Art, What's On

Jemma Attwater and Tarn Watkinson at Lulu Cafe & Gallery

April 2, 2018

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the inner suburbs is Lulu Café & Gallery. With arguably the best cookies for sale, Lulu will not only satisfy your food cravings, but will entertain your cultural side with their ever-evolving exhibitions. What is perhaps the greatest part of this little eatery is the talented artists which take up residencies here. This month, Jemma Attwater and Tarn Watkinson showcase their talents to us all.

Jemma Attwater’s 2 yrs in Melbourne is a vivid personal journey of life since returning to Australia two years ago after making

Image Source: @jemma_attwater Instagram Page

London her home for 10 years. Having grown up in an artistic environment and attending the Western Australia School of Art and Design which Jemma describes as being run by a ‘bunch of hippies’, the mum of two has been surrounded and immersed in art her entire life.

Moving to London at 27, Jemma’s everyday-mundane life there soon took a dramatic change.

“I was working in a restaurant when I had a really bad day and there was a documentary on about the Sistine Chapel and I thought why haven’t I seen it?

“That was my epiphany and the next day I went into work and quit and then six months later I saw it.”

Having met her partner, having two children and spending 10 years in the land of tea and scones, Jemma and her family packed their bags and moved to Melbourne.

Now, her exhibition at Lulu Café and Gallery showcases all she’s learnt from her travels and her inspiration from the everyday Melbourne we all love and adore.

“Coming to Melbourne I knew my work would be different – it’s been quite a surprise,” Attwater says. “It’s pure abstract with dots and so much colour…there’s a nod to my older works and the big nudes of beautiful voluptuous women…I used acrylic on canvas – I used to use oils, but oils and children don’t mix.”

Image Source: @tarnwatkinsonillustration Instagram Page

Tarn Wilkinson’s illustrations are a construction of numerous different bits and pieces to make a whole. His monochrome Where’s Wally-esque illustrations draw inspiration from his years living in Melbourne, Berlin and Amsterdam, and include nature, buildings, people and space among many other things.


Jemma and Tarn’s individual exhibitions are stark contrasts from one another. Yet together they showcase the different dimensions of what makes Melbourne infamous. The neutral, busy illustrations combined with the bright, grand paintings make for an adventurous, interesting and imaginative exploration of the artists and their interpretations of our Melbourne.


The exhibition runs until April 8.

Lulu Café and Gallery

506 Queensberry St, North Melbourne

Opened Wednesday to Sunday 8am – 4pm

Instagram: @jemma_attwater

Instagram: @tarnwatkinsonillustration


Feature Image Credit: Jemma Attwater at Lulu Cafe & Gallery Facebook Page 

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