Atop The Evelyn, the sun beamed on brighter ideas of the artists whose work was presented for the first OPEN AIR alternative art exhibition. A BBQ at the bottom of the stairs and a bar at the top, what could be better? The folks at The Ripe put on a great event. No hidden installations or crannies to explore, the high walled courtyard served perfectly as an open space presenting artwork to an audience that were forever at the centre soaking up the atmosphere and some rays to boot.
Artists featured on the walls were Matteaux Lucas, Emily Shilg, Cate Gowers, Emily Vandalism, AdamNOTeve, Ruby Hoppen, Tim Rollin, and Amelia Raven. Also the crew from Yoshimitsu; a local beat producing collective kept everyone’s toes tapping. With everyone being at arms reach you could eye up a piece and ask the artist what it was all about at the same time. The community feel of the event was conducive to mingling and everyone was up for a yarn. It was like a house party except with mellow vibes and no one’s parents came home to kick everyone out.
Eyes looked back at you from behind shrubbery for Emily Shilg’s installation. The black and white, cartoon esque eyes painted on boards seemed to offset the very real shrubs and posed whether “production has lost its connection with reality” in a light hearted tone.
Emily Vandalism took the prize for largest piece with the massive face of a woman spray painted onto the wall whose steel gaze was a backdrop for her more intricate work. Her ink drawn prints of wolf heads were the only attendants with chairs at the event. Two wolf heads sat at either side of her display and tempted you to look into the balanced clutter that was going on within their faces to see they were formed from lines upon patterns upon shadows upon skeletal hands.
Photos from various music shows by AdamNOTeve, the initial unfunded brand of a t-shirt label that bloomed into an in-the-know music site, were collaged in the same manner of girl’s bedroom wall photos but looking a hell of a lot more stylish. The snippets of excitement in these simple photos kept many a captive audience.
Matteaux Lucas’ photography piece exhibited a portion of his ‘incognito’ series that had painted faces facading paste ups of life size nudes whose faces were also scrubbed out. The piece questioned identity in highlighting the motives of a person who is happy to bear any and all features as long as they’re not facial. The photos at the feet of the paste ups were of his ‘Daruma’ collection that uses a Japanese tradition of filling in the eyes of the Daruma doll to signify attainment of goals. The subjects shown by Matteaux are taking form of “the secondary identity, or phantom identity” by looking through the ‘Daruma’ in the photos.
Charmingly shy Amanda Raven may be a student but showed some very capable technical talent with large biro portraits that merged her face with artists she drew inspiration from, including hers and Kurt Cobain’s face meshed together (because who wouldn’t want a little bit of Kurt in them). Before talking to her, the angle of the portraits were ambiguous, but being able to have a chat and find out what she was communicating in her work added understanding to the ‘that’s cool’ factor and showed the strength of the Open Air’s social nature.
Cate Gowers, a photographer for The Ripe presented more facets of her talent with a selection of pastely water colours that explored form with cloud like shapes. She also presented a multitude of small hearts that looked like butterflies on pins in a display cabinet and were as pretty as they were macabre.
In the pastel vein, three latte glasses showing different perspectives of shade were painted on canvas by Ruby Hoppin and proved that everyday objects can be fascinating.
Tim Rollin’s graphiti stylized art was also cheekily prominent, peering over other’s works in a low key manner.
Coming from the beat corner Yoshimitsu pulled no punches with a steady roll of enthusiastic “hip hop / psychedelic / thug sh*t” and was the catalyst for head nods all afternoon. The group is fairly new to the scene playing “no where yet” but spending that playing time pumping out quality tunes from home and playing the playstation game Tekken (fans of the game will undertand their name). Their recent remix of Airwolfs ‘Believer’ Track will no doubt go viral. Check them out on http://soundcloud.com/yoshimitsu-1
Sadly Al Outchtomsky and Andrey Walkling’s works couldn’t be shown due to weather compatability but the sun gods obviously approved for the most part of getting the creative neighbourhood together and so they should, it was a fine idea. Full credit to The Ripe team for an ideal wind down to the week. Keep an eye out for more Open Air events to come.
Check some of the artists here: