Stage 1: Survival and Adaptation (detail installation view)
(plants, water, beakers, labels)
In preparation for her upcoming solo show at Platform in June, Melbourne artist and amateur botanist Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman created an experiment in the infamous leaky cabinet. The second last cabinet in the subway leaks after every big rain pretty much making in unusable for artists but a few brave artists have ventured to use the space. So after applying for a show to create an underground garden, we offered Bernadette the chance to experiment with plant survival in a space without sunlight. Installing a series of plant clippings partly immersed in science beakers and test tubes of water, Bernadette made Stage 1 of her project to test how the plants would survive. Having been set in the cases at the end of February, not only have they survived for two months without sunlight but the plants have even grown under the flouroscent tubes.
We showed (and even sold) some work at Art Melbourne from April 18-20 held at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings. We were invited by our patrons – the City of Melbourne Arts & Culture (with thanks to Candy Mitchell) – to share a stall with Kings ARI and the newly independent Sticky Institute. We invited some of our favourite Platform artists to show at Art Melbourne including Sylvia Jeffries, Rus Kitchin, Contextual Villains, Anna Nilsson and Daniel Dorall.
End of The Beginning (installation view)
(photographic prints, spray paint, texta, gaffa, paper, televisions, laptops, dvds)
Rus Kitchin, our special guest artist for April, pulled together a vast body of reconstituted photographic and digital work which he used to wallpaper the large Vitrine space. Rus painted over the surface of the photo-wall in a graf style for which he first earned his rep on the local art scene. Installing two large televisions and four laptop computers, the imagery framing the back wall was then re-presented in digital looping formats while the remnants of the work were left aesthetically randomised across the floorboards. A wildly expressive show from one of Melbourne's hottest young artists, End of the Beginning is one of our favourite Vitrine shows.
Erica Tarquinio & Madelaine Farrugia
The Book of Proverbs (detail)
(pencil on paper)
Two young emerging artists, Erica Tarquinio and Madelaine Farrugia, installed a series of drawings in the Sample window during April. The works on paper took their inspiration from sometimes popular (sometimes clichéd) proverbs taken from around the world. Erica and Madelaine then interpreted the proverbs in a literal and playful illustration style, installing the pieces like pages fallen from a children's book.
Fresh Fields (photographic detail)
(dry-point print on paper)
Melbourne printmaker Dominique Mitchelson took time out of her busy teaching schedule to install a series of beautifully detailed prints of magical 'anthropomorphs' in the Majorca Building cases for April. Dominique says of her latest installation:
"This current artwork is inspired by old fashioned illustration and a love for fine detail. I have re-created textures and designs of fabric within the imagery. The prints are based on my interest in animals and birds. The fox would have to be one of the most exquisite and common of animals – they are incredibly smart and very dedicated to looking after their families. The swallow is also a common bird, but it is so quick and fleeting in flight which makes it hard to see how truly beautiful these birds really are. With this work, I hope that the viewer can be transported from the city to another environment, where a fox goes exploring with a lantern light or swallows play on a maypole."
Dominique will be showing soon with Outré Gallery on Elizabeth Street Melbourne.
The Door Snake Project (installation detail view)
(mixed media incl. fabric, foam, cardboard, paint)
The Door Snake Project stemmed from an initiative by Lori Kirk, a Melbourne based artist who developed the April collaborative art installation at Platform with 14 local and international contemporary artists. The artists each created their own unique version of the pop-crafty door snake, traditionally used underneath doorways to block unwanted drafts. The completed door snakes were posted from each artist’s country of residence, arriving in Melbourne to be installed at Platform. Lori then created the accompanying fabric environments within the 15 glass cabinets, creating a surreal underground reptile enclosure.
The Door Snake Project Artists
Altynai Osoeva, Lauren DiCioccio, Julia Adzuki, Ben Griffiths, Lori Kirk, Ruth Fleishman, Massimo Palombo, Cynthia Johnston, Elizabeth Temple, Kellie Lyler, Isabell Walsh, Judy Oakenfull, Rachel Carlisle, Helen Brooker and Becky James.