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ISSUE 007 - Summer 2016/17
tri-annual street magazine CONTENTS
Condesa Joel VDK Eastbound and Round TKAY Zoe Kirkwood Capital Waste Sleep Talk Nadika
12 18 24 36 42 52 60 64
Editor’s note Print may have one foot in the grave, but there are still stories to be shared on paper. You only need to hit up any good coffee shop in Adelaide to see titles like CityMag, Feud and Krass sitting proudly on the stand. We’re inspired by the work they do, and hope whoever is reading this is inspired to do cool shit as well. As we grow as a publication we want you to know that Yewth isn’t just for ‘the youth’, it’s for anyone who continues to live the lifestyle they love. Don’t stop going to gigs because you’re considered ‘too old’, don’t stop skating because everyone else drives to the office… you’re never too old to do the things that make you happy. We hope you enjoy issue 007, no matter what year your birth certificate reads. Print is not dead. - Caleb Sweeting Paper supplied by K.W.Doggett Locally printed by Newstyle Printing
Left to right: Lewis, Courtney, Caleb, Dave
Shot by Baxter William
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HAND MADE IN REGENT ARCADE: Oh Deer Sugar Non-edible bakers Sharni and Nikki create â€˜food for the skinâ€™; their locally made vegan bath and body products are almost good enough to eat. Shop: 26
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TETHER The Store Along with his own line of candles and accessories, shop owner Andrius is here to help the modern-day gentleman in their quest for classic products. Shop: 32
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Boo & Who A florist and gift shop run by Bec with her line of handmade soy Zuki & Boo candles that come in over 25 delicious scents. Shop: 38
Sarah Rothe Unique handmade jewellery and gifts designed by Sarah and made here in South Australia. Shop: 29
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WORDS: LEWIS BRIDESON
PHOTOS: DANNY HOWE
“I think it seduces people.” There’s something about good sound quality. It’s a fine working relationship between music and technology, one that local producer, DJ and audiophile Medhi El-Aquil knows all too well. Medhi, one half of electronic duo Zeequil, is also the man behind Condesa Electronics, an Adelaide company specialising in handmade DJ mixers. Containing discrete audio circuitry, rotary dials and wooden panelling, his equipment gives a nod to original old school DJ mixers. “When I’ve played at parties, and used one of my mixers and people are dancing, I think there’s a real seduction because it sounds so nice, its so enticing,” says Medhi from his home in Blackwood. We’re in a back room surrounded by analogue synths, tools, a portrait of Hendrix and a lifetime of vinyl. Unfortunately, Cosmo the cat is not part of the conversation, yet to learn how to treat the shelves of records with soft paws. Medhi’s workbench is lined with Condesa mixers, each given a human name (Carmen, Lucia, Lola) that complements the human passion infused within. Their warm full-bodied sound, curves and character have led them to cities across Europe, the States and Asia. They have found homes with the likes of Floating Points, Detroit Swindle, Marcellus Pittman and Disclosure. This success is thanks to the dedication of Medhi and his small team, as well as his rich history in electronics growing up just outside London. “When I was younger I took things apart to try and work out how they worked, and carefully put them back together to keep them working. I always had the leaning to pull things apart,” Medhi explains.
“I found an electronics kit in my primary school… they just left me in [detention] and I got bored. So I found some batteries and light bulbs and little DC motors, and I was just finding different ways to hook them up.” It was in the early 80s that Medhi’s passion for electronics met audio, listening to electro boogie like Street Sounds Electro Vol. 1 and its focus on 808 drum beats, robotic vocals, analogue synthesis and the idea of a continuous mix. “I saw different snaps of things on TV where people were manipulating records and continuing to play them and scratch them, and mix things together,” he says. Medhi and his friends began creating what he describes as “choppy collages of sound,” by turning the mic input on his mother’s hi-fi into a second audio channel, blending tapes with the turntable. After school Medhi
studied at college, dipped between jobs in security systems and hearing aids, before heading to Ibiza to DJ. “After doing three summers of Ibiza I could have kept going, but just thought you gotta draw the line somewhere. A lot of people around me were kind of drinking too much or doing too much of other things – it was such an indulgent hedonistic place to be. You only want to be there a few years or the battle scars will start showing,” says Medhi. Moving to Adelaide for Medhi was a turning point, offering the time and freedom to delve into repairing and recreating studio gear. “I started making clones of classic microphone pres and classic compressors,” says Medhi. “Then I thought, how can I apply that same old school electronic, proper high quality audio to something that I like?”
It was something Medhi wished he owned, but could not afford – rotary mixers. Why buy it, when you can make it. “I read so many circuits and saw so many designs, it started really sinking in. I could make something similar myself,” says Medhi. It took Medhi a few years to make the design, and a few more before he kept a finished product for himself. Every time a mixer was made, it was sold. There’s an important lesson in passion, drive and value in Condesa’s growth as a business. Originally selling them short, it wasn’t until Medhi upped the price to the product’s true value that people began taking notice. His mixers now appear in clubs, Boiler Room sessions and studios around the globe. “If you’ve got an idea and you want to set something up, and you want to start a business or something, it’s totally possible in Adelaide. Everything that I can get made to do with the production of the mixers, I get done here in Adelaide, in South Australia. Because I think it’s important to try and plough some money back. Anything is possible here, but keep your eyes on a global market,” says Medhi. He doesn’t believe in devaluing anything anyone creates, or being tempted by people offering promotion and social media exposure as payment. “I won’t do that. Simply because a lot of everyday people have paid for their mixer. The big names can afford them so why shouldn’t they pay.” Medhi goes on to recount stories of people who own Condesa mixers and acknowledges a growing movement of young DJs in Adelaide. This coincides with a kind of analogue revival in music gear, with the re-release of vintage synths and drum machines - not to mention the rebirth of record collecting. While new technology inevitably replaces old, offering more accessibility, there is also a dialogue across the generations about not sacrificing quality for convenience.
Condesa’s circuitry and rotary dials are for presenting music in the best way possible, and blending disco, soul or house. However, hip-hop often requires faders to coincide with scratching and quick cuts, and many DJs will never choose to replace their digital set-ups with old school mixers. “If DJs knew there was a rotary in the club they would sometimes complain – ‘oh no I need my Pioneer mixer, I’m not using this,’” laughs Medhi, who still DJs weekly at Udaberri and Bank Street Social. Of course there will always be banter between preferences, styles and stages in technology. However, it’s this conversation that keeps things spinning, whether you DJ
on turntables, tape decks, CDJs or laptop controllers. Technology has and always will be a constant driver of change and innovation. Technological exploration is not some newfound privilege for today’s youth, but one shared across generations, appearing in different forms. Like digging through a crate of records, technology is about discovery - old and new. It’s circular and forever seductive.
â€œMaintaining quality and improving and evolving designs is always at the heart of it,â€? says Medhi, now holding Cosmo who has re-entered the room. Medhi plans to expand his workshop with his small team of independent workers and continue to grow Condesa Electronics with integrity. Maybe thereâ€™ll also be room for Cosmo down the track, if he learns to stop scratching the records.
Meet Carmen, Lucia, Lola and the rest of the gang at condesaelectronics.com or follow on Instagram at @condesaelectronics.
Joel van der Knaap is a graphic designer, illustrator, and visual artist from Adelaide, South Australia. Joel has been active for over fifteen years in South Australia and beyond, watching the creative scene flourish and flounder through the emergence of social media in the art and creative scene. We caught up with Joel to talk about his journey, and what’s next. Joel’s art direction at times could be described as pop-art meets neo-dada, or post-vintage with a cartoonish and sharp vector-driven twist. Throughout Joel’s work there is a vibrant, recurring visitation of street-art, themes of identity and personality, and intricately illustrated pastiches that tie it all together.
In terms of labelling himself, Joel remains modest. “I’m sure I’ll come up with something that’s absolutely bollocks,” he laughs inside the homely surrounds of the Exeter’s beergarden. “It’s this weird mix of comic and street art; it’s always referencing people or characters, so I just take lots of photos, and kind of use that as a reference and re-draw things.” “Initially I wasn’t referencing anything, it was just characters out of my head,” Joel says. Given his experience of over fifteen years in illustration and graphic design, and a day job in advertising art-direction, it’s no surprise that the shrewd designer has managed to land himself some enviable collaborations over the years. They range from live-art renditions, interstate culture and university magazines, to work with the Art Gallery of South Australia, a host of solo and collaborative exhibitions, and much more. For most creatives, a day job is a necessary
evil — despite staying under the umbrella of art direction in his career, having jumped into advertising under the guise of practicality, Joel is no exception. “My teachers were like, ‘you’re not going to get paid doing that [art]’, so I went and studied design.” “I didn’t get broad enough advice on what to do. I was like, ‘that’s where a job is — that’s what I should do,’” Joel earnestly admits. “I see a lot of people now who are like, ‘I wanna go be an artist,’ and they’ll go and study art, which is something that just never occurred to me,” he says, mentioning that returning to formally study art is in the back of his mind as a consideration. The move towards art direction and advertising wasn’t a lesson in disillusion, instead giving the artist an opportunity to create work that’s truly art for art’s sake. Joel approaches his personal work in a methodical sense, free from the constraints introduced by client briefs and project deadlines during his day job.
“As an artist, it’s kind of in you, and you’re going to do it regardless of success,” he says. “To me, ‘selling out’ is when you change or shift your principles just to be successful, rather than allowing success to follow what you do.” “I’m in a good position where I get paid to be a designer, so I don’t need my art to make money. “The pursuit of that is more for the sake of satisfaction, or the joy of doing it. If I’ve created something that I’m happy with, then I’m successful,” he admits humbly. “I’d love to be able to do my own weird little drawings and it be viable, but you’ve got to be realistic about it. “After being in advertising for a few years, working for a couple of studios, just before I turned 30, I decided, ‘I wanna work for myself, I wanna freelance and dedicate time to pursuing illustrations and doing some shows.’ “That goes back to about 2004 or ‘05 when I started really pursuing it… all my creative energy was going to my day job, and I was getting a bit frustrated and wanted an outlet. “Around the early-2000s, there was that rise of a new era of street-art, and illustration started to hit in a bigger way. “I guess I was inspired by seeing what other people were doing, and I could sort of see that I was of a similar mind-set. I could just see there’s a place for me in this. “I had my first solo exhibition in about 2006 [in Sydney]. It was much more grassroots, but you use the tools that you’ve got at the time to connect with people,” Joel says. In saying that, the creative landscape has undergone a notable change in ten years, particularly within the scope of human interaction, social media, and digital
marketing. “It’s the same ethos or approach now, but at the same time, because everyone’s doing this, it’s flooded, so to stand out is really, really hard,” he acknowledges. “The same things stand out, in that you’ve got your same culture makers that everyone looks to, or looks for affirmation from — you’ve still got that essence of the struggling artist that’s trying to break through, that’s trying to walk that line between doing something that’s relevant to now, but staying true to what they actually wanna do.” “That’s something I’ve always struggled with,” Joel says. Even with the changing media landscape in mind, it’s the creative influences that shape artistic work that’s changed the way artists operate more, Joel feels. “The thing that’s changed more than ever is that art, culture and design are driven by style. You’ve gotta work out ‘how much do I buy into that, and how much do I develop my own style.’ “With me, I’ve always been of the mindset that I don’t know if I fit in any of this, but I’ll just be stubborn and stick to what I do. Some people will dig it, some people won’t,” he shrugs. After roaming the wasteland of freelance artistry for five years, Joel returned to fulltime work, birthing Roam comic. “When I got back into full-time work, I just thought ‘I still need that outlet’, with no brief, and no client telling me ‘yes’ or ‘no’. “Roam came out of that, and the idea is that it’s just a place for me to, as wanky as it sounds, creatively roam. It’s just a space for me to creatively put in whatever I feel like,” Joel explains.
work. I don’t mean that in a self-deprecating way, but it’s ‘cause I haven’t really gone after a theme. There’s always going to be something that comes through regardless.” “ I t ’s not meant to be a continuous story… it’s snapshots in a definable form, so that I can feel like I’ve accomplished something. It’s an avenue in lieu of doing an exhibition — it’s just been purely for me,” he says. As Joel continues to creatively ‘roam’, the world around him inspires his creative processes. “The world’s pretty interesting at the moment, and people are interacting in lots of different levels. There’s social media, [but] we’re interacting on all these kinds of larger issues; there’s all these forums of interactions — [like] large protest movements. “I like observing, I like people watching. Human interaction is really interesting at the moment. There’s always interactions happening, even when it’s not a purposeful one — you might walk past someone, and you react subconsciously. “I’ve never really deliberately pursued themes with my work though, it’s probably been a little more observational, which I guess in essence is what a lot of drawing is. “I don’t think there’s a lot of depth to my
Joel explains that he’s attempted to bring the disciplines of his day job to help drive the otherwise freestyle process behind Roam. “Advertising teaches you to see things from different perspectives, and in terms of how people think. “It makes you get something done, because the advertising world is all about deadlines, and having everything done yesterday. “So there’s that kind of just, getting stuff out the door. That’s kind of what I tried to incorporate into Roam as well,” he says. “It’s looking like the whole thing will be a comic with a more linear story. “I’m sort’ve playing with the idea of interacting with technology and the trappings of it. The nature of our society and culture is that we all document and mark everything through…” Joel pauses to gesture towards his phone. The arts scene in Australia is a turbulent landscape at times, with discussions about a suggested “artists allowance” being met with arts degrees losing government subsidisation due to the, at times, intangible pathways to a career. As someone who’s managed to succeed in an inherently creative field, Joel believes in increasing pathways for local and Australian art scenes for the benefit of all. “From a really practical point of view, it’s giving creatives and artists avenues to actually create. “I believe in art as an avenue for culture and a society to actually prosper. You look at any history, in a more definable sense,
we remember cultures and societies through their art and what they create,” he says. “More opportunity and better avenues for creatives to succeed [are needed].” Joel says that while Adelaide’s creative communities can be tight-knit, he often feels it’s beneficial. “Just by the nature of Adelaide, everyone’s in a similar boat; it doesn’t feel like there’s too many rivalries. “Collaboration always appeals — if there’s someone already doing something really well, I’d rather get them to do it for me!” he laughs. Joel’s work has seen him recently move from commercial advertising studios over to non-profit organisations like Australians Together, after being scouted for the position of Senior Creative. “Basically it’s about closing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous — how do we bridge that gap of communication and understanding?
“It’s more about, particularly for nonindigenous Aussies, challenging that notion of ‘why does this matter to me?’ “Advertising, you’re there to sell something. With this, it’s addressing an issue in Australia that’s really, really relevant. “It still gets over-looked — it’s a crucial part of our history; it’s our identity. As Australians we still don’t know who we are culturally. We point to different things, but they’re all quite superficial. “It’s the type of role where you can have a crap day, and go home at the end of the day, and know that there’s a bigger picture to what you’re doing, and a message that means something to someone.” Ultimately, Joel van der Knaap’s work encapsulates a variety of different cultures in his own unique reflection of society. The artist’s work in design and advertising has given him the discipline and realistic expectations of audiences across Australia to help produce art that’s truly guilt-free.
You can catch more of Joel’s work in the next edition of Roam Comic. Visit JoelVDK.com to stay up to date.
Tkay Maidza’s debut album just dropped and it’s nothing less than fire. At age 16, the Zimbabwe-born Adelaidean graduated high school and went on to study architecture at university. Soon after, triple j gave her debut single ‘Brontosaurus’ its first spin on national airwaves. Listeners were instantly hooked. She’s since performed with the likes of Mark Ronson, Charlie XCX and was nominated for a BET Award (Black Entertainment Television) - Best New International Act of 2016. Now aged 20, her debut album TKAY is out – yes, in caps. Tkay describes her new music as a “grown up” version of Tkay, and when asked how she feels about her first full length release she replies with a shy, “it’s okay, I guess.” “I think it’s a more mature me and I’ve tried to improve in certain aspects of it. I think it’s just a snapshot of what I’ve been up to.” Spending time with Tkay, it quickly becomes apparent that she is unaware of how much she is blowing up right now, and not just in Australia. Tkay recently toured Europe, the US, and
collaborated with the likes of Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike – all things that most hip-hop artists would dream of, but few actually see come to fruition. The touring hasn’t stopped all year for Tkay, in fact the only interview opportunity we had (despite being based in her hometown of Adelaide), was backstage before her set at Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong. There she tells us the random story of how the Killer Mike collaboration came together for her track ‘Carry On’: “He spoke about me in an interview and I found it on the internet. I was like ‘oh this is really cool’, so I posted about it and then it became some big media thing here in Australia. I said ‘thank you,’ then he was like, ‘oh, if you ever need anything, let me know…’ and I was like ‘oookay’,” she laughs. Tkay took him up on the offer and Mike, a man of his word, made sure the collab happened. “I asked if he was keen to do it and he was really keen and sent it back in a week, which is really cool… it was super easy and organic.”
For Tkay, creating music has to feel organic; even bangers like ‘Carry On’ shouldn’t be premeditated. “I feel like you should just do what you want to do and never follow a trend; you just find what you like and then go for that and hopefully it resonates with people.” That’s exactly what Tkay has done from the beginning. She isn’t afraid to share the raw inspiration behind her music. “Uh, I’m a very angry person,” she admits - ironically in the sweetest voice. “Most of the songs, they sound happy, but I guess it’s just like people not being who you thought they were, or just like inconveniences in your life, I think that’s usually what I write about… But I just really like upbeat stuff, that’s just why it sounds really happy.” L.K. McKay, Tkay Maidza’s long-time producer and DJ, describes the debut album as “sweet and sour.” “Most people really resonate with something that is sad, but makes them dance,” L.K. says. “I love those songs, if you’re feeling happy it can be a happy song, if you’re felling sad it can be a sad song – if it’s universal like that, I think you’re really nailing it.” Both Tkay and L. K. are thankful for the support they have from their label at Dew Process and management at 5/4 Entertainment, who take care of what may be described as the boring shit that needs to be done behind the scenes.
“5/4 handle my day to day, they help with finding who I want to work with – they’re like that middle man if I see someone I like they’ll email them for me, they moderate emails and act as that buffer between people – they help a lot, they’re like that person that knows your whole life, they probably know more about me than I know about myself,” says Tkay.
â€œDo what you want to do and never follow a trend ... find what you like, go for that and hopefully it resonates with people.â€?
L.K. McKay also has some valuable advice for young songwriters and musicians – he says having direction with your music is paramount. “You need some industry knowledge and that comes from people like Craig [Lock] from 5/4 Entertainment. But even if you don’t get a manager early on, go to workshops – things like BIGSOUND, it is important… It is an industry after all, as much as it would be amazing if it was this artistic wonderland it’s not, it’s an industry.”
“Most people really resonate with something that is sad, but makes them dance”
She admits that playing to foreign crowds was a daunting experience at first. “You don’t know what to expect ‘cause no one knows you… I guess you’re trying to convince people and show them what you’re about and hopefully not alienate them. While it’s scary, at the same time it’s kind of fun because no one expects anything, so you’re just kind of playing for the fun of it. It’s all about you having fun, and some shows went way better than I ever thought!” Tkay will have more expectations as she continues to slay on stage and in the studio - she is no longer just ‘one to watch’. She is doing it right. Check out tour dates dates, listen to and buy the debut album TKAY now at tkaymaidza.com.
Despite it being an industry, it is still the music industry – and this means partying is part of the business. Recently Tkay was on tour in Europe followed by America, and can confirm there were plenty of shenanigans, especially with her new friend Martin Solveig. “The tour was fun, we went to Europe and played festivals there… like Reading and Leeds, oh yeah and Ibiza, which was pretty crazy ‘cause Solveig played ‘til like 6am, so we were just awake until like 8 in the morning which is pretty amazing!”
Zoe Kirkwood has been making things all her life. She’s pretty damn good at it. We’ve been friends for ages and have watched each other’s practices develop since studying Honours together in 2014. But I’m not the only one that thinks Zoe is great. Her work has been shown around Australia and has attracted a bunch of national awards. She’s even travelled to New York to exhibit her work. It’s a busy time for Zoe as she puts the final touches to a new body of work for the Collections Project – a collaborative initiative between Guildhouse and the Art Gallery of South Australia, where successful applicants are provided with an opportunity to conduct research into part of the institution’s collection as a means of developing a new body of work for exhibition in the gallery. But we manage to squeeze in a chat. We try to do this quite often. We order a flat white each and our chat commences. photo: Grant Hancock
So tell me about your pet yabby. Frederick.
could catch them in there too. They’re such a crazy creature. Such an amazing form.
So yabbies are this iconic thing from your childhood?
So when I first started working on the Collections Project, I was trying to work out how to cast a yabby, but it was super hard to get hold of one and eventually I managed to borrow one, but I was adamant that I didn’t want Frederick to die. So I’m happy to say Frederick was returned to his aquatic home after modelling for a week.
Yes. When you start looking, there are so many references to these kinds of animals in contemporary art. When you look at the artists that have done installations in the Palace of Versailles most of them have dabbled with crustaceans. Joana Vasconcelos had two crochet covered lobsters and Jeff Koons had his iconic hanging lobster.
And how did you make the yabbies in the end?
I ended up sculpting them out of clay and then moulds were made of the original with the final shapes cast out of a resin. So why yabbies? Your previous work has referenced a lot of architecture and other art – mainly European stuff, where do yabbies fit? I grew up in the Riverland and when I was a kid and the river would flood we would go yabbying. We’d get canoes and drop nets in different places and after about an hour we’d go back and they’d be full of yabbies. I’m assuming these yabbies ended up somewhere other than back in their aquatic home? Oh my God, we’d cook them up in these massive drums – sacks of them. There were so many. We used to have pickled yabbies that we stored and the neighbours would all come around to eat them. It was so fantastic. There used to be yabby races at the high school fundraising fair. We also had an irrigation channel out the front of our house and you 44
Yes of course! Salvador Dali – his phone! Amazing! The fashion designer Schiaparelli also did a lobster dress in collaboration with Dali. Philip Treacy, the hat designer, also used lobsters as well. It has that kind of idea of opulence associated with it. An Australian equivalent of sorts. And I think was also just that idea of absolute excess. The abundance of them. So this new body of work will be shown at the Art Gallery of South Austraila as part of the Collections Project, how did that opportunity come about? It’s an open callout through Guildhouse where you need to write a proposal about how you want to work with the Art Gallery’s collection and what part of it you want to focus on. Right from the outset I really wanted to look at the Australian early colonial decorative silverware. I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with that stuff. Decorative table pieces, epergnes – those kinds of things. Some of them are just phenomenal.
photo: Che Chorley
photo: Zan Wimberley
photo: Tilly Pippett
So these objects are the sorts of things where a craftsperson can really showcase their skills – functional objects that become more artistic in their intentions. Yes. Often they were the focus for a manufacturer or retailers for display at expos, etc. One of the standout features of the South Australian examples of these types of colonial works is that they would seemly randomly include native flora and fauna. So in thinking of that I wanted my work to reference something typically Australian. That’s where the yabbies fit in. So your work has always referenced and reinterpreted the Baroque – a highly decorative European movement in the arts, which occurred prior to the European settlement of Australia. In some ways you’re looking at the same intensity of embellishment, but in an Australian context. 48
Totally. As much as Australia was settled after the Baroque period, there were still vestiges of the Baroque and ideas coming out of Europe that appear prevalent, especially in the silverware. Some of the pieces definitely have a very Baroque, Rococo aesthetic. So we’ve covered yabbies as a motif from your childhood. I think anyone who has a commitment to their art practice finds that as they make things they discover more about who they are and where they’ve come from. What other things do you look back on as significant in your work now? When I was really little I used to work with my grandfather who, apart from being a Hydrogeologist, was also an amateur wood turner. He used to make furniture in his spare time. He had this super ghetto lathe set up, which was actually just a drill and I used to make and polish these bowls – with his help of course.
It was only when I went back and did Honours that I really started doing stuff like that again. I guess the obsession with the Baroque aesthetic started really young too. When I look at the photos of the first farm I grew up on it was kind of like this crazy postapocalyptic landscape with potholed dirt roads. But when I was five we went to visit my mum’s family in France and I was lucky enough to visit the Palace of Versailles. I just remember being so overwhelmed by the experience of everything there. To me it was completely antithetical to anything I had ever seen or could comprehend. And then to come back home was so weird. To go back to a country school with thirty kids in it. Have you been back to Versailles? Yes, when I was twenty-three. It wasn’t as enchanting the second time. Compared to being a kid when it was just so huge. You were also recently awarded a Samstag Scholarship, which will fund a year of study overseas. Do you have any plans about where you’d like to be? Is it a priority for you to be back amongst some of those epic sites? I definitely would like to study at Goldsmiths given some of the artists who lecture there. I’m hoping to at least start a Masters. The applications for courses are open from January. I’m also going to look at applying for schools in the U.S. But yes, having some of those key baroque sites at your doorstep is an amazing opportunity, not to mention all the amazing art that Europe has to offer.
Sounds amazing. After you finished your undergraduate degree, you made a lot of paintings that featured figurative elements as well as the bright coloured abstract elements that tend to dominate your work now. In Honours you began making work where the paintings began to enter into the space more as installations. What prompted that change? I think that was just such an incredible year for me because I really started to free up and do what I love doing most, which is making things. I think growing up, for me art was definitely painting. So much of my work now grows out of having different materials and having a variety of elements. It really develops in quite an ad hoc way. So much stuff is edited out. There are so many different avenues and things that I’ve started doing that end up on the floor only to be reintroduced at a later point. I make a lot of stuff. I sit with it, cry with it…
photo: Zan Wimberley
Making things can definitely be a bit of a battle – working with new materials and trying to accommodate their particular agencies, working with fabricators and other makers to get your ideas off the ground. Having a sustainable career as an artist can be hard work. Working another job to pay for making art. Absolutely. I think we all have to work another job! But having said that I have been incredibly fortunate to be supported through grants and awards that have allowed me to take up opportunities, like having a show overseas.
I guess because I get so genuinely excited by new processes and materials and at the end of the day I get to make things like Baroque yabbies. Somehow that makes it worth all the crazy hours and lack of sleep.
Zoe’s work for the Collections Project in collaboration with Guildhouse will be on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Gallery 15 until March 5th. See more from Zoe at zoekirkwood.com and follow her on Instagram at @zoe_kirkwood.
Of course. Coming into your Art Gallery of South Australia show, where things are hectic and you’re feeling the pressure to make something amazing, why make art?
Capital Waste Pictures is the fuzzed-out technicolour brainchild of 26-year-old Adelaide filmmaker Liam Somerville. Established in 2012, Somerville describes the project as a “one-man video and preposterous dog-shit visual content hole.” “I do all sorts of stuff from weird obsolete video art to music film clips to docos to music collab duo things. Loosely, I’m a visual content creator/eyeball filler,” Liam says. Somerville has been kicking goals lately, with the month of September seeing him travel to Denver, Colorado, to take part in MORPHOS - an artist-in-residence program hosted by Denver Arts and Technology Advancement and Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.
The month-long program culminated in a 360° immersive virtual reality experience created by five exceptional digital artists from around the world, in which Somerville presented an interactive virtual reality called Welcome to the TROPIXXXX. The project took the form of a psychedelic beach wonderland featuring a soothing soundtrack by Adelaide’s own Michael Ellingford alongside a poem by Nicole Gerber and Matt Morrison. While still a work-in-progress, the final result will take the form of a virtual reality ‘art game’ for the purpose of exploring and soaking up the visuals. I caught up with Somerville for a drink and a durry before he jetted off and picked his brain to find out what inspires his whacky and wonderful creations.
How did you get into what you do? I always really liked taking photos, mainly on film and using the worst cameras possible, so there’d be heaps of light leaks and streaks, fuzzy, kind of a distorted reality. I could never translate my brain to my hands to draw, but capturing something and messing with it was always something that interested me. When I finished school, I thought I wanted to be a sound engineer and then just chilled for a bit, took heaps of photos and flicked last second to filmmaking. I studied with my best mate and homie Dom [Sargent] and we opened up Capital Waste together, did that for a couple of years and then he’s like, ‘I wanna do more visual art kind of stuff,’ so he went off to Melbourne and I took the reins. Is it overwhelming being a one-man-show? I think it’s coming up to six weeks now that I keep saying, ‘next week I can sleep,’ and it still hasn’t really happened yet. Between all sorts of stuff like the business side of things and doing videos and personal projects and film clips, it’s certainly not a 9-to-5 kind of thing. But I love it. I suck it up with two straws. I always find myself in these wild situations like digging a grave at midnight in Barmera for a plastic skeleton, or throwing my pals off a bridge wearing warlock robes. Or you’re filming scenes with a blowup Godzilla playing the sax. With a squirrel in the background having a boogie. Just the usual stuff. What are some of your highlight projects that you’ve worked on?
The Space Bong film clip Slow Spring was one of my favourites to work on and one of the things I’m most proud of. It’s a fourteenminute epic doom metal track. I’ve loved Space Bong forever and working on that with those dudes was rad. I spent a straight month every waking living breathing minute working on this thing, and stupidly pretty much did everything myself. [Vocalist] Kegan Daly was really great during the whole thing, but I wrote the story, produced it, directed it, shot most of it, built props, and organised locations. It almost fuckin’ killed me and I almost lost an eye. It was the second to last week and I was frantically making the bodies of the businessmen that we kill and throw in the fire, and it was like 2am and Daria and I were making the dummies in my back shed. We had two made and we were making the last one and I broke my saw, broke a hacksaw, then got an angle grinder and was cutting this bit of wood, obviously not wearing eye protection, and the disc exploded and it landed right next to my eye.
I had this enormous blister next to it. I mean, after that I’ve literally worn eye protection for anything that goes over like 6 RPM. I’m almost pulling out safety goggles for a record player, you know?
onstage. We did a short tour the other month where we played the entire record Death of Utopia in Melbourne and Sydney. That CD was stuck in my car CD player for about two years, so I know that thing backwards. We’re releasing a live tape, Dead in Paradise, through Videopunks, (a NYC-based VHS label) later this year and will have a lil’ release Australian tour too. I have a road case, which I open up, plug two VHS players into one side, something out to the projector on the other side and then just jam out. It’s not like a press play on the laptop kind of thing — I’m fully involved in mixing and my setup has all these weird homemade mixers and effects machines and circuit-bent video gear. It’s a battle with trying to get a signal stable enough to play on the projector ‘cause I fuck with it so much that it turns into blurry fuzz. What have you been working on recently?
So you’re in Space Bong now too, right? Yeah, Kegan lived with me for a bit and after Slow Spring he hit me up and was like, “hey, we wanna create this full powerhouse doom experience.” It’s an eight-piece band, two guitars, two vocalists, noise, and they wanted to get visuals in the fold as well. I did one show with them at Ancient World. It seemed to work, and so Kegan asked me to come aboard and be a full-time visuals dude. It is really different doing live visuals, especially to doom metal, but I fucking love it. I get to play tapes and thrash about 54
I’m working on a project called DÄRKNIFE, which is an audiovisual duo with me and my buddy Michael Ellingford. He makes ridiculously heavy, noisy, dark techno beats, and we created a film to go with it, which I glitch live. It’s like, we’re the characters onstage and onscreen while the beats are blaring. Techno and good music can transport you to somewhere where you’re fully immersed, but when you add visuals and a stage presence it adds that extra level, which makes it pretty crazy. We’ve all seen electronic music, we’ve all seen visuals behind the band, which often are just like fractals and hippy kind of things. That’s great to add to the mood, but something that’s got a storyline and action takes it that extra step. I think a lot of stuff is moving in that direction. A lot of bands are doing more visual stuff. There’s been
bands that do that stuff forever, like crazy stage show and props, costumes and confetti cannons and stuff. I’m thinking like Rammstein and Iron Maiden. And then there’s Sunn O))) whose stage presence was so cool when I saw them. They just wore black cloaks covering their faces, filled the whole room with smoke, red lights. That was definitely transcendental to an extent. Completely. You’re not even you, you’re not thinking about paying the fuckin’ rent, you’re not thinking about work, your girlfriend, nothing, you’re fully just like, ‘I’m yours. Take me on a journey.’ And that’s kind of what we want to do as well. So tell me about what Denver involved for you.
It was a virtual reality and 360° dome projection artist-in-residence program. You know those videos on your phone, where you turn it around? It’s like that plus we showed the pieces in the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and Gates Planetarium. I’ve made a dome film before through The Mill for this exhibition called Nebula Deluxe. It’s really interesting as far as cinematography goes — when you’re shooting on a square, you know what looks good, but when you’re doing dome stuff it totally throws everything you’ve ever learned on its head. It’s awesome and has this immersive vibe, and gives the viewer power and control to find the hidden bits and pieces and create more of a feel and environment. It’s pure visuals, which is something I’m drawn to. I’m not out here trying to get a message across. I just fully live in the visuals and work to transport [viewers] to another place or create something that’s juicy for the eyeballs. Yeah, sick. It’ll be nice to change up your routine for a bit away from Adelaide.
I’m a workaholic, I mean running your own business totally takes over your entire life — every ex-girlfriend of mine can vouch for that 100%, but I dig it and I like creating and making stuff. I get itchy feet if I’m stagnant. You can say I work too much, but my work and my art is kind of a blurry line between the same thing. It fills me up and I like almost killing myself to make something [laughs]. But it’s always that thing, you set goals like, ‘I wanna be here’. And once I’m here, I’ve made it and you get to that point where it’s just like, ‘fuck, I’m 1% of where I need to be’. And then you get to the 100% of that next point and it’s like nah, I’m still 1%. The further you go, the more you’re just like, ‘I’m nothing’. And I guess the hard part is realising you’re still creating amazing stuff that people will appreciate, but you yourself as your own worst critic will be like, ‘nah, this isn’t good enough’. It’s really strange in film, there is this attitude that the project you’re working on
is almost not important, it’s mainly just a stepping-stone for the next one. Which is kind of messed up, but keeps you on that forever train of doing projects. What inspires you the most? I guess it just comes back to distorted reality. I’m not so much into the hippy fractal acid kind of shit, although it is cool. But just that distorted reality where there’s enough familiarity to say this is something that I know, but also different enough to say, ‘hey, that’s rad and interesting’. The ‘80s and ‘90s are also pretty big influences for me and just that flavour, outlandish costumes and cheesy lighting setups. I feel these days everyone’s searching for the most sharp and crisp image, it’s like, we need 4K and these crazy cinema cameras and I just like that fuzzy shitty look of old vibes, and I find myself saying sorry to the people that I work with. Like, ‘you’ve shot this beautiful thing for me and I love it but I’m going to ruin all of it by running it through VHS’.
That also gives you your unique flavour though. Like, you can tell when it’s Capital Waste. Yeah, which is kind of what I’ve been working on. I’ve been trying to do a bunch of video art projects that have that flavour just to say, ‘hey this is me, this is my vibe, this is how I do stuff. If you like it, let’s work together, let’s do something’. It sounds like you’re finally getting rewarded for all the hard work you put in, and getting the right opportunities. Yeah, work is always coming in. It’s this weird thing where I make cash from straight video content for people, and then that gives me financial freedom to do whatever I want for the rest of my time, where I collaborate with bands or other artists. We’re all struggling artists, so currency-free trades are good. If we all give each other a hand then not only do we make a heap of cool stuff, but you make buddies and friends and connections and relationships, where you can be like, ‘hey I’ve got a hookup in this place’ or ‘I know someone who does this’. I’m blessed in the fact where I can do my art as well as get paid and live off it. It took a couple of jumps from working at cafes and making films on the side to doing full-time film. I left the cafe and did just film for a bit, and went broke really quickly and then back to the kitchen, did that for a bit, took another film job, again broke, back to the kitchen and then the last time I kind of took the jump and built up enough of a thing to be self-sufficient. I thank my lucky stars every day. With all the responsibilities and things you have to do as a small business, there are all these freedoms that come with it. I guess I’d say my boss is a massive cunt, ‘cause he makes me work all the time, but I don’t have to wear a uniform, I don’t have to rock up on time, I never drive in peak hour. If I get up and it’s like 8:30 and I’m about to leave, I’ll just stay home and have another coffee and ciggy before I leave, to dodge the traffic. What are you going to get up to when you’re back from the States? I basically come back from the States and get straight into the Dead in Paradise VHS release tour with Space Bong. Zero sleep. Then we’ve got an Australian tour in April and May, and maybe a US tour in September and October next year as well. Then a bunch of other projects. It never ends.
See more from Liam at capitalwastepictures.com.
Created Range officially opened in July of 2014, the grand opening in Regent Arcade also happened to serve as the launch of issue 001 of this magazine. For the first eleven months of running the store I was operating under Renew Adelaide’s rentfree leasing model, which meant that I was able to start and establish my business without the stress and expense of a full commercial lease. There is no way that at 22 years old, just out of uni sudying Visual Arts and working at a supermarket, I would have been able to afford to set up a commercial leasing contract without Renew, let alone comfortably pay rent month to month. With their help though, this is now my full time job. It’s a lot of hard work, but I’m able to survive doing what I enjoy every day, which includes working on the magazine that you hold in your hands.
The Renew Adelaide team are giving five people under 25 years old the chance to make their idea a reality. If that’s you, and you have an idea that you think could use a physical property, and are prepared to put in the work to make it happen, submit your application online and Renew will use their resources to help you out. They will search for and find a property that will suit your concept, negotiate with landlords to get you free rent for a time, take care of a heap of the confusing/boring legal contract and property stuff, and be there to give you advice from the considerable combined experience of their team. Don’t let your dreams be memes. xoxo Dave
Read more and apply: renewadelaide.com.au/properties/own-it
Nestled amongst the muck and the mire that comes out of Adelaide is a five-piece melodic hardcore outfit by the name of Sleep Talk. Having hit the scene at the beginning of 2015, the boys don’t fit the mould of your typical hardcore outfit and that’s the way they want to keep it. Their debut EP Growing Pains received widespread acclaim from within the musical and wider community of Adelaide. Success of the EP has come about through an extensive touring schedule and an appeal that music lovers from all walks of life can enjoy. As a whole, the hardcore scene in Adelaide has received it’s fair share of criticism over the years. At times it has been too exclusive, with new fans not being able to enjoy the same experience
as regulars do, down to too much of the same shit coming through week in week out. Bucking that trend is Sleep Talk, whose melodies and resonating lyrics can find a home within all music fans. Lead vocalist Jacob Clement goes on to explain that the exclusive community that has been built up has actually been one of the biggest detriments to developing the bands themselves. “I think the problem has been that Adelaide has been beating the same old dead horse for such a long amount of time, the same sound. It was just beaten so fucking hard into the ground and nobody was doing anything new and innovative. Nobody wants to listen to this anymore, it’s just over saturated.”
“It’s such an exclusive community, which is exactly what we want to get rid of. There’s that many people in the room here to see a show, we want them to know that we want them here and know that they don’t have to come here with anyone to feel welcome at a show. That’s been the problem for so long, the exclusivity that you needed to know a certain amount of people to feel welcome at a show, which is fucking ridiculous.” Breaking that exclusive mindset and getting the bands involved in all walks and genres of the scene is paramount to keeping things healthy and alive. The ability to be able to walk into any venue in Adelaide and feel welcome is an idea and a right championed by many of the bigger names in Australian
music right now, like Camp Cope, Luca Brasi and The Smith Street Band. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you are welcome. “I don’t think, with us, that kind of thing is happening anymore where people are going to have to go to certain venues to see the bands. For instance we are playing with Horror My Friend and Columbus at the Crown & Anchor, you know those bands aren’t heavy at all.
But that’s a good thing that is happening now, those bands are coming into the heavier scene and bringing their friends with them, and we go to theirs and it’s all ‘fuck yeah’,” mentions guitarist Josh Healey. Michael Belletti goes on further to say, “Funny story, I remember standing out the front of Enigma Bar and I saw a group of girls walk past who must’ve come from HQ and one of them asked, ‘What’s in there?’ and the other replied, ‘Oh you don’t want to go in there, it’s heavy metal!’ and kept walking on. It summed up all the bullshit.” Despite a long and sizeable touring schedule, the guys have kept things together and are beaming to have capped off the current tour with a packed hometown show at the Adelaide UniBar. It is full to the brim with fans spilling over the top of one another in the pit, lining the balcony that overlooks the courtyard and just loving each other so much. It has been a long time since I’ve ever walked into a show at 7:30pm where the room is full by 8pm. Summed up perfectly by a man of many talents, was Lewis Tito: “The tour [and tonight] taught us that the world is beautiful.” Listen to Sleep Talk at sleeptalkhc.bandcamp.com
I don’t know Nadia (AKA Nadika) very well, but I know that she makes delicate, organic hand-poked marks on skin at XO L’Avant tattoo studio. Her embroidery work is the neatest I’ve seen. Nadia has recently expanded her practice to include rolling and sculpting clay into magical, home-baked and hand-painted jewellery wares. After selling her first pairs of earrings made (kind of) on a whim (crafted from a precious little packet of clay that Nadia had kept in the bottom of her backpack for a little while) at a local market earlier this year, her beauties quickly caught the attention of Gorman. She has now made approximately 1,200 pairs of her designs with her own two hands (and the borrowed hands of loved ones) from her studio space.
NADIA------ How are you????? (she is well). Where did you learn to be so patient? At my grandmothers house. I have a very crafty family. I want to become more patient with other aspects of myself… I like how my love for certain crafts allows and teaches me to be more patient. One colour: Gold. One food: Laksa with Aida…………… Or gnocchi. One place: The ridge top near my house in Basket Range. One sound: Honeydew Sling Shot ~~~ (my description of the Eastern Whip bird call.) One shape: -RhombusOne animal: I know that my spirit animal is a unicorn, however I’m more likely to truly be a meerkat. One word from any language: Matahari, meaning sun ---- mata= eye & hari= day, ie ‘eye of the day’--- (in Indonesian). What do you listen to when you work? Random mix tapes:: I love Richard Fidler convos. Anything from old folk to jazz and rnb really ~ depends on mood !! You’re off O/S next weekend--- Will you be making // tattooing when traveling? Yes---- I will be tattooing at a studio in Bali ~ doing a 2 day guest spot with my older brother Jaya at Bold and Bright tattoo shop in Canggu. And yeah, I’ll be thinking about making, and gathering materials and ideas for new creations… Follow @_nadika_ on Instagram
Where are they now? Alice Fraser and Sian Walden have each become some serious goal-kickers in the music industry after cutting their teeth on projects here in Adelaide, both gaining a leg-up through MusicSA’s music business courses. Sian is owner and director of management company Little Acorn Music. Her work has earned her a nomination for best manager at the upcoming South Australian Music Awards and one of three spots in the 2016 Stigwood Industry Fellowship Program alongside Peta Spurling-Brown and Jimmy Bollard. Alice Fraser threw particularly cosy shows via The Jam Room and toured bands in her own van across the country. She now tours entire festival rosters around the globe working as National Artist Liaison for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival and Management Assistant at Sydney-based company Lunatic Entertainment.
Tell us about your job role and how you work within the music industry?
Tell us about your job role and how you work within the music industry?
SW: With Little Acorn I manage Tom West, Tasha Coates and Wasted Wanders. I also do bookings for a number of artists, as well as consults. It’s like mini-management for artists who need a little bit of help with things that they’re working on, but aren’t ready for full management.
AF: Over the last two years, I’ve specialised my role into touring operations. I spent one year working in London for Communion Music and then moved back to Australia where I have been working for Laneway Festival and Lunatic Entertainment. I tour the bands on Laneway and manage all the tour operations and artist services across the seven sites.
How did studying with MusicSA help you build your career? It was a really great foundation for understanding the music industry and the different bodies that operate within Adelaide. They brought in a lot of local ‘movers and shakers’ to have a chat - it’s a really cool way of connecting with various people. It really helped me understand what I wanted to do. Who do you think would benefit from studying at MusicSA? It’s very much that vocational training where you learn stuff, but you put it into practise so you’re not just sitting in a room writing notes – you’re putting on shows, or meeting different artists and booking agents… You’re meeting people in the Adelaide music industry, as well as the wider community of music in Australia.
How did studying with MusicSA help you build your career? I started studying with MusicSA out of curiosity, and suddenly realised I could actually create a career out of this. It was a real launch pad into the industry and it kind of created this world that it is possible to create a long-term, sustainable career in the music and arts industries. Who do you think would benefit from studying at MusicSA? It’s incredibly valuable for people who want to explore a career in the industry side, but also for the creators who want to have a bit more understanding of the business side.
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@flumemusic / Laneway Festival Adelaide / 05.02.2016 Polaroid by @wadewhitington
photo by Ashton Papazahariakis