Friday, 17 May 2013

Portents of Creatives in the Burbs

Lets face it, Not everyone can live in the cool and hip places in Melbourne like Collingwood , Brunswick and St Kilda. In fact the migration of cool and trendy people to these areas is what is cannibalising them out of existence.

On Thursday night we took an excursion into our old stamping ground at Collingwood to view Sarah Masson’s first painting exhibition Femme Fatale.
Cover Photo
It was at the Union Club in Gore St Fitzroy, and the place was abuzz with warmth and excitement. There was a happy neighbourly buzz in the downstairs (pokies free) bar which was obviously a great place for locals to meet. The paintings were all of strong beautiful women, some drawing on myths and legends.  Undertones of recycled paintings  as well as contrast of textured and flat surfaces added another dimension of interest to the images. It was great to see that a modern young woman’s idea of a strong independent woman also incorporates natural beauty. We may finally be breaking the old stereotype of strong women having no beauty or sexuality. Very optimistic and heartening.
As we wandered Smith St for a coffee afterwards I lamented the loss of buildings and businesses that were there only 5 or 6 years ago when we had our family business in there.

Apartments are going up at a rapid rate and soon Smith Street will look like Chapel Street. The only visitors will be the boyz in carz that go doof doof and a Village or Hoyts cinema will be jammed in to accommodate mindless milling population of visitors there for their weekend excursion of discount clothing. It happens everywhere around the world. Soho to Tribeca to Dumbo in New York.
Artists bring fun and excitement and eventually everyone wants to move there and transpose all their previous needs onto a place until it no longer exists in its previous form.

I really hope the aboriginal meeting area under the big tree  in Smith Street never gets changed. I think it should be declared a part of our National Heritage and a sacred and protected area.

Artists have always needed to live in low cost areas because income as an artist, is a spasmodic joy, drip fed like tiny lottery winnings. Artists need to live in community because most artists are about exploring ideas and having conversations. Alcohol, food music and coffee are the lubricants of such conversation and interaction.  The energy that comes from groups of creatives living and networking together is like a magnet that draws other people to want to share some of that goodness but at the same time they do not want it to impact on their lives unbidden.

How many times at Manningham Arts (M2)
 have we been chastised for being too noisy? What in the world did they expect when they put a bunch of artists in adjoining rooms?

It is just a pity that town planners, local government, and economic planners do not seem to understand this basic stimulus to economies.
 I would gladly have not driven our car into Smith St last Thursday night and added to the congestion but on a rainy cold Melbourne night 10 kilometres is a long distance to cover if you have to try and do it by public transport.
Last weekend we cycled 10km into the city along the Gardiners Creek Trail to Fed Square to see the Top Arts Exhibition

 and the Kenneth Hood Bequest Ceramics exhibiton THROWN.

It was an adventure and we were fortunate with the weather, but it is not a sustainable way to visit all that is on offer. I was quite frankly a write off the following day. If we had jumped in our car, we could have been there in 20 minutes, paid some exorbitant price for parking and been able to take in several other galleries. A tram trip would have been 1 hour in and another hour out. 

Maybe as a part of development in Melbourne, it should be compulsory for giant shopping centres such as Chadstone to fund public spaces such as galleries for outreach exhibitions by the NGV.
Imagine having an exhibition in 4 parts at Chadstone, Doncaster, Highpoint and Knox with a bus shuttle excursion for its duration. Visit the gallery at one shopping centre, with its  local cultural emphasis hop on the express bus tour to the next venue and so on. Then we would also be able to exhibit more artists and have conversations with more people and help them to have conversations, breaking down barriers at the same time. School of Life for the burbs.

It was good to see however that there are some creative  active in our local suburban areas. Yarn bombers have hit Burwood and Blackburn and I shall keep my eyes open for other signs of subversive art acts.
Brightening up drab cold conditions in a dreary streetscape.
I am not sure how this art stands up to doggy visits.

No comments: