Dylan Martorell @ Lamington Drive

Lamington Drive has an exhibition of avant-gardening – “Splintered Guilders” by Dylan Martorell. Dylan Martorell combines gardening with a “musique povera” recording studio and performance art in this exhibition. “Musique povera” (that’s what it says on the flyer) must be some relation to “Arte Povera”.  Dylan Martorell’s scatter style and process exhibition seems to back that up. The materials are ordinary – not traditional art materials.

Dylan Martorell is at the exhibition every day, playing and recording music, tending to his indoor garden and talking to visitors. The process is on exhibition. Art creation is like a garden; there is the compost (the shit that has come before) and the artist finds ways to grow new things in it. Today he was planing to buy some fish to eat the mosquito larva that were now in the upside down bass drum pond. There are also worms and snails in his garden along with a variety of plants and lots of potatoes.

Dylan Martorell's bass drum pond

Dylan Martorell's bass drum pond

There are gourds and other improvised musical instruments scattered around the room. It looks funky, chaotic and organic; power cables, audio cables are like vines along with the watering can. Hanging light bulbs illuminate the space and this is amplified and reflected with numerous mirrors and other reflective material. The music, when I visited, was a tinkling digital-delay pedal ambience, there are mixers and microphones, and a mirrorball-motor turning a branch over a box of guitar strings.

The garden and art interact in all kinds of ways. There are “watercolour studies” on round pieces of paper created on the seed germinator with seed and soil samples – the dark yellow stain of Banksia flowers.

In a dark corner the mushroom garden has yet to produce mushrooms. Dylan Martorell tells me that it is an experiment for another show that he is having at Craft Victoria in a month. We talk about the excellent documentary series currently on the ABC, “Around the World in 80 Gardens” by Monty Don, which examines culture through gardens and challenges the conventional ideas of a garden. But Martorell’s garden is the most strange and more ephemeral garden that I’ve seen.

Dylan Martorell garden at Lamington Drive

Dylan Martorell garden at Lamington Drive

Lamington Drive is a cardboard art gallery; that is its walls are clad in corrugated cardboard rather than plasterboard or wood panels other than that it is a normal room in a building on George St., Fitzroy.

About Mark Holsworth

Arts administrator, artist, musician, philosopher and writer. Writes Black Mark - Melbourne Art and Culture Critic. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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