Melissa, Simon & Gustov: utopian heights
“This used to be Tai’s place [artist Tai Snaith]. She moved out and wanted to keep it ‘in the family’ and offer it to friends and we were lucky enough to take over the lease. I work from home on Mondays and Tuesdays as well as in the mornings before the gallery opens. Both of us are self-employed so we’re always working around the kitchen table on our laptops (and we’re trying to enforce a ‘no laptops upstairs in the bedroom’ rule). There’s an office downstairs: computer programmers and designers. It works out well – they keep to business hours and get work done. There are always people coming in and out for meetings, so it keeps things interesting. I was in East Melbourne before. It was tiny, like a hotel room! It had a little kitchen and bathroom, but I never felt confined, because half of the area is parklands. This space is generous by comparison. We can have dinner parties. In East Melbourne, when I had people over for dinner, we’d have to have picnics on the ground or eat on the bed! My favourite artworks are those that have a personal story or memory for me. Easey Street [a painting pictured below by Jake Walker, represented by Melissa’s gallery Utopian Slumps] was given to me by Jake, after a conversation we had over lunch about navigating ‘the art world’. The gallery used to be on Easey Street (in Collingwood), so it was a kind of tongue in cheek thing… ‘living on Easy Street’, ha!”
Simon recently sat on the can for Who gives a crap, a project that aims to build toilets in the developing world. Or, if you like feel-good beer (who doesn’t?), visit Shebeen for updates on Simon’s upcoming bar and sustainable enterprise.
Featuring artwork (in order of appearance) by: Caleb Shea, Brendan Huntley, Amber Wallis, Mark Rodda, Bec Worth & Joanna Zawadzka, Kate Smith, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Tin & Ed, Ben Sanders, Newell Harry, Jake Walker, Josey Kidd Crowe, Thomas Jeppe, Lauren Berkowitz, Tai Snaith, Conor O’Brien.
- After working in the slums of Vietnam and Cambodia, Lucinda Hartley returned to Melbourne hungry to continue collaborative, community-driven approaches to design. In 2010, she co-founded CoDesign Studio, a cross-disciplinary design and placemaking social enterprise based in Collingwood, Melbourne
- Since he first set foot on the stark, white shores of Scott Base, Anthony Powell has spent over one hundred months living, working and filming Antarctica. ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’ compiles over a decade in the life of the Kiwi-born engineer turned filmmaker, a meditation on the strange, hypnotic magnetism of this highly fragile yet tempestuous stretch of wilderness
- Becky Sui Zhen aka DJ Susan is a creative superpower. You may have heard her as one half of Melbourne duo Fox + Sui, fronting Sui et Sui or on vocals/percussion for NO ZU and Hot Palms. She also helps design the way we view culture with Art Processors (creators of MONA's 'O'), moonlights as a music video maker and is even big in Japan (every gaijin's dream). Here's Becky's Japan-inspired transit mix