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.
- Sarah Pannell is an Australian documentary photographer with a case of wanderlust. Schooled in international relations, Sarah first picked up a camera while studying in the Netherlands. The urge to explore never left—since 2008, Sarah’s kept off the beaten track to capture the strange, humorous and poetic. She shares this series of wild blues and solitude, shot while journeying through the Balkan Peninsula
- Since I was last sitting in the Assemble studio we’ve orbited another 365 days around the sun. As I start back as editor, I return to an energised and expanded publication, thanks to the tenacity and vision of Rachel Elliot-Jones and the rest of the Assemble team. Here, a brief reflection and a vision for the future
- Global climate specialists have a way of banding together for Natalie Jeremijenko. But, instead of hailing from chemistry labs or policy offices, they live in water, soil and the air we breathe—and they dance the biochar-cha-cha. These unconventional collaborators are the mussels, microbes, amphibians, fish and other ‘cross-species’ Jeremijenko so admires, whose behaviours are fundamental to her work