Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Second Annual Summer Group Show

Over forty artists exhibiting... buy some affordable gifts for Christmas, 
or just something unique for yourself!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quotidian: experiences of the everyday
An exhibition of works by Larissa MacFarlane

10 October - 3 December 2014

Artist Statement
"After many years of recovery from a brain injury when I was 29, I found a home in Melbourne’s West, and so began my journey of becoming an artist. This exhibition is a selection of artworks created over the past seven years, and explores those everyday moments that unite us in our human search for meaning and self-discovery.

Some of the works examine my daily rituals that I undertake in self-managing my chronic illness. Others explore the ways that I have documented and interacted with my everyday environment. And some investigate how we navigate life’s encounters, discover new meanings for life, find places to belong to, as well as propose ways that can celebrate what we have in the here and now."

Larissa MacFarlane is a Melbourne based printmaker. She completed a Diploma of Visual Arts (CAE) in 2010 and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts (Printmaking) at RMIT.  Much of her work is inspired by the urban industrial landscapes of Melbourne’s West and explore the ways in which we coexist with technologies and structures that at the same time we can be so disconnected from.  Larissa also draws inspiration from her experience of illness and disability to investigate ways of linking personal stories to global understandings of where we currently find ourselves in time and space.

She was recently awarded the 2014 RMIT Artland prize, the 2013 Art In Public Places Award in Hobsons’ Bay and has been a Silk Cut finalist for the past  three years.  Though her work as a disability activist, she has also led several community engaged art projects using principles of peer support and self-advocacy to be inclusive of people of all abilities.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Beaumaris Art Group

The work in this exhibition represents a group of Bayside artists who meet regularly at Beaumaris Art Group in Beaumaris. They create imagery related to their personal experience, often depicting subject matter sourced from travel, or related to family. They draw and paint collectively on Thursday nights in a supportive environment, discussing and developing their work with like-minded friends.

Beaumaris Art Group was originally established in 1953 by a group of friends united by their love of art-making, and continues to be a not-for-profit organisation. 

Selected Works
Photographs from the opening...  

Artist Nicky Tsourlenes

Artist Hugh McNab

Artist Hugh McNab and Art Day South support artist Alice Chang

Artist Hugh McNab and family

Artist Kristy Sweeney

Artist Hugh McNab

Artist Paula Whiting

Artist John Puli

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Selected Works by the artists from 
Satellite Studios and Art Day South

Satellite Studio

Satellite is a visual art-making studio established in 2012 to work with artists who are emerging in their practice and in the process of formalising a specific aesthetic.  The artists invited to participate have worked extensively on both collaborative and independent arts projects, including previous work with the Art Day South studio (Arts Access Victoria) based in Dingley, Victoria. 
The Satellite artists work closely with professional artists Rhian Hinkley and Robert Delves in a one-on-one capacity, enabling each Satellite artist to further develop their visual arts practice. Satellite can be compared to a masterclass where the attending artists are given one-on-one attention and mentoring in the development of their work.  The mentoring process not only nurtures their creative development, but also facilitates professional development opportunities and recognition as artists in the art world.  The Arts Access Victoria team, in conjunction with the lead artists at Satellite, facilitate the presentation and promotion of exhibitions, therefore creating genuine pathways for artists with a disability to gain recognition for their work and development.    

The Satellite studio meets every Thursday at the Monash Gallery of Art, a contemporary gallery space specialising in modern and contemporary Australian art and international photography.

Art Day South

Art Day South is a flagship program of Arts Access Victoria.  For more than 20 years it has been a model of ‘inclusive practice’, where the artists work collaboratively with each other and other participants.  Facilitated by professional practicing artists and fully supported by qualified disability workers, Art Day South is an opportunity for participants to develop their creative and social skills as individuals and as members of a group.

Art Day South is based at the Dingley Community Centre in Dingley Village. It is open to any adult with an intellectual disability or acquired brain injury.

John Puli:  Artist Statement

“My name is John Puli and I love Melbourne. It’s been my home for 57 years.  I love to have a cup of tea.  It helps me to meditate and pray, just before I draw.

I acknowledge the support and help of a countless number of people, especially Pauline and Maurice Sheehan, my patron Bobby Garbett, Kim Anderson (Skin Gallery Curator), people at the National Gallery of Victoria, people at Arts Access Victoria, and you.

My influences have been the National Gallery of Victoria, especially their Asian Gallery – “Three Perfections: Poetry, Calligraphy and Painting in Chinese Art” exhibition, Asian ink paintings and the notion of imperfections in Asian art.

Once drawn, my artworks, take on a life of their own.  I hope you have a cup of tea and ponder those.”

“I would describe John as an intuitive artist; there is a natural ebb and flow to his work. He is creative; his work is subtle, with a lot of hidden dimensions.”

-  Bobby Garbett, Patron of John Puli

John Puli:  Biography

John Puli is a participant of Arts Access Vitoria’s Artstop SRS Open Studio, located in Brunswick.  John has been making art all his life.  He has been a participating artist of Western Region Mental Health Group, he has had a solo exhibition at 69 Smith Street Gallery in Fitzroy, and several group exhibitions, including one at Seventh Gallery in Fitzroy.

John studied arts for a short time at the Prahran Faculty of Art (Victoria College) in the 1970’s under Gareth Sansom and other esteemed Melbourne artists. 
Inna by Andrew Lyndon
and Lifelines by Kim Anderson

Andrew Lyndon:  Artist Statement

I’ve never asked myself why I draw and make paintings.  I was always inspired by and felt a lot of passion for music and art, so I found myself just naturally drawn to contributing to that in my own way.  I never really considered myself to be an artist and I would draw randomly rather than dedicating myself fully to a discipline or concerning myself with exhibiting.  The main motivating factor was the simple pleasure of putting shapes and colour in a balance that was pleasing to me.  At first what I drew was mostly autobiographical, I would draw the things around me and the people I knew, then my work became more and more abstract.

In 2011 I was put into a psychiatric facility, and just before this happened I had set all my sketchbooks on fire.  Afterwards I regretted doing so and continued to draw and paint, but this time all that was coming out of me were drawings of faces.  I would do something different from time to time, but it was mostly heads.  I can’t say why, but it was very enjoyable and I never lost interest in doing it.  I never plan a drawing.  It’s all spontaneous and often it’s just about putting lines down in an intuitive way, then sometimes I refine them and add more colour or shapes until I’m satisfied.  That’s not to say that my works have no meaning behind them – I think that there is a subtle subconscious revelation in most of my art.

Creating art for me is not a lifestyle option, or a means of employment, or a social statement, and I wouldn’t call it a hobby either.  Being a great fan of art and making art is a method of self discovery, a kind of indefinable pleasure comparable to meditation, and it is very healing.  But, it doesn’t answer anything for any long period.  I could never do one picture that sums it all up because life isn’t like that, it always changes and so therefore I will always continue to make art.


Kim Anderson:  Artist Statement

“Lifelines” is a series of large-scale, highly detailed portraits of the hands of people very close to me.  Our hands are in constant contact with the rest of the world.  They are tough yet sensitive, dexterous and yet somehow vulnerable, and highly demonstrative of complex emotions.  Through constant wear they bear the inscriptions of our life experience, our passions and fears and memories layered over one another like a palimpsest. 

Rather than studying the body in its entirety, my focus is narrow, even microscopic.  In intimate detail I explore the contours of the skin, closely examining the lines, creases, patterns and scars that are unique to each individual.  The surface of the skin constantly changes from the moment we are born:  stretching, shriveling, creasing and cracking as we move through the stages of our lives, it serves as a topographical map of everything that has ever happened to us.  Through my drawing I search this map, this landscape, discovering the precious memories that linger in the fingertips, and the momentarily forgotten pain of loss in the creases of the knuckles.  Examining at such close range, there is infinite capacity to abstract and interpret, to reveal one’s true and unique character, and even trace a map of their life history.” 

Kim Anderson is an artist, writer and curator who works mainly with drawing, projection and installation projects. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, and was awarded a scholarship to study a Master of Fine Art at the University of Dundee in Scotland.  Since then she has been awarded residencies around the world in Scotland, Italy, Japan and Australia.

Kim has been a finalist in a number of awards including the Rick Amor Drawing Prize, the Hazelhurst Art Award, the Swan Hill Print and Drawing Award, and the Agendo Emerging Artist Award, and in 2010 she was awarded an ArtStart Grant from the Australia Council.  Kim is currently curator of the Skin Gallery.

Abstract, Figuratively Speaking 
by Dawn Lim

Dawn Lim:  Artist Biography

Dawn paints in a gestural style with spontaneous brush strokes, making marks and using colours that help her form ideas.
She was self-taught from childhood and loved drawing the people around her, however was encouraged by her husband to follow through on her love of creating and pursue a formal art education. When she was accepted into the University of Ballarat she was introduced to abstract art, about which she had known very little, and fell in love with compositions, colours, differing thoughts and ideas. 

Dawn has been painting and experimenting ever since, exhibiting in a number of solo and group exhibitions, and is thoroughly enjoying every moment of it.  She successfully completed her Bachelor of Arts with Honours and now works full time at her art practice with representation at One Hundredth Gallery in South Melbourne.
2013 Summer Group Show

6th December 2013 - 31 January 2014 

What better way to celebrate another great year at Skin Gallery, than with a Summer Group Show, showcasing a selection of the best artworks by artists with a disability?
Opened by Hon. Heidi Victoria, State Minister for the Arts, the Summer Group Show featured paintings, prints, photography, drawings and mosaics by over 20 artists from Melbourne, regional Victoria and even the United Kingdom.

L-R:  Skin Gallery Curator Aliey Ball, Skin & Cancer Foundation Executive Director Chris Arnold,
Hon. Heidi Victoria, Minister for the Arts

Skin & Cancer Foundation Director of Corporate Affairs, Peter Monaghan (right)

Artist Stefano Conti

Artist Larissa McFarlane with Hon. Heidi Victoria

Hon. Heidi Victoria officially opening the Summer Group Show

Arts Access Victoria Executive Director Veronica Pardo with Skin Gallery Curator Aliey Ball

Skin Gallery Curator Aliey Ball with exhibiting artists

Artist Dawn Lim (second from left)

Stefano Conti and Giovanni Dimase

Giovanni Dimase:  Artist Biography

 Giovanni Dimase was born in Mildura in the mid 50’s to Italian migrants.

After studying Arts at Monash University, Giovanni worked as a freelance journalist, with his stories appearing in noteworthy publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine, The Age Newspaper and RAM Magazine.

For the past 16 years Giovanni has been working as a bookseller at Blue Guitar, Federation Square, specializing in classic literature. He has also written several film scripts still in development. Giovanni has been writing and performing on the Melbourne poetry scene for the past 15 years and can been seen performing from 2 - 4pm at Federation Square on the third Saturday of each month. Please email for more details.

Giovanni once held the enviable role of Les Murray’s driver at the Mildura Writers Festival!

Giovanni has been a participant of several years of Arts Access Victoria’s Artstop SRS Open Studio. “Being part of the Artstop has been a fantastic experience for some one like me, its been a great learning curve and I’ve made wonderful friends.” Through Artstop Giovanni contributed to The Fluid Ink Project short film project and exhibition at The Brunswick Artspace
This is Giovanni’s first solo exhibtion of his visual art works.

Recently, Giovanni was invited by the Baker Street Synagog in Caulfield to recite his poem titled White Clay, a memorial for French-Jew, Leon Saper, a much loved and respected local potter.

Poetry by Giovanni Dimase

White Clay

(for Leon Saper - potter & holocaust survivor; r.i.p.)

In your house devoid of straight lines
You give the world colours never seen before
Dragons and butterflies; fabulous beasts
Art created from white clay
Your hands at the wheel, expert in motion.

Memories recorded in museums
Tormented dreams haunt us still
When everyone and everything was stolen from you
A new country and a new dream
In your house devoid of straight lines
Art created from white clay
Dragons and butterflies.

All that a man can hope to achieve
To find your freedom in a prison cell
Ashes will swirl amongst the stars tonight
Art created from white clay
Now displayed
on a simple hessian backdrop
You give the world colours never seen before.
 © john dimase.

Kafka's Motorbike

He works in the insurance office by day
Writes The Trial at night
An innocent man is arrested
Assassinated with a knife

Father asks,
How can a boy lead such a life?’
His sisters run and play
For everyone knows Franz is strange

On weekends he rides his motorbike
Through the streets of Prague
He has seen the signs
Knows his world will come to an end

They wait out there
for the gypsies and the Jews.

Lungs are weak; his days are numbered
And for one last time
he explores ancient Prague.
Carefree as he transcends gravity-
lost in the skies.

Nazi bonfires will consume his works
In the camps of Poland his sisters doomed to perish
Do they think of Franz as the gasses rise?
On his motorbike, for several seconds airborne

As he falls through the incandescent universe
Escapes father, factory and Third Reich
Hurtles through the streets,
Smiles in the sunlight
Franz Kafka in his one
true Prague moment.

  © john di mase.


Stefano Conti:  Artist Biography

“I see myself first as a writer, poet and singer. I had skills in creating works of art or so long now, I was a dreaming boy thirteen years old when I started my poetry and my artworks. I like to give to people images, words, shapes that can encourage them to see something not easy to see.
Here in Australia, Melbourne, I grew up to be what I am… I welcome you into my world! “

Stefano has been a participant of Artstop SRS Open Studio for the past four years, where he has worked steadily on his visual arts practice. In 2011 Stefano was involved in The Fluid Ink Project, short film and exhibition at Brunswick Art Space.
A well known character around Melbourne’s north, Stefano often performs poetry readings at Dan O’Connell Hotel, Saturday afternoon’s. An intimate venue frequented by poets from Melbourne.

Stefano is also involved in The Exchange Program, run by Merri Community Health Services Limited. Most recently Stefano has joined Writability a partnership between Writers Victoria, Wheeler Centre and Arts Access Victoria. Stefano is also a key contributor to the ongoing Brunswick Lodge Outdoor Art Project.

Poetry by Stefano Conti


I waited so long
To see the light of a new day coming
Giving me a hint of wisdom,
An insight; my eyes captured reality,
The games of love, the words,
The music of the world
Made me happy, elated,
Amazed of beauty, so, with time
I have established my identity,
I know what I am; days and nights came
To shape myself into a sacred being,
A simple man
Watching the movements of existence,
Left to see the truth,
The passionate game of love,
New days with the golden scenarios
Coming in a familiar way; moments unfolded
To discover my defeat,
My true sorrow, my heart beating
I change to a thousand of selves,
Into this passionate man alive;
The man smiles, I smiled
Trying to convey love, to express
The sweet taste of life,
I smiled to be in touch with humanity,
I smiled to discover joy… After so long
Answers came, it is clear
I am alive and had lessons
Through many seasons of search; my senses
Awaken I had this life
As a sacred gift,
And in the light I maintained a sort of wisdom,
Trying to be gentle
I am here in this world
Complete and whole, realized,
Close to glory,
Just alive in a graceful state…

Stefano Conti
Melbourne, May 10, 2013

Sacred Day

It was autumn coming; dry days
Over dreaming reality; I conquered my mind,
I have established myself… And more and more
Of love, mesmerized of the simple truth, love,
And love was my way; simply
Working out I was happy; days and nights
Started with joy; then, I was the poet,
I was the one dreaming so often,
Having a vision, one world,
Fighting back the demons, being good,
Just trying to love music; one moment
I will vanish, I am left without any power,
Powerless I strolled the avenues,
I’ve walked on empty pavements… I was the man
Angry at times, I had passion for life, now
Close to die I just cry,
Shed tears, be in anguish; the moment
Came I used to know myself
Only one sacred day
Came and I understood my fate,
And the secret is nested in my heart.

Melbourne April 12, 2013 
Escape to Peace by Nita Trevor

Nita Trevor:  Biography

b. Malaysia
Migrated to Australia 1990

Ten years ago Nina suffered a severe burn injury and spent time at the Alfred Hospital recovering. Nita was an A-class art student at school, however, it was during her hospital stay that she participated in art therapy classes and reignited her passion for the arts.

“My first picture was of an angel. It took the pain away and I’ve never looked back.”

At times of loneliness when revisiting childhood trauma, Nita has courageously turned to her art making as a healing process.

In 2003 Nita previously exhibited at the Richmond Uniting Church.
For the past three years Nita has been a regular attendee of The Exchange Program in Coburg, where she has been working on painting, drawing and mosaics. Earlier this year Nita also joined Artstop SRS Open Studios. Nita is a prolific and talented artist of great enthusiasm.

Artist Statement: Escape To Peace

Escape To Peace is a series of delightful scenic watercolour paintings depicting beautiful places the world over. Remarkably, Nita is able to use the very act of art making to enable her to escape from physical and emotional pain and escape to imagined places where she can find peace. The joy she finds there is apparent in her paintings, which capture the splendor of nature, the vastness of space and the beauty of light. 

“I suffer from depression. When I look at the pictures I teleport into the painting and smell the flowers. I can go to Tassie where it’s freezing cold when it’s hot here as I’m painting. I went to a pink sandy beach in Perth, all by myself and sun baked. Being in the painting makes me feel good. “