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.
- Are you a lover of landscapes and the built environment who often finds yourself lost for words when it comes to describing these places? Our upcoming MPavilion workshop is for budding writers, artists, poets and architectural enthusiasts alike who want to be able to better express the world around them. Our three mentors, Alex Selenitsch, Amanda Maxwell and Penny Modra, share their thoughts on writing about place
- Golden Girls write songs about love, sex and literature, blending hard beats and soft vocals with deep subs and melodic bass. On Sat 10 Dec they’ll be appearing at Blow-Up in Brunswick: a one-night festival inside a blown-up inflatable structure conceived in association with RMIT Architecture's Pneumatic Structures Unit. Jake from Golden Girls shared this mix ahead of the party
- Rohan Storey knows Melbourne. With over 20 years experience as an architectural historian at the National Trust, Rohan now works as a heritage consultant, is vice-president of community lobby group Melbourne Heritage Action, and in his spare time shares detailed snapshots of the city on social media. Emma Breheny speaks to Rohan about the politics of preservation and what makes a 'liveable' city