Most of us take a short stroll along tidy suburban paths, a beachside boardwalk or a well-trodden bush track when we need to stretch our legs and get some air. But not Pol. "Pol the Painter" (as he's affectionately known) regularly heads off on a 2 week long, 200km walk from his commission flat in Fitzroy to Wangaratta, traversing wallaby tracks and navigating national parks along the way. This, Pol says, helps him to immerse himself in nature and to escape the problems occupying his mind. And he believes it is this that gives him the inspiration and right to create art of Australian life, having seen and experienced it up close and personal.
Pol's long journeys have enabled and inspired much of his art. However, the vibrant colours and keen observations of people and architecture are in stark contrast to what Pol describes as a dark and confined life. His ability to sustain himself through sales of his art was unsuccessful and his financial and housing problems were not going away. That is, until onebindle came onto the scene.
onebindle was established in 2016 by George Odell, a social entrepreneur based in Melbourne, with the purpose of empowering artists living in difficult circumstances to not only support themselves through commercialisation of their art, but also to gain recognition for their amazing talents, often acquired without any formal education.
Odell explains, "onebindle provides a platform that supports artists to display and market their art online, whether they're experiencing homelessness, are mentally or physically disabled or in any way doing it tough. Our aim is to empower artists to create, exhibit and market their art."
As well as providing a platform through which artists can earn an income and build a profile, onebindle is focused on helping foster an environment that builds confidence and provides greater stability for the artists it represents.
Odell is also acutely aware of and keen to meet the growing demographic of socially conscious consumers who buy to give back and who demand transparency in the ethical practices of those they buy from. Indeed, two thirds of consumers around the world said they preferred to buy products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society and onebindle is meeting that demand.
Whilst onebindle sells framed prints of original artwork and other "art-inspired" products primarily through its website, it has also been invited to participate in the Heide Makers' Market to raise the profile of the enterprise and the artists it represents. The first market for onebindle will be held on 9 September 2017 and it will be a great opportunity to see the amazing artwork being offered through onebindle and to meet the artists.
As well as the market, onebindle has been invited to participate in an exhibition in Melbourne CBD beginning November 22nd. Further information on this event can be found on onebindle's website closer to the exhibition date.
So, mark 9 September 2017 in your diary now and enjoy the beginning of Spring at the Heide Makers' Market in the picturesque surrounds of the Heide Museum of Modern Art sculpture park and support onebindle and art against the odds.
What: onebindle art exhibition and sale Where: Heide Market, Heide Museum of Modern Art - Sculpture Park, 7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen VIC 3105 When: 9 September 2017 from 10am - 3pm