Sarah Jayne is a freelance and creative writer, life model, filmmaker and art director currently residing in Elwood - her current film Daughter is touring to make changes in society-
St Kilda can be described in three words – creative, diverse and eclectic.Artist's Studio 106 on Barkly street stays true to these very words and is nothing short of inspirational.
Artist's Studio 106 Logo - designed by Tamar Dolev
It is somewhat true that St Kilda has, over the years lost a little of its connection to the arts due to closing several live music venues and a new shift towards high-rise apartment living being the trend, which is forcing the artists out in favour of the wealthy business type. However a community of artists are very much still around - you just have to know where to look.
Locals will quickly tell you that artist-run spaces still exist in this bohemian seaside suburb and they are thriving. Artist's Studio 106 is one of these places. With over 20 local new and established artists who live in the area at present and call Artist's Studio 106 their creative base, it is fair to say that the studio is always a buzz of activity.
Coming up in mid-September, during Melbourne Fringe Festival, Artist's studio 106 will be open to the public and the artists will be showcasing their work through a group exhibition titled 'The Power of 20'. The show will feature some of the artists' finest work, all the pieces are new, most have been created with the show in mind and for a fresh audience.
Everything from sculpture, paintings, illustration, digital art, film and mixed media will be on display and as the Fringe catalogue states, "all linked by the concept that exceptional power can be created when communities work together".
The artists who currently fill the studio include painters, sculptures, filmmakers, photographers and writers, some of these artists take on more than one role at a time, a common occurrence for the creative at heart. The list is long - Ulises Resendiz, Helen Gries, Heidi Knoepfli, Stephanie Leigh, Sam Slade, Paul Morgan, Josie Wadelton, Majenta Sky, Katrina Mathers, Kelly Lefever, Elena Berkovich, Sandie Wright, Maria Leonard, Miyuki Mardon, Zev Howley, Ivan Malekin, Ruv Nemiro, Esteban Simich and Tamar Dolev.
Tamar Dolev who has been based at the studio for a number of years. She mixes in sculpture with painting and also dabbles in photography which stays true to her out there unique sculpture style, mimicking the same angles and shapes which make Tamar's sculpture work a standout. Tamar also paints large artworks and draws mascots, sourcing inspiration from her love for animals and her dog Billy. Tamar's work has now expanded to a clothing business, Paw Paw designs, which she sells online and at local markets. Tamar's exhibition 'Contrasts' was the latest artist exhibition running in the studio through August and featured all of Tamar's works, including Paw Paw Designs. Her works are affordable and Tamar encourages viewers to touch her paintings which are a mix of paint, sand, glitter and recycled materials, making the pieces interesting while having a wonderful texture.
Other Art Studio 106' artists to have held exhibitions in the spaces gallery including Ulises Resendiz, a Mexican painter who's exhibition 'LoteRìa – The Game of Art' filled the space late December 2015. Ulysses' works are best described as a symbolic or surreal, a mix of juxtapositional themes - sad and happy mixed with the impossible and the ideas painted can sometimes be confronting, yet the paintings are always colourful, vibrant and painted with great detail.
The show will also feature work from prize-winning contemporary feminist artist Stephanie Leigh, who's artwork Suspended Woman – A Weighty Burden was recently displayed at Mars Gallery. Stephanie's large pieces make a statement about women's bodies and how they are perceived in art history and she has one piece showcased as part of this group exhibition. If you want to see more of her work, Stephanie has collaborated with artists Caroline Phillips and Karyn Argus as part of Melbourne Fringe, for an exhibition titled BOOB – Bias Objects Objective Bodies, which explores the ideas of consent.
The studio also has its veterans such as Ruv Nemiro from Uzbekistan who's sculptures and paintings look like they are inspired by Picasso's Cubism style – in fact, Ruv had Picasso request a meeting with him and his artwork has attracted a list of high calibre clients from royalty right through to political leaders . Ruv has won numerous prizes and awards for his artwork throughout his rich and intriguing life as an artist and his artwork as part of this show is a must see.
With 20 artists showcasing their work, there are too many for me to mention separately in this article. Visit Artist's Studio 106 during Melbourne Fringe festival for your chance to meet the artists and view their work while supporting local arts, business and the artists of St Kilda who help keep the beachside suburb, creative, diverse and eclectic. They will be thankful for your support and greet you with a smile and a story, of that I am sure.
Opening - Saturday 17th September from 3pm – 5pm Lvl 2, 106 Barkly Street St Kilda
Exhibition - 15th September - 2nd of October (closed Sun/Mon)
Times - 11am – 4pm Tuesday – Friday , 12- 3pm Saturdays
Cost - FREE!