Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Phoebe Porter: Playing with Vintage Marbles

Phoebe Porter (Studio MG1) has addressed the theme of adaptive re-use for Clean Lines by working with glass marbles from her childhood collection. She has produced necklaces that explore movement and the tactile qualities of jewellery characteristic to her work.

The pieces evoke nostalgia for a time when we made more things by hand and experienced the tangible qualities of materials, in contrast to the throwaway quality of mass-produced things and our increasing obsession with virtual technologies.

Making the work, Phoebe reflected on the lost childhood of the girls who worked in the lower laundries of the Convent and the new role of the site in fostering children, through its schools and public access programs.

Phoebe Porter
Birdcage necklace 2010
Vintage marbles, titanium, stainless steel

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Katheryn Leopoldseder: Constructing with Communion Cups

For Clean Lines, jeweller Katheryn Leopoldseder (Studio MG1) is working on large scale pieces constructed from hundreds of tiny recycled plastic communion cups. Exploring themes of stewardship, consumption, waste, sanctity, grace and redemption, the works reference the religious history of the convent.
An earlier work from this series (pictured), was included in the 2008 Blake Prize.

Katheryn Leopoldseder
For God So Loved the World...(70 x 7 used disposable communion cup necklace) 2008
Plastic communion cups, steel, fresh water pearls, sterling silver and 18ct gold
Photo: The Photography Department

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The crowd was WOW’d as Rudolf came to town early!

The launch of Volker Haug’s three new lighting designs was a fantastic night with people coming from as far away as Perth and Sydney to be in on the well lit action.

The stunning studio, located in the newly refurbished Mercator building, had its tool room tidied, wires rolled up and bench tops cleared to make way for around 150 guests who mingled, networked and enjoyed the bountiful catering thanks to The Kitchen Pantry in Thornbury.

On display was the brand new ‘Daisy’ range. A playful design made from hand woven electrical wire. Also the new generation of ‘Antler’ and ‘Rudolf’ made here in Melbourne from handcrafted porcelain. Lucky last but not least was the new ‘Lucky’ design also hand woven from electrical wire and in the shape of a horseshoe.

All the designs were met with eager eyes and expressions of fascination as the lights twinkled and shone, the drinks flowed and the DJs grooved us all into a beautifully illuminated late night delirium. A fun night was had by all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rona Green: Prints and Poppets 2000–2010

Freaks, spooks, zombies, misfits and tattooed pets populate the imagination and artwork of Mercator tenant Rona Green. The menagerie - inspired by Science Fiction, Horror films, Egyptian art, domestic animals, tattooing traditions and subcultures - appear with varying degrees of pathos and humour but always with affection. This decade spanning exhibition includes Green’s acclaimed prints and her lesser known poppets, three dimensional soft sculpture and mixed media works, rarely seen before.

Rona Green
Boog and The Gooch
2003 mixed media
15.5 x 21 x 4 cm edition 2

2 June - 10 July 2010
Deakin University Art Gallery for more details

Monday, May 3, 2010

Indesign Live

Clean Lines

Mercator Studios at the Abbotsford Convent is staging a special exhibition titled Clean Lines responding to the idea of adaptive re-use and referencing the building’s history as an industrial laundry.

Follow the clothes line leading from the entrance of the precinct through each studio to discover a diverse range of works including jewellery, glass, ceramics, furniture, lighting, printmaking and painting. While seeing the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to meet the designers , learn about the development of the studios, and purchase work direct from the makers.

Mercator Studios is housed in a building that was once part of the commercial laundries run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Until recently the building had fallen into disrepair and was threatened by a proposal for a major residential development. Through a grant from the Sidney Myer Fund Commemorative Grants Program, Mercator has recently been transformed into numerous light-filled studios: a dynamic hub for art, craft and design and a remarkable example of adaptive reuse. The complex history of the building has been subverted by the creation of a dynamic new space, activated by the creative companies and individuals who work there, and now freely accessed and enjoyed by the public.
The exhibition will be open to the public:

Friday July 23 6-8pm
Saturday July 24 12-4pm
Sunday July 25 12-4pm

Mercator Studios
Gate 2, Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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