Popping in on The Pop Up Project!

When: Saturday 21st July 2012

Where: BOOM gallery, 11 Rutland Street Newtown

Last Saturday Oh! Hello Geelong experienced something of a first in our short G-town histories. Oh! Hello Geelong crossed the invisible out-of-towner/local divide and experienced a moment of feeling a little bit like reeeeal locals! It all took place during a visit to the first ever Artefact Market Pop Up Project. So, given the level of importance of such an occasion, we just have to share this little adventure even though it’s been and gone!

The Pop Up Project is the coming together of a small selection of makers and creators from Geelongs Artefact Market. On this occasion (the first of many we hope), the event was held at the lovely BOOM gallery (makes us super happy when two of our ‘loves’ combine forces) in its fab gallery space. BOOM was looking particularly stunning thanks to all the delicious sunlight streaming through the windows and doorway and all the visitors walking through. The team at BOOM (Kate and Ren) and the Artefact ladies did an amazing job turning the gallery space into a buzzing market place whilst preserving the integrity of the art and design work on display.

Some of the fabulous makers present on the day included; the effervescent Melissa Laffy with her Reddy Inc range, Rachel Burke (Patturn) and her tribe of decoupage lamps, jewellery maker Amanda Jane Hille (from Eclectica), our lovely new friend Lucy and her adorable range of up cycled doily dresses and mobiles,  the Olive Brown Design girls Carolyn and Debrah (who have a to die for range of resin jewellery perfect for brightening up a gloomy winter day we think), and the super nostalgic and sweet Little Golden Treasures. Oh, and we have to mention Claire Westwood from Victor Fox who continues to inspire with her awesomely designed range of paper goods and now apparel too! And another lovely lady Michele who has come up with the cute idea of turning vintage mugs into chunky and fun bangles and brooches.

The highlight for Oh! Hello Geelong, and what made the whole occasion so momentous, was walking into BOOM to a sea of lovely, smiley faces, some we’ve previously met and some we were to meet for the first time. Oh! Hello Geelong felt so warmly welcomed and left feeling a sense of belonging to a special community! It was also really wonderful to see such a high level of talent and creativity in G-Town and to see that there really is a strong local commitment to supporting and promoting hand made craft, art and design.  There was so much love going on that sunny Saturday! Ahhhh! Thanks everyone x

Congratulations Artefact Market team and BOOM gallery for hosting such a top notch event!

PS: There’s still time to catch the fantastic Landscape Now group exhibition at BOOM gallery (closes on 11th August!); we had a quick squiz during our visit and were very impressed!

Also, have to mention another super cool exhibition coming up there too! “Works on paper” a group exhibition, opens on 18th August, which will showcase some awesome work including fab Geometric woodblock prints by the talented Ellie Malin.

Love Penny + Laura

BOOM Gallery – All of our loves under one roof!

BOOM gallery

Where: 11 Rutland St, Newtown

When: Wed to Sat 9.30 – 4

Web: www.boomgallery.com.au

If you’ve been following Oh! Hello Geelong for a while now you would know that we have a few particular “loves” including; all things industrial, local artists, kooky and wonderful design, fun and bright jewellery, handmade objects, great tea and coffee and most of all clever and dedicated people. So naturally the Oh! Hello Geelong love-reading was off the scale when we stumbled across the brilliant contemporary art and design space known as BOOM gallery, which has all our loves under the one (oh so very cool) roof!

The birth of BOOM

The idea for BOOM gallery was born whilst Ren Inei and Kate Jacoby (art and design fans with education and art backgrounds) were touring around South Geelong’s old industrial buildings. Inspired by the grand spaces hidden within the old brick work, the concept of an accessible art space quickly gained momentum and before long the paperwork was signed, the building work completed and in August 2011 a new gallery was born!

The shell…

BOOM’s gallery space is a real credit to G-town’s industrial history. Together Ren and Kate have breathed new life into what was originally an old woollen mill for returned service men coming home from war. Ren and Kate have respectfully preserved the integrity of the building’s interiors and highlighted its industrial heritage through the use of big bold light fixtures and recycled wood. The pair has also given the interiors a contemporary and fresh look through the use of white and neutral tones for the walls, flooring and display tops and units and accented with awesome pops of  yellow here and there!

The heart and soul…

Whilst we love the building itself, BOOM gallery’s real heart and soul is its exciting, innovative and active contemporary art and design exhibitions. Since its doors first opened, BOOM has had an exciting list of monthly exhibitions from both emerging and established artists who come from G-town and beyond. As well as single artist exhibitions, Ren and Kate have hosted group shows including showings of work by VCA graduates. During Oh! Hello Geelong’s recent visit we were treated to Natalie Anderson’s exhibition Aperçus and Simon Benz’s Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophies. Sadly these works have bid-adieu to BOOM however there is a very exciting exhibition opening on 14 July called Landscape Now, which is a group exhibition that includes the work of Ren Inei himself as well as strong steel artwork by John Heritage (looking forward to this one!).

The things that make us smile…

So while BOOM’s exhibition gives us a monthly culture fix, Oh! Hello Geelong loves that there are lots of beautiful design and art pieces for us to buy and take home (note to selves, we probably shouldn’t let our partners read this!).  Some of the pieces currently available that we LOVE include; ichimu porcelainware in bubblegum pastels by Fiona McDonald, solid wood stools by Matt Baird, a dramatic hanging globe made of bark by Emma Mitchell (it’s on our wish list), recycled timber jewellery by Stampel, addictive jewellery by the very fun Emily Green, ceramic pieces by and O design and beautifully crafted pendants by Sylvia Segon. We especially loved the quirky sock paintings by Chelsea Gustafsson and the bold and bright stools and emoticon faces by local design spunk Adam Lynch (watch out for this name he’s destined for the big time!).

And….most exciting of all, BOOM and the very savvy ladies from Artefact Market have combined forces to host The Pop Up Project which is a selection of makers from Geelong’s Artefact art and design collective setting up shop for a day inside BOOM gallery . The event will be held on 21 July 2012 from 11am – 4pm (we promise we’ll see you there!). We hope this will be the first of many.

The energy source…

Ok, so we totally adore the art and design side but it is BOOM’s café that gives the place an extra spritz of energy. For Ren and Kate, the café was originally a secondary element to the gallery and something neither of them had any experience with but now it is a space that Ren feels “creates life”. With its cozy little fire place, hand made stools and table (by Ren and Kate with the help of residents from a local rehabilitation facility), yellow bent wood Ligne chairs, oh so moorish coffee from our friends at Cartel and stunning art work as far as the eye can see; we totally understand why this café is quickly becoming a G-town favourite!

For Oh! Hello Geelong, BOOM gallery is a little slice of art and design heaven and a testament to the strength of the local art and design scene and the commitment of two very clever locals to making it so accessible. Thanks Ren and Kate for sharing your stories, knowledge and melt-in-the mouth G.O.R.G.E chocolate (yum, yum, yum).

PS: Ren and Kate have a new and very exciting design-related operation in the pipeline; they hope to convert an old industrial building into a shared space for artists and designers, so exciting!!! Good luck guys x

Love Penny + Laura

Q&A With local artist Elroy – PLUS a Giveaway!

Who: Elroy Ink

Where: Online  and some lovely shops

We recently discovered another inspiring local creative, Elroy Ink !  Elroy, is a local graphic designer who moonlights as an artist (amongst other things) creating beautiful prints for your walls! We just love them and after spotting them in one of our favourite shops Ballyhoo Art a few weeks back we couldn’t resist the opportunity to find out a little more about the man behind these happy, simplistic and Oh so easy to live with prints. We hope you enjoy our little Q&A with the super talented Elroy from Elroy Ink

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what lead you to creating these wonderful artworks?

I’m a tertiary qualified Graphic Designer (Swinburne Uni)  and I’ve been doing commercial design work for about 15 years. My motivation with the Elroy ink artwork is to get away from the things I deal with on an everyday basis such as text, image and iconography. Elroy ink is a reaction against this I guess, into a more pure form of design expression through colour and shape.

‘Elroy’ is your alter ego, your real name is actually Ken Lawson (yes, we are super spies) What is the story behind the name?

Those darn super spies! Elroy came into being in 1995, he was my alter ego rock ‘n’ roll persona. It did help that I was in a band otherwise it may have been a little strange. Elroy was (and still is) the lead singer and guitarist of indie 3 piece band Oscarlima. When I started designing the prints it seemed more appropriate to attribute them to Elroy rather than my everyday persona.

You are a Graphic Designer by trade but do you hope to one day focus solely on your art and the Elroy brand?

Yes, that would be a perfect situation for me. I would love to earn a living wholly on my artistic merits. Not that I dislike my day job – it still offers an opportunity for me to design/create, but I would love not to answer to a brief and not have to explain to someone that logos and headings don’t have to be centre justified and fill the page to be effective.

What bought you and your family to the Geelong Coastal Region? And what do you love about this town?

Initially we wanted to move further down the coast but as my wife was still commuting to  Melbourne for work at the time, Geelong just seemed a perfect balance between coastal living and big city life. I guess that’s what I really like about Geelong – it offers the work/life balance that so many of us seek.

Where was the last great meal you had in Geelong? And drink?

Cheating a bit, but the last great meal I had was at Loam in Drysdale, a real gastronomic experience. If I go for a few drinks, I’ll usually drop by the Diggers Arms.

You have a background in music, we’d love to know what tunes you listen to while you get creative.

Gee, where to start? Wilco, Radiohead, Midlake, Fiona Apple, Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright … ‘insert about six thousand other artists’… and the Beatles of course!

What are your biggest inspirations? Favourite artists, people, books etc?

I have always been a huge admirer of Picasso’s work. I really like illustrators Sanna Annukka, Nate Williams and cannot go past Saul Bass for anything graphic design. I follow Stephen Fry, Dr Karl and Arj Barker on Twitter and am mad about Collingwood FC … sorry Cats fans 😦

What is next for Elroy? Do you have any big plans for the future?

I would like to do a pop-up shop in Geelong but just need to find the right space. In November I’m aiming to do Markit@fed Square. Then of course the world – mwah, ha, ha, ha, haaa.

Do you have a quote or saying that you live by?

No, but my kids may tell you differently. “I wants don’t get.”

Thanks Elroy!!

And… if you are lusting after the Elroy Ink prints as much as we are, you’ll be excited to know that Elroy has very generously donated a copy of his print ‘Arches’ to one very lucky reader! Woot! This print is from the Open edition range and is an unframed A2 sized (420mm x 594mm or 16.5 x 23.4 inches) Giclée print, printed on 240gsm archival paper and signed by Elroy himself.

Oh my goodness, how awesome is that! 

TO ENTER THE COMPETITION –  Simply like us on Facebook (if you don’t already) and leave a lovely comment on this post by midnight, Friday 13th July. We’ll pick the lucky winner at random and notify you the next day. Yay!