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art | design | music | writing | creative | culture

magazine

In this Issue: Hide’N’Seek interview with local street artist Shida

brisbane gold coast tweed coast Issue 6, February 2012

www.rawinkmagazine.com

2012 Brisbane Cosplay Papergirl Brisbane We interview tactile typographer, Dominique Falla


THE RAW INK TEAM

Roxy Coppen

Graphic designer and editor. roxy@rawinkmagazine.com www.monkeywingdesigns.com

Ruth Dunn

Journalist. ruth@rawinkmagazine.com

Liana Turner

Journalist and photographer. liana@rawinkmagazine.com onlyverisimilitude.blogspot.com

Cover - photograph of

Shida’s Street Art in Sydney

Hello readers, We’ve reached our 6th edition! Half a years’ worth of work already. We’re over the moon! For all three of us, we’ve had some huge life changing moments this year - entering the workforce, moving, starting uni and starting the last year of uni... but Raw Ink is going stronger than ever and we can’t wait for our one year edition! Once again, if you know of any creative events happening in your local area, or would like to contribute to the magazine, feel free to send us an email to: roxy@rawinkmagazine.com Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on our Twitter-tweets. We’ll see you next month. From,

The Raw Ink Team xx www.rawinkmagazine.com www.facebook.com/rawinkmagazine.com www.twitter.com/rawinkmagazine.om

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contents 6 ‘Cosplay’ Ruth Dunn

There Anybody Out 48 ‘IsThere?’ Liana Turner

Falla 12 ‘Dominique Interview’

Brisbane’ 50 ‘Papergirl Ruth Dunn

Place Like Home’ 20 ‘No Liana Turner

Chat Corner with 66 ‘Chit Louise Olsen From

Roxy Coppen

Dinosaur Designs’ Ruth Dunn

Chat Corner with 22 ‘Chit Amy Wardrop’ Ruth Dunn Moderns’ 31 ‘The Cassandra Nevin

Canvas of 36 ‘The Transformation’ Ruth Dunn Interview with 40 ‘Hide’n’Seek Shida’ Ruth Dunn

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Artwork by Rebekah Dunn beskhetti@yahoo.com.au

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With the wet weather and humidity deciding to grace Australia Day with its presence, the question of how to spend the day was one of much contemplation. It may seem unpatriotic of me, but rain or sunshine I decided to spend Australia Day meeting other worldly characters and watching Sailor Moon and Deathnote on the big screen at the Gallery of Modern Art. As part of the Gallery of Modern Art’s Drawn To Screen: Graphic Novels, Comics and Serials, GoMA presented their first ever Cosplay event. Short for ‘costume play’, Cosplay is where people dress up as a particular character from page or screen. After witnessing the effort and detail put into many of the costumes I can see why it is referred to as performance art. From Ninja Turtles to anime princesses, and even Where’s Wally making an appearance, Cosplay welcomed variety, colour and enjoyment from those participating and those just checking things out.

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From left: Kate Finn as Ittoki Otoya and Emily Dempster as Ringo Tsukimiya from Uta no Prince-Sama.

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From left: Chloe Matthews as Ciel Phantomhive and Emmanuelle Engelbert as Miscellaneous.

Amber Burusiewicz and Ben Perez

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From left: Sam Peereboom, Natalia Pimjak as Spain from Axis Powers Hetalia, Bonnie Bergmann as Hungary from Axis Powers Hetalia.

From left: Geoff Dwyer as Grandpa Steampunk, Megan Surawski as Miss Violet Crane, Brett Ryan as The Sandman, Isobella Surawski as Evil Scientist and Aurora Surawski as Tinkerbell.

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NBN interviewing Porco Rosso.

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artist, graphic designer, tactile typographer, illustrator and educator

by roxy coppen Dominique: a woman of many talents. Her passion and creative flair has driven her career in many directions - most recently into her unique tactile typography works. Luckily for Raw Ink, she found some time inbetween completing her Doctorate and setting up her ‘Goodbye Helvetica’ exhibition to talk a little bit about herself. Dominique, how did you first become interested in art? I started off as a child, always drawing. I used to draw horses a lot because I was obsessed with them, and then when boys took over I started drawing and painting INXS album covers. I drew a picture of the drummer Jon Farris for a magazine and won an LP so I knew I was on the right track! Then when I went to uni to study graphic design, one of our lecturers was an illustrator and he got me interested in doing that professionally.

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Did your love for design follow on from this? I guess so, but I always tell the story of how I had maths on my VTAC preferences after design, so if I hadn’t been accepted to Swinburne to study graphic design, I would be a mathematician now. My love for design has really developed since becoming a designer. It’s something that just grows every year. You’ve worked between design studios and universities for many years. Would you say you have a favourite between the two? I love doing both but working with students is really fantastic because I get so much energy from them. Mostly clients are filled with panic because they are starting a new business and as a designer, you spend most of your energy

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trying to calm them down and convince them they’re on the right track with their branding and website, whereas students are filled with energy and excitement about design and about their future and I find motivating them very easy and their enthusiasm is infectious. You’ve been teaching graphic design and marketing in TAFEs and universities since 2001. What drove you to become a teacher? I was working as a graphic designer for Tertiary Press, designing all the covers for their textbooks, then they decided to publish a book on desktop publishing and asked me to write it, so I said I would give it a go. When the book was nearly ready, they sent it out for


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review to a teacher at Swinburne TAFE and he asked me to come and teach a course there based on the material in the book, and the rest, as they say, is history. Having been my teacher this year, you inspired me personally to put my design work out there in the world and not be shy. Who inspires you? You do Roxy. Students with their whole lives ahead of them are filled with promise, potential and excitement. The ones who really show promise are the ones with passion. Anyone with passion for what they do inspires me. Leading a creative life is hard, there are always going to be setbacks, knock backs and not everything aways goes according to plan, but anyone who shows enough passion and energy to keep focussed on their goal, no matter what road blocks they encounter are always going to be inspiring to me. I am also inspired by people who are not afraid to go off the map, forge their own paths and not follow along behind the herd. Again that takes courage, energy and commitment to something that might not work. Currently you’re undertaking a Doctor of Visual Arts (DVA). Tell us a little bit about the projects you’ve been working on for that. I’ve been exploring the concept of “Tactile Typography” for my doctoral studies. I’m interested in using tactile craft methods to generate typography. I’ve been using a computer to create typography for over 20 years and I really started to miss the tactile nature of pre-computer graphic design. Business cards used to be letter-pressed onto beautiful soft papers, brochures were printed on uncoated stocks, but now everything is displayed onscreen, or printed on generic laser stock and so I was inspired to use the craft techniques I learned as a child, in combination with my computer skills to generate typography that people wanted to touch. I’ve been exploring a pin and string winding technique, as well as sewing, vinyl, I’ve even

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used gum paste to make edible typography. I like to use techniques that suit the concept or the occasion. What draws you so much to typography? As an illustrator, I spent my whole time working with images and as a designer I work with a combination of words and images, so as an artist I’ve been finding it really interesting to make art out of typography. I also find it interesting to work in partnership with someone you’ve never met—the typeface designer. As a typographer, I am always working with typefaces designed by other people and that has added an interesting dimension to my work. What has been one of the highlights of your career so far? There have been several. I illustrated a children’s book called Woodlore that won several awards and was published in several countries, which was a real thrill and just recently, a piece I created for the 2011 Positive Posters competition and it was very well received by designers and the general public alike. It’s been reposted on Tumblr over 15,000 times and the feedback I’ve received from people telling me how much they love it has really encouraged me to keep going with my work. Tell us a little bit about your new exhibition ‘Goodbye Helvetica’. A year ago I made a foolish public declaration to only use one typeface and one typeface only. That typeface was Helvetica, mainly because designer’s look down their noses at it because it is so ubiquitous and also has no real personality. I made a commitment to use it in all of my designs for a year, where possible and I really enjoyed the relief of not having to make a decision about which typeface I should use, and I also enjoyed the challenge of making it look good and discovering its multiple personalities. Now that the year is up, it’s time to say goodbye to Helvetica,

part of my DVA, so I decided to take the opportunity to have a major installation which is a love letter of sorts to Helvetica. All of the pieces in the installation talk about what I liked and didn’t like about spending the year with one typeface and I treat it almost as the breakup of a romantic relationship. You can follow along with my progress here: www. goodbyehlevetica.com Where can we see it?! The opening night will be Valentine’s Day, 2012 at 6pm and the installation is located in the Surfers Paradise transit centre, opposite Melbas. The show will run for that week only, 10am until 4pm. What does the future hold for you and what will we see from you next? I’m continuing to work on pieces for my DVA, and now that my year of Helvetica is over, I am thinking I might try making tactile typography pieces using hand drawn typography rather than pre-designed typefaces. Since my dedication to one typeface for a year, the relief of not having to choose one has been really nice, and I’m not looking forward to going back to choosing, so hand drawing and customising seems a fun way to go instead. www.dominiquefalla.com

I’ve been given 128 square metres of space in the Surfers Paradise transit centre and I’m expected to have a “milestone” exhibition as

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No Place Like

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H


e Liana Turner

Home

It’s funny, the way time flies. We don’t usually notice, in the present moment. The world seems to be plodding along at a comfortable pace, for the most part. This is, of course, until we pause for a moment. Memories seem cramped together in a retrospective film, projected at the speed of light. Before I knew it, I was no longer frolicking through spacedout paddocks with my brothers, pretending to be bigger and scarier people than we ever would be. It was as if they disappeared in the blink of an eye, myself soon after. Having recently moved across a mountain range and state border to the “big smoke” of Brisbane, my whole world seemed to have been turned on its head. My best friend of fourteen-ish years had just left for Melbourne. I’d lost all levels of motivation for the job I was soon to be leaving, and had no intention of making it a solemn departure. Having a dear friend torn from this world we know – in a most untimely manner – didn’t exactly help. The universe felt as if it had been crammed into one of those “rock-n’-roll” rides at a washed out town show. It made me queasy as hell. It’s too easy to take for granted the small things that are “expected” of parents when still living with them; from slaving over the stove for me to washing my clothes and making sure I didn’t slip too far into a state of permanent lunacy (oh, the joys of the Higher School Certificate). It’s not until you finally find yourself waking up in your own bed, in your own flat, that it really hits home how

Photo by Arry Charris arry.charris@gmail.com

much all that meant. It’s not that I couldn’t manifest food by myself before; there’s just something a little unnerving not to have your proud mother beam with joy at your marvellous creations, when that’s always happened before. Let’s face it: no matter how brilliant that banana cake is, it’ll never taste as sweet without company. Even just knowing there would always be someone around (in either human or cat form) – that was enough. The house I’ll always call home is in the middle of nowhere, but it could never feel lonely. Twenty-something acres backing onto national park is, in my eyes, not far short of perfection. The air was cleaner, everything was greener and there was a certain sense of beautiful seclusion that I simply can’t find anywhere else. Now I’m living for the first time in something that qualifies as “proper civilisation”, and although I’m surrounded geographically by more people than ever before, it’s not the same. The pigeons won’t hesitate to huddle together on windowsills, but the human inhabitants lend an air of intangible estrangement. Tame Impala’s song “Solitude Is Bliss” comes to mind. In the end, however, I realise how grateful I am for the little things. Even when there’s no one around to admire it, the comfort of knowing I can fabricate that banana cake, or cook amazing pasta, without blowing the kitchen (or myself ) up, is what makes it all bearable. It’s all those little things that add up – the things that feel like home. After all, there’s no place like home – wherever that may be.

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Gwen Gillam rose from humble beginnings to become a highly sought after figure in Brisbane fashion during the ‘60s. An exhibition of Gillam’s gowns will be staged by the South Bank Museum later this year. We caught up with Gillam’s greatniece Amy Wardrop to discuss Gillam’s practice and Amy’s own venture into the fashion world. Tell us a bit about Gwen, what made her so successful? Gwen was renowned for her expert cuts, embellishing techniques, custom fitting and glamorous service. She travelled to Hong Kong to source silk organza, beaded embellishments and accessories. She also imported lace from Sweden and Paris, something of a rarity in Brisbane during the 50’s and 60’s. I think she was so successful due to her sheer work ethic and drive. Her business ran from 1937 to 1983. First, she opened a small duel work/showroom in Queen St, then moving to a bigger work room in Brisbane Arcade, and also a flagship boutique. Here, she stocked not only her own label but imported fine silk, wool, lace garments and accessories from Europe.

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How does her personality come through in her designs? She had a real flair for creativity and resourcefulness. She could take a rectangle piece of Jersey and skilfully draped it into a dress. By adding hand-made beaded trims from her studio, she created beautiful gowns for a special occasion. Gwen was a social butterfly she loved cocktail parties, fine dining and dances. She had a taste for the glamorous life, a zest that flowed through her designs. What do think she has passed on to the fashion world? She has shown that if you maintain a quality made product, pay attention to detail and have exceptional customer service you will be respected.


Gwen Gillam

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Gwen Gillam Labels

Velvet Pins LOGO

Gwen Gillam

Gwen on left, her sister and unknown

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Gwen loved classical silhouettes, and by using quality fabrics, trims and high-end finishing techniques she transcends trends, enabling her designs to be so loved and cherished for many years to come. What’s it like being the grand-niece of such a strong female fashion figure? I think it’s great! I grew up knowing about her, seeing her garments and where she lived has made a big impact in my life. My mother and aunt started their careers in Gwen’s studio when they left school and taught me to design and sew for as long as I can remember. You grew up with stories of your famous great aunt. What are a couple of the favourite stories you remember? I still have so much to learn about her. Thanks to the Queensland Museum Retrospective a lot more information is coming out about her; from women who worked in her studio to clients who had their wedding dress made by Gwen. Just a visit to her studio was an experience - something out of a Hollywood movie, seeing clients in her elegant retail space fitted with stunning 3 metre white couch and fresh gladiolas delivered daily. Gwen did all the fabric cutting herself and I now have the very shears she used with her name engraved on the blade.   You are an emerging designer yourself, how have you been influenced by Gwen? Gwen’s designs are always somewhat of a reference that I find myself coming back to. The unusual techniques and shapes she used are something that I often find inspiration from in my own designs. The way her garments are constructed, with such ease and knowledge of fabric drape, really makes me want to learn more about the ‘old ways’ of constructing clothing and innovate them into the 21st century. How do you think the fashion world has changed since the time Gwen was working to the current world you are working in? Back then, women were a lot more loyal to labels, they had a level of respect for clothing,

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style and workmanship, a little different from the throw away culture of today. Generally speaking, clothing can be bought for $20, worn once and then tossed aside never to be seen or worn again. This devalues the time, effort and economic cost of manufacturing the fabric, garment construction and transportation. These areas use a huge amount of environmental energy; wasted really. The other thing is boutiques rarely reduced stock for sale; nowadays customers are trained to only buy when the department stores have their ‘half yearly clearance’, which happens several times throughout the year. Small boutique owners find it hard to compete with constant sales on inflated stock.  I think Vivienne Westwood has a good take on it.... ‘buy less, choose well’ You were obviously brought up being exposed to fashion and design, when did you develop your own style and how has this developed over time? I have always dressed to suit my mood. When I was a teenager I would bug mum to take me op-shopping in search of that one wholly grail item which summed up what I was feeling that week, month or year. It being 70’s vintage stripe tees to 60’s cotton summer dresses to 50’s jackets. Back in the 90’s op-shops were a place to find real vintage, before vintage wholesalers caught on and picked the eyes out of them. I think everyone’s style develops depending on their current outlook on life, and in that case, my style has developed into straight up 1967-1973 Psychedelia. I guess you could say my outlook is optimistic with a splash of rebellion and freedom. I have an awesome sun orange Dashiki Kaftan that makes me feel like pure creativity.   Let’s chat about Velvet Pins. You have partnered with Catherine Maddin for this creative venture, how do your ideas work together? We both have very similar tastes and interests, which has grown and blossomed over the years. We find it easy to collaborate

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Cyprus Dress available at Mood, Paddington, Brisbane Stylist Danii Nicole

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and to incorporate our own individual ideas and concepts into the mix. I think working in a partnership you have to be flexible with your approach and to be able to communicate on a level that is effortless. Cat is the ideas girl and I am the practical one. I have worked within the fashion industry, mainly production for 4 years now and Cat has experience in retail and business. Without Cat I couldn’t keep my motivation alive, she inspires me, creativity just flows through her, she is a musician too, which I think enhances her original driving energy. What inspires Velvet Pins? Spirituality, deep breathing, organic patterns from Mother Nature, Australian made, grandparents, community, essential oils, house plants, tree houses, wizard sleeves, paganism, celebrating femininity, zodiac, jam bands, camp fires, mysticism, health, herbs, salt lamps, child like wonder, vibrations.... our motto is ‘The point of power is in the present moment’.   What is coming up in the near future for you guys? Well we will finally be able to make VP our main priority after a few years of work and study taking up our energy. Our first project will be a monthly dynamic hand-made market in Brisbane, where we will recruit young local creatives- a launch pad to try out new ideas and to connect with other like minded people, generating a community spirit. We also are currently working on an eStore. Everything is transpiring in the year of the Dragon...   For more information check out http://www.southbank.qm.qld.gov.au/

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An Exhibition Of  Artworks By Claudio Kirac

Comb Art Space, Coolangatta QLD.

www.memoryofajour ney.tumblr.com

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the moderns cassandranevin I met Levi, the drummer from local band The Moderns in the car park outside of the venue in which I recently saw him and the other two members; Andre- bass and Sam – singer and guitarist perform. The Loft. Chevron Island, Gold Coast. It’s an intimate and hot venue, with an old style feeling. Paintings of European streets hang in the dimly lit space in which they performed to a mixed bag of eager punters, either happy to lurk in the shady corners or get right up close and support their buddies. I chose to sit on the stairwell. To me they portray the image of what I think rock n roll bands looked decades ago. Shaggy hair but maintained (Levi insists he keeps his looking so healthy by giving it the occasional wash and putting it up in a towel, turban style) Collared shirts, leather shoes. It’s respectable “you can’t help but get inspired by what you wear but it’s about whatever’s good and comfortable.” Traditional influences “based on the classics” like The Rolling Stones are heard throughout their set. They haven’t tried to get too many different sounds happening. Guitar, bass,

drums and vocals mixed with dedication and love is all you need to create good music. These guys are living proof of that. I like the way the song “Stardust Blues” has a guitar intro then a drum beat comes in and Sam begins to sing. He manages to use his voice in different ways, some songs it’s obvious to hear what he’s singing about, others he almost sounds drunk, slurring lyrics together. Each member collaborates their ideas and they jam away until they’re happy with the sound they are producing. “When you play you are always a bit nervous, you want to entertain the crowd” which they most certainly do. The Loft audience was right into it. Some having a good dance like the lady who was dancing erotically on the stairs beside me. She’s been going to the loft for 15 years. When their “dancey song” came on she about lost the plot. As I listened to their new song (you can expect more tunes out mid year) I found myself playing the air drums. I felt as if I’d been taken into the 60s or 70s. Everyone in the room was at least bobbing their head.

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Wanting to learn more about them, they invited me into their home and were more than happy to share their space. Food, drink and cigarettes were offered on arrival. They’re dedicated and genuine with a sense of unknown coolness. Music is their passion “if we were doing it for the money, we wouldn’t do it.” any money made from live gigs goes into an account and is saved to buy equipment needed to keep the band going. “It’s the highlight of your week or day performing or jamming” I get the feeling these guys are going to go far so does the publishing company they have recently signed with (Centrifuge music publishing) They play every couple of weeks either on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane so go and see them. http://www.triplejunearthed.com/ TheModerns

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HIDE ‘N ‘SEEK PROJECT Hide ‘n’ Seek Project is a one year writing project that will include articles about Brisbane street art, as well as interviews with some of Brisbane’s best street artists, and photographs of local art found on the streets of Brisbane. New material will be published each month exploring the Brisbane street scene and the artists that work within it. This month I interviewed Shida, read on to check it out! If you’ve spied some street/graffiti art in Brisbane and want to publish some photos or let me know where it’s at email me! - ruth@ rawinkmagazine.com

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The Canvas of Transformation Ruth Dunn Most of us are familiar with the phrase ‘the walls have ears’, but when the walls speak how often do we have ears that listen? To notice street art in passing is one thing, to pause and appreciate what it is, why it is there, and what it means, is another. Street art has a number of functions, it can be used to express ideas, stories, beliefs, and identities, or simply to display skill and liven up an area. In Brisbane this kind of art is embraced by some and rejected by others, and while the Brisbane City Council has commissioned some public art it also sustains the active Taskforce Against Graffiti and has put in place heavy penalties against graffiti artists. Despite the harsh penalties against street art and graffiti in Brisbane the walls continue to speak as artists share their art with the public through both legal and illegal practices. As an art movement street art draws influences from numerous and various sources depending on an artist’s interests, intentions and ambitions. Though street artists may be influenced by a wide variety of things, the common strand that exists throughout Australian street art can be seen in the Australian graffiti subculture. Graffiti’s rules and skills including effective placement, risk taking, creative skill and style are evident in the prac-

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tice of many street artists with a blend of new skills and personal codes. Though graffiti and street art share similar rules, skills and terms such as ‘bombing’, ‘tagging’, and ‘buffing’, Australian graffiti is traditionally understood as internally coded expressions, whereas street art is for the most part addressed to the public. As well as graffiti techniques and materials such as spray painting, stencilling and tagging, street art also encapsulates a variety of other mediums such as paste ups, installations, posters, stickers, 3D art, and street press i.e. small booklets called zines. These materials and techniques have been adapted, transformed and experimented with since the mid-1990s where there was a surge in creativity on Australian streets. Since the 90’s some street artists have successfully crossed over from the street into gallery spaces, exhibiting and selling work to a receptive audience. This has sparked conversations and debates about whether street art can be considered art outside the confines of the gallery. These debates shed an interesting light on this controversial topic, but in the end the answer to this question is reliant on a person’s perspective, tastes and ideas about art. This doesn’t make street art an outsider to the ‘artworld’; as with any art-

work we bring conceptions, perspectives and frameworks to look at and understand street art. The illegality of a lot of street art and it’s placement outside of the gallery often causes a barrier to a person’s appreciation of the artwork, and therefore causes a failure of appreciation for the skill and creativity of street artists. Jugglers Art Space representative Peter Breen says ‘what’s happening in the Brisbane art scene is exciting’ but he adds

‘There is still some kind of conservatism around uncontrolled emergence of art in places where it shouldn’t be and that has an impact on what is accepted and what isn’t. There is still a lot of control around the arts. There still has to be freedom, freedom of expression and an openness to new frontiers in the art scene.’ Jugglers Art Space is both a gallery supporting local artists and a space where street artists can work without being hassled by the authorities. Jugglers is passionate about graffiti and street art and they want to legitimate the artform and validate the medium. They recognise the skill and passion of Brisbane’s street and graffiti artists and provide a sup-

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portive environment to get to know these artists and appreciate their skills. Though not providing a space for local Brisbane street artists to work, other Brisbane galleries have welcomed street art exhibitions. Last year the UQ Art Museum showed Space Invaders an exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia, Edwina Corlette gallery held an exhibition of Melbourne street artists GhostPatrol and Miso, and Contraband was held at White Canvas Gallery featuring local Brisbane street artists including Fintan Magee, Georg Whelan, and Guido Van Helten. Though the Brisbane City Council spends millions of dollars getting rid of graffiti and street art, there is a support network of people who recognise these mediums as artforms. My comments about the Brisbane City Council aren’t to say the whole thing they’ve got going on is a waste of time and money, no, they do a good job cleaning up reckless and destructive vandalism, but as for the street art I have been discussing here, I think they are a little too hasty to buff it out with an ever so bland coat of paint. I find watching the relationship between the Brisbane City Council and street artists kind of an interesting one. You often see it playing out on the street if you pass the same wall regularly: a slow build up of street art, then BUFFED (painted over), street art creeping back onto the blank canvas created by the buffing and transforming into a variety of artworks by different artists, BUFFED, etc, etc. Lincoln Savage runs anomyart.com, acts as an agent for street artists and is an aerosol artist. He says that in order for Brisbane street art to flourish there needs to be more awareness of the divide between street art and vandalism, making the goals of both the Council and Artists much easier to reach. Both Lincoln and Peter Breen would like to see more legal public spaces for street artists to work and agree that it would enhance Brisbane’s cultural scene. Lincoln says

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‘There is no way to stop every kid with a paint pen but these sorts of initiatives give direction and a drive to become a great artist to rival the amazing street artists Brisbane has already produced.’ Despite the rarity of these legal public spaces in Brisbane and the risks associated with the illegal placement of their art, street artists continue to draw our attention to the unremarkable elements of our urban landscape, making them remarkable. The walls talk and they give us something to talk about. As we carry out our day to day lives street art comes and goes, changes and transforms: the walls have become a canvas of transformation.


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HIDE ‘N ‘SEEK INTERVIEW WITH

SHIDA RUTH DUNN

Kampot, Cambodia

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With his unique creations, bold style, and the local and international presence of his street art, Shida has earnt himself a big name in the street and gallery scene. He has had continual success in galleries and his style is instantly recognisable on the street. Shida took some time out of his world tour to answer some questions for ‘Hide ‘n’ Seek Project’. When did you develop an interest in art? Some of my first memories are of drawings I did. My parents were very supportive and we always travelled and visited museums. How has this interest transformed over time? It all accelerated when I found Street art. Street art really reignited my passion for art and also introduced me to a community of people that I could bounce ideas off. It also gave me people to compete with and look up to as role models. You have a unique and eye catching style influenced by Australian indigenous art, science fiction, classical painting, and graffiti techniques. Why do these particular styles interest you? I’ve been interested in Indigenous art since I can remember. Before I understood its background as a child I was strongly drawn to it for what I understood it as, “Australian Art”.

The kind of Sci-Fi art I’m influenced by is in the vein of Rodger Dean. I like the bright colours and airbrush techniques that activate negative spaces and create intricacies with little effort; this is a useful skill when working on the street. I look to classical painting mainly in a technical sense. I look at compositions and try to find how they injected movement and that epic edge you find in masters like Caravaggio. Graffiti. What can I say? I love it. FTP What was the process behind developing the other-worldly characters that appear in your work? I experimented with characters for a while before starting to work with continuous lines. This worked well for getting pieces done fast and it gradually evolved into a style that mimicked the movement I could make with my body. It’s been a gradual evolution. You like to keep the mythologies within your work secret, to keep the mystery of it alive. What are some things you are willing to share about the world of creatures depicted in your art? The thing you have to understand is that like in mythologies of old that transformed as societies did (and were combined together and influenced by each other) so the stories

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behind my work change and develop as I do. While I have released narratives like “The Crystals of the Colossus” I would prefer to see them as snapshots (like my paintings). You regularly show in exhibitions… How do you find the crossover between the street and the gallery? They are different beasts. With street work you have freedom of scale and a truly inspiring canvas but are restricted by time, weather, cost of materials and at times the law. Street work must have an immediate impact. While in gallery work you are restricted in scale and have to consider the archivability of your work and how it will work in a show. However you are free to work on it over time. Gallery paintings work better if they have an initial impact but conceal something that becomes clear with time.

Chicago

Do you lean more towards legal work now or do you still have a strong drive to practice illegally? Whichever way I can do the best work. I could see myself working mainly legally if I got more opportunities to paint the type of stuff that would satisfy my urge. At the moment there just aren’t enough legal options to satisfy. What do you consider when you are looking for a place to do your art on the streets? Big walls. Somewhere that will hopefully last. What’s the most challenging thing about being a street artist? Each wall is a challenge. Each time you have to look at what you have and figure out what’s the best you can do with it. I’m often frustrated about not having the right tools, especially when travelling. While the law can be scary at times, it works best if you are careful but confident. What’s the thing that has kept you working on the streets despite these challenges? The rewards are intense. Seeing your work on the streets. Knowing you have been there and done that. It makes me feel omnipotent knowing I have a presence in many different places. It makes me feel powerful knowing wherever I go I can take the street as my own, and in a way blessed that I can leave behind art that people appreciate.

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Sydney


Kampot, Cambodia

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You’ve recently been travelling through South East Asia and the States. How have you found the experience of creating street art in these countries? Everywhere is different; in Cambodia for example there are no graffiti laws. However there are other things to be worried about like local justice. In Cambodia Georg and I got permission to paint a large night club façade and started work. The locals all came out to watch followed by a huge gang of police. There was a great commotion but in the end we were just told to stop and leave. Turns out the guy who gave us permission was crazy and the real owner, a westerner, was covered in petrol and set on fire for having too loud a night club. Cambodia. In the states the laws are quite strict and there is a lot of history surrounding spots where things went down and writers got shot or even killed. Each hit seems to be worth more. Does travelling influence your work? To really paint a lot you have to travel and street art really opens up cities to you in a special way. I have a crazy trip ahead of me but am missing “home”(haven’t had one for a while) bad already. What’s something you would like to see change in the Brisbane Street art scene? I think there needs to be more value put on it, by the community and the artists themselves. Living in Brisbane people are always looking out to Sydney and Melbourne with such awe and have so little appreciation for what’s in their own back yard. Someone in West end could be a huge fan of GhostPatrol or Kill Pixie and not even care about Bhats… he’s Brisbane whatever. This needs to change so artists are motivated to stay and give back to their city. What’s something unique about the Brisbane street art scene that you haven’t seen anywhere else? I know that QLD breeds a uniquely high amount of Genious’. Lister, Sofles, nuf said. Shida’s shout out to Brisbane street artistsYo yo yo dawg’s! here ma’ word listen up! Shout to ma’ man Bhats da bad boi. Keep rocken dem fresh to def sweaters son you know da’ deal. Dingo baby, ow ma’ lawdy MSG yall the message Flava Flava! 1LS cult bow down to dat. I’m seein’ robots! Mags a million

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the style masta Chameleon. Giimiks Born… nobody iller! Yo Yo Fabio. Sweet Leet! And lastly ZRF ma Heart! You can check out Shida’s art at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shidaart/

Fortitude Valley

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th

is there anybody out There’s a lot of space in space. There’s a lot of dark, mysteriously empty space – but there’s a lot of things, too; there’s a lot of tangible, real things. Not just runaway helium balloons, satellites and random specks of space-dust, either. Perhaps it’s a little crazy, the way our world seems so substantial, so full. That’s our individual worlds, too. It’s easy to exclude the majority of the planet from our everyday thoughts – far too easy. We don’t need to worry about most of it, anyway, right? I mean, how much of one planet can one person call home? The truth is, we do need to worry, a little. Sure, soon enough (in the grand scheme of things), our sun will explode and like sausages on Australia Day, we’ll sizzle super-fast and cease to exist. For now, however, we should really be making more of an effort to stop the planet from self-imploding, before its due time. How ironic, right? Preaching about environmental issues, whilst sitting on my laptop in a smoggy city, wearing a collaboration of sweatshop garments? Yeah. But it’s not actions alone that can change

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anything. First and foremost, we need to start thinking differently. If you have to make a conscious decision to recycle, or lean towards local produce with minimal unnecessary packaging on your trip to the shops, you’re doing it wrong. We need to get to the point where it just happens – the point where we just know we’re doing the right thing. We all know that helping an old lady cross the street, as opposed to robbing her, would be the right thing to do. This “issue” of environmentalism shouldn’t be any different. A lot like the “gay rights issue”, it shouldn’t even be under debate. Until we all simply agree on the matter, how much can ever really change? Leaving appliances going when they’re not in use is kind of dumb. If you haven’t picked up on that by now, what have you been doing? Living in a cave for the last few decades? If that be the case, good on you. I’m almost a tad jealous. If not, it’s about time to wake up. The truth is, as wonderful as we are, the human race isn’t the all-mighty power we might like to think. Sure, we’re pretty rad. We figured out how to build bridges, skyscrapers and aeroplanes. We figured out how to


here?

capture the sun’s energy, and that the Earth is, in fact, kind of spherical. We can make music, cupcakes, we can even make snow. So why is it so hard to make other people care? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a hell of a lot of people out there who do care. Entire industries are emerging based around the very idea of caring about this stuff…there’s just still a lot of everyday people – not the ones who run businesses and invent things, but the ones who could be supporting them – who figure it’s not worth bothering with problems they won’t live to see the consequences of. The truth is, it’s most definitely worth the effort. If getting a spray tan and a plastic manicure is right up there on your priorities list, this should be too. I mean, what’s the point of being part of a species that’s capable of even wondering about the meaning of life, if we’re going to make it all pretty much redundant in the not-too-distant future? Ride bikes more, plant a tree, use less paper. I don’t care what you do, just stop killing this little bubble of life. It’s pretty much the reason we’re here.

liana turner

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papergiralne

b s i r b ruth dunn Earlier this month Papergirl Brisbane worked to connect local artists and the wider Brisbane public. Submissions of drawings, paintings, prints, photography, writing and anything else that can be rolled up were delivered to White Canvas Gallery by anyone wanting to be involved. These works were hung in an exhibition and the next day distributed throughout Brisbane’s CBD paperboy style

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dinos DESIGNS

Chit Chat Corne

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saur Sruthdunn

er with Louise Olsen From

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Founded 27 years ago Dinosaur Designs is now one of the most successful designbased businesses in Australia. Headed by Creative Directors Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, the company creates unique designs using art, craft, and fashion, often evoking a distinctly Australian character through their particular use of colours and forms that reflect the Australian landscape. Triple Whammy: An interesting ritual you do to get the creative juices flowingI always find that going to exhibitions, listening to music and taking time to really be aware of your surroundings is so important, that’s why I always carry a sketch pad around with me. Nature is such a huge influence on what we do as you can see from our collections, Bird, Sun, Fungi and our upcoming collection Earth. Favourite place in AustraliaThere’s so many for so many different reasons – the redness of the centre, the life and colour of the Great Barrier Reef, the diversity of our cities.  Childhood ambitionsI’ve always had a fascination with fashion, design and art and the relationship between them.  My parents always used to laugh at me because of the number of Vogue and French Elle magazines I’d collected by the age of 10.  I had huge stacks of them in my bedroom - under my homework desk and beside my bed.  You met while studying drawing and painting at a Sydney art school. How did you come up with the idea for Dinosaur Designs? When you leave art school there are very few regular opportunities so you have to create your own.  I started painting tee-shirts and selling them to stores before starting Dinosaur Designs.  I then met Steve and became very good friends and we started collaborating on different art works. We met

Liane later and started Dinosaur Designs in our final year at art school. How did you go from selling fabrics and jewellery at Paddington Markets to establishing stores in Melbourne and New York, and exporting overseas? It was very organic for us. We were lucky that buyers noticed our products on our stall and wanted the pieces for their own stores which helped to get our work to a wider audience. Our work was also part of several exhibitions including one at the Victoria and Albert in London which was very early on in our careers. Demand kept growing and opening a store was a natural progression. The environment holds a special place in the production of Dinosaur Designs. Can you tell us a little about what impact the environment has on your designs? We’ve always been environmentally conscious. With a lot of our inspiration coming from nature it was only natural to do everything in our power to minimise our environmental impact as a business. It may seem like there’s a lot to do, or that the small things can’t make a difference, but you have to start somewhere and encourage others to act. There are so many things that can be done on a daily basis to help maintain a healthy environment. It can be as simple as turning off lights and appliances when they’re not being used to looking at more challenging aspects such as minimizing the amount of material used when creating pieces. We’ve also created and produced hand-woven jute bags for all our customers which are long lasting and hard wearing. We use recycled paper and vegetable dyes in our printed material.  Once you start looking there’s a lot that you can do.  We also work closely with charities such as WWF and the ACF to help protect the environment.  Do you have a particular material you like to work with? We love working with resin, but equally love working with sterling silver, chrome, brass, glass and wood. To us, resin is like paint for an

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artist; there’s infinite possibilities, it’s always exciting. We are also experimenting with new forms of natural resin, but finding something suitable isn’t as easy as you’d think.  What’s the general process behind turning an idea into reality? There’s always a different starting point. Sometimes it’s a picture, but equally it could be a poem or a song.  Something inspires you and you have to follow it.  It’s like a journey.  Your designs are very original and cater for something that you just can’t find anywhere else. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Our inspiration comes from nature and the relationships between colour and form.  The art world and the beauty of nature are endless inspiration.  Let’s have a chat about the body of work Dinosaur Designs has created for the Gallery of Modern Art’s (GoMA) fifth anniversary. It has been described by the Queensland Art Gallery as one of your ‘largest and most dazzling projects to date’. How does this compare to other projects you have taken part in? We were extremely honoured to be asked to create the pieces for GoMA.  It gave us a chance to really work as artists as we originally set out to do when we first started Dinosaur Designs 27 years ago. GoMA is a great building with a great collection and we’re very proud to be part of the gallery. Why did you choose to make platters for this project?  We chose the platters as they were an ideal canvas for us.  They have a great relationship between Dinosaur Designs and the vision of Steve and I have as artists. What is the idea behind the large platters Dinosaur Designs have created for GoMA? The size of the platters was a technical challenge for the techniques we use at Dinosaur Designs and really pushed the boundaries of what we thought we could

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do. The process was full of incredible surprises. How do you make these platters? It was an extensive process which took a lot of experimentation, but we got there in the end. What’s the most inspiring thing you have learnt from your time with Dinosaur Designs? Experimentation, pushing the boundaries and being true to your own vision. To have a squiz of some of Dinosaur Designs creations head to www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au Check out their platters first hand at GoMA until 25 March 2012!


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www. raw ink maga zine .com 72

Raw Ink Magazine - February 2012  

Issue 06. Raw Ink Magazine is a free online magazine written and created by Roxy Coppen, Ruth Dunn and Liana Turner. It covers stories and e...

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