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.
- Karlee Sangster and Oliver Hextall are a multi-talented couple who live in a shopfront on Brunswick's busy Sydney Road. Between looking after her 13-month-old son, Cedric, making clothes, writing for car magazines, and running her plant consulting business, Karlee gave us a tour of their greenery-filled home and locale
- Worldwide, our treatment of refugees leaves much to be desired. As the Guardian’s Ian Traynor writes, “immigration is one of the most toxic and incendiary topics in the national politics of so many countries". At a micro level, collectives such as Berlin’s CUCULA are countering hostility through collaborative design. Eugenia Lim speaks to co-founder Corinna Sy about crafting a culture of welcome
- The speed at which we travel determines how much we can absorb. When travelling by car, buildings loom in and out of focus. Walk along a city street however, and the finer-grain detail is observed: cracks in the footpath, billboard slogans, urban animal life. Urban planner Jeremy Gill takes us on a journey at the speed at which the minutiae of the city is best observed – walking pace