The most creative city in the Southern Hemisphere? Melbourne!

art, Australia, design, design expo, Melbourne, supergraph, travel


My last post was about Melbourne artists that i have been following and keeping up with for months before i even arrived here. Now that I have been here a month, i finally feel like i have wrapped my head around the M O of the art scene here. Probably not though.

This city is known for its artists markets and design expos. I recently went to one called Supergraph


It was held at the gorgeous Royal Exhibition building, and the kitschy sign out front was a big hit for the basic instagrammer ( i haven’t grammed mine..yet)

The expo was tailored to the graphic design community, and the nearly 50 stalls and artists featured were printmakers varying from drawing, painting, collage, screen printing, and stamping mostly. I discovered some really amazing artists and here they are to share!


My favorite:

  1. Tarli Bird

Tarli creates beautifully bright screen printed maps with a handsewn component. Although her work seriously ranges from different mediums and styles, the work she presented at supergraph were this style maps of the surrounding street map around the exhibition. Her maps come with a pre threaded needle for you to sew your own adventure.

I have never felt so connected to another artist ever before because as soon as i spotted her maps i realized her work was just like mine. My maps, although they werent screen printed they were rather cut out like a stencil, all represent journeys in places ive been. Some maps are places i know like the back of my hand, like my hometown running routes and my grandmothers house. Others were places i stayed and travelled through in short amounts of time like Haiti and Ghana; all of the journeys being just as important to each other in the grand scheme of my memories.

After reading up on Tarli, i realize that she too is also inspired by journeys we walk, run, and places we go an travel. She is an incredible marathoner, and myself a track and field (former?) athlete i feel like she might just be the exact same person as me… 

She’s an artist and a runner…is that not me?

Heres her work:

2. Carla Marino

Coming into the expo i told myself i would be allowed to buy just one print for my budding collection. For some reason, Carlas red headed lady needed to come home with me.

her website has blocks so i wasnt able to link to any photos on her portfolio, but her work has some range. From kitschy prints like these ladies, to more animated cartoony images to painterly strokes her work across the board certainly doesnt lack a color pop. After i posted the image at the top of my supergraph haul featuring the red headed lady on instagram and hashtagged Supergraph, she found it and re-grammed it. Then the image was re-grammed again by the Supergraph insta page!


woohoo im famous! kinda.

3. Face – o – Mat

This was incredibly ingenious and entertaining watching the face-o-mat do “its” thing. Face-o-mat is a cardboard  portrait “machine” which is actually worked by Tobias Gutmann. He sits behind the machine making simplified portraits of audience members chosen randomly through a name in a hat manner.


Even though i wasnt chosen to have my portrait drawn, i could see by Tobias’ interaction with the people he was drawing that he loves what he does. He spends most of the time just chatting with the person hes drawing anyways. If you do get chosen you have to pay 10$ in coins to the “machine”.


“Face-o-mat is the social portrait machine by Tobias Gutmann that happened to travel 70’018 km, from Stockholm to Milan, Dar es Salaam, Tokyo, London, Copenhagen, Basel, Frankfurt, Madrid, Zürich, San Francisco, Paris, Düsseldorf and Luxembourg to produce 1571 faces.”

My review:

It was fabulous. But small. This was only the second year of the event, so that being said the curating team at Supergraph did a pretty good job. The expo has a varying range of target audiences, as kids and adults participated side by side in booth activities like pom pom making with Frankie magazine, and paper airplane folding and flying with the “supergraph team”.

There was also a but of live entertainment if you will, with artists from different stalls competing against each other on stage in drawing contests and other silly little presentations. There were four food trucks in the outdoor court as well, but an expansion in this area could only help bring business as the options weren’t exactly overwhelming.

Overall i see this design expo exploding in the next five years as graphic arts continue to become more and more accepted as the new “fine art”. Especially in the city of Melbourne, because artists and artwork are targeted towards the twenty something generation. Melbourne is special for artists in this way: i am so impressed with “Melbournian” artists abilities to promote themselves and create this community of artists who so deeply support each others work and make it easy to afford art at a young age.

I can definitely cross this off my Melbourne bucket list.

Ta ta for now




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