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.
- Cafés have played an important role in the cultural enrichment of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities since their emergence from the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century. Writer Anna Hickey explores the impact of the bean on the proliferation of culture: empires rise and fall and societies evolve, yet the essence of the coffee house – a space for social exchange – remains strong
- Shantell Martin was once an itinerant artist – now you could say the world is her home. After five years in Tokyo, the Londoner now lives in an illustrated bedroom oasis with walls adorned with her own drawings in Brooklyn, NYC. From performing in underground clubs to being featured in the NY Times, the New Yorker and TED, Shantell is an international star on the rise. Paul Barbera makes a home visit
- In the third instalment of our feature on the Fogo Island studios, Georgia Nowak takes a look at Saunders Architecture’s contemporary take on the artist garret, the sleek and sculptural Tower. Of all the Fogo Island studios, project carpenters agree that the Tower was one of the most tricky to build