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Independent and "Unrepresented"

artists, Melbourne tours

29 July 2010
Unrepresented, in Melbourne

I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to curate a show at fortyfivedownstairs, in Melbourne. "Unrepresented", with artworks by Nicholas Jones, Christopher Koller, Ted McKinlay, Chloe Vallance and Ben Walsh, opens on Tuesday 3 August 2010 (5pm to 7pm).

Mary Lou Jelbart, artistic director of fortyfivedownstairs, describes the show: "'Unrepresented' responds to the vagaries and minefields of the art world that contemporary artists encounter. Curator Bernadette Alibrando, who delves beneath the surface of Melbourne's commercial gallery scene and spreads her network far and wide, has selected five artists who have chosen to remain independent. While most artists see representation by a gallery as the best possible situation, others deliberately remain outside the accepted system."

I am an independent art consultant who works with artists on a very personal level. Where I can, I help connect, mentor and facilitate opportunities. My greatest pleasure is to sell work and know that it is adding value not only to the client's life and environment, but also to the artist's career.

Gathering and presenting the artists featured in "Unrepresented" has been a great opportunity for me to pull the curtain on all the behind the scenes work that I do. fortyfivedownstairs is as independent as I am, and to be able to give these talented artists such a prestigious stage to present their current work is a great honour.

Selection process – The selection process was not very difficult. I keep in contact with artists and visit their studios often, both personally and because of walk-to-art. Sometimes I park artists that I work with and wait for opportunities that would be beneficial to them to arise. As much as it is about the art, it is also about exposure, which artist is ready and who is accepting, and is grateful and professional enough about an exciting opportunity.

Within the artists chosen... old acquaintances (Christopher Koller and Nicholas Jones) and new discoveries (Ted Mckinaly, Chloe Vallance and Ben Walsh).

I have been working on this show since the beginning of the year, intensely with the artists in the last few months. I decided not to have a theme, but to make each wall a stage for each artist.

"Unrepresented" is about artists who are currently independent. They are all managing their own "businesses" and are not "anti-gallery", just happen to be independent at this stage of their journey.

View the Unrepresented catalogue (PDF file, 7 pages, 1MB)

When: 3 to 14 August 2010 (Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 5pm; Saturday, 12pm to 4pm)
Where: fortyfive downstairs – 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC (view location on Google Maps)