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Art Groupie

Written by Freya Ververis on October 8, 2008

An exhibition of artworks by 29 Musicians, Producers and DJ who also make visual art, presented by Groovescooter Records and da dAdA imprint, as part of this years ANODE festival.

Art Groupie included works by well-known musicians such as Steve Kilbey (The Church), Mick Turner (Dirty Three) and Ben Ely (Regurgitator), alongside lesser known musicians and rising stars of Australian music. Georgie Zuzak and Paris Pompor, Groovescooter’s founders, accomplished the amazing task of curating a large and diverse group exhibition and produced an accompanying CD set containing tracks by all the exhibiting Artists.

This is an intriguing exhibition of what may at first seem an unlikely selection of artists. As one explores the exhibition space and examines the variety of works and media used in this exhibition of paintings, photography, mixed-media and interactive sculpture. It becomes clear that at the center of this show there is a reminder and affirmation of the diversity of creative expression.

This Exhibition is thought provoking and illuminating, with depth that reveals itself in layers. Alex Crowsfoot’s Thieves Like Us, at first glance is a haunting portrait, but more time spent with the work reveals that it is a comment on the illegal downloading of music. “we are losing something from music culture that to me has been very important – sleeve artwork, record shops, trawling through racks of vinyl in second hand shops and so on ­ and that this is leaving a ghost in our culture because it’s not really there any more.”

Nick Wishart and Jodi Rose’s created an interactive instillation, The Singing Bridge, made out of various material including a theremin, door bell and model bridge. Audience members were invited to touch parts of the work in different combinations to make sounds. Wishart, commented that, having a child himself, he is now more aware of the ‘do not touch’ policy in art spaces.  In creating, The Singing Bridge, Wishart desired to make art and musical instruments accessible to anyone.

One wall of the gallery contained the atmospheric and accomplished photographs of two artists Heide Elva and David Kagan. Heidi Elva produced two triptych’s of photographs, soft focus images of lights and silhouettes, titled Night time in Brisbane Series and The Sunset in Lismore Series. When asking Elva about her choice of subject “I do romanticise things and create something poetic from what is around me, the lighting is important in creating an atmosphere”

David Kagan describe his photograph of  a bird suspended in flight, titled Suspended Animation, as “a fluke…taken straight from life”. Both his music and art contain “an element of whimsy, neither take themselves too seriously…its about enjoyment and expression”

Amanda Cole who creates work from everyday objects and recycled material produced an amazing series of intricate drawings on envelopes for this exhibition. When describing her work, Cole an Art Music Composer clearly describe a strong link and the similarity between making Visual Art and Music.”…when composing, my patterns are fitted to an underlying grid, which is pulse….When drawing on the inside of envelopes, there is also a set grid which is the printed security pattern. I enjoy discovering new security patterns that I can use to superimpose my own patterns on.”

The most colourful works in the exhibition where by Steve Kilbey, Jim’s Mirror and Ricki Maymi, gauche and pastel on paper. The images seemed to contain a psychedelic possibly even esoteric element, when asked about this Kilbey responded “I’m just trying to paint the stuff that’s impossible to really paint…at least I don’t know how to yet; and in my struggling I stumble upon what I do”

Finally the question had to be asked about the difference between making art and music, especially as a touring artist, one can only imagine that playing songs over and over, can possibly get a little jaded. “I find painting SO much more fresh and impulsive and I love the fact I don’t have to explain anything to anyone as I do it…its also much less involved in electronic malarkey”  Steve Kilbey

Tap Gallery 23 – 28 September 2008


Martin Kennedy, All India Radio
Amanda Stewart Machines For Making Sense
Rachael Chaos Cherry2000
Nick Wishart ToyDeath
Jody Rose
Alex Crowfoot OllO
Robert Jarvis Zeal
Georgie Zuzak, Mothloop
Steve Kilbey The Church
Ben Ely Regurgitator
Mick Turner Dirty Three
Philip Ricketson The Hoo-Haas
Darrell Archer Night Radio
Caroline Kennedy-McCracken Tulips/Deadstar
Mary Budimir Deprogram
Heidi Elva
Kristofir Dean
Arthur Karanikas Volume=Colour
Adrian Elmer + David Hughes Telafonica
Peret Mako
Matthew Syres Forenzics
Sam Haycroft, Sydonia
David Kagan, Dub Dentist
Melanie Horsnell
Simon Lovelace, Danger of Death
Justin Cooper
Amanda Cole
Nicola Schultz

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