Boom Gallery

Where: 11 Rutland St, Newtown

When: Wed to Sat 9.30 – 4


Yesterday, I needed to unchain myself from the stress of my workbench momentarily, to clear my head and have a change of scenery!

One of my favourite places to visit for a little bit of escapism is Boom Gallery.

For those of you that have been reading Oh! Hello Geelong since the early days, hold tight whilst I give our more recent followers a snapshot of Boom Gallery’s history…

Founders Kate Jacoby and Ren Inei have a passion for all things art and design.  Put simply; they are brilliant at what they do!

They have done both themselves and Geelong proud, by breathing new life and purpose into an old red brick warehouse, originally home to a wool mill that provided employment for returned service men.  Located in the industrial heart of Newtown just off Pakington Street, it sits perched, proudly, above the Barwon River. Since it’s opening in August 2011, Boom quickly established itself as Geelong’s premier contemporary art gallery and has continued to grow from strength to strength!

From the moment you walk through the door, their vision and respect for the integrity of the building’s industrial heritage is abundantly clear! The use of big bold light fixtures and recycled wood throughout the interior, has given way to a sleek, contemporary gallery/café/retail space!

Boom Gallery exterior/interior

Boom Gallery exterior/interior

August 2013 saw the launch of Big Boom; a celebration of their second birthday and the opening of the gallery space to include the adjacent warehouse; a perfect solution for the ever-growing cross section of work that includes painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography and small objects – all with a strong regional bias!

BOOM SEPT13_0034

More recently, local chef Andy Pye (talented owner of the fabulous Rue ClerMarket – stay tuned for this delicious post!) has joined forces with Boom and is serving breakfast and a gallery lunch, 9.30 ‘til 4 Wed – Sat, featuring incredible local produce, bakery sweets and of course, Geelong’s very own Cartel Coffee.

Rue-Cler Market

Rue-Cler Market

So back to the escapism…

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to catch the Merrang exhibition (it runs until the 30th November). This exhibition is a collection of works by 9 artists (Ben Fennessy, Pai De Bruyn, Jiri Tibor Novak, Gregory Day, Cricket Saleh, Glenn Romanis, Deb Fisher, Ren Inei and Natalie Anderson) that Boom Gallery took on a 3-day field trip to Merrang; a historic property of national significance, located in the heart of the Western District of Victoria.

Merrang Exhibition

Merrang Exhibition

It was a slow procession around the spaces, absorbing the diverse subject matter and media, but for me, the standout was an installation piece by Glenn Romanis. You need to see it in person to really appreciate the inspiration behind it!

Glenn Romanis

Glenn Romanis


Boom will be presenting their final two shows for 2013, both opening on Friday 6th December from 5.30pm – 8pm.

“Terrafirm” (until 1st February 2014) is an impressive body of work by Mackay-based Ngaio Lenz.  Over the past 10 years, she has had many solo shows in Queensland and Victoria, most recently at Flinders Lane Gallery & Hand Held Gallery in Melbourne and Umbrella Studio in Townsville.

Terrafirm - Ngaio Lenz

Terrafirm – Ngaio Lenz

Boom’s third annual Christmas Show (until 21st December) brings together seven diverse artists from Geelong and Melbourne and will focus on affordable, small format artworks – yay!  This year the participating artists are Shelley McKenzie, Steve Salo, Mark Cuthbertson, Elize Feely, Simon Benz, Sandra Eterovic and Idil Ersoy.

For a little more reading on Boom Gallery, please see our previous post from July 10, 2012.

For the full experience (trust me – you need to do this!) please visit them at 11 Rutland St, Newtown (Geelong), Victoria 3216.

Special thanks to Cricket Saleh & Boom Gallery for providing photos for this post!

Nat xx

Quirk Collective

Where: Shop 85 Pakington Street, Geelong West

When: Wed – Fri 10 to 5, Sat 9 to 5 & Sun 11 to 2


Ph: 5229 9930

One of Oh! Hello Geelong’s biggest loves is going adventuring (of the shopping kind of course), especially when it’s to unchartered waters that we’ve never explored before! So as you can imagine we were a little excited when we received a special invitation to visit Geelongs newest design shoppe (complete with gallery space and it’s very own photography whiz) that goes by the sweet moniker Quirk Collective! Okay, so you’re probably thinking retail space, on trend designer pieces and fashion, gallery, art, photography…all under one roof? Impossible! Well not when you have Kate McLaren and Róża Marciniak, two incredibly intelligent, driven and über talented women in the driver’s seat! Together these two amazing ladies have created a unique experience and a space that G-towners will soon be calling one of their favourites!


A melting pot…

Quirk Collective is perfectly located in Geelong West in what was once a chiropractor’s practice; not that you would ever guess given the open plan interiors and beautiful displays! The space itself was born out of Kate and Róża’s desire to take their passion for art and design to a new level; Kate is the creator of beautiful handbags and accessories under the name iz & lotte, while Róża has completed training in photography and fine art printing. The result of this collaboration is a beautiful store that supports independent makers, handmade products and items with a conscience; an intimate gallery space that will host a broad range of art and design exhibitions and a new avenue for locals to develop their photography skills and produce beautiful photographic pieces.

A splash of shopping…

The shopping side of Quirk Collective is certainly a treat for those who love unique pieces and cute and innovate design. Some of Kate’s current favourites include Monolog clothing (they have recently collaborated with polymer clay queen Emily Green, we got to see a few pieces straight from the box!), brikch’s linen range, jewellery from local brand Ernest and Joe and the range of pieces from Rachel Hine and A Piece of Cloth. Oh! Hello Geelong’s favourites include; All About Heidi shoes for tiny tots, the range of fun ottomans by Mookah (who include some Ink and Spindle fabrics – divine), Iz + Lotte range – especially the felted bead necklaces, LOVE the range of wood pieces from Snug Studio, Jessalin Screen printed Tee’s, Status Anxiety wallets, Brun Mugs and plates, Edison Light Bulb vases and the Me + Frankie wooden racks and tree houses. We also love the cute vintage tables created by Round Room Interiors, and the funny selection of cards and tea towels by Anrol Designs. Pretty much everything, really…

A dollop of art and design…

And what about this gallery we mentioned? Once you have walked through and drooled over all the lovely items in the store, take a few more steps and you will find yourself in a gorgeous gallery space with lots of wall and floor space that will be filled throughout the year with a range of exhibitions from local and visiting artists and designers! During Oh! Hello Geelong’s visit Róża’s own exhibition titled “Land of Thunder Dragon: Bhutan and Beyul” was showing, which highlighted the true “art” involved in capturing and producing beautiful photographs.


And a pinch of photography…

Speaking of photography, Quirk Collective has invested in a state of the art digital printer for fine art printing, which is very very exciting for local (and non-local) photographers. Róża is available by appointment to collaborate with both amateur and professionals photographers to produce the finest quality prints.



There are hundreds of reasons to visit Quirk Collective but for Oh! Hello Geelong the best reason to visit is to experience a new way of enjoying art and design. Thanks Kate and Róża for giving us a tour of your wonderful world and sharing a little philosophy along the way!

PS: if you are like most people and have a digital camera that you want to get the most out of, make sure to get in touch with the girls at Quirk Collective, who will be running introductory camera courses in March/April 2013! They will also be running advanced courses and Photoshop classes too!

PPS: If you are an artist or designer and you are looking for a space to exhibit your work, give Róża a call, she’s happy to help!


Love Penny + Laura

Hello 2013! – And a little Love, Lyrics, Neon…

Love, Lyrics, Neon

A Collection of new artwork by Laura Blythman

Where: Kaleidoscope Gallery, Courthouse Arts (Cnr Gheringhap & Little Malop Streets Geelong)

When: Exhibition is open to visitors on Monday 7 January 2013 and closes on 23rd January 2013 (Yay, it’s been extended!)

Hours: 9am – 5pm weekdays  (the gallery cafe re-opens on the 14th)

Opening night: Friday 11 January 2013 from 7pm to 9pm (all welcome)


Happy 2013 Oh! Hello Geelong readers! 2012 was a pretty fantastic year wasn’t it? Over the course of 12 amazing months Oh! Hello Geelong met so many wonderful and talented artists, designers, creators and small business owners from our new (well, not so new anymore) hometown and was allowed to share all their wonderful stories with our growing readership (who we love immensely – thanks everyone for all your support)! In 2013, Oh! Hello Geelong will feature a new range of people, places and spaces that you will love, as well a offering readers a sneak peak inside some of G-town’s most fabulous and unique homes and a few local product reviews too. Yay!

To kick start the year we thought we would give you an inside look into a new exhibition by Oh! Hello Geelong’s very own Laura Blythman (the creative brain behind our fun little blog). Commencing Monday 7 January 2013 at the Courthouse Arts’ Kaleidoscope Gallery, “Love, Lyrics, Neon” is a world created by Laura where mountains are decorated with neon, lettering is hand-drawn, rays of sunshine are hand-stitched and feathered animals glitter and gleam! Laura’s inspiration for the exhibition comes from her long love affair with music, in particular music from The Smiths, Joy Division, Bowie and The Cure. Visitors will recognise the lyrics featured in many of the art pieces and will be able to interact with the music during the exhibition (I won’t give anything more away, you’ll just have pop in to find out how!).


What I (in case you weren’t sure it’s Penny here) love most about this exhibition is the level of detail and intricacy Laura has included in each piece, which she has done entirely by hand…super impressive! My particular loves are the three feathery friends and the fun wall hangings, which I know required hours of drawing, cutting, sewing, stitching, gluing and love. I also love that this exhibition showcases just how talented and smart Laura is and how she makes clever design and art accessible, fun and interactive. This exhibition will definitely add an extra ray of sunshine to everyone’s summertime and will leave you searching for neon pink lippy, a pair of glittery gold heels and the nearest dance floor!

We hope you enjoy the pics we have to share but if you can, you should pop down and see the real thing at the gallery and… if you should fall in love with any of the pieces, they are available for purchase (prints too!) Everyone needs a little bit of Love, Lyrics, and Neon in their home I think!


PS: Laura would love you to come along to opening night on Friday 11 January from 7pm to 9pm; there will be sweet treats, pops of pink and fun tunes to match!!  There is also an after party at There There (strictly between 9pm and 11pm) if you feel like continuing the fun times with us! Both Laura and I will be there on the night, we’d love to meet YOU xxx

PPS: There There is located at 8 Malop Street, Geelong – we will definitely be spending more time at this newly opened culinary gem in 2013!!!

Words by Penny & photos by Stephen Robb

Q&A with the multi-talented and totally gorgeous Izzy Losi!

Oh! Hello Geelong is very excited to share this Q&A with you! We first came across Izzy Losi way back in January when we were first scouring G-town for wonderful people and places to feature on our brand new blog (gosh how time flies!). Izzy just happened to be one of the MCs at Courthouse Arts during their short film festival and we were just blown away by her confidence, style and presence (and she wasn’t even singing and playing the piano that day!). Since then we have seen Izzy’s local profile grow and grow and with the arrival of her debut EP and an amazing show coming up on Sunday (she’ll be playing alongside Mia Dyson at Courthouse Arts) there’ll be no stopping this local lass! Thanks Izzy for taking the time to answers our Q&A!!! 

Izzy Losi Promo Pic

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and how you got to where you are now?

I’m a 21 year old sing/songwriter and pianist from Geelong. I’ve lived here all my life, and despite venturing to Melbourne for further study and new experiences, I always kept my grounding in Geelong. I’m glad I have my roots here because I’ve been able to network with some great organisations locally. One organisation I work closely with is Courthouse Arts in Geelong’s CBD, where I’m part of the Arts Advisory Panel, which is very exciting! I’m currently in the process of working with Courthouse Arts on New Years Revolution, which in 2013 will be solely focused on music. This is great for Geelong because I feel that the community was lacking such a festival. I am particularly excited about this even because my band The Auracles and I might be making an appearance!

I am also actively involved with 94.7 The Pulse and host my very own show called Reckless Radio. We play 100% Aussie music and I’ve been lucky enough to interview some awesome musicians including Josh Pyke and Jarred from Eagle and the Worm!!!

What is the vision / concept and inspiration behind your music?

Music is my passion and for me music is about being able to share it. I write songs mostly from life experiences and believe that it’s really important to think about connecting with audiences. I’m really lucky to be able to do what I love and to share this with others!!!

Who are your music loves? What would we see on Izzy’s iTunes playlist?

My iTunes playlist is a bit of weird mix! Currently at the top is Hidden Hands by Jen Cloher. I like supporting local artists and supporting music by people whom I’ve met, it makes me respect their music so much more. I always enjoy anything with piano in it, female artists like Kate Miller-Hidke, Katie Noonan and Regina Spektor have really gained my respect because they are strong front women. Also, not that many people play piano as lead so they are major inspirations for me. I also like music like Karnivool and I really used to like Cog. I like all sorts of music really, but I’d have to say I’m fairly picky, and listen to things at my own pace. I don’t really follow music trends. I think that comes down to me always playing my own original stuff and getting caught up in my own little world.

What does the future hold for Izzy losi?

After having just recorded my first professional debut EP under the name Izzy Losi and the Auracles, this is only the beginning for me! I have wanted to produce a record of this quality for some time, people think making a record it easy but in reality creating it is a whole different story. Thanks to receiving the Queenscliff Music Festival scholarship last year, I was able to make the record happen and it was a real honour for me. I’ve had my fair share of low points within the music industry, so I really feel like it’s my time to shine now. Not many people know who I am in the industry and I want to change that. This EP is only the start of what I want to do. I want to keep making professional records from here on and keep performing live. I want to play more music festivals outside of the Geelong and Surfcoast region and venture out more into other towns and cities.


And what about life outside of music?

Well, I’ve just completed my degree at Uni where I studied Media Communications and Italian. I plan to travel overseas again in the future, and put my Italian to the test again (and perhaps even play some music while I’m over there!). I think travelling overseas is a great thing for anyone, it really opens your eyes to the world. As you can tell, I haven’t really locked myself into one area. I’m always busy and I’m hardly ever bored.

Do you have any quotes or sayings you live by?

I have a few quotes that I really believe in, sometimes I forget about them but when I am reacquainted with them again I always feel really good!

“By 1998, lead singer Ian Kenny changed their set to entirely original songs, removed all early members and officially named the band Karnivool.” Thus, I believe in original creations, never try to be anyone else but thyself.

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness”. I really believe in this one, nothing comes to you, you have to get up and do everything for yourself.

And….“He who is humble is confident and wise. He who brags is insecure and lacking.” I really dislike artists who are all about themselves, if you support others they are more likely to support you!

Geelong’s best kept secret?

I think Courthouse is still a bit of a hidden place for some people. I always tell people about it because it’s such a great arts hub for Geelong. I don’t want it to be a secret but sometimes it feels like it has a blanket over it!

Where can we find your work?

My new EP is available now on iTunes!  (we’re also on Spotify, JBhifiNOW, Amazon, and a few others). Hard copies are also available via my website at You can listen to a couple of songs here on our website too.

There’s also this video that Courthouse Arts made in the lead up to my gig with Mia Dyson this Sunday; it’s a little interview with me and I’m playing a song in the background.



Thanks so much Izzy!

Love Penny + Laura