Way before i moved to Melb, i started following artist Gemma Patford on Instagram. She’s made a name for herself for her handsewn bowls made from rope. Her social media accounts introduced me to the seriously huge and impressive young art scene. Artists in Melbourne and Australia in general seem to be exceptionally talented at targeting an audience of 20 somethings and younger adults. Here is a review of some of the very first Australian artists I discovered before i moved here!
1. Gemma Patford
Gemma is the queen of Melbs instagramming art scene (in my opinion) She has 30.2K followers on Instagram alone. I love looking back on her old posts and watch her artistry transform into the look she has now: Clean, crisp demure whimsy. The cool thing is that she does a random workshop here and there. That means that any regular old person can create something the same way Gemma does. She is based out of Brunswick but sells her containers in a few of shops throughout the city and the country, and even though i always keep an eye out i have yet to see them in person.
Here is some of Gemma’s work:
2. Stampel Studio
The designer of the label Andrea Shaw has a funky line of pastel squiggles and lines contrasted against eco friendly grainy wood pieces. The word stampel is swedish for stamp, which can help us understand the designs a bit better. She makes her own stamps in simple shapes, and her canvases range from heaps of different eco friendly materials. Her website biography implies a knack for things that are utilitarian and sustainably eco friendly…hence lots of wood. I appreciate seeing such a vast variety of artworks…from necklaces, to pillowcases, to drapings, to prints to vases.
Heres some of Stampels work:
3. Emily Green
Emily might be my all time fav melb jewelry artist. Her work is so simple. Her jewelry is made of bobby beads that are also handmade from polymer clay. As a kid we used to do crafts with polymer clay (the little blocks of clay that are cooked to harden) all the time, and its so kitschy to see the material become something mature and elegant. Emilys necklaces have become quite famous here in Melb, and I see a different mum every day sporting the “coveted” designs. She tends to make very interesting color combos that seem random but are quite pleasing. I am dying to purchase a necklace but i do find it a bit pricey at 49 AUD roughly 40 USD for a 9 bead strand. Perhaps it will soon be a gift to myself 0:-)
4. Merci Perci
This is one of those bizarre, expensive, hate to love design labels. Claires most famous works are these headpieces, in which her entire label is based off of. An interest in tribal head adornments inspired her to create whimsical hand painted, gigantic versions of such…costing a whopping 880$ AUD…which is the only reason i considered it one of those “hate to love” artworks. To be fair these things are massive at almost 3 feet in length. Every one is different from the other, and what i like the most about Claires work is her target audience is anyone. They can find a loving home in a childs bedroom, or add whimsy to a gallery wall or bathroom maybe.
Although ive only been here in Melbourne for not even three weeks, ive already immersed myself in the ubiquitous fresh art scene. Art and small businesses are two things that seem to be everywhere and thriving in Melbourne, and the culture of art here tends to look and feel quite young, colorful, graphic and accessible to the general public.
Today i visited an art convention called Supergraph…and holy s**t was that inspiring. I cannot wait to share the beautiful pieces i purchased (for cheap!) to add to my collection and learn even more about the art and creators i am surrounded by!