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.
- June Canedo is a Brooklyn-based photographer who was born to Brazilian parents and raised in both America and Brazil. Her recent work is contemporary take on the genre of portraiture through the medium of film photography. Working in series, she attempts to bring her personal experiences, the subject, and the audience together. Here's one she shot last summer on hot sands of South Carolina
- Hugh Altschwager is a designer with a deep connection to the materials of his craft. His first range of products under his brand Inkster Maken – a nod to his Nordic background, taken from his mother’s maiden name and the Dutch verb ‘to make’ – is a series of hanging pendants and wall-mounted orbs made from hand-lathed South Australian limestone and reclaimed Australian hardwoods
- The second in our Backyard Bungalow series is a beautifully tiny abode belonging to Schoolhouse Studios’ Alice Glenn and her pint-sized sidekick Otis, which is tucked away behind her Auntie’s place in Clifton Hill. The building itself has existed for several decades, but has been coaxed into its current (very comfortable) iteration thanks to a couple of renovations over the years