Photos: Post Pacific Graffiti at Ambush Gallery – Sydney

I think we’d be confident to say Post Graffiti Pacific would have to be on of the best curated and presented group shows we’ve seen in Sydney in a long time. So often are group shows just literally a room with a random selection of artists hung on the wall, especially a show that is related to the graffiti and street art scene.

This is what Olivia Laita and the artists Askew, Benjamin Work, Berst, Elliot Francis Stewart, Misery, Route52 and Gary Silipa were all striving to convey in not only the work, but how the exhibition was presented. With the (relatively) new Ambush Gallery space in Chippendale boasting 4 rooms which make up the entire space, the artists were given the chance to divide the space up, whilst also connecting each artists section seamlessly and as a whole really proving to us that these are not JUST the typical graffiti and street artists the media portrays them as. Rather, artists who’s work is contemporary but has roots in those communities.

“In embracing the concept of Post-Graffiti, and to further crystalise their roles in and relationships to the new urban contemporary art movement, the seven Post-Graffiti Pacific artists also use their work to emphasise their cultural backgrounds as New Zealanders. Through Post-Graffiti Pacific, they intend to platform themselves as representatives of Post-Graffiti artists who hail from the greater Pacific region.”

The exhibition continues from 12-8pm until Sunday 19 August.

For more information and an interview we did with Askew, click here.

To see the full set of photos, click below.

Ambush Gallery

Ambush Gallery

Ambush Gallery

Continue reading

Interview: Askew One on the Post Graffiti Pacific group show – Sydney

In the lead up to the Post Graffiti Pacific group show, curated by Olivia Laita at Ambush Gallery, we had a quick chat to Askew One as they prepare for the opening of this monumental break through show.

‘Post Graffiti Pacific’ group show
Where: Ambush Gallery, Sydney
Opening: Thursday 16 July

We are super excited that this exhibition is being held in Sydney. Why did you choose to have the show here and not somewhere else?

To be completely honest, Bill and John at aMBUSH are the first people to extend an invite for us to showcase this movement, it’s that simple. Olivia and I were out in Sydney a bit late last year to work on a project they organised and during some afterwork drinks one night we got into a really in-depth conversation about what how we see ourselves as artists or more specifically how we want to define ourselves, what is our legacy?

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

It seems like the core topic of this show is on the minds of ALOT of artists like yourselves. How does this new term or definition effect you as artists, and also how did the old way of being pigeon holed as “graffiti” or “street artists” effect you?

Yeah exactly, it has been a big point of discussion amongst us, especially as we have all deviated away from just painting graffiti in the traditional sense and started making work that the public can only perceive as ‘street art’. I guess for us, that term irks us a bit because in the 90’s it seemed like a term that was born to create a distinction between us – people who painted more letter-based work which the public hated and another set of artists who started working on the streets as well. From our point of view, the streets were where we did all of our learning and developing and it seemed like a lot of people suddenly came from art schools and the comfort of their studios. The street artists often made something more public-pleasing than us, more identifiable to the average person and did so away from view rather than taking the risk to create in-situ like us and so there was this divide. Obviously this divide is way less apparent today, it’s much less defined because so many people from traditional graffiti writing have evolved to consider themselves artists in a broader sense and make more varied work. The current big trend is towards studio practise and large scale muralism and a lot of the people really thriving in that movement come from a background of painting trains and streets, still not from an art school background. Furthermore, we come from Auckland which is a true Pacific city and the Polynesian capital of the world. Our upbringings, influences and attitudes have been shaped by this very unique experience. As we explore this more it weaves it’s way more and more into our work. We feel this gives us another vital point of difference in the global context.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

Graffiti is obviously a big part of who you all are. Is there ever a part of you that would like to leave it behind? Is that even possible?

I think we all have different outlooks on this, for example I think some members of our collective stopped painting graffiti in that way earlier than others. For me personally it’s still a huge part of who I am, who I know and how I’ve experienced this world. I’d never turn my back on it completely but I have had to shift my focus a lot. Whereas I used to be concerned with painting graffiti everyday, I’m OK with doing a lot less now and channeling that energy more into my studio practise. It’s just the stage in life I’m in. this deserves attention, I find it engaging and in some ways I think graffiti is much more honest from a younger person. There’s a lot of angst, bravado and energy when you’re young that is hard to maintain forever. I also feel some attitudes in graffiti are very rigid and stifling to creative and personal development, like a strange form of conformity that I find doesn’t adhere with how I view the world anymore. I used to hold some really passionate viewpoints that I laugh at now.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

Does the actual work in the show and that you produce currently still represent your past graffiti, or has it evolved into something completely separate?

I think it’s different once again for different artists. I think the likes of Misery and Elliot Francis Stewart have made that transition in a way that still clearly adheres to their outdoor work. Although I’ve seen the progression of Gary Silipa, Benjamin Works and Berst’s art personally and know it’s connection, to someone that just knows them from their old pieces it could be seen as a much bigger jump. Route52 has always been shooting photos as well as painting graffiti. I think with my stuff I used to keep a much bigger separation being the two but my studio work has been influencing my outdoor work more than vice versa.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

Does being located in the Pacific region of the world, more specifically New Zealand, have an effect on your work and process?

Oh absolutely. It’s something we probably overlooked a lot when we were young because our view was always so outward looking. We basically looked everywhere for influence but our own backyard for a long time. When we really reflected on this collectively and asked each other a lot of questions about what was distinctive about our scene, a lot of the powerful stuff can be seen in the documentation of our outdoor paintings. It wasn’t motif or thematic elements, it existed in our surrounds and the people mostly – the stuff we took for granted. Once you turn the microscope on that you find it much easier to understand what makes us different.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

What can people expect to see at this show?

I’m really proud of the show, so proud of Olivia for curating this and blown away by what my friends have created. Everyone has produced very well realised and finished works, each a progression and distinct leap forward from their last. We are stoked to have the opportunity to show this in a great space and with people like aMBUSH who through their understanding and appreciation have enabled us to do this in an ambitious and grand way.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

Will all of the artists be in Sydney for the opening, and have you got any other events or projects lined up for while you’re in town?

Nothing else lined up so far. All of us will be there in person except Misery and Berst who have commitments here in Auckland.

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

PGP group show Ambush Gallery

Photos: Wonderwalls Port Adelaide 2015

Firstly, we’d like to thank Joel Moore for directing the biggest Wonderwalls Festival to date, and of course the City of Port Adelaide & Renewal SA for inviting us to bring Wonderwalls to their city, Ironlak, Verb Syndicate and all of our other sponsors, supporters and volunteers. We’d like to also thank the people of Port Adelaide for allowing us into their city to paint both small and (VERY) large murals, which will hopefully stay forever.

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide saw artists from all parts of the world, all over Australia and locally from around the Adelaide region, converge on the Port to decorate and reinvigorate it’s walls. It was an amazing week which hosted an exhibition, an artist panel discussion and of course a series of murals throughout Port Adelaide. Two of which are amongst the biggest murals in the whole country (painted by Etam Cru and Askew One/Elliot Francis Stewart).

Stay tuned for the video recap, however in the meantime click below for the full set of photos. You can also find a great photo recap by photographer Luke Shirlaw, here.

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide

Continue reading

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide 2015

We are so excited to be presenting the next instalment of WONDERWALLS in 2015! This time, we’re hosting a heap of great local and international artists in Port Adelaide, alongside Renewal SA, together with City of Port Adelaide Enfield and Ironlak.

For more info, please see below or visit the website wonderwallsfestival.com

Wonderwalls Port Adelaide 2015

International street artists Sainer and Bezt of Etam Cru (Poland), Askew One and Elliot Francis Stewart (NZ) will headline a stellar line-up of local, national and international artists who will transform Port Adelaide into a giant, interactive canvas as part of the Wonderwalls festival in January.

Presented by Renewal SA and The Hours, together with City of Port Adelaide Enfield and Ironlak, Wonderwalls the free three day street art festival will run from January 23rd-25th with large scale murals, artist talks and entertainment.

The festival kicks off on Friday night with an official launch party at the recently upgraded Flour Shed at Hart’s Mill. The free event includes live mural painting, guest DJ’s and food trucks and provides an opportunity for festival-goers to meet the artists and purchase exhibition works.

On Saturday, budding photographers can bring their cameras and join one of the two free Canon photo tours to learn professional tips on how to capture the creation of the large scale murals amongst Port Adelaide’s festival atmosphere, followed by a laneway street party on Saturday night which will feature food and drink offerings from local traders Mayfair Bakery and Red Lime Shack.

Artist talks, an art exhibition in the Flour Shed and a walking tour with Verb Syndicate, are presented across the weekend as the large scale works take shape.

All events are free to attend.

For artist biographies and more visit: www.wonderwallsfestival.com

Don’t forget to check in @ourportadl and share your festival photos with us using the official hashtag #wonderwalls.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

FRIDAY 23 JANUARY

EXHIBITION PUBLIC OPENING:

Live mural paining and guest DJ’s
Food and drink trucks
Art exhibition with work available for purchase
Meet the artists

WHERE: Flour Shed, Hart’s Mill Mundy Street
When: 6pm – 10pm
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SATURDAY 24 JANUARY

Murals in progress all day.

CANON PHOTO TOURS
WHEN: 9am – 11.30am OR 3pm – 5.30pm
WHERE: Leaving from 27 North Parade. Book your free spot through the visitor info centre on 8405 6560.

EXHIBITION
WHERE: Flour Shed, Hart’s Mill Mundy Street
WHEN: 10AM – 5PM

ARTIST TALKS
Panel discussion with selected artists, led by Verb Syndicate
WHERE: Flour Shed, Hart’s Mill Mundy Street
WHEN: 3pm

LANEWAY STREET PARTY
Food and drink available for purchase from Red Lime Shack and Mayfair Bakery.
WHERE: Rear lane off Robe Street
WHEN: 5pm – 9pm
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SUNDAY 25 JANUARY

Murals in progress all day.

EXHIBITION
WHERE: Flour Shed, Hart’s Mill Mundy Street
WHEN: 10am – 5pm

WILD AT HART MARKETS
WHERE: Mundy Street
WHEN: 9am – 5pm

ARTIST WALKING TOUR
Take a free tour of the festival sites with Verb Syndicate
WHERE: Leaving from Flour Shed, Hart’s Mill, Mundy Street
WHEN: 11am

Video: ‘If these walls could talk’ web series by Ross Liew

We first met Ross Liew through his mural arts festival Graffiato and have been watching him curate and produce amazing projects ever since. A real pioneer and progressive front man for street art in New Zealand.

Ross has just released his latest project, ‘If These Walls Could Talk’. A series of online documentaries about some of NZ’s most notable street art and graffiti art names including Askew One, BMD, Benjamin Work, Mica Still and Elliot Francis Stewart. A rare and intimate insight into the background and current process of these artists.

Sit back, take some time and watch all of them below, and find out more on the website ifthesewallscouldtalk.co.nz

Askew One – http://www.askew1.com/

Benjamin Work – http://benjaminwork.tumblr.com/

BMD – http://bmdisyourfriend.com/

Elliot Francis Stewart – http://www.lilelz.com/

Mica Still – http://www.micastill.com/

“Created by Ross Liew (Cut Collective) and with the help from NZ On Air Ignite funding scheme, If These Walls Could Talk focuses on five street artists looking at what compels them to paint outside, what drives them artistically, and how they navigate identity, community, ownership and the creative process.

The works of Askew One, Benjamin Work, Mica Still, Elliot Francis Stewart and BMD are documented on video and online, with the series also providing a direct link between the walls painted and the stories captured – both from the online world to the artwork (in learning about the concept and the history of the artist, including their artistic statement with the work), and vice versa, with a link at each mural site available to transport patrons to the ITWTC online hub. “