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.
- At the 20th Biennale of Sydney, two works by Keg de Souza and Richard Bell addressed the widespread marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in Australia, and those of the country's various migrant populations. Genevieve Murray speaks with the artists about the significance of those works and the ways both artists utilise space to generate conversation around inequality
- More than just a place of worship – the Australian Islamic Centre embodies the experience of being a modern-day Australian Muslim. Co-designer Hakan Elevli and building director Mohammed Haddara sit down with Emma Telfer to discuss their unexpected collaboration with Glenn Murcutt and the process of creating a contemporary Australian mosque
- In our second article shared from 'Future West (Australian Urbanism)', a new print publication considering the future of urbanism through the lens of Perth and Western Australia, Brad Pettitt and Peter Newman consider how a WA-based solar project might advance the future of home solar technology, with over one in five households in Perth now generating solar energy