Chancing Your Arm
7 – 26 July 2015
Australian Galleries Melbourne
35 Derby Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Open 7 days 10am – 6pm
Photography by Tim Gresham
Alexi Keywan is a Sydney born artist who currently resides in Lismore, Australia.
Her work depicts familiar environments that she deftly instils with an intriguing eeriness.
Recently Alexi took the time to provide me with an insight into her practice and other interests.
Rona: Your art practice includes printmaking, painting and drawing. What do you like about working with a variety of different materials and techniques?
Alexi: The ability to make marks and create images from each medium that are unique to themselves – they all have different ‘atmospheres’. Each medium affords me a different kind of headspace.
R: Who has influenced and inspired your art?
A: Initially my father, sculptor Orest Keywan.
Off the top of my head… Euan Mcleod, John Beard, Karla Dickens, Aida Tomescu, William Kentridge, John Virtue, Vija Celmins, Kiki Smith, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Ed Ruscha, Edward Hopper, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, James McNeil Whistler and Francisco de Goya.
Also lecturers and staff from National Art School, Sydney, particularly from the Print department (where I became a part of the furniture after seven consecutive years).
R: When you are making art do you prefer to work in silence or be listening to something?
A: Ever since I can remember, making any kind of art has enabled me to retreat from the world and create my own. I can’t imagine not having a ‘soundtrack’ to this. I think in art school I garnered a reputation as being busy and unapproachable due to the music driven print frenzies I’d get in to. At the moment it’s Frank Sinatra on the way to the studio and then something like Dirty Three or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
R: What are a few of your favourite things?
A: Solo road trips, travelling, boxing, tattooing and being tattooed, taking photos of concrete and steel.
R: Do you have a favourite gallery or museum?
A: I pretty much grew up in The Australian Museum (Orest worked there), and gallery wise it really depends on what is on.
R: What about your favourite art making material?
A: Etching copper because of the variables involved, but then on another day it could be drawing… or painting.
R: And your favourite food to eat after a big day in the studio?
Finally, congratulations Alexi on recently winning the 13th CPM National Print Award with your etching, You Are Here.
Alexi will be exhibiting prints and drawings at Australian Galleries, 35 Derby Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066, from 27 August to 15 September 2013.
You can also view Alexi in conversation with Michel Lawrence from The Stock Rooms on YouTube:
Paul Compton is a visual artist who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.
Through his art Paul creates a magically haunting world for us in which to dwell.
This week I had a chat with Paul and this is what we nattered about…
Rona: Please describe your art for us.
Paul: I make drawings, prints, books and zines. I’m intrigued by the curious and dark aspects of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I am continually interested in the occult, literature, folk lore and outsiders. I tend to suggest narratives in my work that blend sad and grim elements of life with humour.
R: Which of your art making tools is the favourite?
P: My old-fashioned dip pen.
R: When you are making art what do you like to listen to?
P: I love listening to music / musicians that are either obscure or largely forgotten. It feels special to know that I might be the only person in the world playing their song at that exact moment. I adore folk, 80’s & 90’s New Wave and Goth Bands, theatre musicals, bluegrass, classical (Scriabin is my favourite), 1970’s Glam Rock and any obscure German Chamber music I can get my hands on.
R: Who has influenced or inspired you art wise?
P: Odilon Redon, Gustave Dore, Edward Gorey, Peter Blake, James Ensor, Paula Rego, Vilhelm Hammershøi and more recently Grayson Perry. The most inspiring artists are the ones I see exhibiting regularly in Melbourne. I see their work progressing and they inspire me to keep going and attempt to get better at what I do each time. They have truly unique and personal styles which I find very encouraging. These artists include Deborah Klein, Shane Jones, Petr Herel, Steve Cox, Rona Green, Sheridan Jones and Jazmina Cininas to name just a few.
R: Where do you like to go to see some art?
R: What are your favourite horror film and ghost story?
P: My favourite horror films aren’t gory ones, more subtle and quietly disturbing. The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby are my favourite bedtime flicks. My favourite ghost story involves the Black Shuck which is a fierce, ghostly black dog that famously appeared to a church congregation in Blythburg, England in 1577. It killed two people, caused the church steeple to collapse through the roof and as it fled into the mist it left scorch marks on the northern door which can be seen at the church to this day!
R: Why did you become an artist, and what do you enjoy most about the artistic life?
P: It is the only thing that gives me a true sense of an identity. When you put on an item of clothing it is designed by someone else and someone else in the world might be wearing it too but with making art it is purely the amalgamation of all the things that interest, inspire and scare me most. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I finish an exhibition because then I can move on to my next one!
If you would like to view Paul’s art in the flesh go see his exhibition Domestic Disturbance at Hand Held Gallery, Suite 18 Paramount Arcade, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne, running from 28 June til 21 July 2012.