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Tag Archives: Tinning Street

Zombie Artists

It is an ugly scene, something out of a horror movie, going on in gallery after gallery. Zombie artists slowly staggering blindly around banging their heads against the walls. As the blood and brains run down the walls the impeccably dressed gallerista numbers and each catalogues mark while a freelance curator provides a commentary about truth in materials in these futile gestures.

Vittoria Di Stefano, A certain kind of failure, 2015 (photo courtesy of Tinning Street)

Vittoria Di Stefano, A certain kind of failure, 2015 (photo courtesy of Tinning Street)

Of course, after a life time of study and a future teaching high school students in order to pay off your huge student debt, you too might want to bash your brains out on the next brick wall. The subtext of their ‘artist statements’ is clear: “brain, brains, brains…”

The aquariums used as transparent glass plinths were the best part of Vittoria Di Stefano’s “Alien Artefacts” at Tinning Street. Soap, plaster, brass, plasticine, PVC tubes, concrete, wax are amongst the materials that Di Stefano works and reworks.

The titles of Di Stefano work are inter-changeable and read like a cut-up art student essay. “The object becomes a prompt. A hazardous experience. That shape is impossible without those connotations. It needs that desire. The process of thinking.”

Where Di Stefano art this going after the gallery? To another gallery; I guess that I don’t need to see Di Stefano’s up coming exhibition at Blindside. But in the long run where is her art going and why should I care? Should I mindlessly celebrate the great continuum of art and creativity as a mystical experience? Should I studiously tick boxes in a pedagogical critical appraisal?

This is not personal and I don’t hate Di Stefano’s art, it didn’t even particularly bore me. This is not about her studied anaesthetics. I felt nothing when I saw her Alien Artefacts, she had managed to perfectly alienate me. Di Stefano’s art is not unique. It is typical of an existential crisis in post-industrial economies, a pointless activity in a professional cycle of consumption and debt.

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The Good, the Bad and the Average

Bicycling around boho Brunswick, I wanted to catch the last of the sun before the weather turns cold and I was looking for something to write about. I stopped off at Tinning Street Presents where there is a contemporary collage exhibition, “Splitting Image”. Maybe I should add a postscript to my review of the collage exhibition at the Counihan Gallerybut “Splitting Image” is just another average exhibition of collage. It is just not as exciting as the art just outside the gallery’s door in Ilhan Lane.

I & the others, Ilhan Lane, Brunswick

Civil, Ilhan Lane, Brunswick

Ilhan Lane (running between Tinning Street and Albion Street, just east the Upfield train line) is one of the hidden gems of Melbourne’s street art. There is a mix of aerosol graffiti along with other kinds of other street art on the walls and fences of this lane. Now there is a huge Tom Civil mural in the lane and the surrealist game of the exquisite corpse (the parlour game of heads, bodies and legs) pasted up on the corrugated iron fence. Ilhan Lane is good place to see experiments in street art even if they don’t all work.

Exquisite corpses, Ilhan Lane, Brunswick

There was more work by Tom Civil on the front of Brunswick Bound; a large nocturne, quiet a different subject and style than his recent crowds.

Civil, “Anchorage”, Brunswick Bound

unknown, Ovens Street, Brunswick

There is more art in the streets, lanes and bike paths of Brunswick. It is worth taking a look at the beautiful long walls of aerosol graffiti along the factory walls of Ovens Street. Plenty of new stuff happening; I see three different guys spray-painting along the bike path in the middle of day. Not all of it is good; the junk assemblages by “Scrap Princess” are just look boring and ugly – it makes you realize what quality work Junky Projects does.

Scrap Princess – with art failure is always an option

Riding along the Upfield bike path through Brunswick is a great way to view local street art.


Silo Variations

The old grain silo at Tinning St. in Brunswick has stood abandoned for decades; when did grain cars last travel along the railway tracks? The raw concrete stands bare except for some graffiti at the base of the two towers – graffiti decorates the ugly ruins of the modern world. The silo is a relic from another era of industrial Brunswick, a sore thumb landmark beside the Upfield train line. I don’t know what should be done with it – what do you think?

What should be done with the silo is the subject for the current exhibition at Tinning Street Presents… 20 artists presenting their ideas for a new image for the silo. All of the artists worked on the same photograph of the silos. There were the street artists like Snot Rag and Nick Ilton but I didn’t recognize most of the artist’s names. 20% of the exhibition is good, 20% is crap and the other 60% is ordinary work from the artists. There are the artists who gave up on the project or didn’t have any good ideas like Louise Klerks or Stuart Beckmeyer’s collages. There was some good work by Liam Barton and an over-the-top fantasy Lovecraft-inspired creation by Otis Chamberlain. Lincoln Walker’s design to turn the grey silos into an elephant was appealing. There were also two pads of images of the silos with sharpies to draw your submission, to be made into a book by Aaron Maxwell.

But the opening night was not just about the art; after all 20 average images riffing on an image of a grain silo are not a big attraction. There were musical performance and a bar with gold coin donation for drinks. Above the bar there was a big stretched canvas with the beer sponsor’s logo on it – but they aren’t sponsoring me so I won’t mention their name.

When I arrived Oliver Hunter as 0+0 was vocalizing into a Boss digital echo unit and looping unit. Over 500 people said that they would be attending the event on the Facebook event page. Not that the Tinning Street gallery could fit that many people – they were spilling out into the graffiti decorated laneway. I didn’t hang around for the projections on the silo by Projector bike but I did photograph the bike.


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