Tea and cakes with Snotrag makes for a pleasant afternoon.
The small gallery upstairs at Brunswick Bound bookshop is crowded on Saturday afternoon for the opening of Snotrag’s exhibition “Ear”. Amongst the crowd are the artists HaHa, Junky Projects, Arlene TextaQueen and Pierre Lloga. DJ Tuffy mixing tracks with some radical but relaxed sounds including a Phillip Glass track.
Snotrag is a punk street artist based in Melbourne making art for the street and gallery. She is not only active in decorating the streets of Melbourne and Jogjakarta but organizing and networking (hence the turn out for her exhibition opening). She is involved in the Inter-Location Project building a DIY arts bridge between Melbourne and Jogjakarta.
At the exhibition a large wall painting fills the front wall of the gallery, decorative elements in a frieze runs across the top with two figures in Snotrag’s distinctive style below. There is a wall of black bandanas and t-shirts with images of faces and birds. Her images of birds in drawings and t-shirts would be ordinary were it not for her totemic decorative details. These decorative details that were developed through doodling and looking at architectural details, remind me of elements of calligraphic ornamental borders.
On the other wall are framed mixed media drawings, most impressively her Skull and Dust series. I wish that there were more narrative elements or cheeky intelligence in her drawings, as in her crossed hammer and vibrator drawing – DIY. It is Snotrag’s 2nd exhibition and it looks like she is still developing/expanding her style. The works are all reasonably priced and work was selling quickly at the opening. There is even a painting free for the best cop story and a box to post the stories in.
Talk at the opening was punctuated by “Yeah yeah” from all New Zealand artists; it is like listening to the antipodeans equivalent of Dada (“yeah yeah” in Romanian).