either into the studio at Photography Studies College or onto my chosen location. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? It sounds cliché but I was told if you aim high then you achieve high. And so far I have been sticking to that and it seems to be going okay. I guess I have been taught to second guess nothing, adapt, and mostly enjoy what I create. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? Joel Noon Burning Desire 2011 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
Absolutely. I live in Upwey and have always enjoyed shooting landscape out here. My work has a chaotic, edgy, and detailed sense to it. As do the landscape around Upwey, especially Birdsland, where I have done a lot of shooting over the last 2 years.
Joel Noon Immortally insane 2010 digital photograph dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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FINE ARTIST (ARTIST BOOKS)
From rusted cars to torn encyclopedias, zines, collaged pieces and miniature artists books, Joy Serwylo creates the most beautiful hand crafted works. At her studio I was able take some close-up photographs of her tiniest and most exquisite book creations. From Coptic to Japanese binding, collage and cut out paper butterflies, from old written and musical books, each of Joyâ€™s pieces tell a unique story. In her miniature book series Always, Joy has documented the events of Black Saturday with photographs depicting before, and after the fires and the eventual rejuvenation of the forest. Joyâ€˜s passion for booking making initially has developed from her other works that involved odd landscape and portrait collaged pieces. She finds old books that contain coloured imagery and atlas maps, a source and inspiration for producing her individual works that are so delicately put together. She even collages with fabric and has also created various hanging textile pieces. Joy finds the use of a pen and drawing in sections of old books, a way to create randomness and irregularity that is both intriguing and beautiful. Joy is currently working on a series of collages titled Relic, rusted cars and strange landscapes.
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Joy Serwylo Coptic Bound Books 2009 torn and drawn dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
â€œI guess you grow from your given seed. My mother created constantly and by default I was always with paper and pencil.â€? JOY SERWYLO
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I guess you grow from your given seed. My mother created constantly and by default I was always with paper and pencil. Of course the healthy youth rebels, so when she forbade art school, that was obviously my only option. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? I’m always working on the next ‘show’ which currently is a series of odd landscapes and rusted cars collaged and drawn using maps and suchlike. But I also like to balance life with something completely different. At the moment that is book binding. What sort of materials or techniques or methods do you use and why? Mmm. I like a pen because it makes a determined blackline. I like paper torn encyclopedias and such, for the opposite reason. Randomness and irregularity. They seem to fit together. Where do all your ideas come from? From looking and seeing. How important is the subject matter of your works?
Joy Serwylo Miniature Book 2011 bradel bound 25 x 15 mm Courtesy and © of the artist
If subject matter were not of paramount importance, I would make blank books and black drawings. Where do you create or design your work? Here in my studio. Except for the thinking... I do that in the bath.
Joy Serwylo Always, first of a trio of miniature books telling the story of Black Saturday 2011 50 x 30 mm Courtesy and © of the artist Joy Serwylo Miniature Books 2011 dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
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Have you ever learned something from another artist/designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? All the time. But here’s one thing, to see Monet’s greatest works, done when he was nearly blind, and notice the beautiful crudeness of Rembrant’s brushstrokes on his later works, one learns that no great artist ever got more gentle or safe in his work as he aged. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I don’t know about “influence”, but community certainly supports and enfolds me. The environment on the other hand is what I see as I drive, as I walk, as I look out my window. A ceaselessly wonderful and inspiring panorama that begs to be interpreted.
Joy Serwylo Collage 2011 294 x 520 mm Courtesy and © of the artist Joy Serwylo Dictionary of the Daintree 2009 torn and drawn book 130 x 80 mm Courtesy and © of the artist
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LEAH RACHCOFF ILLUSTRATOR
Using coloured mechanical pencils and fabric markers onto cotton fabrics for one-off T-shirts and individual framed prints, Leah Rachcoffâ€™s illustrations are intriguing and stimulating characterisations of various portrait figures. Her incredible and delicate soft feathered line work is generated by hand and then adjusted and cleaned in Photoshop to allow Leah to edit each image so that the textured strokes of her characters are more defined. Leah has recently graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Animation and Interactive Media. Since her introduction to art classes at school, Leah has always been passionate about drawing. Since her development of experimenting with different mediums from paint to watercolours, and coloured pens and fabric markers, she has explored and tried to interpret and establish her very own style. Leah has shaped her own work from teaching herself and exploring her personal aesthetic whilst being inspired by past teachers and most visual art disciplines like music, movies, performance art and creative writing. Often Leah draws for animation scripts and narratives, but has more so been interested in pursuing further studies in fine art and illustration. She finds combining illustration and design, using a traditional range of mediums a way in which she tries to push for detail and intricacy in her works. Leah believes her works should be appreciated in a way that allow you to see more from what you may have not noticed at first glance.
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Leah Rachcoff Spilt down the middle 2010 ball point pen, Photoshop dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I was one of those kids in school that noticed earlier on that pretty pictures were far more interesting than maths and writing essays. Once I put academics on the back burner I excelled in my art classes and went along with what felt natural to me; drawing. Ever since, I couldn’t seem to stop. I’m forever trying to perfect a style and make it my own. As for right now, I am simply trying to pay rent while doing what I love. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? Through uni, to date, the biggest projects I’ve set myself up for have been two frame by frame animations, the first of which was hand drawn. I always seem to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to self set projects though. As far as group projects go, the only thing I could mention would be a digital painted comic I have been working on with my partner. It’s a relaxing outlet for creative story telling, and I hope to see it finished some day soon. I like seeing what our personal styles create when merged together. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? I love my mechanical pencils, which are now available in a range of colours. I use the almost crayon-like texture to get that soft feathered look when I am trying to achieve my much loved detail. I use fabric markers on cotton for my one-offs with shirt designs. Inks, watercolours (when I play with canvas) pens, ballpoint, inkjet, pinpoint. A lot of my pieces are cleaned up and adjusted in Photoshop when I think they need that something more. Where do all your ideas come from? I am inspired by other art and not just visual art; music, performance art, creative writing, etc. Sometimes when I am stuck for ideas I will simply start with one word then research images based on that word, sketch what I find intriguing, and go from there.
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I even draw while watching movies. For some reason that halfwatching, half-listening state really seems to help my ideas flow. How important is the subject matter of your works? Not important at all as far as I’m concerned. I’m yet to design a piece based on a current event or something easily recognisable to a third party. Where do you create or design your work? 98% of the time a piece will start and finish in my room. When I’m feeling blocked, I will go for a walk or jump on a train and go to the city to take in something new. Sometimes I even go to friends houses and get some work done when everything is quiet, only because I don’t have my own possessions to distract me. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? In only one case can I say someone helped make me who I am at this point in my art my year 11 and 12 art teacher. I was always confined to my book and never experimented with any medium. It was greylead and A4 paper, all the time, I had become very comfortable with it at least until she forced me to draw, paint and simply create outside my square. I have been shaped by my own practices and self-teachings while absorbing other inspiring artist’s works over the years, but she truly helped start me out on the right path. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I’ve moved house a couple of times in my lifetime and the moment I moved into the lusher green of Mt. Dandenong, I noticed that I brought that touch of nature and that organic flow into my work. It’s been there ever since. I’ve grown up amongst nature and never really experienced high rises and suburbia properly until I hit uni, and even then I brought the organic flow with me. It’s not the main point of my work, but it’s there. At this stage though, I do want to explore that more concrete-jungle look and challenge myself to represent it more in my work.
Leah Rachcoff So many sides 2010 fabric marker on cotton dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Leah Rachcoff Pets and people 2010 fabric marker on cotton dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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“I excelled in my art classes and went along with what felt natural to me, drawing. Ever since, I couldn’t seem to stop, I’m forever trying to perfect a style and make it my own.” LEAH RACHCOFF
Leah Rachcoff Poison Sip 2010 coloured mechanical pen, Photoshop dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Leah Rachcoff Sleeping Bonsai 2010 greylead, Photoshop dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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FINE ARTIST (PAINTING)
At the age of eighteen, Melissa Curtis had her very first solo exhibition titled â€˜Preludeâ€™ that was the beginning of her exploration and development of painted works. Since then she has developed sketches and drawings and art has become her passion. She studied life drawing where her skills flourished and she then began to focus predominately on the human figure with some of her more recent works exploring portraiture. Melissa has always found that her works must hold meaning in order for her to enjoy creating them. Art for Melissa not only expresses herself but more importantly her ideas. Her works tend to focus on social influences, interaction with others and the natural world and currently her interest for biology in which she hopes to study biomedical science. Her series of works combine the use and technique of oil in a spray can and a vibrant and deep colour palette in which the figures in her paintings tell a story, and the background becomes a faded distance of time. Each figure in her paintings captures almost an essence of herself, yet portrays a mysterious and deep history behind the faĂ§ade of their presence.
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Melissa Curtis Untitled 2010 oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas 700 x 1300 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? My interest in art sparked up around the age of 16 in the classroom, completely unexpectedly. High school gave me an environment of opportunity to freely focus and express the themes developed in my artwork, with no real expectation or limitation, as there didn’t seem to be anything to lose. I noticed a seed of passion sprouting while researching and creatively finding ways of producing artworks set around interests I was exploring at the time, such as animal liberation and personal struggles with sexual abuse. Art enabled me to positively and outwardly express my philosophy, opinions and beliefs which enabled me to grow, not only as an artist but also as an individual. To this day, art for me is a method of self exploration, expression, confidence, meditation, relaxation and pure joy. This seed took art into my recent years; at twenty-one, I have completed and sold many works and commissions, partaken in collaborative exhibitions, displayed in government buildings and cafes and even managed a solo exhibition. Right now though, I’m living out of home, balancing art, work, life and full time study of not art, but another passion which seems to always some how compete for my spare time; biomedical science. What sort of materials or techniques or methods do you use and why? Olive oil in a spray can. It’s amazing! I use it when I’m working with oil on wood and it really helps lubricate the area which I’d like to focus on; or if I feel like I’ve made a mistake, I can just spray on and wipe off with a tissue. I love combining spray paint with oils on wood or canvas. Retractable pencils, spray on varnish and permanent markers (used in that order) help with finished details. I really like to be relaxed, in a state of flow and not distracted by any negative thoughts. I like to believe that you have the potential to create a beautiful work in time which could be easily wasted, and it’s when you choose to take the time to just let go and do it that
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Melissa Curtis Symbiosis 2 2011 ink on paper dimensions variable Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
makes time the richest by choice; you don’t want to miss out on creating because you’re hesitant. Just do it and enjoy the process whatever the outcome! Where do all your ideas come from? Many places. My passion for science, my perceptions, my conversations, books, my friends, my boyfriend, my father, modern and primitive culture, maturity, evolution, responsibility, nature, structure and function and psychoneuroimmuniology- to name a few. How important is the subject matter of your works? For my complete works, subject matter is mandatory; I enjoy expressing my views and themes in an aesthetic delivery system for everyone to consider. Skill and exploration work however, can be anything which stimulates and inspires me. Where do you create or design your work? Unfortunately for my mother, when I lived at home I would create my work anywhere...rooms, sheds and studies became studios. My mother was very generous and always nurtured my creativity and luckily there’s not too much paint spilled in any room! Currently, while living out of home I mostly create on large desks, while being super careful. If I ever have a project too big I’ll go home to complete it. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? Audrey Kawasaki showed me how to utilise wood grain in the composition of a piece. David Monks guided me with perspective and colour. Gustav Klimt inspired me with geometric and gold decorative qualities. CJ Baxter reminded me of the beauty of patience, love and dedication. I’ll constantly analyse an artist’s choice of colour, light and technique to see if there’s anything I can potentially experiment with.
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Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I moved to the hills to be around other artists and nature. Since, I have not felt more inspired and encouraged among others who have similar passions. Most mornings my boyfriend and I go for a walk in the Sherbrooke forest and observe the organisms thriving and filling their niche - we really enjoy seeing other organisms co-exist productively. Iâ€™m so lucky to be part of such a beautiful network of artists and wildlife.
Melissa Curtis Gianni 2007 oil, acrylic on canvas dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist Melissa Curtis Untitled 2008 oil, acrylic on canvas 100 x 1400 mm Courtesy and © of the artist opposite Melissa Curtis Meal Ticket 2009 oil, acrylic and mixed media on wood dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
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“I excelled in my art classes and went along with what felt natural to me, drawing. Ever since, I couldn’t seem to stop, I’m forever trying to perfect a style and make it my own.” LEAH CAITLIN RACHCOFF
Since the early years of childhood Narelle has always been fascinated and passionate about drawing. From a study shift of illustration into design, Narelle completed a Bachelor of Fine Art in Gold and Silversmith at RMIT University where her design skills and passion for the sentimental qualities of objects inspired Narelle to produce her own collection of jewellery including necklaces, earrings, brooches, and rings. Each stunning piece is crafted by hand- Narelle works with sterling silver and other semi-precious stones that are embossed, pierced or etched onto the surface of the materials that reanimate natural forms. The changed condition and transformation that metal can create and challenge is an inspiration for Narelle as she focuses on and interprets the design elements of shape and colour that produce simple and flowing forms of line work and texture to her pieces. Narelleâ€™s admiration for jewellery is an important aspect to each of her unique pieces of jewellery. She is fascinated by the sentimental qualities that an object can give. The notion of an object having an attached memory and the fact it can out live beyond the years of the owners existence is a key to her motivation for creating each piece with detail. She is attracted to the handmade and its lost appeal among other mass-produced items. Narelle creates each piece so that it is one of a kind and can never be reproduced exactly the same.
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Narelle Gleeson Leaf Brooch 2008 sterling silver and oxidised sterling silver Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
â€œI admire the sentimentality that one gives to an object, a memory and the fact it can live well beyond its owner and this I think is what attracted me to jewellery.â€? NARELLE GLEESON
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Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I have always loved drawing; my childhood is a collection of drawings sketched in my Pop’s stationmaster office in rural Tasmania. I am drawn to the enduring power of stories, originally pursuing studies in illustration. In a serendipitous turn I discovered metal, shifting my focus from drawing to design. I admire the sentimentality that one gives to an object, a memory and the fact it can live well beyond its owner and this I think is what attracted me to jewellery. I relocated to Melbourne to undertake a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT I value the artisanship of handmade and its diminishing appeal among mass produced items. As a secondary school Art and metal teacher, I’m striving to keep the Arts alive. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? I have participated in numerous group exhibitions; a real highlight for me was a 3-week workshop and exhibition in Italy, just outside of Venice. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet with other jewellery designers from around the globe and create an exhibition based upon the theme of “a day in the life of…” in which I based a series around shadows. My current work resonates with past themes but explores more simple structures and the use of line. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? Narelle Gleeson Tree and Shadow Necklace 2008 sterling silver and oxidised sterling silver Courtesy and © of the artist
I work predominantly with silver and other semi precious metal and stones. I use techniques such as saw piercing, embossed and etched surfaces to create texture, shape and pattern that reanimate natural forms.
Narelle Gleeson Untitled necklace 2010 sterling silver, etched and oxidised Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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Where do all your ideas come from? Nature is the reference for most of my work; I draw my influences from organic forms, the fluidity and flowing lines. It is a response to my physical surroundings and observations. I love being a creator, the physical contact being transferred into an aesthetic vision. The changed condition of the metal that allows a transformation, an exploration, a new life to take place. How important is the subject matter of your works? I think it is important, it is a personal expression translated into an extension of the body. Subject matter gives me an intention as an artist, yet its creation is an interpretation of shape and form, which is different for every piece. Where do you create or design your work? I work from a small studio at my home. Designing takes place everywhere whenever I get ideas - whether that is on the back of scrappy piece of paper while traveling to collecting fallen pods from a tree as inspiration. Have you ever learned something from another artist and designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? Although many artists inspire me, in reference to Australian contemporary jewellery I admire the work of Julie Blyfield and Vicki Mason. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? Growing up in Tasmania has a lot to do with where I live now. I am surrounding myself with a familiar landscape and interpreting this natural environment. Visually itâ€™s an inspiring stimulus everyday. The nuances of colour and shape in this environment are used to develop concepts in my work.
Narelle Gleeson Pod Earrings and Pod Ring 2008 sterling silver, oxidised Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Narelle Gleeson Pebble earrings 2011 Sterling silver Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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FINE ARTIST (PAINTING)
The imagination and whimsical nature of Steve Warburton’s oil paintings are exceptional and intriguing. Since an early age at high school, Steve’s interest and passion for art and design developed further after working as a graphic artist in the printing trade and later on completing a degree at Monash University in Fine Art majoring in painting. Steve has been painting as a professional artist for the last 20 years and participated and exhibited in ten solo shows and twenty-one group exhibitions. His collections of works have been presented in many galleries across Australia, and also internationally. Each of Steve’s paintings tells a story and is enriched with the colourful and textural depth of oil paints he configures on large and small canvases. His paintings focus on the results of things he has been witness to, overheard in conversations, observed in the media or dreamt. Painting allows him to express his thoughts that are accessible to the viewer both aesthetically and literally. His works individually reflect his emotions, ideals or thoughts so that they may be specifically intentional messages or simply subconscious. His paintings have a quirky nature. His use of inspirational matter such as geographical magazines, elements of mechanical car parts is an aspect for his merged concepts on canvas.
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Steve Warburton The Saviour Lost Souls in a fish bowl 2008 oil on canvas 1200 x 1370 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I have had an interest in art since secondary school. After year 12, I worked as a graphic artist in the printing trade. In 1987 I returned to study full time in a Fine Art Degree at Monash University. I have been painting as a professional artist for the last 20 years inclusive of ten solo and twenty-one group exhibitions. I am not an artist for the money, it is something I am drawn to because it is in me to do so. I have no choice. I love to paint and the simple act of painting. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? As far as projects go, I see every exhibition I am preparing for as a project. The work I am creating has a relationship with all the other pieces in the show. They are part of the same story. What sort of materials, techniques or methods do you use and why? My main medium is in oil paint. I find it gives me the right warm emotional response I need for the imagery I am expressing. I love the feeling of the oily flow of it and the richness of the colours. I use the paint as a thick textural expression as well as glazing for depth. Where do your ideas come from? As an artistâ€™s work is a reflection of his or her emotions, ideals, thoughts and influences, it is necessary to understand the importance the work plays in the artistâ€™s life. My work is the direct result of things that I have born witness to, overheard in conversations, observed in the media or dreamt. It reflects my right to express my thoughts, in a way I hope will be accessible to the viewer, both aesthetically and literally. As the world around us changes, the environment, the politics, our society, thus my imagery changes too.
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Steve Warburton Dirty Rascals 2010 oil on canvas 1520 x 1520 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
â€œMy work is the direct result of things that I have born witness to, overheard in conversations, observed in the media or dreamt. It reflects my right to express my thoughts, in a way I hope will be accessible to the viewer, both aesthetically and literally.â€? STEVE WARBURTON
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How important is the subject matter of your works? For me, the subject matter is the most important part of my paintings. Without the narrative in the work, there would be no work. Where do you create or design your work? Initially my work is created in my head. I can spend months thinking about the work, not actually doing any physical work. Then it is like a flow, the work is ready to come out. I paint and there it is. All the creative thought has transpired into physical form. This physical stuff I do in my studio. It is my favourite place to be. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I think every artist has their favourites who influence them. The hard thing is to be influenced with out being referential. Two of my most inspirational Australian artists are Rick Amor and James Gleeson. I hope I have managed to look at and admire their work and only take away a respect for their imagery and technique. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how?
Steve Warburton Control 2008 oil on canvas 760 x 760 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Artists can be very isolated in their environment. I tend not to get too much from the local community. Having said that, the local environment has provided me with some of my favourite images. The small amphitheatres at Emerald lake, in their quiet reflection have been of major influence in my most recent works, as are the rolling hills around the Emerald to Gembrook areas.
Steve Warburton Lost Souls in a fish bowl 1, 2, 3 and 4 2008 oil on canvas 300 x 300 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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FINE ARTIST (PAINTING)
Sue Jarvis is a contemporary painter, print maker and photographer. She has held 44 solo exhibitions throughout Australia and overseas. Her paintings are mainly oil on canvas or acrylic on paper where she uses a range of layered colours that depict an impressionistic style in each of her works. Her painting captures the presence of the subject in its simplest form and colour. She has explored various themes in her works including multi cultural topics which are mainly focused on figures or portraits, records of contemporary history, the worker in engineering and construction sites, everyday life and the notions of ideal beauty in regards to mannequins and the changing landscape. Her recent collection of works, Construction City explores the changing environment of the City of Greater Dandenong and its rapid process of the urban renewal program where she records the building works and the provisional architecture of the streets during the redevelopment process. Sue tends to utilise her digital camera as a tool for taking many shots of her given theme as well as a sketch pad to illustrate her subject matter. Most of Sueâ€™s works explore a narrative sequence or sections of close-up details that depicts the subject in an abstract form such as her focus on the deconstruction and state of work construction sites, where geometric shapes and patters of aerial or front-on shots inspire her. Colour, light and the combination of design elements are integral to Sueâ€™s exploration.
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Sue Jarvis Landscape of disused signs 2010 oil on canvas 1220 x 910 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I grew up in Dandenong and trained as an Art teacher. I taught art of all ages and painted full time when I could afford to do so. I purchased land in the Dandenongs and built my home and studio at Gembrook. Growing up in Dandenong with its suburban, multicultural and industrial area influenced me. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? From about the year 2000, I have concentrated on multi-cultural themes, mainly including figures. At present Iâ€™m working on the revitalisation of a city, Dandenong. What sort of materials or techniques or methods do you use and why? I mostly work with oil on large canvases or acrylic on watercolour paper as these give me stronger hues. They both allow me to use a range of opaque colours, for example a range of greys, pinks or pale blues. I build up layers of paint in a broad, impressionistic style. Where do all your ideas come from? My inspiration comes from everyday life. Ideas are often based around the city and suburbs rather than the Dandenong Ranges where I live. Often I produce a narrative sequence of paintings. Sometimes I focus on close-up details which may depict the subject in an abstract way. How important is the subject matter of your works? For me, it really depends. Apart from my interests in socio political issues, I find colour, shape, light and design elements intriguing in their own right.
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Where do you create or design your work? I tend to work in my studio from a series of ideas collected anywhere and everywhere. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? Yes. Like many mature age artists I long to capture the simple essence of the subject, as in Russian paintings from 1918-60, Cezanne, Margaret Preston, Rick Amor, and Rosalie Gascoigne. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I tend to work in the quiet environment of my hills property, with its studio, gallery and botanical garden. This is a contrast to recent subject matter with emphasis on the man-made, e.g. construction sites and shop window mannequins. I am more involved with communities of newly arrived Australians, in the city, e.g. Springvale, than I am in my own small town. In 2008 I was awarded Cardinia Shireâ€™s best Home-based Business Award.
“Often I produce a narrative sequence of paintings. Sometimes I focus on close-up details which may depict the subject in an abstract way.” SUE JARVIS
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opposite Sue Jarvis Deconstruction of the Grand Ballroom 2011 oil on canvas 1520 x 1020 mm Courtesy and © of the artist Sue Jarvis Taxi, Dandenong 2011 oil on canvas 1830 x 1220 mm Courtesy and © of the artist
Sue Jarvis Piping, Preparation, Lonsdale Street 2011 gouache on paper 660 x 480 mm Courtesy and © of the artist opposite Yellow Peril, Traffic Lights Lonsdale Street 2010 oil on canvas 750 x 1500 mm Courtesy and © of the artist Sue Jarvis Phone Message, Construction Site 2010 oil on canvas 750 x 1500 mm Courtesy and © of the artist
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TIFFANY MORRIS-NORTH FINE ARTIST (PAINTING)
From the natural surroundings of the botanical gardens in The Hills, Tiffany Morris-North has always been inspired by exploring the pursuits of capturing native wildlife in each of her painted works. From a young age, Tiffany has been passionate for art and craft. After working as a graphic designer, traveling Europe and working for the film and television industry as a scenic artist, and undertaking courses in furniture restoration, framing, visual merchandising and bookbinding, she is now focusing and producing predominantly a variety of collective paintings. Tiffanyâ€™s works are beautifully and delicately enriched with colour, texture and vibrancy from her configuration of using pastel oil paints as she finds layering, scrapping the colours on canvas and on a range of watercolour papers a technique to achieving a unique look. Each work has a specific focus and often resembles decorative wallpaper or fabric collage. There are a variety of tones and elements of detailed aspects of her focused subject matter that are predominately dynamic and have almost an essence of having three-dimensional qualities. Tiffany has exhibited her works in many group exhibitions and has worked on individual commissions as well as printing some of her designs and paintings onto a range of artist tea towels, linen, art cards and journals at various local markets, including the Dandenong Ranges. For Tiffany, as a painter her strong belief of her own paintings is that they are aesthetically lovely and give joy to the owner.
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Tiffany Morris-North Blood Plums 2010 oil pastel on paper 780 x 690 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
Tell us a little about your background, what path led you to what you are doing now? I have always loved art and craft. I don’t remember ever not drawing or painting. I thought when I left high school that I’d like to be a graphic designer, but after a short stint working for one, I realised it wasn’t for me. I left to travel around Europe for the next 5 years, working and studying at the London School of Design. When I returned home, I naturally started painting again and eventually got a job doing painting and scenic art for film and television until I started a family. It was then that people approached me about commissioning paintings for them. What sort of creative projects have you worked on, or what are you are working on at the moment? At the moment I am working on a commission for a friend and a few pieces for an upcoming group exhibition. I also have a lot of ideas for new things to sell at my market stall. What sort of materials or techniques or methods do you use and why? At the moment I love oil pastels. They are a medium that is not generally used much. I love the vibrancy of colours and the layering and scraping off of colours to achieve a unique look. Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come from all around me. A bunch of flowers that a friend gave me, a book that I’m reading, a greeting card or a dried up leaf from the garden. I am also constantly trawling the internet looking at other artists works, reading arty blogs and design websites. How important is the subject matter of your works? It is extremely important. I strive to create beautiful pieces that give joy to the owner, it needs to be lovely to look at.
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Where do you create or design your work? I would love my very own studio space that I retreat to every day but at the moment I have to be satisfied with my dining room table. Have you ever learned something from another artist or designer that has made a great difference to your own practice? I learn things constantly from other artists, colour combinations or other techniques or mediums that I would not have thought of. I am always trying new things and also have many other things that I have yet to find the time to experiment with. Do you think that your local community or environment influences your work? If so, how? I feel that I am really fortunate that in my community there are so many talented creative people. I feel that having like-minded people and friends around to talk through ideas with and get their opinions on greatly influences my work in a positive way. It helps me to think things through clearer and achieve results sooner. Hopefully I do the same for them!
Tiffany Morris-North Lotus Pods 2009 oil pastel on paper 530 x 640 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist opposite Tiffany Morris-North Tranquillity 2008 acrylic on canvas 400 x 400 mm Courtesy and ÂŠ of the artist
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“I have always loved art and craft. I don’t remember ever not drawing or painting.” TIFFANY MORRIS-NORTH
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Tiffany Morris-North Pom 2009 oil pastel on paper 300 x 300 mm Courtesy and © of the artist opposite Tiffany Morris-North Persian Treasures 2010 oil pastel on paper dimensions variable Courtesy and © of the artist
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Panel Thank-you to the Panel Members for contributing your time with the toughest task to select the applicants from the numerous portfolios received. The Hills Hoist, 3MDR Radio Station 97.1 FM Thank-you to Emma Johnson, who initially helped broadcast the project on air. The Hillscene Thank-you Adriana Alvarez for including and promoting the project through the Zine publication. Jacqui Christians Thank-you for your help with producing the online gallery website and this publication. Sandi Sieger Thank-you for your guidance from the early stages of the project and especially editing this publication. Tiffaney Bishop Thank-you for including the project in your publication Hoodie Magazine. Finally, I would like to acknowledge all the very creative and talented artists and designers featured in this publication. Thank-you for allowing me to enter into your studios and to share your works, and also to my family and friends for your ongoing guidance and support. For more information visit www.thehillscollective.com