As soon as I read about the Substation project in Newport I was fully captured. It is hard to find a space dedicated to the artists and their art.
There are many galleries around but not really a center where artists can meet and share the own experiences, have new inspirations, connecting. It is not strictly necessary to sell the own art to be successful (although it helps to pay the bills), otherwise there would be an extremely limited number of installations around, very difficult to sell them. It’s about expressing the own feeling, something that we unfortunately luck more and more in our modern society.
The industrial building itself is worth the visit, you add the Market (1st Sunday of the month) and
an experimental gallery to make really worth the trip from Melbourne to this art center (it’s only a quick train ride really).
The building has been refurbished keeping the original features as well as the wide open space. A big architectural effort was made to bring back the industrial elements creating at the same time a space for the gallery, an open area for performances and the market, a cafe and studios/offices.
The market has a mix of stands dedicated to artists and artisans. Art is of course very subjective by its nature and the Substation team was able to blend a wide set of skills and interpretations. Very well done.
Nick is obviously a highly skilled photographer which was exposing photos from his work in New York and Melbourne. The “Red Earth” photo was the most impressive one in my opinion. He was able to capture the burning red sunset with an almost painted tree that highlighted even more a flaming earth. This is truly a piece of art where Nick has played with colors and shapes to reach a perfect balance. Check out exhibition page on his website and go to visit him.
How many photos and painting of Melbourne trams and icons are around? Many. Standing out in this area is really hard. Well not as hard for Patrick and his unusual quirky prospective. His paints and prints are for sure unconventional to say the least. There is a link to what we daily see around us, but with a unique interpretation. How not to fall in love with it. I really suggest to follow his work on the facebook page.
It was time for the gallery in the ground floor. You can spend easily 1 to 2 hours here. Many installations and artistic views of a wide range of subjects. Walk through it and, most important, enjoy it. Artist statements are always at the door to allow you to create a connection with the work. I usually prefer to look at the work first and see what inspires in me. Than read about it and go back to the work again. In the gallery I was impressed by Fergus Binns, especially by his work “A little message from your friends out at Nauru”, a clothes rack a shirt with blood and, what I consider the gem that elevates this installation to a real piece of art, the barbed wire used to build it. This is the same barbed wire used to create the border with the refugees. Such a small piece of material but at the same time such a great meaning. It creates the boundary between the first and third world, between rich and poor, between luck and luckless, between life and, possibly, death. Great work Fergus. Check his work here.
Looking forward to the next visit
(all photos were made using a Samsung S3 camera)