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Tag Archives: Tinning Street Presents

Walls in my ‘hood

Looking around the streets of Brunswick and Coburg and glad to back in the neighborhood after all my recent travels. I try to see some exhibitions and do see some new street art. That’s the thing about street art, it makes the city more dynamic, it is constantly changing and so the familiar bike ride into Brunswick is always changing.

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The car park wall at Sparta Place now has more local indigenous heroes commemorated on it in the “Brunswick Kind” series. Turbo Brown and Florence ‘Dot’ Cheers join Peter “Cocoa” Jackson on the wall.

I could feel the artistic vibe coming off Victoria Street. Comic drawing classes were being held at Squashface Comic Studio and there were life-drawing classes at Art Health Australia. The now old-fashioned looking stencil covered front of Han’s Café.

There is an install at Brunswick Arts Space, White Elephant was empty but Tinning Street Presents.. was open. “Future Clean Up” is a group exhibition by artists involved in a rocking zine scene, hence the art on exhibition graphic and often over-the-top style. Leagues, one of the artists was drawing and gallery sitting. I could tell it was Leagues because of his recognizable style of using drips and eyes.

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Quality fresh aerosol paint now covers the upper part of the lane that Tinning Street Presents is on. Previously the street art had stopped at Tinning Street but now it continues for the whole lane. Is there any where in Melbourne that Lush hasn’t been? I’m in the taxi going home from the airport and the first piece of graffiti that I see is by Lush and here he is again in Coburg.

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After that I spotted some recent HaHa stencils on a Coburg wall. Although some of his stencils are from work in his recent exhibition at Dark Horse Experiment they aren’t attempting to reproduce the multiple layers and multiple images of HaHa recent gallery work. They are old-fashioned stencil like he used to do a decade ago.

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Colour Figures

Curiously, I don’t think that I’ve seen an exhibition of figure drawings for a few years until today; it was once a prominent feature of art exhibitions. “Swallow Flex and Wither” is a series of figure drawings by Emma Michaelis at Tinning Street Presents. Emma was gallery sitting when I visited so I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her drawings. Emma Michaelis is based in Melbourne and a recent graduate of the Australian Academy of Design.

Emma Michaelis @ Tinning Street Presents...

Emma Michaelis @ Tinning Street Presents…

All her drawings in the exhibition are done with coloured pencils. The most obvious thing about this series of drawings is the different colour of each of the drawings. There is a series within this series of self-portraits exploring the different colours; three primary colour heads (the yellow is almost invisible), secondary colour feet and hands, and finally tertiary colour drawings of less significant parts of the body, like the backs of legs.

There are three beautiful, blue female nudes, sitting, standing and lying, drawn on vast sheets of paper. There are no backgrounds in any of Michaelis’ drawings; the place where the drapery or bathtub would has been left blank, keeping the focus on the flesh of the figures.

Two orange “golden” mirror image male nude figures with prominent foot stretched out to the viewer. There are a lot of drawings of feet in this exhibition, lots of small drawings of feet that Emma Michaelis jokingly calls it her “hoof and claw” series. Her drawings are technically very good; the mood of her drawings is calm, almost romantic with the focus slightly softened.

Tinning Street Presents is part of an interesting area of Brunswick. The light industrial area by the closed railway crossing around Tinning Street and Ilham Lane has become a creative hub with street art, artist’s studios and other creative enterprises.


Brunswick Galleries by Bike

Black Dot Gallery – Brunswick Art Space – Tinning Street presents…

This week I’ve been riding my bike to a few galleries in Brunswick. It was fun to ride my bike to the Counihan Gallery last Sunday (see my review January @ Counihan). It is much better than using public transport to get to a gallery. Plus I got to see all of the graff along the Upfield bike path and around Brunswick. Lush has been bombing so many of his cats along the line. There were half a dozen people painting along the bike path on Sunday – they were only up to the outlines and blocking in – so there will be new pieces to see next time I ride that way.

Lush, Brunswick

Lush, Brunswick

I hadn’t been to Black Dot Gallery in Brunswick East before. There is a gift shop/office space in the front and then a separate long room with a wood floor, white walls and track lighting. Black Dot Gallery is an aboriginal artist-run gallery space with a regular program of exhibitions.

Their current exhibition “Dandy Boy” is part of the Midsumma festival’s visual arts program. It is a group exhibition so the quality of the work varies. I was impressed by Cecilia Kavara’s “Identity Negative’ a 9 min projection of a high contrast image of Kavara removing white tape that covers her body, slowly disappearing, right until the final moment when she walks off with a few scraps of tape still on her.

On Friday night there were two exhibition openings in Brunswick and at each all the poles around both of the galleries had bicycles chained to them.

At Brunswick Art Space, there was “Entry”, the 8th annual Brunswick Art Space Contemporary Art Prize. With 91 works on exhibition there was a lot to look at and some obvious trends. Art with text was a major feature of many of the better works, like Lesley O’Gorman “No Shoes” but art text has been a trend for a century. There was also a lot of good art that was raw, brutal and rough; the best of these was Courtney Wills “Internal Series: ILEUM”, a lumpy chunk of wax that was slowly bleeding something sticky and red onto its elegant glass and steel plinth.

Belinda Wiltshire "Bask" 1985 & 2013 at Tinning Street presents...

Belinda Wiltshire “Bask” 1985 & 2013 at Tinning Street presents…

Tinning Street Presents… had “Your Old Self” an exhibition of artists reinterpreting an artwork from their childhood. It is an excellent theme for an exhibition, the artist’s childhood artwork and a current artwork united in painted circles on the gallery’s wall. It takes Picasso’s remarks about painting like a child to a new level. The exhibition included works by notable artists Sam Leach and Shaun Tan. Tan did a painting based on a childhood drawing “Fighting a Monster”.

I was riding my bicycle because I’m tired of public transport as a way of getting to see galleries. Myki is getting me down (my card has broken down twice) on top of the decades of neglect and poor service; Melbourne public transport is simply not good value for money. So I’m going to try to see more local galleries for a while. I still haven’t been to Ceres small works gallery Synergy Gallery @ The Red Train. Last month I rode my bicycle to the Library Gallery; I missed the Ros Bandt performances but saw the installation of her instruments. There are plenty of galleries within easy riding distance from my house and when I get my fitness level up there will be more.


Micro-Reviews of this Week

Here are some micro reviews of current small exhibitions in small galleries. Some of galleries have only opened recently.

Gallery One Three only opened this year and is run by Joe Flynn; I first wrote Joseph Flynn’s too-cool-for-art-school attitude in a blog post back in 2009. Gallery One Three is a one-room art gallery downstairs from a fashion boutique – Joe says that it is a good mix.

“The Subtleties of Form” was a group exhibition by three artists. Pippa Makgill’s installation floor sculptures were deliberate and studied ugly; expanded foam, painted grey seriously ugly (but not as much fun as the ugly art of Valentina Palonen). Kimberly Denson’s series of small paintings were seriously beautiful in a contemporary minimalist way. And Simon Gardam’s three paintings, “The Bald Wanderer” parts 1-3, were somewhere in between the two – I liked the black one.

Kreisler Gallery is a very new gallery beside a kind of laneway café in Brunswick. It has one big well light white space with a high ceiling – it is still empty apart from open painting a taster for their exhibition next week. A corridor off this space is the Dirty Little Gallery, an “erotic fine art gallery” currently with “Polarudes” an exhibition found images by notable, Auckland based Pop artist, Paul Hartigan. Melbourne does need a dedicated erotic art gallery and the tight space will be an interesting and potentially erotic to navigate at a crowded exhibition opening.

Tinning Street Presents is two years old and to commemorate this is showing “Boabs & Boondies” by Joel Wynn Ress at Tinning Street Presents. Joel Wynn Ress was the first artists to exhibit at Tinning Street. “Boabs & Boondies” is a photography exhibition of objects – there is a selection of the objects on little shelves on the gallery wall. The objects are intended to refect Australia: a carved boab pod, a 1 dollar note, the boondies (slang for sand that has caked together). The photography looks too much like catalogue photography for my taste.

The veteran of this group of galleries, Brunswick Arts Space currently has four artists currently exhibiting.

Heidi Tatchell had created almost invisible minimalist art with “Clear View”. Tatchell’s work is in the realm of the ultra-thin, applying clear tape and contact adhesive to the white gallery walls. The strips of tape create great, stripped images that you can almost see.

“Follow the Line” is an exhibition of four drawings where Cameron Hibbs takes a minimal approach to drawing the max. In two of the drawings a biro has drawn a series of densely packed lines millimetre by millimetre down the page. There is a hypnotic intensity to all of these lines.

Sarah Thomson’s exhibition, “Clean Break” is a series of paintings of words in acrylic paint on canvas. Big words against a black ground: “Kindness” “Without” “Sincerity”… And I didn’t think much of Dea Russo’s exhibition “Shaping Emptiness” in the Brunswick Arts Project Space.


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