Artists

John Puli

“My name is John Puli and I love Melbourne. It’s been my home for 57 years.  I love to have a cup of tea.  It helps me to meditate and pray, just before I draw.

I acknowledge the support and help of a countless number of people, especially Pauline and Maurice Sheehan, my patron Bobby Garbett, Kim Anderson (Skin Gallery Curator), people at the National Gallery of Victoria, people at Arts Access Victoria, and you.

My influences have been the National Gallery of Victoria, especially their Asian Gallery – “Three Perfections: Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting in Chinese Art” exhibition, Asian ink paintings and the notion of imperfections in Asian art.

Once drawn, my artworks, take on a life of their own.  I hope you have a cup of tea and ponder those.”

“I would describe John as an intuitive artist; there is a natural ebb and flow to his work. He is creative; his work is subtle, with a lot of hidden dimensions.”

-  Bobby Garbett, Patron of John Puli


John Puli:  Biography

John Puli is a participant of Arts Access Vitoria’s Artstop SRS Open Studio, located in Brunswick.  John has been making art all his life.  He has been a participating artist of Western Region Mental Health Group, he has had a solo exhibition at 69 Smith Street Gallery in Fitzroy, and several group exhibitions, including one at Seventh Gallery in Fitzroy.

John studied arts for a short time at the Prahran Faculty of Art (Victoria College) in the 1970’s under Gareth Sansom and other esteemed Melbourne artists.
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Andrew Lyndon

I’ve never asked myself why I draw and make paintings.  I was always inspired by and felt a lot of passion for music and art, so I found myself just naturally drawn to contributing to that in my own way.  I never really considered myself to be an artist and I would draw randomly rather than dedicating myself fully to a discipline or concerning myself with exhibiting.  The main motivating factor was the simple pleasure of putting shapes and colour in a balance that was pleasing to me.  At first what I drew was mostly autobiographical, I would draw the things around me and the people I knew, then my work became more and more abstract.

In 2011 I was put into a psychiatric facility, and just before this happened I had set all my sketchbooks on fire.  Afterwards I regretted doing so and continued to draw and paint, but this time all that was coming out of me were drawings of faces.  I would do something different from time to time, but it was mostly heads.  I can’t say why, but it was very enjoyable and I never lost interest in doing it.  I never plan a drawing.  It’s all spontaneous and often it’s just about putting lines down in an intuitive way, then sometimes I refine them and add more colour or shapes until I’m satisfied.  That’s not to say that my works have no meaning behind them – I think that there is a subtle subconscious revelation in most of my art.

Creating art for me is not a lifestyle option, or a means of employment, or a social statement, and I wouldn’t call it a hobby either.  Being a great fan of art and making art is a method of self discovery, a kind of indefinable pleasure comparable to meditation, and it is very healing.  But, it doesn’t answer anything for any long period.  I could never do one picture that sums it all up because life isn’t like that, it always changes and so therefore I will always continue to make art.

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Kim Anderson

“Lifelines” is a series of large-scale, highly detailed portraits of the hands of people very close to me.  Our hands are in constant contact with the rest of the world.  They are tough yet sensitive, dexterous and yet somehow vulnerable, and highly demonstrative of complex emotions.  Through constant wear they bear the inscriptions of our life experience, our passions and fears and memories layered over one another like a palimpsest. 

Rather than studying the body in its entirety, my focus is narrow, even microscopic.  In intimate detail I explore the contours of the skin, closely examining the lines, creases, patterns and scars that are unique to each individual.  The surface of the skin constantly changes from the moment we are born:  stretching, shriveling, creasing and cracking as we move through the stages of our lives, it serves as a topographical map of everything that has ever happened to us.  Through my drawing I search this map, this landscape, discovering the precious memories that linger in the fingertips, and the momentarily forgotten pain of loss in the creases of the knuckles.  Examining at such close range, there is infinite capacity to abstract and interpret, to reveal one’s true and unique character, and even trace a map of their life history.” 

Biography
Kim Anderson is an artist, writer and curator who works mainly with drawing, projection and installation projects. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, and was awarded a scholarship to study a Master of Fine Art at the University of Dundee in Scotland.  Since then she has been awarded residencies around the world in Scotland, Italy, Japan and Australia.

Kim has been a finalist in a number of awards including the Rick Amor Drawing Prize, the Hazelhurst Art Award, the Swan Hill Print and Drawing Award, and the Agendo Emerging Artist Award, and in 2010 she was awarded an ArtStart Grant from the Australia Council.  Kim is currently curator of the Skin Gallery.


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Dawn Lim

Dawn paints in a gestural style with spontaneous brush strokes, making marks and using colours that help her form ideas.
 
She was self-taught from childhood and loved drawing the people around her, however was encouraged by her husband to follow through on her love of creating and pursue a formal art education. When she was accepted into the University of Ballarat she was introduced to abstract art, about which she had known very little, and fell in love with compositions, colours, differing thoughts and ideas.

Dawn has been painting and experimenting ever since, exhibiting in a number of solo and group exhibitions, and is thoroughly enjoying every moment of it.  She successfully completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours and now works full time at her art practice with representation at One Hundredth Gallery in South Melbourne.

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Giovanni Dimase

 Giovanni Dimase was born in Mildura in the mid 50’s to Italian migrants.

After studying Arts at Monash University, Giovanni worked as a freelance journalist, with his stories appearing in noteworthy publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine, The Age Newspaper and RAM Magazine.

For the past 16 years Giovanni has been working as a bookseller at Blue Guitar, Federation Square, specializing in classic literature. He has also written several film scripts still in development. Giovanni has been writing and performing on the Melbourne poetry scene for the past 15 years and can been seen performing from 2 - 4pm at Federation Square on the third Saturday of each month. Please email poetry@fedsquare.com for more details.

Giovanni once held the enviable role of Les Murray’s driver at the Mildura Writers Festival!

Giovanni has been a participant of several years of Arts Access Victoria’s Artstop SRS Open Studio. “Being part of the Artstop has been a fantastic experience for some one like me, its been a great learning curve and I’ve made wonderful friends.” Through Artstop Giovanni contributed to The Fluid Ink Project short film project and exhibition at The Brunswick Artspace
This is Giovanni’s first solo exhibtion of his visual art works.

Recently, Giovanni was invited by the Baker Street Synagog in Caulfield to recite his poem titled White Clay, a memorial for French-Jew, Leon Saper, a much loved and respected local potter.


Poetry by Giovanni Dimase

White Clay

(for Leon Saper - potter & holocaust survivor; r.i.p.)

In your house devoid of straight lines
You give the world colours never seen before
Dragons and butterflies; fabulous beasts
Art created from white clay
Your hands at the wheel, expert in motion.

Memories recorded in museums
Tormented dreams haunt us still
When everyone and everything was stolen from you
A new country and a new dream
In your house devoid of straight lines
Art created from white clay
Dragons and butterflies.

All that a man can hope to achieve
To find your freedom in a prison cell
Ashes will swirl amongst the stars tonight
Art created from white clay
Now displayed
on a simple hessian backdrop
You give the world colours never seen before.
  
 © john dimase.


Kafka's Motorbike

He works in the insurance office by day
Writes The Trial at night
An innocent man is arrested
Assassinated with a knife

Father asks,
How can a boy lead such a life?’
His sisters run and play
For everyone knows Franz is strange

On weekends he rides his motorbike
Through the streets of Prague
He has seen the signs
Knows his world will come to an end

They wait out there
for the gypsies and the Jews.

Lungs are weak; his days are numbered
And for one last time
he explores ancient Prague.
Carefree as he transcends gravity-
lost in the skies.

Nazi bonfires will consume his works
In the camps of Poland his sisters doomed to perish
Do they think of Franz as the gasses rise?
On his motorbike, for several seconds airborne

As he falls through the incandescent universe
Escapes father, factory and Third Reich
Hurtles through the streets,
Smiles in the sunlight
Franz Kafka in his one
true Prague moment.

  © john di mase.

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Stefano Conti

“I see myself first as a writer, poet and singer. I had skills in creating works of art or so long now, I was a dreaming boy thirteen years old when I started my poetry and my artworks. I like to give to people images, words, shapes that can encourage them to see something not easy to see.
Here in Australia, Melbourne, I grew up to be what I am… I welcome you into my world! “

Stefano has been a participant of Artstop SRS Open Studio for the past four years, where he has worked steadily on his visual arts practice. In 2011 Stefano was involved in The Fluid Ink Project, short film and exhibition at Brunswick Art Space.
A well known character around Melbourne’s north, Stefano often performs poetry readings at Dan O’Connell Hotel, Saturday afternoon’s. An intimate venue frequented by poets from Melbourne.


Stefano is also involved in The Exchange Program, run by Merri Community Health Services Limited. Most recently Stefano has joined Writability a partnership between Writers Victoria, Wheeler Centre and Arts Access Victoria. Stefano is also a key contributor to the ongoing Brunswick Lodge Outdoor Art Project.

Poetry by Stefano Conti


Answers

I waited so long
To see the light of a new day coming
Giving me a hint of wisdom,
An insight; my eyes captured reality,
The games of love, the words,
The music of the world
Made me happy, elated,
Amazed of beauty, so, with time
I have established my identity,
I know what I am; days and nights came
To shape myself into a sacred being,
A simple man
Watching the movements of existence,
Left to see the truth,
The passionate game of love,
New days with the golden scenarios
Coming in a familiar way; moments unfolded
To discover my defeat,
My true sorrow, my heart beating
I change to a thousand of selves,
Into this passionate man alive;
The man smiles, I smiled
Trying to convey love, to express
The sweet taste of life,
I smiled to be in touch with humanity,
I smiled to discover joy… After so long
Answers came, it is clear
I am alive and had lessons
Through many seasons of search; my senses
Awaken I had this life
As a sacred gift,
And in the light I maintained a sort of wisdom,
Trying to be gentle
I am here in this world
Complete and whole, realized,
Close to glory,
Just alive in a graceful state…

Stefano Conti
Melbourne, May 10, 2013

Sacred Day

It was autumn coming; dry days
Over dreaming reality; I conquered my mind,
I have established myself… And more and more
Of love, mesmerized of the simple truth, love,
And love was my way; simply
Working out I was happy; days and nights
Started with joy; then, I was the poet,
I was the one dreaming so often,
Having a vision, one world,
Fighting back the demons, being good,
Just trying to love music; one moment
I will vanish, I am left without any power,
Powerless I strolled the avenues,
I’ve walked on empty pavements… I was the man
Angry at times, I had passion for life, now
Close to die I just cry,
Shed tears, be in anguish; the moment
Came I used to know myself
Only one sacred day
Came and I understood my fate,
And the secret is nested in my heart.


Melbourne April 12, 2013 

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Pezaloom


Morwell-based artist Pezaloom is a man of mystery and intrigue. Six years ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which turned his world upside down and gave way to a unique creative vision. The solo exhibition of black and white photographs, Domestic Suppliance, marked the first public presentation of Pezalooms work. Here is what ABC Open journalist Rachael Lucas has to say about him: 
"With a fetish for the scientific, the sexual and the industrial gothic, mysterious Morwell artist Pezaloom could best be described as Morwell's answer to Max Dupain, coupled with the intrigue of Nine Inch Nail's Trent Reznor.
Pezaloom came to photography and sound art after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 6 years ago. Like an online Phantom of the Opera, he has developed an impressive following online, communicating his ideas and curiosities through the prosthetic of social media. Interestingly, Pezaloom's anonymous artistic enigma, was literally born of social media.
Domestic Suppliance, an exhibition of 24 black and white photographs marks Pezaloom's debut into the world of exhibiting in a real life gallery space. His striking images juxtapose a combination of bleak industrial skylines with abstract photographic tangles of female flesh, limbs and petticoats, that make you wonder if sexual energy and industrial energy could be one in the same thing.... the industrial aspects of sexuality and the sexual aspects of industry.    
As the industrial heart of the Latrobe Valley, the centre of the brown coal power industry in Victoria, the township of Morwell is one of those Australian towns, (like Newcastle or Woolongong) that arouses constant controversy in the media. Since power generation was privatised in the 1990s, the town has existed under a systemic cloud of socio-economic and social welfare problems. But as artists like Pezaloom are demonstrating there is also a artistic underground scene that has been developing in Morwell in recent years, particularly around the spectacular Latrobe Regional Gallery space.
Perhaps one of the most intersting things about Pezaloom, is his affection for the Latrobe Valley; while most artists are dreaming of escape, or painting something else, somewhere else, Pezaloom embraces the beauty and terror of Morwell's diseased gothic landscape as a badge of identity.       
Through the lense of Pezaloom there is something tremendously `20th century sexy' about these smouldering smoke stacks with their euphonium piping, phallic chimneys and hour glass figures. If Mae West was a power plant, then she'd probably look like this. If a raven was a dark satanic mill overlooking a township, then the ominous presence of these noir structures would set a fantastic scene for the opening scene of movie.
As bold, gothic, industrial sculptures in the natural valley landscape, these abstract forms symbolise all those bad, dirty, and dangerous 20th century things to outsiders; chain smoking, carbon, industrial pollution, an irreverence for political correctness, environmental carnage, urbanisation, the working class, the welfare class- and every other vice that would make inner city academics and pontificates cringe from their ivory towers.
So it was kind of ironic to learn that these images were to be exhibited at Skin and Cancer Foundation Gallery,The Skin Gallery in inner city Carlton- sitting on the walls of the patient waiting room, like an ashtray in the middle of an oncology ward.
There is something nostalgic, melancholic and beautiful about Pezaloom's images. Like looking at glamour shots of old Hollywood movie stars from the pre-war era, his depictions of Morwell's controversial icons will be one day be considered modern classics, a homage to a bygone era. 
Domestic Suppliance, A Solo Exhibition of Photographic Works by Pezaloom, is showing The Skin Gallery, at the Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc, Carlton until June 20th. The exhibition has been curated by Arts Access Victoria, an organisation which creates opportunities for people living with a disability to exhibit their work. "
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The Artists of Edwards Lodge, Supported Residential Services


Red Beard 2012 by Glenn Court 

The artists represented in the exhibition Artists In Unison have never exhibited before; many began making art for the first time in August of 2012. Despite their newness to the creative arts, great talent and stunning works have resulted.

Edwards Lodge is a Supported Residential Service that provides accommodation to people who experience significant psychological, intellectual and physical disabilities. The residents of these services are extremely vulnerable individuals for whom previous reengagement with communities has been highly problematic.

Arts Access Victoria, with the support of The Department of Health, began working with Edwards Lodge in August 2012 to provide in house, weekly art classes and the opportunity to develop their own professional arts practices in a supportive environment. The following works are the direct result of that important initiative.


Julie Clarke

Dr Julie Clarke holds a PhD in Cinema from The University of Melbourne where she currently holds the title of Honorary Fellow in the Department of Culture and Communication.

Her academic qualifications include:
Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (Painting) RMIT University, 1991
Postgraduate Diploma in Art History, The University of Melbourne, 1994
Master of Arts (by Research) in Art History, The University of Melbourne, 1997
PhD by research thesis, Art History, Cinema, Classics and Archaeology, The University of Melbourne, 2005.

Her PhD - The Paradox of the Posthuman: Science Fiction/Techno-Horror Films and Visual Media was published in 2009 by VDM Verlag, Dr M├╝ller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG Germany.

In 1998 she was co-winner, with six other writers of The Inaugural Faulding Award for Writing for Multimedia CD at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, 1998 for Flightpaths: Writing Journeys (Curator: Bernie Jannsen).

She is an academic who has published journal articles, catalogue essays and book chapters extensively within Australia and Internationally.  Although she has written on film and artists, and in particular, performance or body artists, Clarke is more generally known as a Stelarc scholar since she has published eleven articles on his oeuvre.

She has also published poetic prose. Her most recent being ‘Water’ and ‘Refuse’ published in Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation, 37.2, 2011 edited by Professor Carole Ferrier from The University of Queensland. These two chapters were republished from Clarke’s self-published, limited edition rare object:  Strange Blood Sport written in 2011. Indeed, Clarke’s poetic prose is held in the rare book section of the State Library of Victoria, Monash University, The University of Melbourne and Buffalo University.

Clarke has been the curator of a number of art and performance art exhibitions and is an artist whose work has been included in over twenty two group exhibitions, the most recent being The Body and the City: A Poem in Three Parts (photographs, poem and sound-scape) in the XV Generative Art Exhibition held at the San Micheletto Gallery, Lucca in Tuscany (Curator: Professor Celestino Soddu) from 9-12 December 2012. She has held twelve solo exhibitions including this one at Skin Gallery. Although she occasionally paints and draws she holds an abiding interest in digital media/installation and photography. Her primary interest is in the body and technology.

Julie Clarke's blog Anything But Human, which has been running since August 2009 includes art, film, book and exhibition reviews as well as political and everyday musings.

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Asa Letourneau



Asa Letourneau is a professional visual artist based in Melbourne. Like many contemporary artists Asa draws on the twin worlds of literature and photography for inspiration, often working to a large scale. He describes himself as a symbolist and a storyteller. A sense of narrative is among one of his greatest concerns. 

His fifth solo exhibition White Under Black plays with the concept of his passion for working with predominantly black and white media including charcoal and sumi ink on paper. 

Since experiencing a massive stroke in March 2012, Asa has come to grips with what is in essence a ‘new’ brain and the way this ha turned his life upside-down. What was before black on white has metaphorically been transformed by his stroke into White Under Black.

In February 2003, Asa was selected as one of 19 finalists from a field of over 500 in the Metro 5 Gallery $40,000 Art Prize. Since then Asa has completed the design, creation and installation of a billboard for Mission Australia 2003 Youth Week. 

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Andrew Follows
Photograph © Andrew Follows 2012

Andrew Follows Artist Statement
My photographs investigate the people, spaces and places of the earth we inhabit. My images contribute to the collective cultural memory. My mission as an artist is to awaken acceptance within the visual arts community of visually impaired and blind photographers, promoting an acceptance of their vision, their perceptions and interpretations of the world.

Suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative ocular disease that renders me legally blind and reliant on my guide dog Eamon to move about, my world is blurred and distorted, lacking any detail. Now the camera has become my enlightenment; I see my surroundings as I have never done before. I have always had a passion for photography so three years ago I completed an eight month course under the tutelage of Martin Bonnici from Photography made Easy to enhance my skills. Since then I have continued to train myself and adapt my thought and vision to obtain the results I desire.

When I take a photograph I am capturing an event in time and space, which we will never get to experience again. Light will never dance on water in exactly the same way, structures will collapse and landscapes burn, grow and be built upon. Yet images will always be viewed in one form or another. When I take a photograph I do so because, in that time and place, I cannot see what the camera can yet I know that image, that event will be waiting for me when I am ready and able to view it on my computer. In this way the camera becomes my eyes and my photographs my only way of experiencing a past moment from which I am otherwise excluded. Instead of disavowing what I cannot see as a lost moment in time, I now become excited by the possibilities that the camera and computer have opened up for me. I have a desire for pleasurable looking; I want to show people how I see the world, how differently I see the world from them. As an artist my vision supports my photographic visual interpretation...

My work helps vision impaired and blind photographers seek acceptance in the wider community.

Andrew Follows, Photographer.
With Eamon, my Guide Dog.

Visit Andrew Follows' website: www.blinkiephotography.com.au
Selected Publications: 
"Ocean Waves by Andrew Follows", Arts Access Australia.

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Matthew Clarke
Photograph Copyright Andrew Follows 2012

Matthew is a painter who lives and works in southwest Victoria and has been painting since 2005 at South West TAFE. His painting style is naive abstract action. 

Matthew is a founding member of Quarry Art Studio in Warrnambool, established in late 2007 and comprising of 10 artists.

For past six months Matthew has been studying an Advance Diploma of Fine Arts in painting, including some theory units to painting and drawing. He has created a new body of work for his solo exhibition at Skin Gallery. The paintings are of tortoises, which have become a feature, and signature, of his recent work.  

Learn more about Quarry Art Studio




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