The number of traditional milk bars might be on the decline, but Australia's answer to the humble corner shop is still very much alive in the memory of local communities. Artist Justine McNamara captures such memories in art form.
The well respected Peninsula artist celebrates bygone times before supermarket chains stepped on the toes of the beloved milk bar. Justine's work embraces the nostalgia associated with milk bar jaunts, back to an era when school kids would buy a mix bag of lollies, a chiko roll or a Big M before cycling home.
Justine's canvases depict characters in playful landscape scenes, which are portrayed in a retro style that has become a distinctive signature in her artwork. The colours used in Justine's pieces take influence from European Mid Century Modern artwork.
As a local Peninsula artist, much of Justine's work cheerfully embraces coastal life. Think old school summer-times at the beach, surf boards strapped to the top of vintage VW's and of course, ice-creams from the milk bar.
"Milk bars are an iconic feature of the Australian landscape. So many movies capturing the essence of suburban Australia feature the milk bar, which is closely followed by the hills hoist," Justine explains. I've loved being lost in the memories of my childhood and exploring Melbourne's love of the milk bar through painting this series. There are still milk bars out there in operation, in fact we seem to be witnessing a return to them in some suburban streetscapes. I hope my exhibition will help us treasure the contribution the milk bar has made to our cultural landscape."
Milk Bar Days at Gallery Sorrento
See 'Milk Bar Days' at Gallery Sorrento, 141 Ocean Beach Road from Saturday 21 November until 6 December 2015.