Beautiful Soup is an exhibition of prints by 56 Australian artists that I have curated and am part of.
The exhibition opens 2-4pm on Sunday 14 October 2012 at St Heliers Street Gallery, The Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067.
This is a free event and all are welcome to come along and enjoy the art as well as celebratory drinks with the artists.
Beautiful Soup runs until 4 November 2012.
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.
‘Cities must be fun.’
– James Rouse (1914-1996)
Judged the world’s most livable city in 2011.
Contentiously referred to as the cultural capital of the country.
The place I have called home since 1995.
I thought it might be fun to take you on a tour of a few of my haunts.
Firstly, here is Collingwood through my (somewhat blurry, black and white) eyes!
Australian Galleries in Collingwood represent my work and I exhibit at the 50 Smith Street gallery space.
The Smith Street gallery is managed by the most excellent Nicholas Thompson and Kattie Bugeja.
As well as the main gallery space that presents an exciting range of exhibitions, the Smith Street location also houses an intimate print room.
Located a few doors along from Australian Galleries at 46 Smith Street, Collingwood is the fantastic Fluff Hair.
This funky salon is where I have my coiffure styled by scissor genius, Mario Italiano.
Relaxing follicle conditioning and hot beverages are ably provided by the enigmatic Brendon.
Amble on down the road a little further and you will come across the astounding St Luke Artist Colourmen, purveyors of quality art supplies, at 32 Smith Street, Collingwood.
What a sweet shop is to a kid, St Luke Artist Colourmen is to artists!
Round the way at 9 Campbell Street, Collingwood you will find the inimitable Neo Frames.
These guys are who I trust to frame all my art – drawings, prints and paintings.
The customer service and workmanship at Neo are beyond compare.
Give Bob and the crew a visit if you have any framing needs.
If you’re lucky dashing shop dog Neko may be around to give you a friendly greeting!
In a fortnight i’ll scoot you all over Fitzroy in Nosing around – part 2.
Until next time!
‘People tend to forget that play is serious.’
Theodor is one of my favourite prints that I have made.
For me he encapsulates the essence of a cheeky guy up for a bit of fun.
Theodor was inspired by an eclectic mix of things I fancy:
These little fella’s pictured are from the Guide Dogs Victoria website.
A couple of my relatives had Labradors for pets and I adored playing with them.
One of the best rock and roll bands ever.
They were fronted fantastically by the swanky Bon Scott, from 1974-1980, until his unfortunate demise.
Master tattooist and all round purveyor of cool.
After Theodor was finished I thought he needed a gang so I made him some friends – Crazy Daisy and The Duke.
A pretty smooth crew if I do say so myself!
‘All fantasy should have a solid base in reality.’
– Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
Please join a tour of the creative thought process that lead to my series of prints titled Borneoids.
Borneo, the third largest island in the world.
The mysterious island lends it name to quite a few modern wild man myths such as Hiram and Barney Davis (aka Waino and Plutano) who were transformed into the Wild Men of Borneo earning a great sum of money as side show stars.
Kuching is the capital of Sarawak, Borneo and is also known as Cat City.
Cat City is riddled with wacky cat sculptures as well as real life felines nosing around.
The Dayak are the native people of Borneo.
The Dayak are traditionally animist in belief and their tattoo designs are sophisticated stylisations of flora and fauna.
One particulary impressive plant native to Borneo is the Rafflesia.
The Iban in particular are a heavily tattooed branch of the Dayak peoples of Borneo.
Part of Omi’s side show schtick was claiming to have been captured and tortured via tattooing in New Guinea.
Actually he was inked by the ‘King of Tattooists’, George ‘Professor’ Burchett.
Who doesn’t love a black and white patterned animal?
Be sure to check out this mesmerising little clip of The Great Omi.