art + design + style + ideas + junk

Crop of the new

In exhibition, painting, photography on 19 August 2009 at 1:30 am

Three interesting shows featuring emerging artists open tomorrow around Darlinghurst in Sydney.

Kill PixieKill Pixie

At Monster Children Gallery (20 Burton St [map]), a two-man show by Kill Pixie and Cleon Peterson called The Mirror Stage. A former Sydney graffiti artist, Kill Pixie (aka Mark Whalen) now works out of Los Angeles, where his disctinctively coloured, delicate line drawing are in high demand from collectors and savvy magazine editors. Cleon Peterson is also from LA, well known for his paintings of a world where random acts of violence are the status quo. The exhibition runs until 17 September.

Cleon PetersonCleon Peterson

Anton Benoisstreet work by Anton Benois

Around the corner at Palmer Projects (238 Palmer St [map]), new works by Anton Benois and Esjay go on show under the title Bad Influence. Benois’ work is influenced by Soviet-era propaganda of his native Russia, with icons from pop culture mingling with faces from history. Painter, illustrator and designer esjay is also showing new works. The show runs until 26 August.


“Problem + Chainsaw = No Problem!” – the inspired animation of VDA Studios

In illustration, media, video on 13 August 2009 at 12:52 pm

A couple of mates, Rob Moffett and Benjamin Baker, were passing the time of day at work while making shipping pallets by kicking around ideas for a cartoon.

Their first idea was called Helpy the Helpful Turtle. “It was a faux-educational show about a man-sized turtle who spends each episode being abusive and failing miserably in his attempts to help children,” Ben says. “After a few voice recording sessions it was clear that making a cartoon based loosely on our own exploits was far more appealing.”

That cartoon became Friendcore, a few minutes of Flash animation they put up on MySpace and some blogs every couple of weeks. It was spotted by animator and visual effects artist Doug Bayne – from Double the Fist (he plays Mephisto) and The Chaser’s War on Everything – who was scouting for animated contributions for the ABC’s jtv, and in 2007 Friendcore started airing on national television.

jtv’s producer called about doing something similar for the new video game show, Good Game.

“At the meeting they asked us if we knew how to use After Effects,” Rob says. “I said, ‘Sure!’, and signed the contract. Then I had to do a crash course in After Effects.”

“We sort of jumped in the deep end on this,” Ben says, “but we figured learning a whole new program couldn’t compare to the hell of converting Flash animation to TV-compatible footage. Turns out it opened way more doors than we had anticipated.”

Newcastle’s thriving zine scene

In media on 11 August 2009 at 9:06 am

Newcastle is home to two amazing resources for zine makers and readers. A zine is — well, I’ll let this typewriter explain.

zines 1

The community arts and media organisation Octapod houses a library of zines that the National Library of Australia assessed in 2004 as a “collection of national significance”.

It started when one of Octapod’s projects, the National Young Writers Festival, put out a call in 1998 for zines to be included in an anthology called The new pollution as part of the Loud media festival. Those first submissions formed the core of a collection which today is estimated at somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 zines from 1990 to the present – and it keeps growing.

zines 2

Unlike many other zine archives around the country, Octapod is committed to keeping its library accessible. Cataloguing and archiving the library is an ongoing project, with a work-in-progress online catalogue of the library available here.

In June 2008 Jessie Lymn, a PhD student at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote a well received strategy for preserving and maintaining the library. You can read her full report here.

zines 3