Tag Archives: Kaff-eine

Women of Paste

There are all these women in Melbourne’s streets doing amazing paste-ups.  I’m only commenting on their gender because for years males have dominated Melbourne’s street art scene. What few women street artists there were in Melbourne were often notable not for their art but for being female. Now there are so many note worthy women doing street art in Melbourne and their talent is obvious to anyone, although their sex might not so obvious. (I had no idea that Kaffine was a woman – not that it is an issue anyway – I was wondering why broos, goat headed people, a common RuneQuest monster were appearing on the streets of Melbourne albeit with a stag’s skull head – even more frightening). Most of these women concentrate on paste-ups (wheat pasting).

Baby Guerilla – has been pasting up her drawings of women, men and birds floating for years. How she gets her paste-up up so high must be how she has got her name, climbing like a baby gorilla. (See Invurt’s interview with Baby Guerilla.)

Baby Guerilla

Klara – I thought Klara was a one-image artist just doing faces until I saw her self-referential paste-up at Dean Sunshine’s warehouse.

Klara

Be Free – images of a little girl has justly received a lot of praise and attention for her combinations of stencils, playing card collage and paint. (See Invurt’s interview with Be Free.)

Be Free

Urban Cake Lady – the woman stripped tights, the red cloak and the animal familiars are the legend of the Urban Cake Lady.

Urban Cake Lady

Suki – clearly inspired by Miso, Melbourne’s first woman of paste, not that that’s a bad thing, although people, including myself, have misattributed Suki’s work to Miso. (Miso hasn’t been doing any paste-ups on the streets for over a year now.) Suki’s women are beautiful water bearers with long hair. (See Invurt’s interview with Suki.)

Suki

Bubbles Unknown – text based and hand written pages with small illustrations.

Bubbles Unknown

“I & The Others” – also inspired by Miso, “I & The Others” produce some fine paper cutting.

"I & The Others"

Kaff-eine – paste-ups figures of children and a stag skull headed figure, along with working in aerosol paint, marker pen, up-cycling and other street art activities.

Kaff-iene

Precious Little – first came to notice for her poetry on laneway walls printed with an old fashion Dymo label maker but has since moved into using aerosol paint. (For more on Kaff-eine and Precious Little see my blog post about their exhibition, Urban Scrawl, at the City Library earlier this year.)

From Jenny Holtzer to Miso and Swoon and this current generation of paste-up artists: why are paste-ups attractive to female street artists?


Street Scrawl & Street Photography

At the City Library (air conditioned refuge in the January heat) there is “Urban Scrawl” by Kaff-eine, Precious Little, Tigtab and Blacklodge. They are street artists who are not working with aerosol. There are collaborations between all of the artists in various combinations giving the exhibition a real group feel. (Arty Graffarti has a review of the exhibition and lots of photos – I didn’t bring my camera.)

Kaff-eine up-cycling in Coburg

I’d first encounter Kaff-eine’s work up-cycling (decorating discarded objects on the street) on a mattress during the annual Moreland hard rubbish collection. I first thought of Kaff-eine as yet another Ghostpatrol wannabe with drawings of children. But after seeing this exhibition I’m more impressed; Kaff-eine’s images are stronger than Ghostpatrol with more illustrative technique.

I didn’t know Kaff-eine was a woman until I read about it in the exhibition information pages. I’d assumed that Kaff-eine was man because most street artists are. The gender of the artist can make a difference to the art – imagine if you discovered that Debs was really a man. Then curvy female characters that Debs sprays would have a completely different meaning. (See my post about the panel discussion on Gender & Street Art at the Melbourne Stencil Festival 09.)

Precious Little has her poetry printed with an old fashion Dymo label maker, photographs, wall paste-ups and two framed drawings. Some of her poems interact with Kaff-eine’s illustrations. I have seen her work in Hosier Lane and elsewhere but the variety of her other work is impressive.

Tigtab and Blacklodge’s fantastic light painting photography are shot with a very slow shutter and moving lights. In the experienced hands of Tigtab and Blacklodge it proves to be a great dynamic way of photographing graffiti; although Tibtab’s light stencils of cranes, dragonflies, turtles and butterflies verge on kitsch. (I think that I saw their work before and some of the toys that they use to create these photographs in “Urban Intervention” in Sweet Streets 2010.)

On the subject of streets and photography I saw “Around Winston Street” at No Vacancy Gallery in the Atrium at Federation Square. “Around Winston Street” is street photography capturing the life on the streets in Shepparton by Serana Hunt. Hunt lives around there and this means that her photographs have a familiar view of the people of Shepparton. Her best photographs are of local characters on the streets. The photographs are mostly in black and white (old school street photography, keeping it real). The exhibition was funded through Pozible Crowdfunding Creativity.


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