Seeking expressions of interest for our new art studio space in Melbourne

We are looking to bring our artistic community closer and create a communal art studio with individual storage, and an exclusive mentor program.

From 2017, our additional space will have both teaching studios and a communal studio. We are so excited about creating a space for artists to create, connect and even collaborate.

To make this happen we are seeking expressions of interest from individuals who would like to be a part of our communal studio. As we get an indication of the interest, then we can further clarify exact costs and location.

Why join our shared studio space?

  • Our communal studio offers a cheaper alternative for artists than a rented private studio.
  • You will be able to connect with different artists and be a part of a new, creative community.
  • You will have 24-hour access to the studio and your personal storage space.
  • You will receive a 10% discount on all MAC courses whilst you are part of our communal studio.
  • You can also receive one-on-one art tuition and mentoring from our teachers.

 What is the communal student studio?

A communal studio which is available for individual use.  Each artist would have access to personal storage space.

Proposed Timing: 24-hour access

Cost: Approximately $30-$50 per week

In addition to this, Melbourne Art Class will also be offering one-on-one art tuition and mentoring in this space.

What is one-on-one mentoring?

One-on-one meetings with your tutor (one of our experienced artists/instructors), in the communal studio.

Proposed Timing: Twice weekly, about half an hour each session.

Cost: Approximately $50-60 per week

If you are interested in being a part of our communal studio, or have any questions or feedback, please email Lauren at hub@melbourneartclass.com and help our new project begin!

 

Introducing Melbourne artist, Adrian Stojkovich

We are very fortunate to have Adrian Stojkovich joining us at MAC and presenting our new drawing course.

Adrian is as endearing in real life as his work. He carries a youthful energy, seemingly swaggering on the edge of the precipice of creative potentiality he is about to dive into. His work, traced with cool, skilled abandon is undergird by a sound humanity and is about to fall into something wonderful.

Based in Melbourne, Adrian completed his Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours in 2009, and his Masters of Fine Art in 2013 at the Victorian College of the Arts. His recent show at Paradise Hills in Richmond was made up of room of large abstract works and a room of dead fish paintings. He can handle either style well, demonstrating that he is an artist and painter who has taken the time to explore his craft at a high technical level. The work is infused with subtle passion but maintains the clarity to steer his little project whichever way he chooses.

Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian’s abstract work comprises  hovering planes of coloured marks on a consistent pale, or dark, or umber background. The marks vary in size and slightly in tone, diffusing beneath layers of thin paint, therefore creating several planes. Despite being on a flat, consistent background, the marks drift off into pockets of infinity. Like little galaxies or the infinite suggested by certain repetitive patterns. These paintings aspire for a greater harmony, a greater resolution, a sense that there is or could be an infinite. The colours Adrain uses are slightly cool and acid, slightly sour yellows and greens, supported by pastels and more mellow cool colours. The colour combinations are fresh enough to keep the whole project interesting yet still harmonise. Abstraction at this end of its historical passage is difficult to do well and Adrian passes it off successfully.

Adrian Stojkovich's abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery
Adrian Stojkovich’s abstract installation, 2015. Image: Paradise Hills Gallery (http://paradisehills.com.au/)

Contrasting these abstract works are the dead fish, Fish Tondo painting, two of which he also presented at Paradise Hills. Painted on large circular canvases, the fish paintings maintain an element of abstraction in the big sweeping forms of fish bodies in glass bowls. Up close, they erupt into the most beautiful colours gently laced with glazing. If for a moment you can avoid seeing the fish as you stand back, they are big sweeping abstracts and up close, masterly plays of raw colour. But they are fish, dead and dumped into a bowl for someone’s consumption or aesthetic amusement. There is a fishy, slimy look to the water they are in, with bubbles hovering around the gill area. They undoubtedly reference the Dutch Golden Age and its genre of dead fish paintings. The works speak of life, survival, death and mortality. Painting is a trade for Adrian, from recent abstraction to 17th century Dutch painting, he knows that trade.

The death of Anastasio Somoza, Modified Mercedes-Benz 280SEL. Image: Matthew Stanton (http://www.adrianstojkovich.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also knows installation and representation. He created a fascinating work in 2014 whereby he rebuilt from historical photographs, the Mercedes Benz within which Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza was assassinated in 1980. An insightful investigation of popular media, it hovers between the same banal pop appropriation we have become accustomed to in the last three generations and the other tired contemporary art influence, Duchamp’s found object. But it is not the original object and its role as a facsimile seems to be very tentative. The power of the work is in its materiality and absences. It describes severe violence that we are all familiar with from our own current news reports. It describes the destruction of the impact of a rocket propelled grenade on a car. We know it is not the real deal but the materials, charred, torn and burned are the same, not just a copy. There is something real about the object we see. The knowledge that lives were lost is also very real. The absence of bodies in the installation makes the suggestion of death more relevant. The work jolts out from the plethora of violent images we see every day, somehow adding gravitas back to the humanity, or lack of humanity of the those original images. It recontextualises the decontextualised pop image into a new discourse of humanity and mortality.

Adrian is a solid young artist who knows his craft as a painter and handles the complexities of contemporary art and representation well. He has built up a sound base early in his career with wonderful results. Now what remains is to see what Adrian will do next.

Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009
Naked Maja, Adrian Stojkovich, Oil on canvas , 2009

Drawing with Adrian Stojkovich

During this six-week course, Adrian will introduce strategies and techniques for drawing from Still Life. This course will assist beginners in developing fundamental drawing techniques. It is also well suited to people with some drawing experience who want to re-establish the foundations of their practice. Read more and enrol here.

Written by Marco Corsini

Colour Sensation: The Works of Melinda Harper

Written by Elizabeth Fritz

Melinda Harper’s vast kaleidoscopic collection of works has been carefully curated from three decades’ worth of paintings, screen prints, embroideries and much more.

Melinda Harper, Untitled, 2013, oil on canvas, 153 x 122.5 cm, Private collection, Adelaide
Melinda Harper, Untitled, 2013, oil on canvas, 153 x 122.5 cm, Private collection, Adelaide

Harper’s love of abstraction, colour and all manner of materials is evident in every piece. For her it’s in the process of looking and experiencing that developed her complex and precise visual language, which she translates into vivid and dynamic works. Nature and the colours in nature are two of her biggest sources of inspiration; it brings her awareness, she says. “When I look at green, I see ten greens, the flickering colours changing and the movement.”

It’s through this type of intimacy that her works are realised. The colours, which are all carefully considered and mixed by Harper, are also a crucial element in her paintings. Harper explains, “It’s the endless possibilities of where it can go next, and the potential in expanding visually is what drives me.”

Melinda Harper, Untitled, 2000, oil on canvas, 183 x 152.3 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Melinda Harper, Untitled, 2000, oil on canvas, 183 x 152.3 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Harper’s art is meant to encourage the viewer to really look.  Some of her paintings are lines as fine as pick-up sticks; some resemble glass shards or laser beams, while others lean towards mosaic-like patterns. Harper says, “I was always interested in abstract art, in the feel of the apple rather than the apple itself.”

Colour Sensation: The Works of Melinda Harper, Installation view, photograph: Christian Capurro, Heide Museum of Modern Art
Colour Sensation: The Works of Melinda Harper, Installation view, photograph: Christian Capurro, Heide Museum of Modern Art

Colour Sensation: The Works of Melinda Harper
Heide Museum of Modern Art – Heide III
7 Templestowe Rd, Victoria 3105
27 June – 25 October

Jennifer Whitten – American hyperrealist painter

Jennifer Whitten

We had the opportunity of having Jennifer Whiten, an American hyperrealist painter living and working in Melbourne, present for us at our Enderby Studio Art Program class.

Jennifer completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Washington University in St. Louis and is currently undertaking a Master of Contemporary Art: Victorian College of the Arts.

Much of her recent work has used images of young girls in otherwise ubiquitous everyday situations such as cooking in the kitchen or dressed up in fancy dresses, common day stuff apart from that their faces are dominated by these massive mouths that obliterate all facial features. Jennifer described how each of these mouths form the shape of the first letter of a word and therefore carry hidden meaning which perhaps someone will unlock. The girls are all communication, and chatter, perhaps as they discover their everyday world and the language that represents and negotiates it.

Large areas of the works are left in flat ‘pop’ colour, negating the overall illusion of space and representation. These areas sometimes go as far as to suggest absence or a hole. These areas not only break up the cohesion of representation but suggest a sense of something beyond, another dimension perhaps. This other plane contrasts with the everyday banter of materiality which otherwise pervades the images. As she expressed an interest in the theory of the 4th dimension during her talk, perhaps Jennifer is looking beyond the limitations of a commonplace material existence and the limitations of how that existence is described.

Jennifer Whitten 1

Jennifer discussed her work, her technique and her position as a hyperrealist painter undertaking her Masters degree at Victoria College of the Arts. She spoke about finding her way through the current dominant visual arts culture which in Australian institutions heavily emphasises new media, installation and conceptual art. Jennifer spoke of the legacy of Modernism which reacted against the history of representation in art and that this reaction persists against the style of work she practices. Despite these difficulties, following a successful recent exhibition Jennifer has noticed a more open attitude to her work.

Jennifer has spent much of this year painting on glass and perspex rather than the previous wood panels and when I visited her a few weeks ago, she had a large panel of thick perspex suspended from her studio roof, upon which she was painting a life-size self portrait as Ophelia. It is an impressive piece of work requiring a wet on wet technique whereby the highlights are pushed through the existing wet paint. Jennifer prefers to work on areas of the painting wet and will sometimes work for days without stopping, to achieve this. I will post about this work as soon as it is finished.

Marco Corsini

Maree Woolley

My Myna, Maree Woolley
My Myna, Maree Woolley
Big Foot, Maree Woolley
Big Foot, Maree Woolley

Next week, Enderby Studio Art Program will host guest artist, Maree Woolley. Maree has worked as a freelance illustrator and animator on numerous award-winning multimedia titles for broadcasters and multimedia production houses. 

Maree has a love of drawing. Her drawings are evocative notations of everyday objects and zoo animals. They are economical and skillful, often containing subtle, delightful narratives.

You can see more work at:

http://www.redbubble.com/people/woolleyworld
http://www.behance.net/woolleyworld

Kevin Brennan will be asking; why do we make art and does art really matter?

Why do we make art and does art really matter? Kevin Brennan, our guest speaker this Tuesday the 5th and Friday the 15th, will be exploring these questions.

Kevin has worked in the arts and cultural arena for over 25 years as artist, producer facilitator and entrepreneur covering a range of art forms and practice. Kevin is fascinated by creativity and its practice as well as in public debate and policy frameworks. He has extensive experience in teaching, facilitating community engagement, writing strategy and analysis and developing policy in this field.

Kevin was Artistic Coordinator of La Luna Youth Arts (1990-94), Company Manager of Melbourne Workers Theatre from 1995-1999 and Programming Co-ordinator for the Art of Dissent Conference for Adelaide Festival and Melbourne Festival in 2002. He has served on numerous local and state government committees and advisory bodies.

Through his business United Notions Creative Solutions Kevin has worked strategically through consultations & research with small arts organisations, diverse communities, government and arts industry bodies and the broader community and tertiary education sectors. Among many other projects, Kevin was Executive Officer of Arts Management Advisory Group (Victoria) from 2005-2011, Specialist Arts Advisor for Deloitte’s Research into Small Arts organisations for Arts Victoria (2007). He has worked on the development of Arts & Culture Strategies for Shire of Cardinia, City of Kingston and Shire of Golden Plains. Kevin is a sessional lecturer in the Masters of Community Cultural Development Course at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships (Victorian College of the Arts) and lectures in the Masters in Arts Management course at RMIT.

Managing your creativity

It can be difficult to do creative work when you have limited time and have to maintain other responsibilities such as study, work and family. So how can you achieve the most with the limited time you have?

I have frequently struggled with this question and have put together the following thoughts based upon my own experience and that which I have observed in the lives of other artists.

Curiosity

Creativity is a part of life and should not be isolated to your work time. A curiosity and passion for life is a key element of getting ideas. Creative people usually have an interest in how things around them look, feel, smell, how people behave and what makes things work and not work.  They tend to appreciate other people’s creative work and the natural world. They observe and they reflect. So, although life may be busy, the many instances when we are engaging in our daily routines present many opportunities to use our natural curiosity and to be passionate about our existence. This engagement with life will breed new thoughts and ideas.

Space

You need a space to explore ideas playfully. This is a place for your creative work. Perhaps this could be a room, a corner, a desk or your studio. It can be a place where you leave special objects and your associated thoughts. This is a place where you leave your work and can return to it to see it again. It is a well organised space that has the materials you need, when you need them so that you can pick up on a thread of an idea quickly. When completing your creative work, you take the time to reflect on your work while cleaning and organising your space so that it is ready to receive you the next time you come.

Journal

Ideas and observations are a special insight and they need to be treated carefully so that we can all benefit. They can lead to great work but we have to be ready to record them as they come. A journal, a sketch book or book you can write in offers a place to jot ideas, sketch, observe, plan and play. It is a private space and you can put down whatever comes to mind regardless of whether it makes sense at the time. I keep several journals and pencils around me. I have one in the car and I usually travel with one. Although I am often away from my work space I try to maintain a discipline of drawing and writing in my journal. It becomes my little travelling work space.

Consistency

Be consistent in your work schedule even if it is only a few hours a week. Your commitment to journaling or working in your space is important for your creative development.  If you are like me you will find that periods of time pass when you are not able to be consistent. If you have been maintaining a curiosity and passion for the tasks you have been doing in your life, you probably have been creative in other ways and this will be useful for your work when you return.

Unclutter

Our minds need the freedom to process information and ideas. I find that my mind works better if I am able to release myself from worry, apprehension and needless distraction. I try to limit wasteful distractions, my ideas mostly coming from my daily experiences and reading. I think carefully about whether I need extra ‘things’ in my life as the more I have, the more my mind is occupied. I try to maintain a routine that allows me to free my mind at some stage in the day. Curiously, I’ve found that I get my best ideas while doing menial tasks such as washing the dishes. This document came to me while washing the dishes and was initially written on some serviettes.

The pressure we put on ourselves to be creative can also clutter our minds. For me it was a combination of a demanding life with the added pressure of coming up with new ideas that had for a period of several years brought my creative work to a standstill. It was only after walking away from the pressure to create that I found ideas began to flow again. I have learnt a lot from that experience. I now cycle my projects through a process of focusing on them then letting them go. I will work on the project until it is clear I am making little headway. I then leave it alone, switch to another project or task until from somewhere in my subconscious mind the solution to the problem emerges or until I am ready to return to the project with a clear mind. Then I repeat the process for the next stage of the project.

Set Objectives

Once you know which direction you want to go in then apply clear objectives and parameters to ensure you get there.

What is it you want to achieve?  What are the qualities your successful project will have? What is the strategy you can employ to get there? Who or what can help?

Feedback

Seek feedback from positive people whose judgement you trust and avoid exposure to people whose judgment you don’t trust. With sincerity and openness, you may find the opportunities to befriend people that have the knowledge and experience you seek.

Discuss your work with others as it develops and always be open to new perspectives.

Exposure

Find places to expose your work. If you have worked hard for your idea then you need to be a good advocate for it. Telling a story about the development of the idea will most likely draw some interest.

Rest

Take a break. After a heavy work schedule on a project you need rest your body and to free your mind so that you can return to living with a curiosity for life.

Drawing , photography and time

Jesse Dayan, Before 1960, oil on canvas

Jesse Dayan gave a facinating talk last night about his most recent Brunswick show. He described this work as a form of research into the implications of the use of photographs within drawing and painting practice. Of particular interest to me was his description of how each medium relates to time and each other. I am hoping to put up a transcript of the talk soon.