panning for gold

Pan Gallery's first exhibition is a group show that promises a vertiable who's who of Melbourne ceramicists... including works by Alistair Whyte, Andrew Widdis, Anne-Marie Plevier, Barbara Van Oost, Chris Plumridge, Judith Roberts, Lene Jakobsen, Kevin Boyd, Katie Jacobs, Phil Elson, Sandra Bowkett and Wendy Reeve this will be a great opportunity to check out Northcote Pottery's new digs and what looks to be a great new exhibition space.

Judith Roberts

Barbara Van Oost

Katie Jacobs

Ever the last minute attendees we've just realised that the opening is tonight! between 6-8pm with guest speaker Chris Sanders, so we'll be dropping everything to get there.

Pan Gallery @ Northcote Pottery 142-144 Weston St Brunswick East.



We don't normally use our beloved blog to make political statements but this week we feel compelled. The ladies of HML would like to come out in public support of Australian artist Bill Henson. Yes we do find his work confronting, sometimes distasteful and always challenging. We don't find his work pornographic or exploitative. Adolescence is a troubling and sinister time even more so now when female role models are train wrecks and Australia's Next Top Model is on in prime time. We've reached a very dark point in our cultural history when it is acceptable for police officers to go marching through art galleries. Once these images hit Today Tonight they were so out of context we were almost defenseless in the face of uneducated public scrutiny. This is why we've chosen not to put one of the contentious images on the blog - it's not the right context for viewing the work.We encourage you to write, as we have, to our lame Arts Minister who has been completely silent on the subject. 'Beds are Burning' indeed....



go nuts!

We LOVE Jonathan Adler and long for the day he opens his first signature retail outlet in Melbourne because we're sick to death of the slim pickings on offer here when we can clearly see from his online store (which does NOT post to Australia by the way) that there are hundreds of items we could be filling our homes with... One of his latest works is this fabulous squirrel ring box which combines not only our favourite natty tailed woodland creature but also its favourite food - the acorn. We salute you Jonathan, yet another stroke of genius.




hot potato hot potato
Umbel Ballits by Dylan Martorell
The official description of Umbel Ballits states that it is "an overlay of responses to the underlying structure of sound and botanic form featuring hand drawn scores, performances and an evolving installation of plant based sound sculpture" and of course Dylan's exhibition is all of the things it says on the packet, but it's also curious, playful, inspiring and displays an excellent appreciation of the absurd. In a meeting of sound and botany Dylan has created weed music for a post deadhead generation.
Rather than being too tied to conceptual construction Dylan's work has always left space for accidents, room for error and remains the most contemporary of craft because despite it's outfitting as avant guarde 'fine art' at it's heart all of it ultimately has to do something, it all has a purpose, form and function and it works.
There is, however, a significant difference between Umbel Ballits and Dylan's past stream of consciousness soundworks : he has said of this project that he needed to teach himself how to read and write music in order to construct the intricate diagrammatic 'scores' that illustrate the space like a cross between sonic space maps and geometric string art patterns from the 1970's, and he has used the rules and regulations inherent in creating these reproducible scores to great visual and conceptual effect.
The juxtaposition of the plant materials, shanty town construction aesthetic and the highly ordered sonic diagrams perfectly articulate Dylan's effortless straddling of high and low art, pop culture and fourth world mythology, technology and nature. Think Sun Ra plays a gamelan version of "What Plant is That?" and you'll get somewhere close to where it's at.
Umbel Ballits is on at Craft Victoria from the 22 May until the 28th of June. And in case you were wondering, Dylan's hit pick for 'potato of the week' is the Dutch Cream - in stores now.



swatch city
Who knows. Could be good. Prices starting from $10 a metre doesn't sound too cheap to us (the ladies of hml are big fans of the cotton drill for $3 at spotlight) and we aren't 100% sure where all this 'vintage' is coming from. that being said we'll be there Saturday morning elbowing people out of the way to get to the good bits.


beer of the week

First a disclaimer: no unborn children were exposed to the delights of Murray's Sassy Blonde Beer. The beverage was served at the Historian's birthday dinner and we were so taken with the label we thought HML readers would get a kick out of this hand crafted illicit drink!
Who can resist an Australian crest refigured with a beer drinking roo and emu? Or the claim that the beer has a glamour all of its own? And of course we are completely won over by Murray's claim to be a 'craft' brewing company.
We also have it on medical advice that a cold one is fine when you are breastfeeding - something about molecules being big. Somehow we think we're going to need one...



back into the woods...

Jazmina Cininas

We missed a great show at Green-Wood gallery that closed on the weekend, so we're making sure we give you all plenty of time to get onto this one... because it's another out of towner, and it promises to be a doozy. Encompassing installation, painting, digital imagery, contemporary crochet and printmaking The enchanted forest - new gothic storytellers is curated by the 'girlie wolf' herself, Jazmina Cininas and features works from some serious HML faves - Louise Weaver, Deborah Klein,Louiseann Zahra-King and Ms Cininas to name a few.

The six artists on show have produced specific works that "reflect the current fascination with mythic storytelling and nature-based allegory as expressed in cinema, literature as well as the visual arts...Through their work, they imagine an earlier time when animals and trees were thought to speak, when mankind was in thrall to the forest, and the boundary between civilization and wilderness was less clearly defined."

It sounds excellent and we're extremely pleased that they've kept the forest dark, mysterious and more than a little foreboding - after all that brambly undergrowth is not for everyone.

Louise Weaver

The enchanted forest will be on show at the Geelong Art Gallery until the 9th of June: then it will tour regional Victoria stopping off at Bendigo, Shepperton, Swan Hill, and LaTrobe galleries- so you should be able to catch it somewhere on a day trip if you miss it at Geelong.

Geelong Gallery
Little Malop Street, Geelong
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays 1pm to 5pm
T. + 61 3 5229 3645



all the pretty horses...
Some of our dear readers may remember Ramona taking a road trip to Warnambool back in October 07 to see the work of artist/jeweler and all round good egg Katherine Bowman. The show has found a metropolitan home this month at Flinders Lane Gallery so you can now all go and oooh and ah without having to arrange roadside picnics for the visit (unless you count coffee).
The ladies of HML will be in attendance at the opening this evening (starts at 6 peeps). Hope to see you all there. If you'd like to read Ramona's review of the show you can head over to Craft Culture... or to look at the original posts about the work you can go into our attic...



save us obi wan, you're our only hope...

All the talk of kimono this week left Beck rummaging through the fabric stash trying to find the best bits and of course this golden crane obi brocade from Kyoto was the clear winner, however there were a couple of other gems which led to the guilty question "what the hell do you do with all this fabric?" Other people seem to be able dive right on in and cut things up making excellent new works along the way, we on the other hand seem to have enormous trouble putting scissor to cloth and getting busy. But there is only so much you can store and increasingly, especially now we're both contemplating the loss of studio space to the little people we're really getting worried. After all who could cut this beauty up?
Beck did come up with one good idea though - she's used the scrap pieces to make cards...and she's promised to buy new storage boxes with the profits.

Somehow however we both know they're far more likely to spent on new fabrics ... sigh.



floating worlds

In its 1300 years of history, the harbour-side city of Osaka experienced a supreme era of abundance during the late Edo and Meiji periods (1850-1900). As the commercial capital of Japan, it was a city full of spectacularly rich merchants and their families who, although wealthy, remained outsiders to the nobility or warrior classes and their rigid symbolic heirachies of dress. Kimono then: O.T.T ukiyo-e edo period woodcut displaying the lacroix (dahling) approach

In response they competed and compensated by displaying their wealth through their laborious, highly decorative homewares and clothing in a proto explosion of urban superstar and 'ghetto' bling. Immigration Museum Manager, Padmini Sebastian, says of this era “Osaka’s aristocracy and merchants opted for a spectacular display of wealth through their fabulous and flamboyant kimono, by using the most expensive fabrics and the most intricate designs.” The new exhibition at one of hml's fave venues features around 60 kimono, complete with hair accessories, shoes and interactive outfitting experiences , promising visitors a unique window into the incredibly complex language of the Kimono and it's place within Japanese history and culture.

kimono today - golden arches competing with golden cranes and Mary J Blige style fur ..

This is one we have promised ourselves not to miss...
Kimono: Osaka's Golden Age 15 May - 14 Sep 2008, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Open Daily, at the Immigration Museum: 400 Flinders Street Melbourne

Another one we've promised ourselves is "Maybe We Have Met Before"at Northcote's Kick Gallery, a collection of recent illustrations and collaborations featuring Andrea Innocent, Brooke Bobridge, Catherine Campbell Coralie Kane, Eveline Tarunadjaja and Sean Morris -yup some of the top scribblers out there. Kick is another local High Street Haunt, which often comes up with the goods but we're very excited about this one... we'll even admit to peering longingly at this exhibition through the window at the hairy mammoths and beard pyramids, wondering if the baby bonus can stretch to illustration aquisitions. We haven't managed to make it inside yet but thankfully we've all got another week or so before it closes to debate the issue.

Kick Gallery is located at 239 High Street Northcote and is open Wed-Fri 12-8pm and Sat 12-5pm.



food for thought...Sustenance was a one-night only exhibition by Oliver van der Lugt at Forepaw one of Northcote's busiest gallery/music/installation spaces. This is what Oliver had to say about the evening: "Some people would call it art, I prefer to call it a constellation. It encompasses sound, projection, light works, an interactive installation, drawings, objects, photographs and soup. This is a measure of time (travel) and has gently amassed over the course of just under a year of living in melbourne, drawn from/with what is at hand. Sometimes intuitive/ obtuse/ oblique investigations of environment, syntax, colour, light, texture, rhythm, listening, mapping, narrative, decay." Very much Forepaw fare - a wonderfully motley assortment of interactive entertainment, twitching the taste barometer, created by the peoples for the peoples...

ANYWAY Oliver invited everyone to "come along to construct and collapse, bathe in space, play, talk, eat soup, and lay on the floor" - we came past a day late, missing out on the communal vegan fare and free love but were still well pleased to see the results before they were packed up along with the dishes.



feature creatures...
Regular readers know that we're never ones to big note ourselves, but someone we know and love emailed us yesterday to tell us that we'd hit the big time again!!!

So many thanks for noticing and a great big shout out to decor8 , a great design blog by Boston based US stylist, writer and interior designer extraordinaire Holly Becker. Apart from a million other things, Holly has a long association with Real Living, one of Ramona's favourite mags, and a publication that regularly jostles for space amongst the Martha Stewart's on her coffee table! We're chuffed to bits that we've been noticed by Holly, decor8 is one of the biggest design blogs out there in the ether, and boasts a daily worldwide audience that currently numbers more than 17,000! Recent posts include a feature on Denyse Schmidt's new fabric line which as always is completely drool worthy...
and Canadian ceramicists Alissa Coe and Carly Waito from coe&waito whose woodsy take on porcelain had us heading straight back to the log cabin. Check it out!



I need a hero!
On the weekend Ramona headed off to see the latest Downey Jnr vehicle IRON MAN (she gave it mixed reviews) which of course had us both thinking about super hero suits, which led us to little kids in super hero costumes, which then led us back to another of our favourite gentlemen, and knitting superhero Mark Newport.

Self Made 2004

You may remember this picture of Mark knitting himself into his spiderman suit from a post around SPOD time. Newport works in and around the pop cultural thematics of the teenage male, subverting them via materiality and traditional 'domestic' craft process. He questions the available representations of masculinity within western cultures public and personal arenas, asking "what does it mean to be a man?" Mark says of his work "Through the choice of form (trading card, garment, bed cover) and the method of transformation of the original object, I compare myself to what I have been shown and told about being a man. The activity of making becomes a way for me to transform what I have learned" . Aside from all this, he's a killer knitter and a major inspiration to both of us as we look toward onesie suits for our impending bairns. I dont know about anyone else but argyleman is my kind of superhero!

Bobbleman 2006

argyleman 2006

y man 2006

the escapist 2006
and a big thanks to miss pen pen for the heads up on the link!!



it's all in the name
Sometimes we wonder how much effort goes into the naming of shows. The ladies of hml have seen many a maker/designer/artist faff about with language until they grow pale, and quite frankly, irritating. We don't want you to be put off by the titles of this weeks exhibtions because we think they look like corkers. Above is an image from 'Come-In: Interior Design as a Contemporary Art Medium in Germany' bit of a mouthful eh? But this travelling exhibtion showcases the work of 25 young german artists and we are keen to see what they are getting up to -any excuse to travel up to RMIT's Storey Hall...
We'll also studiously ignore the title of Stone Lee's exhibtion at Blindside because we hear he's making large stuffed creatures out of recycled newspaper. Who knows what he means by 'No Hypocritical Rubbish: in/out of the western perspective'...cute but.

'The Matryoshka Principle' sounds more like some eastern european sci fi film from 1976. Luckily that is one of our favourite genres so we'll have no trouble heading to Bus for this group show. We also want to apologise for the lack of entries last week. Blame it on our unborn, we certainly are.