Meet the Makers is back to Fitzroy and Collingwood

artists, spaces

Meet the Makers is back!

The first edition of the event, in 2013, was such a success, with all activities at full capacity, that I was fortunate to be awarded another grant from the City of Yarra.

I curated the 2014 edition to incorporate different spaces, studios and mediums, while continuing to be a great program for all in the community to participate.

This year Meet the Makers welcomes its first international artist, Ryan F Kennedy. Kennedy was walk to art’s first New York artist in a residence, back in 2009.

You can meet him at Fehily Contemporary (Collingwood) on Friday 28 March. This and all the other activities (view program below) are free and bookings are essential. Reserve your spot early so as not to miss out!

When: Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 March
What: A weekend of inspiring art events
Where: Fitzroy and Collingwood
How much: All free
Bookings: Essential (limited places); wisit Meet the Makers‘ website for details

What is Meet the Makers?

  • An oportunity to spread the word about unique individuals who make the City of Yarra cultural and diverse.
  • A carefully curated weekend of 9 events in studios, independent spaces and businesses in Fitzroy and Collingwood.
  • A way of providing people with knowledge of art practices and processes through activities in which the participant can meet the maker and gain a greater understanding of artists, art spaces and creative businesses.

2014 program

NGV, looking at Tiepolo (iPad drawing), by Melbourne artist Rebecca Jones
iPad drawing by Rebecca Jones: meet the artist on Friday

Thursday 27 March
6pm–8pm – Strange Neighbour (Fitzroy) – Sarah Duyshart (visual artist – installation)

Friday 28 March
6pm–7pm – Redbox Studio (Collingwood) – Rebecca Jones (visual artist – iPad drawing)
7pm–8pm – Fehily Contemporary (Collingwood) – Ryan F Kennedy (visual artist – weaving installation)

Saturday 29 March
12pm–2pm – Slopes (Fitzroy) – Artist Market curated by Jared Davis
2pm–3pm – Gertrude Contemporary (Fitzroy) – Jess Johnson (visual artist)
5pm–6pm – Porcelain Bear (Collingwood) – Gregory Bonasera (ceramic artist)

Sunday 30 March
2pm–3pm – Studio (Collingwood) – Chloe Vallance (visual artist)
3pm–4pm – Second Story Studios (Collingwood) – Regan Tamanui or Haha (visual artist – stenciling)
4pm–5pm – Strange Neighbour (Fitzroy) – Sarah Duyshart (visual artist – installation)


Work by Chloe Valance: meet the artist on Sunday
Work by Chloe Valance: meet the artist on Sunday

Visit Meet the Makers‘ website for details and booking information.

The City of Yarra and Liquorice Studios proudly support Meet the Makers 2014.

See you there!

Enjoy art and much more in Melbourne over January


Melbourne Now; more than 300 artists; 8000 square metres of exhibition space; free entry

Welcome to 2014! Most of the art galleries in Melbourne have closed their doors for the summer break, but you can still find out art out and about:


Where: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
111 Sturt Street, Southbank (view location on Google Maps)

When: Until 2 March; 10am to 5pm, including weekends and public holidays; Wednesday until 8pm; Monday by appointment

What: “Crescendo”, featuring Dorothy Cross, Rodney Graham, Markus Kahre, Hans Op de Beeck, Julian Rosefeldt, Ana Torfs and Guido van der Werve

Why: “Artists have used film and music to create enclosed worlds, each exploring myth, history and human pageantry as metaphors for life. Viewers are treated to new visions of history, each a visual reflection of the inevitability of life and death.”

How much: Free


Where: NGV International (180 St Kilda Road; view location on Google Maps) and The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (Federation Square, Melbourne; view location on Google Maps)

When: Until 23 March; 10am to 5pm, except Mondays (NGV Australia) and Tuesdays (NGV International)

What: Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the cultural landscape of creative Melbourne

Why: There is something on everyday; workshops, talks and tours. Kids can participate in making shoes, jewellery or even dancing on the disco floor

How much: Free


Where: Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen (view location on Google Maps)

When: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

Why: A great place to enjoy art and to take a picnic (or to eat at Café Vu Heide)

How much: Admission up to $16; gardens and sculpture park free


Where: Tarrawarra Museum of Art
311 Healesville, Yarra Glen Road, Healesville (view location on Google Maps)

When: Daily, 11am to 5pm

Why: If you want to go for a drive, and enjoy wine, food and art

How much: Admission up to $12 (from 10 February, up to $7.50)


Biennale’s highlight: visually, conceptually and structurally outstanding

artists, spaces, Venice tours

October has been a wonderful visual month. I had the opportunity to explore Italy’s La Biennale di Venezia – International Art Exhibition once again, and an overload of images keeps popping into my mind.

The experience of going to Venice is like no other, even after having been there many times before. The reason Venice holds a special place in my heart is the locals! Their knowledge of where to reside away from the massive tour groups who take over the small lanes of this magical city is gold.

My walk to art group was fabulous (no dramas and no Louis Vuitton cases without wheels to carry), and we all had 3 passions in common: exploring art, drinking prosecco and eating baccala (salted cod).

But let’s talk about art. The highlights for me were Chile, Russia, Portugal, New Zealand and of course the hidden pavilions in disused palazzos.

installation by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar at La Biennale di Venezia – International Art Exhibition

The Chilean Pavilion, which was a site-specific installation by artist Alfredo Jaar, was visually, conceptually and structurally outstanding. It was silent yet loud in critically commenting on the Biennale organisational structure for exhibiting art.

All people from all walks of life watched, engaged and participated, as they viewed an army green model of the 28 pavilions from the Giardini della Biennale rise from the depths of the water (identical army green) to then sink beneath and disappear.

This work had so many layers; it was simple in approach, complicated in technique and creative in conceptual execution.

Is it worth going to La Biennale? Always.

Are the expensive Bellini at Harry’s Bar worth it? Absolutely!

Until the next Biennale… Ciao!

NGV: a commitment to Melbourne’s contemporary art and design

artists, spaces

Under the new direction of Tony Ellwood, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is being revitalised, embracing contemporary art and design, and reflecting on art in Melbourne and art in our community.

Melbourne Now opens in November 2013 and will run to March 2014. The exhibition will:

  • cover contemporary art, design, architecture and fashion
  • feature 130 local artists and 30 curators
  • be located at its 2 locations – St Kilda Road and Federation Square.

This is a huge project and one that will bring the Melbourne scene to the state gallery. There will be associated forums, public and media events, plus talks by various artists. The public will be able to participate and enjoy a very different experience that will hopefully create a great deal of enjoyment for all.

Represented and unrepresented artists are participating, and it will be great to view works from artists such as Laith McGregor and Lauren Berkowitz (photo).

Manna, 2009, by Australian installation artist Lauren Berkowitz

Since 2006 walk to art has taken thousands of people to exhibition openings and art spaces, educating the wider community on the richness that Melbourne has to offer.

Instead of the usual blockbusters, such as Monet or Dali, for which the NGV is so renowned, the state gallery is being ambitious and showing a commitment to Melbourne’s contemporary art and design – and this is very exciting.

Melbourne Now
National Gallery of Victoria

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Federation Square (view location on Google Maps)

Daily from 10am to 5pm, except Mondays and Christmas Day
22 November 2013 to 23 March 2014
Free entry


Art in changing times: commercial galleries and collector groups

artists, spaces

Melbourne has a busy and interesting arts scene all year round, but, during winter, it takes effort to step out into the cold nights and head to a forum or opening. This month the focus seemed to be on the commercial gallery and collector groups.

On 21 July I attended The Local Collection public forum at Fehily Contemporary, in Collingwood. Then, on 24 July, the night of Nite Art (when more than 20 commercial, independent and artist run spaces in the CBD and North Melbourne welcomed the public), I went to a forum at West Space titled “Is the Gallery Space Dead?”

Both events were interesting with panels consisting of collectors, art dealers, online galleries, artists and curators. In both forums participants highlighted the fact that the art world in Australia and selling art has changed and has been changing over the past 5 years or more.

  • Art spaces no longer can rely on the exhibitions or even the stock room.
  • Commercial spaces are sharing resources, joining forces and also including project spaces.
  • Art fairs have become another expense, but also another platform to a wider international audience and source of income.

Art fairs such as Auckland Art Fair (7 to 11 August 2013), Sydney Contemporary (19 to 22 September 2013) and Hong Kong Art Basel (15 to 18 May 2014) are a fun way to explore and visually learn.

A collector group is also a great way to learn, and to purchase art if you don’t wish to do it alone.

  • A collector group is a group of 12 to 15 people who have an interest in art.
  • Each member contributes dollars at the start and continues to contribute over a period of 7 to 10 years.
  • The group meets around 4 times a year with a few events in between.
  • The work is rotated every 6 months between each member’s home.
  • When the group concludes everyone gets to share in the collection.

Ambassador Beard (2011), by Abdul Abdullah

Interested in being part of a collector group? Contact with Fehily Contemporary. They recently exhibited “Celebrating A Collection Half-Finished”, showcasing the art acquired by The Local Collection so far, an example of what a collector group can accomplish. “Ambassador Beard”, by Abdul Abdullah, was among the artworks.

Art as a visual journey of one’s life

artists, New York tours

It takes a little while to “come down” after being in New York City. I start to have flashbacks as I reflect on the amazing works and spaces that my group of art explorers and I saw during the most recent walk to art New York, in May and June. It takes a little while to digest everything completely, and I have to be careful as I seem to start my sentences with “in NYC…”

The 2013 edition of walk to art NY was fabulous and I am incredible grateful to have wonderful participants – enthusiastic, open and patient – as we trekked all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.

One afternoon we had a special visit to The Elizabeth Foundation to see the work and studio space of Tamiko Kawata. A generous, gentle and intelligent artist, she has dedicated her time to the creation of beautiful wearable art, sculptures and installations. Tamiko creates her works through experimenting with materials that reflect her life and thoughts. Small, unpretentious and valueless things from daily life often become the primary medium. Tamiko looks for another language, energy, chaos and harmony, within quiet stillness.

I was fascinated by the Safety Pin Series in which Tamiko spends hours threading pins together to form wearable art and sculptural structures. Coming from Japan, Tamiko had never seen or used a safety pin before arriving in the United States. The artist used to fold everything before her first child was born. What a pleasure to listen to her journey, from a young adult landing in New York, finding work, meeting her husband, learning a new language and understanding what a hot dog was to her senior years as a practicing and exhibiting artist in this wonderful city.

Work from the Safety Pin Series by artist Tamiko Kawata (part of walk to art New York 2013)

The Safety Pin Series has become part of a continuous body of work. Tamiko imports pins from Japan and spends hours constructing her art. “I came from Japan in my young adult life, and I feel my works are often intuitive reactions to the American life that I have happily adopted; my art making is a visual journey of my life.

“Observing our environment is an exciting daily practice, and nature’s phenomena… such as water, mist, shadows, wind are strong inspirations to form my works.”

We all walked away thrilled to have met Tamiko. That afternoon she not only shared her studio space and her art with us… Tamiko shared her spirit and her passion.

As I wrote, it takes a little while to “come down” after being in New York City. However, it takes no time to fall in love with it. Over and over again.

Art travellers: overseas or in your own city

artists, Melbourne tours, New York tours, spaces

It’s that time of the year again (and it’s fortunately been like this since 2008): I am about to hop on a plane and head to the United States for walk to art New York.

So this is time to re-search artists, studios and art spaces, and read cultural online newsletters. Friends have emailed new places and must go bars… and I’m trying to catch up with the latest eateries and coffee shops. All of this needs to go into the little black book before I leave Melbourne!

If you are not joining our group this year (I hope you can make it in 2014), but would like to go overseas to enjoy art, how about Asia? If I were not going to NYC my destination would be the Hong Kong International Art Fair, between 23 and 26 May. This is the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong.

There will be a number of Australian galleries there and it is a fabulous way to engage in the international art scene – you can get an an overview of what’s happening around the world in just 3 days! Art fairs are interesting not only because significant galleries are invited to participate, but also local galleries tend to curate strong exhibits to attract the art lovers in town.

If you have no plans to travel, why not be a traveller in your own city? These are great shows to see in Melbourne:

Anna Finlayson – Shhh (The Hexagon Trip)
Sarah Scout Presents
Level 1, 1a Crossley Street, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)
Thursday and Friday, 11am to 5pm; Saturday, 12pm to 5pm
Until 18 May

image from Rhys Lee's Still I'd Sea exhibition displayed at Utopian Slumps in Melbourne

Rhys Lee – Still I’d Sea (image above)
Utopian Slumps
Ground floor, 33 Guildford Lane, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)
Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 6pm
Until 25 May

Ben Quilty The Fiji Wedding
Tollarno Galleries
Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street, Melbourne (view location on Google Maps)
Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm; Saturday, 1pm to 5pm
Until 1 June

All my passions put together: this is my job

Melbourne tours, New York tours, spaces

People often ask me what I do. In simple terms, I have gathered all my loves and made it into a job!

Having graduated a while ago from the VCA, in Melbourne (view the details in the About us section), I put together all my skills and used them to mentor artists, facilitate the connection between business and the arts, and educate the public along the way.

Meet the Makers 2013 Most of my days are spent in my Collingwood studio, organising tours, speaking with artists and getting myself ready for the next big project.

Recently I curated the first edition of Meet the Makers. It was a weekend of inspiring, educational art events over Fitzroy and Collingwood, with the support of the City of Yarra. I am an ambassador for the council and was involved in their Discover Your Own Backyard campaign, with things to see and do in suburbs like Abbotsford, Carlton North, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Fitzroy North and Richmond.

As an art consultant, I work with many talented artists and assist people in purchasing art. They often don’t know where to look or start, so an art consultant can bridge that gap.

I am also the director of walk to art and, at the moment, I am getting ready for the next walk to art New York in May. It is very important that I travel, see and experience; both in Australia and overseas. In October I am heading to Italy’s La Biennale di Venezia for the second walk to art Venice. Recently, I visited the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills; definetely a place to visit if you are in Sydney.

And Melbourne is constantly changing, so I have to be out and about to discover new spaces and new exhibitions. I use a fabulous calendar, Art Openings – Melbourne, maintained by a friend of mine named Charles. It is an excellent resource tool (you could be at a different opening every night!), and some of the best listings are shared with my Twitter followers.

Not one day is the same and I am very fortunate to work in Melbourne and other great cities, get to know many talented artist and meet people who are so interested in learning about art.

White Night Melbourne: art from dusk to dawn

artists, spaces

This Saturday, 23 February, from 7pm to 7am, White Night comes to Melbourne. White Night started in France in 2001 and has been to Brussels, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Toronto, Paris and Rome.

White Night Melbourne

What is White Night?

From dusk to dawn you will be able to enjoy more than 80 free events celebrating music, food, film, art and light, with more than 300 artists across 40 sites.

The event’s program can be collected around town and is also available on the White Night Melbourne website.

These are some of the sites where many visual and performing artists will be:

    • St Paul’s Cathedral
    • Forum Theatre
    • State Library of Victoria
    • Flinders Street Station
    • The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
    • Degraves Street
    • Flinders Lane.

Trams will run all night, and Melbourne’s CBD will be active with light projections, music and performances till 7am.


2013: time to enjoy great events in the arts calendar

New York tours, spaces

Melbourne’s art world is slowly coming back from the holidays, and there are great events in the 2013 calendar:


  • The Midsumma festival takes over most of our art spaces in the first few weeks of the year, from 13 January to 3 February.

  • The Substation, Craft Victoria, Edmund Pearce Gallery and Chapter House Lane all reopen on Thursday 17 January.

    Your Old Self, at Tinning Street Gallery

  • On Friday 1 February Tinning Street Gallery, in Brunswick, reopens with a great drawing show titled Your Old Self (from 6pm to 9pm).

  • Also, the White Night Melbourne festival is coming! On Saturday 23 February, from 7pm to 7am, the state government will open up the city for a dusk-to-dawn festival of art, culture, film, fashion and sport. Melbourne will effectively become a 24-hour town.


See you around the galleries and in our tours!