Though summer holidays are coming to a progressive end, the world of art within the Inner North is only just firing up. in.cube8r gallery in Fitzroy is kicking off 2018 with Almost Solo v.4. Not quite a solo show, nor a group show; Almost Solo is different. A handful of artists are invited to take a piece of the gallery and treat it as their own, showcasing their bodies of work under the theme, Lost & Found.
The six local artists have the freedom of a solo show without any of the outlay. To put in simpler terms: they create the art; the gallery takes care of the rest. This allows for art lovers to be treated to an extensive, diverse range of works.
So what’s the show really about?
In late 2017, one of the cubers, Sarah came in to restock, grieving over a story about her lost sketchbooks. In a lucky turn of events, they returned, yet they weren’t quite the same as they had been before. She had moved on from the loss, so they had now taken on an alternative meaning. With Sarah’s lost sketchbook pages used as a basis, the show Lost & Found came about. The search for an eclectic collection of artists came about soon after, each whose work is drastically unique in style with a deep connection in nature.
Get to know some of the artists before you check out their works and let their stories inspire you:
Laura Van Wensveen
The works I am showing are acrylic/ink canvas paintings of old furniture and curios I have come across in homes, antique shops, tips and markets. I believe people imprint themselves onto the objects and environments around them, and in time these objects become collections of memories and history. My paintings are a loose and fragmented collage of complimenting objects, an expressive style which helps reflect the subjective qualities of our experience of them.
I am an emerging artist based in the East of Melbourne. I predominantly paint abstract and impressionist works on canvas. I enjoy the fluidity of acrylic paints and mixing colours as I apply them to the canvas to create interesting layers and texture.
The Skipping Girl is a loved Melbourne icon, which disappeared from the Melbourne skyline in 1968 when the Nycander fermentation factory was closed. A neighbour who ran an electroplating business thankfully acquired the historic neon sign and had it restored. A new home in Abbotsford was found for The Skipping Girl and in 1970 she was lighting up the Melbourne skyline once more for new generations to admire.
Kate Buxton – Quisnam Jewellery
Endlessly interested in the meanings humans attach to things, Kate’s pieces often incorporate objects that are considered amulets and feature salvaged and found materials; purposefully rustic; tool marks and stitches are signposts to the journey a piece has taken with her.
“As a jewellery designer working with salvaged, found objects and elements, I consider myself to be something of a treasure hunter. Flea-markets and beaches are my hunting grounds; the flotsam and jetsam I discover is repurposed, reworked and re-imagined in my work. I am really excited to be participating in ‘Lost & Found’ at in.cub8er as it reflects a truth I hold to; change is a constant in our lives, but nothing is ever really lost.”
Nancy D. Lane (NancyDee Sculptures)
If it has been lost, discarded or abandoned on streets or footpaths and I happen to find it, then whatever-it-is may be lucky enough to secure a repurposed, upcycled life in one of my wall sculptures.
It all started with the ‘mystery objects’ – long, narrow, flat pieces of metal located randomly in the gutters between my home and the gym in North Melbourne. I wondered what they were and where they had come from, and started picking them up. Then I noticed more things on the street – screws, bobby pins, nails, paper clips, washers, pieces of wood and tile – and started picking them up, too.
What to do with all these unloved and unwanted items? I played around with them, bought myself a glue gun, and the rest is history. I love creating both abstract and more representational art works, where the design elements and ‘palette’ (mostly silver and rust) are determined completely by the objects I find.
Over time, I have expanded my ‘pick-up zone’ in Melbourne to other places I have travelled, including Darwin and Canberra; Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos; Hanoi in Vietnam; and Honolulu and San Jose in the US. Limiting my arts practice to using found objects is sometimes difficult and challenging, but always inspirational and good fun.
In a nutshell, I want my ‘lost and found’ arts practice to serve as a gentle reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle. And, by the way, I eventually discovered that those initial ‘mystery objects’ that started it all were bristles that had fallen out of street cleaning brushes.
Faerie Sarah – Handmade Wonderland
Over a year ago my car was broken into and a bag was stolen that held my sketchbooks, they spent the night out in a storm, discarded in the mud and found by a thoughtful man who contacted me to return the books. The sketchbooks were ruined by rain and mud but as they sat by the fire that night, the individual pages that were salvageable, dried out crinkled, smeared, muddy.
Sketchbooks are such a private creative companion, they travel with me till they are full, slowly filling with sketches and ideas for artworks that are finished outside of their pages, they are the beginnings, the dream seeds, the private thoughts and daydreams, they don’t usually leave my side, but for some reason these two books went off on an adventure, they leaped out into the world and burst free of their bindings. They came back changed and I knew that the drawings that were salvageable weren’t to be kept in a book anymore. So, over the next three months, I reworked the Lost and Found drawings as they came to be known, the papers were crumbled and some water damaged, the images had a history now, a story to tell, their wings had sprouted, they were to adventure out again to the Lost and Found show.
Lost & Found opens Thursday 25 January 6pm
The exhibition continues until 7 February
Please note: Due to the public holiday we are closed Friday 26 Jan.
in.cube8r gallery is on 321 Smith Street, Fitzroy
In.cube8r is a commission-free art gallery & emporium home to more than 100 Australian creatives who rent space and keep 100% of their sales. With more than 6,000 handcrafted items under one roof there’s no better place to shop for gifts and treat yourself purchases!