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.
- We're sure you've heard by now of the Brutalist Block Party, the May-long program of events we're presenting with Open House Melbourne. Central to BBP is the involvement of Melbourne creative studio Practise Studio Practise, who'll be presenting a spatial installation, two workshops, and a dining series with Otis Armada. We catch up with PSP ahead of the event
- Whatever happened to the Australian Dream? Perth artist Dan McCabe uses tactical photography and subtle illusion to interrogate an ideal that has long influenced Australia's urban landscape. His latest work, set to appear at Next Wave Festival, will see the artist camping around Melbourne in a camouflaged car-shaped tent designed to spark conversation around urban sprawl and the crises of the 'renting generation'
- For artist Tai Snaith and architect Simon Knott, good design is less about aesthetics than it is about what it actually means to live in a space: they believe architecture should be about people over built objects. Ghita Loebenstein and Tom Ross pay a visit to the couple's Northcote home, the 'Dollhouse', where they live with their two children, Leo and Gil