Sunny Saturday

The sunny weather on the weekend inspired me to ride by bicycle down the Upfield bike path from Coburg to Brunswick. I had pulled over to the side to photograph a new piece of aerosol art when two cyclists announced: “Two cycles passing”. When I caught up with them at the Moreland Road lights one of the cyclists asked if the piece was one of mine. “No, I just photograph them.” I explained. “There are plenty of good new pieces further on.” They replied, the lights changed and they rode on. I was rode more slowly enjoying the sunshine and keeping my eyes open for new pieces.

I stopped in at Brunswick Art on Little Breese St, out the back of Alasysa Restaurant where I could smell the Turkish bread baking. A guillotine stood ready in the white gallery space; black guillotines are especially theatrical. The guillotine was garlanded with dead and unnatural flowers sparkling with red glitter. There was a pillar toppled by iconoclastic revolt and a new obscured hero on a reinforced plinth; both were painted black with more black garlands. Along with these objects there are two wall paintings, line drawings in black paint. This is “Revolt” by Benjamin Webb. Benjamin Webb told me that it started with the line drawing of the horn of cornucopia that he saw repeatedly in his work at the NGV indexing etchings and lithographs from the 17th Century. The horn of cornucopia spewing out foliage, the spontaneity riotous of growth and life is the inspiration for “Revolt”.

“Revolt” is an image of an expression of the body politics vomiting out new growth. It is a more symbolic exhibition than Webb’s usual materialistic approach to sculpture. I’m not sure that “Revolt” is as well constructed conceptually as it is physically but it was fun and dramatic to look at it.

While I was at Brunswick Arts talking with Benjamin Webb, Michael Scorge dropped in to promote bands and BBQ that afternoon at his Shop31 in Coburg.

This will be Benjamin Webb’s last solo exhibition in Melbourne for a while as he is relocating to Germany. So, I said “bon voyage” to Ben and continued to cycle around Brunswick and photograph more street art. I could have gone on to look at the Counihan Gallery or Ocular Labs but I was curious about Shop31.

I stopped at 696 Ink where Karl Persson was exhibiting more of his macabre and sadistic paintings (see my review of his last exhibition). His current exhibition lacks the quirky details of his earlier paintings; his version of one of Francis Bacon’s “Three studies for figures at the Base of a Crucifixion” looses some art but the sadistic image remains.

Shop31, at 31 Sydney Rd. Coburg, has a bit of everything from local CD, t-shirts, second hand LPs and punk-style stencil art. I had seen the stencil art in the window of the shop when I had passed by before but this was the first time that I had seen it open.

That was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon around my neighbourhood on probably the last warm weekend that Melbourne will have until the end of winter.


About Mark Holsworth

Writer and artist Mark Holsworth is the author of two books, The Picasso Ransom and Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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