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What's happening at Northcity4! Jewellery classes, courses, opportunities and studio space.
Come along to Northcity4’s annual Christmas ARTIST MARKET
Doors are open from 11am – 4pm with the launch of the Indoor Forest at 2pm.
Our Christmas Sale for 2016 features the works of NC4 studio and project space tenants – this is an opportunity to purchase some of Melbourne’s best contemporary jewellery direct from the arists. This year NC4 have extended the sale to invite local ceramic, textile, glass and floral artists – supporting the atmosphere of the Indoor Forest Launch at 2pm on the day.
The Artist Market will feature works by:
with NC4 special guests:
Amanda Dziedzic (glass) and The Handsome Bloom (flowers), Irina Giles (ceramics), Kirsten Perry (ceramics), Plant B.(plants), Debbie Pryor (ceramics) and Caitlin She (textiles).
It’s a new season of light and everything in nature has burst into growth, including the The Indoor Forest!
Our large forest containers are now ready and in place, designed by Inari and beautifully constructed during August by carpenter Ilmo Pylkkanen of Kohde Design. We used dark-stained quality plywood, and the wheeled boxes can also double as exhibition tables and generous storage spaces. The best of all? There’s a garden seat for two amongst the foliage, perhaps for sharing a beverage while contemplating life …
The main ceiling structures for the cascading green wall went up one sunny (and very early) morning when Ben and Rohan of Benno’s Renno’s rolled their sleeves up and climbed up the ladder without fear. Now we’ve got steel! Inari has also already placed some “test plants” into the boxes to get a glimpse of how they’ll look with green mass and texture. Many of the plants you see in the images below have been grown at NC4 in the past three years, and will end up at our feature succulent shelf in the school when replaced by larger plants in the forest installation. And then there are lush, lush plans for the hanging components and the floating island.
So stay tuned and follow the growth via Instagram @the_indoor_forest_project, as well as in the next NC4 newsletters before the Big Launch in late November!
And as always, if you love plants and would like to get involved in the project, please contact Inari at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring sun and green regards,
Inari & the NC4 team
In the cold, dark months of winter most plants are resting, but the preparations for the construction of our Indoor Forest are red, hot and happening! The early vision of plants on wheels has developed into detailed plans and drawings of a three part installation, flowing through the entire Northcity4: There’ll be a hanging green island at the (soon to be renovated) kitchen/studio area entrance; a long shelf of succulents at the historical brick wall of the school, and the heart of the project, a large “forest” of different species of plants, rising up in between these spaces.
Along with the priorities of easy maintenance, strong and sustainable materials and maximum air-purifying qualities, our design brief for the works reads “light, airy, lush, contemporary and wild”. Fingers crossed!
The main construction task, for flexibility as well as visual appeal, will be creating the containers to house large pot plants within the main installation. We’re currently chatting with several makers about different possibilities while establishing a solution which fits our interiors and budget the best. At the same time we’re acquiring clientships with reliable wholesale nurseries and beginning to think about the number and variety of greenery to add to our lovingly homegrown samples. Rubber plants, sansevierias, monsteras and many others are on the list.
Would you like to get involved or find out more? Are you a handy person with skills and workshop facilities, and interested in the building side of this project? If so, get in touch with Inari, and keep following our progress in Instagram @the_indoor_forest_project and @Northcity4. Looking forward to showing you some photos as things develop into the construction phase!
Glimpses of dreams – sketches, system considerations and digital renderings for the installation © Inari Kiuru 2016
Monday 21st March, 6-8pm
Northcity4 – 61 Weston St, Brunswick
entry by gold coin donation – bookings essential
Northcity4 has invited artist Vicki Mason to discuss her recent residency at the Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona Studio. Vicki will speak about the research she undertook during the residency, as well as touching on the process of applying for funding.
Accumulating primary research material and building jewellery networks were key focal points of the Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona studio residency I recently undertook from October to December in 2015. My recent concerns regarding water use within the garden context has led to me researching water wise plants. With Australian and Spanish climates being comparable, investigating dry climate plants at the Barcelona botanic gardens (and other gardens/parks in Spain) enabled me to build a knowledge base of material that will inform my work into the future. I also developed new networks within the vibrant jewellery community, gave lectures and was able to exhibit my work while there.
Vicki Mason has been wearing jewellery since she was two and making it since she was 6 or 7. Born in New Zealand she lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Mason completed her undergraduate studies in New Zealand and her Masters degree (Research) in Australia at ANU. She teaches, makes production and exhibition work and likes to write. She has works in both public and private collections and has received a variety of awards and prizes. Vicki is on the board of management of the World Crafts Council – Australia.
Window to a Distant Landscape
Installation by Lindy McSwan
February 6 – March 31, 2016
Northcity4 Façade (24hr viewing)
As part of the Sustainable Living Festival 2016, Lindy McSwan has created a striking installation for the façade of Northcity4 using reclaimed materials and indigenous climbing plants.
Time spent in the landscape of the Victorian High Country severely affected by the February 2009 bushfires has been the subject of Lindy’s work over the last few years. Even long after the fires, hectare after hectare of native forest remained devastated. Incalculable numbers of dead trees stand in the landscape. While tragic, a quiet and haunting beauty remains.
The panorama of burnt dead trees standing like towering matchsticks is austere and ghostly. A strong sculptural aesthetic manifests. As a mass and individually, shimmering silvery tree trunks contrast with large expanses of pure black charcoal. A strong sense of endless distance and space is evident. Ridge?lines of mountains fading into the horizon appear as unreachable layered silhouettes.
In creating this window and gate installation for NC4 Lindy is working on a larger sculptural scale for the first time.
“This installation will be an extension of my expression of the landscape, previously explored using the vessel as my canvas”.
Lindy put a call out towards the end of 2015 to collect recycled materials from friends, family, hair salons and the local community. Silver, grey, black and white materials that she collected have been manipulated, painted and transformed to create an artwork, which references the severity of the landscape that has moved her.
Indigenous plants were chosen to suggest regrowth and hope for the future of this extraordinary landscape.
Lindy chose a selection of native climbing plants to include in the installation.
She has generously offered to gift these plants to the Northcity4 Indoor Forest Project at the end of the installation. Thanks Lindy!
Thank you to The Sustainable Living Festival for your support and commitment to a better future.
Launching the Indoor Forest Project: a green, permanent installation for cleaner studio air at Northcity4
12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 … finally, Go!
A year ago, Northcity4’s initiative Indoor Forest, a vision to build a permanent, green, air-purifying installation of vessels, plants and watering systems in our work space, won a grant of $10,000 in the Bank of Melbourne Local Project Competition. After some careful planning and research during the past twelve months, Northcity4 and project leader and studio artist Inari Kiuru, are excited to officially launch the project.
The practical phase of the program began this week by the first of two air quality analyses at the NC4 studios, conducted by our generous supporter Bell Laboratories. Two meters detecting possible fumes and pollutants were set up at the studio for the day, while Bell Labs Director Wayne Anderson also took airborne particle measurements beside our jewellers benches while they sawed, sanded and worked with fire.
Did you know that indoor air pollution is 2-10 times higher than the outdoors or that indoor plants reduce symptoms such as headaches, sore eyes, loss of concentration and feelings of depression? Indoor air is high in CO2 with harmful pollutants emitted from indoor plastic or synthetic furniture, furnishings and equipment like computers, copiers and solvents.
source: Professor Margaret Burchett and Dr Fraser Torpy, University of Sydney
In order to give the laboratory some initial clues on what chemicals to look for, we had supplied them with all the MSDSs (material safety data sheets) of our main working chemicals such as fluxes, solders and polishing compounds. Interestingly, the analysis will also detect possible emissions from the building materials and furnishings, as well as investigate the effect of the traffic-dense street outside on our indoor air.
We’re looking forward with interest to receiving the results in a couple of weeks. Later next year, to find out the exact effect a large number of indoor plants will have in improving our air quality, a second, comparative measurement under similar conditions (weather, number of artists working and the work flow of the day) will be undertaken after the installation is complete.
What is the Indoor Forest and what will it look like?
Some background and early steps
What happens next?
AL: How long had it been since you had traveled somewhere overseas, where was the last place you visited?
KB: The last time I travelled overseas was about 5 years ago.
I went to Europe – Paris, Lisbon and England.
AL: What made you chose New York as your destination?
KB: At the beginning of last year a friend of mine died. He was an artist and introduced me to a number of artists’ work, which have been very influential on my own practice. When he died, I came across an article on an exhibition that was currently on at Moma (http://www.moma.org) in New York – a retrospective of the work of Lygia Clark (http://www.lygiaclark.org.br/noticia_detING.asp?Idnoticia=354) one of the artists that my friend introduced me too many years ago. The exhibition was on until June or July 2014, when I read this I decided to go to New York and see this exhibition. I had never been to America before.
AL: New York is a big, busy city how did you feel while you were there?
KB: I travelled on my own, so my experience was different to if I was with people. I felt like a silent observer in a very noisy busy city. It was interesting as usually when I have travelled I have been in places where I do not speak the language. Here I could speak the language however a lot felt foreign, yet at the same time very familar to me. I often found it very funny, as people are very vocal and in your face! On the whole I found New Yorkers really friendly.
AL: Your work makes reference to talisman’s and souvenirs – What are some of the things you “saw” on this trip that influenced you as a maker and the works you have produced for this exhibition?
KB: I really loved the American Museum of Natural History http://www.amnh.org and The Met http://www.metmuseum.org. I was expecting to be mostly interested in seeing contemporary works. However I kept finding myself back in the Egyptian collection at the Met and the Native American collection at the Natural History Museum. I went to the Met multiple times, because of the vast collections of different cultures that we don’t get to see in Australia. I also loved how eclectic each museum was, painting, sculpture, jewellery, artifacts, all housed under the one roof. It reignited my interest in researching how different cultures manifest their belief systems in daily and ritual objects. Jewellery is the perfect medium to explore these ideas especially as it is carried on the body. The small votives I created for the exhibition are an extension of this as well.
AL: NYC strikes me as a pretty fast paced modern place and your pieces have a wonderful ancient quality to them. What is your take on this…
KB: I like for things that I make to be intentional so I seek out a hand made look or aged look to the pieces. For me, new, machined looking pieces do not necessarily convey personal experience which is often not perfect, and worn at the edges. I love minimal, perfect work, however for my own work, it does not help me to convey the stories that I explore with making things. Also I think that there is more energy with placing different things together. It allows for an interesting dialogue.
AL: I love your quote that “when we travel to see things, what we really see is ourselves” could you let us in on a little bit of what you saw (in yourself) while you were away…
KB: I had been working a number of jobs for a couple of years and rushing from one thing to another and had not exhibited for three years as a result. When I went away I was acutely aware of how much I wanted to create for creations sake. Not to meet an order or fulfill production needs. Just to create to explore an idea. To push myself to make things that I had not made before. To challenge myself creatively. When I went away I was faced with everything about myself and the thing that I love the most is to create, it always pushes me forward. And that became more present the more I looked at things and experienced new things. When I am inspired by things I always want to make or draw as an extension of that experience. Its like my hands itch to make something. I sketched the three sculptures on a train, and then kept developing the drawings. I do not think I would have found these forms without the experience of travel. They were like an emotional response to experience.
AL: In this exhibition What I saw when I went away you have created sculptures on a larger scale to your jewellery practise, could you give us some background on what has inspired you to make larger works, how the process differs to you jewellery skills and will you be taking this sculptural work further?
KB: I have pretty much wanted to do this for years, and priotised other things. I think that I have been waiting for the right forms to allow me to make the step to pursuing foundry casting. Scale is very important. When I look at things, like going to exhibitions, or read, I start to create works in my head. What became very clear to me that in order to explore the concepts that this body of work encapsulates for me, I needed to work on different scales with different mediums. So the three sculptures, collection of small votives and group of rings, all fulfilled different needs to explore the theme of this new body of work. I loved every aspect of making the larger works. It was familiar and not familiar to me at the same time. A real challenge. I wish I could work on this scale full time.
AL: The canvas you have painted for this exhibition is a beautiful contrast to the 3 dimensional works.
Could you shed a bit more light on it’s relationship to the objects in the show.
KB: I pretty much start every new body of work by drawing. I then make my drawings. So painting and drawing is essential to my creation of objects and jewellery. For me exploring different mediums helps me to explore conceptual ideas. So if I have an idea, it is important to me to find the right medium to express it.
As a shared studio workshop, NC4 serves its many artists in residence as an office, a workshop, a refuge (home away from home), a creative space, a storage space, a lunch space, an 80’s inspired aerobics space, a teaching space, learning space, a space of encouragement and venting, and a thinking space. Our hours in-house vary and range across the 24-hour span, 7 days a week. Many of us cross over during the week; some of us take over the studio, unseen, when others have left on the weekends or late at night.
There are a lot of us in here: with 10 permanent spaces and three short-term spaces, the influence of the Northcity4 community is far-reaching. With classes, workshops and seminars, Christmas parties and lunches, even more pass through the space. Connections grow. Friendships grow. Ideas grow. The plants get Seasol, but mainly we are fed on cake (with that many people, there’s a birthday every few weeks), cheese (the toastie press is always on), and tea (because someone else is always making it, so you can’t say no).
Within all the sharing, and all the community of the space, our individual work and practices remain intensely private. Our investigations into what drives us as makers, what excites and motivates our work are personal pursuits. Our experiments, mistakes and successes are often shared and discussed, but they are made up of a unique chemistry of influences before, during and after Northcity4. And so this exhibition has been a different kind of production from the NC4 hive.
Hothouse is a collaborative installation by fourteen current and past residents of NC4 over 2015. Within this space that prides itself on having no walls, we have worked together and strung and woven and knotted a black webbed room, and stuffed it with rescued waste from our urban environment: cycle shops and industry. And inside this we exhibit our many different workings. It is an exhibition of our community, demonstrating our collective difference that makes a whole. We’ve balanced and tugged at each other and at ourselves: to contribute to the planning and execution of the exhibition, and also to contribute the individual works that represent each of us working within this space.
Welcome to the Hothouse. This is what we’ve been up to in here.
Text by Anna Gray studio artist and chief technical officer at Northcity4
September 3 – 19. Open 11am – 5pm Thurs, Fri & Sat
At the Northcity4 studio: 61 Weston Street, Brunswick
Please join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition after the seminar Jewellery Three Ways – Skill on Sunday September 6 from 6.30-8pm
Hothouse is presented as part of Radiant Pavilion and Craft Cubed
The exhibition runs from 3-19 September 2015
11AM-5PM Thu, Fri & Sat
Opening: Sunday September 6 at 6:30-8PM
Northcity4, 61 Weston St, Brunswick 3056
KATHERINE BOWMAN | ANNA DAVERN | ANTONIA FIELD | NICKY HEPBURN
EMMA GRACE | ANNA GRAY | JIN AH JO | JANA KING | CAROLYN KINNAIRD
INARI KIURU | ALI LIMB | CASS PARTINGTON | TOYAH PERRY | CALLIE WHELAN