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Upcoming Exhibition by Sarah Kelk: Common Ground

Modern Times is proud to welcome back Melbourne artist Sarah Kelk with her latest body of work Common Ground, opening Thursday 16 November. Having completed the Jacky Winter Residency earlier this year, Kelk has embraced the colour, texture and quiet of nature as the starting elements to create her latest series.

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As the final exhibition for the year, our curator Irina Asriian is thrilled to announce this show, “We’re delighted to announce the final show for the year; Common Ground by Sarah Kelk has a distinctly bold direction and edgy palate, it is sophisticated and brings with it a hopeful energy!”

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Her distinct layered and energetic approach to painting is reconciled to include a more structured collection of ideas. Sarah says, “I always feel like I’m torn with the style of my work. On one hand, I feel a strong need to work in an expressionist style, and then once I start, I always get pulled into the idea of producing strong, bold and geometric compositionsIn this latest body of work, I decided embrace both of those feelings".

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Allowing process to be the guide, Sarah’s works hint at the inner serenity for which one strives, creating space where possible and working within the confines where space isn’t available. Her navigation of the canvas, layers of colour and remnants of brush stroke evoke an idealistic perspective, one where the peace of one’s environment can be conjured simply through the act of looking.

Join us and Sarah Kelk at the opening of 'Common Ground' and enjoy a tipple courtesy of T'GallantKarma Cola and new event partner Sample Brew

Exhibition Details

PRE-SALES OPEN: Wednesday 8 November at 10 am

For a copy of the catalogue contact [email protected]

OPENING: 6-8pm, Thursday 16 November 2017 
RSVP to [email protected]

EXHIBITION DATES: 16 – 30 November, 2017

SATURDAY ARTIST TALK: 10 - 11am, Saturday 18 October
Book your spot at this free event on Eventbrite

01/11/2017
Art

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The Plant Society X MT

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We are teaming up with The Plant Society , to bring you 'Creating An Indoor Oasis with The Plant Society', an in-store presentation and Q&A with The Plant Society director Jason Chongue. The Plant Society are a fantastic local business specialising in preserving rare and interesting plant species and sharing the knowledge and skills required to grow them.

Learn how to keep your indoor plants thriving with all the best tips for beginners as well as an opportunity to purchase signed copies of Jason’s book 'The Plant Society' which will be released November 1st. 

To coincide with this event we will have the most amazing range of plants courtesy of The Plant Society for you to purchase with any of our beautiful planters. A fantastic Christmas gift idea!

Workshop:

10-11am Saturday 4 November

For more details head to our Facebook page or RSVP to secure your spot!

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26/10/2017
Modern Times News

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Opening Night Gallery! Brooke Holm Exhibition 'Mineral Matter'.

A huge thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the opening night of Brooke Holms solo show 'Mineral Matter'. An extra special thank you to our wonderful sponsors Scotchmans Hill and Karma Cola.  'Mineral Matter' will be open until October 5 at Modern Times, don’t miss your opportunity to view these beautiful artworks before then.

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For more pictures from the night check out our Facebook page here.

26/09/2017
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In Conversation with Brooke Holm

A huge thank you to artist Brooke Holm and all those who made it to the Modern Times Artist Talk on Saturday morning. Together with our generous sponsors Everyday Coffee we had a fantastic catch-up following on from the opening of Brooke’s breathtaking exhibition ‘Mineral Matter’. Enjoy reading our in-depth interview below to gain an interesting insight into Brooke’s inspirations, artistic practice and to find out what’s next for this internationally acclaimed artist. 

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Can you tell us what brought you to photography? How did that journey start?

I was pretty fortunate because I just fell into it by accident. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up so, like a lot of people, I just choose something to study after high school that sounded vaguely interesting and in a very round about way it led me to photography. Long story short, what started as an assistant job in an Advertising agency in Brisbane, quickly turned into a photography role, which led me to study photography. This led me to Melbourne where I felt there was more creative opportunity. After spending a number of years working freelance in Melbourne, I felt the pull from New York and now I live and work from there.

Your work is an extension of another passion of yours, that being nature and the environment. Can you tell us a bit about how this passion or curiosity developed in you?

I have loved nature since I was a child. I used to run free building forts and tree houses and pretending to be Tarzan swinging on ropes through the forest. I loved camping and hiking with my family, climbing trees and doing anything active and outdoorsy. So as I’ve grown up, this passion has only intensified, and it’s no surprise that nature and the environment take centre stage for my personal work. It’s where I feel at home, and where I want to focus my creative energy.

What kind of things have you uncovered about landscape or nature in the process of making your work? Have you had certain ideas or beliefs confirmed by the experience of your travels or have you uncovered the unexpected?

The best part about travelling is learning. You’re learning about an unfamiliar place, with new customs, culture, processes, landscapes etc. To broaden your own understanding of the world and how to make a difference, you have to experience different places. I have been fortunate to travel to many places and every single time I take home valuable information I have learned that I will keep with me forever.

Many times I have traveled somewhere that I had a particular idea about, but you can’t possibly know until you go what the intricacies are.

Take Svalbard for example, I knew the Arctic was affected by climate change at twice the rate of the rest of the world. But going there, and learning first-hand from scientists and specialists, and seeing this place with my own eyes blew my assumptions out of the water.

I was on the right track, but the extent of what I didn’t know, and still don’t know, was vast. Visually, you are always going to find the unexpected. Because how can you know, when you’ve never been. The Internet can only take you so far.

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With this series, Mineral Matter you said you knew this journey to Iceland was important; can you tell us a bit about what first drew you to that landscape?

I knew that the landscape was particularly special because of the intense volcanoes, rivers, geothermal areas, mountains and glaciers and that it was visually very diverse. It is, so far, the most varied looking landscape in one country I have seen. Around every corner there was scenery unlike anything I had ever witnessed before. It was captivating, and heart wrenching and for a nature lover, it’s surreal. While I was drawn visually, I was also wondering how such an extreme place is even habitable and how that worked.

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I’d love to know if you uncovered anything unexpected or confirmed anything that you suspected about Iceland during your time making this series?

I think visually it was more amazing than I could even imagine. I suspected it would be intense and dangerous. There were definitely times where I felt kind of unwelcome like I was walking on eggshells. Except the eggshells were dried up lava fields and I was walking up a volcano that was due to erupt at any moment. I definitely felt at the mercy of the landscape. Iceland is a prime example of a landscape that is much more evidently powerful than humans, and I wanted to experience and document that.

I think there is such a wonderful sense of awe with your work; partially I think that comes from the aerial perspective you take. Can you tell us a bit about why you’ve chosen this perspective, it’s something that you also used in the last series 'Salt and Sky'. What is it about that vantage point that you find works for your photography?

I don’t always take the aerial approach but these two series particularly lent themselves to that perspective. The river deltas, in particular, were important to show from above because you can’t see the intricacies of the colours and shapes in front of you like you can from above. It gives you a better overall picture of nature in full force. I also just love the process of shooting that way. I don’t throw a drone up there, I actually want to be up there. In a helicopter, or a plane, or a balloon… Whichever way I possibly can. It feels more personal in that respect.

When compiling this series you had some really difficult choices to make in collating the 10 photographs in the show. How did you work through that process? What did you look for or hope to achieve with this series?

It’s always a huge task trying to collate the final imagery you will show. Usually I am choosing ten or fewer images from over 10,000 pictures. I wasn’t sure if I would incorporate other images into the series or show other parts besides the river deltas. I went through so many rounds of changes and cutting and culling. But when I finally arrived at these ten and put them next to each other, it just felt right. It’s a very personal process.

Without asking you to reveal too much of your process, can you please tell some aspects of your technical skill and consideration that go into creating such a series, and what you may have learned with landscape photography.

I feel like with photography, all the basic technical knowledge is learned in the beginning, and then you just subconsciously use what you know to adapt to whatever situation you are in at the time. Cameras, equipment and software are always updating for the better so you quickly learn the limits of your gear and where and how you can push it before you really do need to upgrade to something better. My obsession has been with sharpness and quality for creating large prints. This work is best viewed in large format – it’s where it has its greatest impact. Light is always the most important thing because you need a lot of it. And unlike still life or interiors, you can’t control the light. So sometimes you are at the mercy of elements and you just have to be ready to adapt.

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Do you think your work is particularly benefited by digital technology?

Definitely. I used to shoot film for certain personal projects, and I still love it and the nostalgia that comes with it. But for what I’m doing now, there is no good reason for me to use film. Digital has everything I need, is way more versatile and gives me a greater margin for error. A lot of what I’m shooting (particularly from a helicopter) is happening in a moment and if I don’t capture it perfectly and instantly, it’s gone forever. Digital gives me the freedom to focus on getting that shot without worrying about the quirks of film. I still have absolute respect for people still using it, I just choose not to.

What dream do you still want to fulfill – this could be anything not just art!?

I answered this in my Yellowtrace article the other day, but I want to shoot something for NASA. Ideally planets. But maybe I could start here on earth and literally work my way up. I can only hope to keep growing and evolving and sharing more with people and inspiring them. I’m starting to research my next body of work and will start fleshing that out more now that Mineral Matter is on the wall. 

25/09/2017
Interviews, Art

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Five Lessons From Our Workshop.

You don’t have to be a restorer to be interested in restoration and often learning the basics of something will help you understand and appreciate its value. We wanted to take this opportunity to teach our customers about the craftsmanship that goes into our restoration process with five key lessons from our workshop!

PROCESS: What steps go into restoring mid-century furniture?

The steps of restoration vary depending on each piece we work on but a standard process involves: 

  1. Hand picking furniture piece
  2. Detailed assessment 
  3. Wash
  4. Strip
  5. Joining clamping 
  6. Stopping and fine repairs 
  7. Upholstery
  8. Colouring 
  9. Polishing
  10. Finishing and quality control

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VENEER: What is a veneer and why was it used in almost all mid-century furniture? 

A veneer is a thin sliver of timber cut along the grain. The 'cathedral' is the beautiful arches of the timbers grain which are sought after and often exaggerated across a piece. Because it is cut into such thin slivers a veneer be repeated over one piece to for a uniformed finish.  

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Diagram via pinterest 

PATINA: What is patina and why should anybody care about it? 

Patina is the character which builds on a piece usually through use and the condition which it is kept. Patina is the life and story of a piece in physical form, it should never be dismissed and if possible preserved.  

LIFE: How much life can somebody expect out of a restored mid-century furniture suite? 

All dining suites and sofas are restored and repaired to original specifications which ensures the longest possible lifespan. Natural elements such as leather and upholstery of each piece are more susceptible to wear which is assessed, and possibly replaced in the most sympathetic way and presented in the best possible conditions. 

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MAINTENANCE: How do I best maintain my mid-century furniture? 

Because all of the pieces we sell are original mid-century we always recommend regular care. It is both easy and very effective in the long term to look after your furniture. For best results, we recommend that a leather product (used regularly) such a sofa is polished yearly to feed and condition the leather. Dining tables or wooden items used daily can be polished every 3 months and more occasional pieces can be polished once a year. We use Howards and Renapur products in our workshop, and sell both in our retail store.

Photography by Shara Hendersen

06/09/2017
Furniture

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Upcoming Exhibition by Brooke Holm: Mineral Matter

We’re delighted to welcome back to international photographic artist Brooke Holm with her stunning exhibition ‘Mineral Matter’.  Opening Thursday 21st September, Brooke's solo show will premiere a highly anticipated body of work depicting Iceland’s dynamic landscape.

Join us in this beautiful exploration of Iceland’s river deltas, the flow of minerals through streams and rivers. Photographed entirely from above, this series is a departure from the earlier work examining the impact of human interference on the landscape. ‘Mineral Matter’ is focused rather on the energy and force within nature in creating pathways and areas where humans can then reside, explore and embark on adventure.

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“Volcanic ash, sediment and colourful minerals are collected and moved by the travels of glacier water while recent human relics such as vehicle tracks and footsteps weave in and out of frame,” Brooke tells us with excitement.

Brooke is able to represent the forceful command of nature with a divine sensitivity, showing textured tracks; flights of birds; and ripple of waves to create a sense of uninhabited wilderness. Her lens captures the awe-inspiring influence of nature and puts humanity’s domination over the environment into question.

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Currently based in New York, Brooke’s practice takes her across the world, documenting landscapes in a considered and distinctive approach for which she has become renowned. 

Brooke’s work has featured in a number of solo and group exhibition across the world, this will be her second solo exhibition with Modern Times.

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Join Brooke Holm and the Modern Times team at the exhibition opening for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Scotchman’s Hill.

Exhibition Details:

Opening 6-8pm, Thursday 21 September

Pre-Sales open Wednesday 13 September

RSVP to [email protected] or via our Facebook page.

To register for pre-sales contact [email protected]

Artist Talk: 

10 - 11am Saturday 23 September 

RSVP for this free event via Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/ydaz4okm

04/09/2017
Art

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Nik Hanton for Radiant Pavillion

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Nik Hanton, Displacement, 2017, 130 x 360 x 15 mm, Wood, textile, paint, Photo: Nik Hanton

We are hosting Nik Hanton's Climate of Thought as part of Melbourne's Contemporary Jewellery and Object Biennial Radiant Pavillion

In the series, Climate of Thought, Nik Hanton has created works which operate within the tenets of mid-century Modernism. 

The underlying principles of her approach is an emphasis on clarity and order, limited visual distractions, and abstraction of the concept. 

You can check Nik's work out in our window 26 August - 3 September 2017

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24/08/2017
Art

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The Art of Restoration - Honouring Design & Preserving History

For Modern Times the process of bringing amazing vintage pieces to our customer starts in Europe with annual trips to hand-select genuine designer pieces for shipment to Melbourne. Upon arrival at our Fitzroy warehouse it is then handed over to our highly skilled restoration team who really make the magic happen – beginning the tireless process of restoring pieces to their original condition.

We see the process of restoration as being highly sustainable, giving new life to something that could have been disregarded or disposed of. We value the integrity of each item and relish the opportunity to restore each piece to the original specification of the designer and continue to tell its story. 

Our team is lucky to work with, and in turn ‘learn from’ some of the greats!  Hans Wegner, Vico Magistretti, and Friso Kramer are just some of the designers responsible for the furniture we are lucky enough to restore. 

We sat down with our head restorer to discuss where his passion for restoration started and why he enjoys his role leading the restoration team at Modern Times ...

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The Modern Times workshop where the magic happens!

You have been working in restoration for many years now and across many different mediums, what got you interested in restoration, and how did the pieces you worked on when you got started differ from what you work on today?

I established my love of restoration at quite a young age watching my father restore motorbikes and beach buggies, and I helped him until I felt confident enough to take on my own projects. From here I quickly built a love of furniture, firstly industrial and then antiques and mid-century furniture. What I love about my role now is that it is ever changing. Every piece presents a unique set of challenges requiring different approaches. Understanding the history and concept behind any designer piece is paramount to producing an excellent result. 

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Can you talk about some of the most memorable piece and or experiences? 

One of my most memorable restoration memories would have to be my first car being a 1961 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. I felt very proud and privileged to have transformed what was no less than wreck into a beautiful machine which i could enjoy with friends and family.  When I first started out in professional restoration at a friends family Antique shop I was lucky enough to work on a Spanish Casapanca from the 17th century, it was amazing to work on something so old which was still functioning and beautiful. This moment sparked my interest and I have since been fascinated in the way things are made., and the history of furniture making and design continues to be a passion.

Weaving is prevalent in mid-century furniture and is one of the skills you specialise in, how did you discover weaving and what do you love about the process of this craft?

I was taught by a master, firstly learning a traditional ’rushing' and then went on to learn both caning and weaving with Danish cord. Weaving is mostly a study of technique and repetition, I find the process very mediative, it is a skill which I have developed over time. I enjoy researching the patterns and process' of master weavers to then apply new techniques always considering the constraints of the design. Weaving is not a hard process but it does require patience, and it doesn’t hurt to know a few tricks which only come with experience!

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Traditional Danish papercording.

You work with a huge range of designer furniture and must learn a lot from the different techniques of each designer. Which designer gets you most excited?

Hans Wegner stands out to me as a master of design. Wegner’s design signature is 'form and function', a use of solid timbers, and he often incorporated weaving into his pieces.

Design trends are always changing and it feels like new product is constantly being pumped onto the market. Why should somebody buy a restored piece over a brand new piece? 

A restored piece is part of a story which you can find out about, be inspired by, and then become a part of. Restored furniture has a character which is irreplaceable and should never be dismissed. It is this story which gives a piece desirability and value. Each piece tells a story of the designers thought process and is a reflection of a movement. The designer pieces that we work on are highly collectable and will always hold if not increase in value. 

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photography by Shara Hendersen

24/08/2017
Furniture

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In Conversation with our 'Life Within' Artists.

Thank you to everyone who visited Modern Times to enjoy the ‘Life Within’ group exhibition with Mark Alsweiler (NZ), Sandra Eterovic and Kasper Raglus. We througherly enjoyed having the works of these three talented artists on our walls! We recently caught up with the artists to gain better insight into their individual inspirations and artistic practice. Enjoy the interview below...

Mark Alsweiler– in conversation.

I think the first question is always what has led you to being a visual artist? Can you tell us a bit about the path that led you here?

I think early on it was a combination of being an only child mixed with growing up in a small town that has really bad weather. So if it was rainy I always liked doing paintings and drawings on my own. 

When I was younger I liked skateboarding and snowboarding and all the associated graphics, products and magazines etc. That led me to study Graphic Design at University. 

After finishing my degree I started doing some paintings more for fun and to keep myself busy. One day a mate’s boss who was interested in collecting art put on a solo show for me in New Zealand, which went really well.  I moved to Sydney after that and have just kept making work and doing shows ever since.

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 You also talk about folk art and DIY culture as things that are of particular interest to you. Can you tell us perhaps what aspects of these you find particularly appealing and how this translates to your practice?

 I think with folk art or outsider art I like its sincerity. Folk art is generally pretty naive and honest and has some individual personality, which I like rather than something like a photorealism painting.

I guess with the DIY aspect in my own work it has meant learning to make all my wooden panels; doing some framing; learning and improving as you go; and being comfortable with what I can do within my capability. I like seeing little imperfections in other peoples work and I think that’s what gives it a certain personality. 

 

You mentioned in your statement that you view your paintings being similar to a film still, can you explain what you mean by this?

The process of making them is kind of like setting a scene with the background, and then I put the characters in after that.  I like the idea of making something that doesn’t have the whole narrative, kind of like a freeze frame.  So people can make up in their own minds what’s going on. 

 

I love to learn how artists go from concept to the final piece, where does the journey for your works begin, is it the material you work with or something you see/hear that creates the concepts?

I think its a mixture of things I see day-to-day and might want to include in my work along with more calculated things from reference material that I might hunt out online to go with a certain idea I am working around.  Mostly it all comes from drawing a simple idea down and then working off that to build it into something more complex or detailed. Then the process turns into being comfortable with the fact it will never be what you first imagined and adapting it from there.

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Sandra Eterovic – in conversation. 

You have a diverse background including textile and fashion along with illustration. How did you start as a visual artist, what did that path look like for you?

The transition from full-time designer to freelance illustrator/ artist was long and difficult.  When I left high school I studied art history at university, and became highly critical of my own creative ideas.  I got a proper job as a designer and did not make any personal artwork for over fifteen years. 

It was only after my friend Anna recommended a course run by Jane Cocks at Latrobe College that I began to understand what making art could be like in contemporary Melbourne.

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You have said that you have a partiality to the medium of paint and wood? Can you tell us a bit about your process and the role that mediums play in your work?

I have always enjoyed using various mediums, including clay, textiles and printmaking.  I am not sure how I ended up being an acrylic-on-wood person but its immediacy suits what I am doing now. I would like to continue honing my skills as a ceramicist and printmaker too.  I am especially fascinated by colour lithography.  I hear it is very challenging to learn.  

 

That sounds like a really exciting direction for you. Do you have a particular routine to make work, what’s your motivator to get into the studio and create?

I work as an illustrator most of the time.  The studio is my workplace, so there is no question about motivation when a job has to be done.  When it comes to personal artwork, in the last year I have found that entering prizes is a good motivator to stretch myself and bring bigger ideas to fruition.  Split 1979, All I could think of, and Read My Mind all came about this way. 

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Your work has some striking imagery, both realistic and surreal in its composition. I'm specifically referring to your work 'Split 1979', can you tell us the story behind this work?

The Mediterranean Games are much like the Commonwealth Games.  In 1979 they were held in the city of Split, a coastal city in the then Yugoslavia, where my family happened to be spending the entire summer.  I was a kid then, and prone to the grandeur of international sporting events, fireworks and the prospect of the odd souvenir.  I still have a tin mug which has "Split 1979" and the 'S' shaped seal mascot printed on it.  I coveted visors and t-shirts, but I especially wanted the striped blue beach towel. 

I have been back to Split many times since.  In 2015, the Split 1979 beach towel was featured in an exhibition at the city's Ethnographic Museum, about fishing traditions in Dalmatia.  I was a few months late for that exhibition, but I got the souvenir catalogue.  

It is extensively researched, lovingly written (though shoddily translated), and beautifully illustrated with various photographs, many from local archives.  I looked at the resigned expressions of women carrying giant boxes of fish on their backs, and pondered the rather prescribed culture of my forebears.  Even now, men got to fish and drink and get up to all sorts of things.  The women stay at home and cook and wash and clean.  I started thinking about these women, and getting a little angry.  Then I looked again at the Split 1979 towel and reconsidered the meaning of the word "Split".  1979 or not, I thought I'd give one woman a chance to escape. 

 

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

I have wanted to make a series of small word based pieces for a while, and I look forward to starting on those soon.  It may also be time to consider a self-portrait, instead of depicting my unsuspecting beau when he is asleep or washing dishes sans underpants.

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Kasper Raglus – in conversation. 

Can you tell me a bit about your background and what has led you to painting?

I’ve always had art in my life, my dad (Jeff Raglus) paints for a living, so growing up around his art and going to exhibitions it just seemed like a normal job to do. 

Once I finished school I knew I had to do something within the art world, I started off doing more graphic and commercial work but that eventually led to doing small paintings and then my first show. 

 

You say in your statement on   “Life Within” that it is the most “personal set of works to date” and was “therapeutic”, without putting you on the spot too much, can you tell me a bit more about what you meant by this?

With this set of paintings I was really trying to create something that represents the end of a relationship and finding a path in my life to feeling positive about my future. Some of the work could be a visual doorway to a bright colour for example, always open to interpretation but for me the actual making of these paintings was me telling myself that life will change again and again and it comes down to small choices in everyday life.

 

That is such a beautiful sentiment; change is really the only constant. Is your work typically biographical?

Yes but I always make the point that it's not my opinion forced on somebody, I want people to be able to see their own life in my work.

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When we first met you talked about your work as part of a bigger story and that you hope the audience brings something to the work when viewing it. I just want to know how would you describe the subject matter of your work?

I suppose my work is 'abstract' enough to mean different things to different people. Each individual painting means something to me and I try to put a lot of emotion into my work but I like the idea that if somebody connects with my work it's because they see something that reflects their life.

 For my painting 'You Connect' I was trying to touch on how many things need to come together for a relationship to work. The two shapes connecting or disconnecting, if you will, really symbolise that for me.


What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

I get inspired by music a lot of the time, a certain lyric will jump at me and from there I take that emotion and try to create a painting that relates to the feeling I got initially.

Visual inspiration can come from other paintings I see but usually more random things like a book cover or architecture. I think where I live inspires my work a great deal, because there is so much space here on the coast I like to think the negative space in my work can trace back to that. 

Speaking of space! What does having a physical space to make art in mean for your process, and how do you make your space work for you?

Right now I'm sharing a studio with my dad until I find my own, it does have a fireplace, which is really great!

I have a proper work shed as well as a studio so if I need to use power tools for whatever reason I have everything ready there too.

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01/08/2017
Interviews

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Opening Night Gallery! 'Life Within' Group Exhibition.

Thank you to all our wonderful guests who joined us for a fabulous night celebrating the opening of 'Life Within', our first group show for 2017 with Mark Alsweiler, Sandra Eterovic and Kasper Raglus!

 A huge thanks to our generous sponsors Scotchmans Hill and Colonial Brewing Co for their delicious beverages served on the night. 'Life Within' will be open until July 27 at Modern Times, don’t miss your opportunity to view these original artworks before then. 

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For more picutures from the night check out our Facebook page here.

 

24/07/2017
Art

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Upcoming Exhibition by Mark Alsweiler, Sandra Eterovic & Kasper Raglus: Life Within

We are so happy to invite you to our first group show for this year, Life Within, a group exhibition uniting the works of Mark Alsweiler (NZ), Sandra Eterovic and Kasper Raglus in rumination on life’s little details. 

Inspired by objects, daily rituals and observations Life Within creates an opportunity to explore what drives individual philosophies, identities and the meaning of it all through the diverse and lasting medium of paint. 

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Seen through the lens of each artist’s practice viewers are encouraged to consider art’s interpretation of life and in turn the role it plays creating those meanings. Mark’s work is quintessentially happy and intentionally so! The paintings are comprised of life-inspired scenes and create a romanticized version of every day living. His wooden sculptures extend from the characters in his paintings, building on their narratives within a three-dimensional context. 

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By contrast Kasper’s paintings solicit momentary suspension from the real, at times resembling doorways or entry points to dimensions beyond the third. His highly textured plains of abstract forms resemble prism-filtered rays of light. This reference to light is able to subtly convey the passage of time as well as its interruption. Kasper’s painting, “Sorry That I Missed You” embodies these concepts most prominently. 

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Sandra’s highly biographical works explore her relationship with identity and the experience of life’s idiosyncrasies, including narratives from her youth up to today. Her work “Split 1979” traces a relationship with the location Split, Yugoslavia where she first went as a child and has revisited many times since. Teetering between private and public, her work touches on human relationships, lifestyles and the journey to happiness. 

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Join us together with our Artists at the opening to enjoy wonderful art and a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Scotchmans Hill and Colonial Brewing Co.

Exhibition Details:

Opening 6-8pm, Thursday 13 July

Pre-Sales open Wednesday 5 July

RSVP to [email protected] or via our Facebook page

To register for pre-sales contact [email protected]

30/06/2017
Art

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In Conversation with Caroline Walls

A huge thank you to artist Caroline Walls and all those who made it to the Modern Times Artist Talk on Saturday morning. Together with our generous sponsors CAPI and Everyday Coffee we had a fantastic catch up following on from the opening of Caroline’s sell out show ‘Another Thought’. Enjoy reading our interview below to gain an interesting insight into her inspirations and artistic practice. 

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Your bio is extremely impressive and seems so diverse in its fields of interest; can you tell us a bit about what led you to make art? And more specifically tell us about how you came to explore the female form in your practice? 

During my schooling, art subjects were always my key focus and having studied Visual Communication at university, I began my career working with agencies here and internationally, as an art-director and designer - specialising in fashion and luxury brands, so this kind of work and environment allowed me to really blend my interest in art and commerce. Ultimately though, I had a real yearning to find a more autonomous outlet for self-expression through my art-making. This lead me to do a year-long post-graduate certificate at the VCA in Visual Art which opened my eyes to the possibilities of making art as a full time career. In terms of my subject matter, the female form has been of interest to me since I was fairly young – my parents have my figurative paintings on canvas I did when I was 15 years old still hanging on their walls so I’ve come full circle. It feels very naturally that this exploration of the female form continues, albeit in many different guises across the different mediums I work with. 

 

You use the term “fluidity” when talking about the female form in your work, can you elaborate on what you mean by this? 

On a physical level I guess it’s my way of evoking in one word the expressive qualities of the female form that I see and love – a women’s curves, it’s wholeness, it’s innate sensuality. The way it can express so much in how it moves, bends and reacts to the world.

On a more psychological level I am also keenly interested in the study of female sexuality and the fluidity of this – I’ve read many books on the subject and a lot of my works explores the idea around a women’s sexuality and how it is perpetually in motion and is not a static thing – but in fact fluid.

 

Can you perhaps talk us through some of your process, what spurs your ideas from mind to canvas? 

Generally, all of my canvas works begin with very rough sketches – I have piles of them around the studio, some are highly detailed and others are very minimal, loose and spontaneous – which got me interested the concept of reduction.

With this particular series of works I set out to explore the female form in a reductive state, to the point of abstraction. Adding and subtracting the line and shape that make up the female in order to heighten the expressive power of the overall composition. 

 

You work spans across sculpture, print, drawing, and painting mediums do you find that certain ideas translate better in one state or the other? Or is it the medium that guides the way for your ideas?

My interest in working across multiple mediums is for varied reasons - it allows me to explore the same theme in many ways, to produce new and unique responses to the notion of the female and what this word can evoke through varying the tactile and aesthetic qualities of each medium. The choice of medium can also dictate how spontaneous I can be - I choose drawing with charcoal for its ability to be really freeing and efficient and expressive – anytime or anywhere, whereas my paintings on canvas are made up of highly considered compositions that take more planning and a deeper thought process. I love sitting with a painting for hours and methodically apply layers and layers of paint - it's really meditative.

 

What draws me into your work is a lot about the palette, the use of the soft hues with a really limited range in your work is common and I’m curious to learn what happens in your colour making or selection process? What influences the choice of colour?

On a really basic level my choice in using such a tight colour palette of nudes, neutrals, deep blues and blacks comes from a really pure and honest aesthetic response I have to these tones that is just intrinsically part of me – they fill me with happiness when I look at them – my home for instance and what I choose to have around me are all very much in these muted and subtle tones. Bold, bright colours in tones of greens yellows, reds, bright blues wouldn’t convey the feelings I want to evoke in my works either and to stray from my palette wouldn’t feel natural I guess. These colours allow me to express the suppleness of skin, the softness of a women’s body and so on but I think even though my works can be very muted, subtle and minimal in colour palette there is a real boldness in that.

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 The way women see themselves and see other women is somehow still dictated by a general sense of what it is to be female which may not always reflect reality, is this something you think about when making a work? Can you tell us about the themes you explore in your work and what you hope the audience will experience in seeing your work?

I hope my works evoke a sense of celebration and empowerment of and for the female. I’m interested in what lies beneath the surface of a woman in todays cultural sphere – given the intensity in which we are forced to engage and present ourselves with the influx of social media and what we witness online, in magazines etc. There is still a real pressure to present ourselves in a certain way with relation to our sensuality, our sexuality, what we do with out fertility and the types of work we do. So in that sense I am ever curious about the differences between the private and the public self and how outside forces can impede on a womans truest self – the unseen aspect of a woman. I think in many ways we have seen a real shift in perceptions of what it means to be female, an openness and solidarity that wasn’t so apparent before but I do believe there is a long way to go. As a woman myself I am deeply curious about the way gender lines, sense of self and sexuality plays into our understanding and approach to the world around us and I hope my works can form a small part of that conversation.

 

I think we can lighten up again and chat about your inspirations. What are you presently influenced by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to inspire you?

I take a lot of inspirations from the everyday experiences I go through as a woman, particularly as a woman in a relationship with another woman (which creates an interesting dynamic with the generally heteronormative world around me). Also I am a sponge for ideas and thoughts that come up in conversation I have with close friends that centre around relationships, the sense of self and so on. It shouldn’t come as a surprise but I have a deep love for figurative (or bodily-leaning!) art created by women artists – there is no shortage of incredible works that inspire, some past and some present;  Marlene Dumas, Polly Borland, Sarah Lucas, Collier Schorr, Louise Bourgeois, Kerstin Dreschel.. I could go on! Music is always on in my studio which allows me to really switch off from the outside world, and particular tracks have been known to influence the titles of my pieces!

 

You’ve lived in such big cities New York, London; do you feel you’re influenced creatively by your city? If so what influences has Melbourne given you? 

My personal experiences have been that even though cities such as NYC and London are much larger in many respects I’ve always found a smaller community of people and day to day experiences within it that feels much like Melbourne, creatively speaking, the subject matter, inspiration and experiences of womanhood I choose to seek out and engage in are universal so I don’t feel like it’s dictated by any particular city as such.  

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22/06/2017
Interviews

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Modern Times WAREHOUSE SALE!

 

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Don't miss the annual Modern Times vintage furniture Warehouse Sale this weekend in Fitzroy. Incredible Danish leather sofas, Italian armchairs, European dining tables and chairs, sideboards and more, all at amazing prices! This Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th June from 10am to 5pm at the Modern Times Warehouse, 433 Smith Street, Fitzroy.

RSVP via our Facebook for previews!

21/06/2017
Modern Times News

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Opening night gallery! Caroline Walls 'Another Thought'.

Thank you to all our lovely guests who joined us for a fabulous night celebrating the opening of Caroline Walls’ sold out exhibition ‘Another Thought’.  

A huge thanks to our generous sponsors Scotchmans Hill, Colonial Brewing Co, and CAPI for their delightful beverages on the night, and to Everyday Coffee for their delicious brew for our Saturday morning Artist Talk.  

We have had an amazing response to Caroline’s work and are proud to announce all paintings have sold out. In addition to these Caroline has released a small series of hand pulled screen prints exclusive to Modern Times which are available here

‘Another Thought’ will be open until June 29th at Modern Times, don’t miss your opportunity to view these stunning original artworks before they head to new homes.  

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19/06/2017
Art

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Upcoming Exhibition by Caroline Walls: Another Thought

Modern Times is thrilled to announce Another Thought a solo exhibition by Caroline Walls. Opening Thursday 15 June, this highly anticipated show features original paintings and limited edition screen-prints, depicting the female silhouette in its most simplified and expressive form.

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Caroline maintains a multifaceted practice working in design, sculpture, screen-print and painting. Another Thought furthers her exploration of the female body, the construction of self and identity.

The influence of her design practice is clearly evident in the emphasis on shape, strong graphics and a play of neutral, nude and navy tones.

She breaks down the body to capture its multitude of elements, with works that portray not just the shape but also softness of skin, contour of hips and arms conveying the idea of the female figure.

With a visual art practice established in New York and London where she lived and worked, Caroline has returned to being a Melbourne local now operating from her studio in Carlton North. Caroline’s work has been avidly collected by art lovers across USA, Europe, Asia as well as Australia.

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Caroline has exhibited in a number of group shows both in Australia and overseas, after a long collaboration with Modern Times, Fitzroy this will be her first solo exhibition in the space.

Check out Vogue Living's beautiful 'First View' album here.

Join Caroline and the Modern Times team for the opening of Another Thought and a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Scotchmans Hill, Colonial Brewing Co. and Capi.

 

Exhibition Details:

Opening 6-8pm,Thursday 15 June.

RSVP to [email protected] of via our Facebook page

To register for pre-sales contact [email protected]

Join us on Saturday 17th for coffee by Everyday and an indepth conversation with Caroline 10 - 11am

RSVP for this free event via Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/ y85abn6w 

30/05/2017
Art

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Opening night gallery! Hannah Nowlan's 'Myths, Moons and Mountains'.

A huge thank you to everyone that came to Modern Times to help celebrate Hannah Nowlan's first solo exhibition 'Myths, Moons and Mountains'. We had a such a wonderful night with all of our lovely guests. 

A big thanks to Scotchmans HillColonial Brewing Co, and CAPI for providing delicious beverages on the night, and to Everyday Coffee who provided much needed coffee for our Saturday morning Artist Talk. 

The artwork has nearly sold out! So don't miss your last opportunity to view the exhibition open until May 25th at Modern Times.

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For more picutures from the night check out our Facebook page here.

24/05/2017
Art

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In Conversation with Hannah Nowlan

Thank you to everyone who has popped in to see Hannah Nowlan’s sell out exhibition ‘Myths Moons and Mountains’, we are so proud of what a great success Hannah’s first solo show has been! The Exhibition is coming down this Thursday but if you missed out you can still view the work on our website here or shop exclusive Modern Times editions here.

This week we caught up with Hannah and enjoyed what was a fascinating discussion gaining a deeper understanding of the process of Hannah’s practice as an artist. You can listen to the conversation on our Facebook or enjoy the read below. Thank you to Hannah for answering our questions with such thought and insight, enjoy!

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I think when discussing this body of work the first thing I’m curious about is the development of the motifs through out. Can you tell us a bit about the subject matter or the content of your work? 

The motifs throughout this new series are partly imaginative scenes and partly true depictions of place. The subject-matter that forms the motifs vary from seascapes and landscapes, to fortes, buildings and canyons, to legends and fables. All the influences tend to penetrate my imagination and become my own.

In part each shape acts as an anchor, trapping memories of places I've been or spaces I've encountered - these can be both physical and emotional spaces. The recurring shapes and colours throughout this series form a dialogue within each painting and across all the paintings as a whole, similar to the way language forms a myth or a story.

 

I think what’s become synonymous with your work has been the emphasis on texture, you go to great lengths to ensure the visibility of that texture for the audience, the works have no glass for a purer exposure. Can you tell us about the mediums you use and what’s important for you when choosing the medium?

I feel a work of art is more personal with no glass, it feels more real. I find the reflections to be distracting and they separate the viewer from the work, without glass an artwork, to me, is more approachable. I think the subtlety of texture has always been prevalent within my work for as long as I have been making. Medium is something I have a physical, spatial, sensual and visual relationship with.

I have had a long-standing love for paper since a very young age, making, collecting and crafting with it for as long as I can remember. Linen is also something I have had a long relation with. My mum being a dressmaker, I’ve always admired and appreciated fabric especially natural fibers and textures. I have a strong relationship with timber too, as my father is a carpenter and it has been another medium, elemental in my life. 

Working on paper came very naturally to me, after specialising in drawing and printmaking at university. For a long time, I’ve wanted to paint on linen but with such appreciation for the natural medium of linen, there was a lot of hesitation and I felt I needed to reach a certain place before I I could positively add to what is already such a beautiful substance. 

 

I think for those of us who don’t make art, like myself I’m always curious about the process, is it instinct when compiling your layers or colour or do you find yourself laboring over these details or particular pieces? 

A lot of my work is instinct yet at the same time, a lot is pre-planned. A lot is stumbled across or discovered along the way and my initial plan will never stay true, I make a change or a mistake and it usually evolves for the better. You have to be able to let go of initial ideas, allow yourself to play in the moment and to not resist going with the flow or wherever the work needs you to go. 

Prior to this series I never worked in sketchbooks on a regular basis, like I do now. I would usually just conjure ideas in my mind and instantly go off and make them. There was no time to plan, it all needed to happen right away. This series is definitely my most considered collection in this respect. Sketchbooks full of shapes and ideas lead up to each painting. Colours often come later, and the layers seem to build as I discover each shape on its own terms on the paper/canvas. 

Some pieces just happen, they work and feel instantly resolved. Others, I spend days, sometimes weeks labouring over until they are right, or still not right.

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You have said that you use the coastline as your inspiration that the shapes you uncover in the coast are what stick with you and translate to your work. Do you consider your work to be autobiographical at all; does personal history work its way into your art?

Definitely —my work at university was ENTIRELY different to what I make now and this is purely because my personal circumstances, spaces, mind set and ways to express a certain experience have changed over the years. It’s usually in hindsight where I can see clearly why I was making a certain type of work or practicing in a particular way and it almost always comes down to a connection with ‘self’ at the time. The works derive from somewhere innately personal and I feel rather exposed and vulnerable - another element to why I like the paper and canvas to be exposed to its external environment.

 

This body of work has taken a leap and is so different to your earlier pieces, when we visited your studio you talked about the influence of your recent residency on this work. Can you tell us a bit about the experiences in Portugal and perhaps how this has influenced your work or your philosophy for Myths Moons and Mountains  work? 

My Portugal residency was my first trip, overseas alone. I knew I was capable of travelling alone for 2 months or even longer but I wasn't aware of how independently invigorated it would make me feel. I think this played a large role in boosting my confidence as an artist, in a way it validated my practice and made me realise that I do have something unique to share.

It allowed me to feel more confident to experiment with new materials and to push my practice into new spheres. The philosophy behind this new collection is inspired by natural elements, out of our control forces and both internal and external shifts. For me this collection doesn't seem to be a big leap, it feels like I have been working towards these pieces for a long time. It just took being out of my comfort zone to realise their potential.

 

It seems that artists are sometimes like sponges of the world, absorbing everything for inspiration and then creating work out of those experiences. What are you presently influenced by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to inspire you?  

I definitely feel like a sponge. I absorb shapes, colours and strange memories, often without even realising. Then one day they re-appear in my work. I have a regular yoga practice, which I find influences my work profoundly. I create many parallels between my breath, my spirit and myself with the ocean through this practice - partly through the time I have at yoga to let go and be present. I’ve also been reading a lot about local mythologies —my dad often tells me stories about where we live and there are definitely certain elements that I’m drawn to. 

 

What’s important to you when starting a new work, is it having time, the right space, a cup of tea? What is it that pushes you to a start? 

I often have drawings and ideas in my sketchbook, that literally force me to make a new work, it’s like a seed bursting to grow. Earlier this year I upgraded my studio space, to a much larger area, I think this has been fundamental to allowing changes to occur within my work. I believe that my works often mimic the spaces I work in and on that note, they often directly mimic me and who I am at any given time. So I find it’s pretty important that I feel comfortable and relaxed in the space I’m working in, before I begin a new work in order to translate relaxed energies.

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So on the heels of finishing your arts degree, do you see your work as relating to any current movement or direction in visual art or culture? Which other artists might your work be in conversation with? 

I think there is an evolving movement happening in art and design, actually in living in general as well. A movement, which is about the everyday, it’s about slowing down, being present and also about being ‘home’— wherever that may be. 

There are so many artists that I feel are creating environments out of their art practice, creating spaces and conversations about the pleasure of doing what we do, and the craftsmanship that is involved. Stephen Clark (Den Holm), Jordana Henry, Lily Johannah, Jordan Kerwick and Emily Besser to name a few. The stickler for this movement, for me, is appreciating medium, and tending to one’s own work as a form of therapy and/or to work with one’s own energy. 

I’ve had a few conversations lately about my work harking back to 70’s vibes or the Bauhaus era. Bauhaus was a period where craft, design and visual arts emerged as one and where the notion of the everyday but also of appreciation became apparent in the objects we owned as well as the products we made. I think this association with my work is very true —as my work fundamentally brings together a work of craft and fine art. It always has. It’s always been a merging of craft and fine art. This series fuses these elements, in a more traditional way, merging my paintings with the craftsmanship of bespoke frames for example. But with this series, we (my father and I) have fine-tuned our materials and our processes, to refine and master our craft even more. It’s by far more considered than it ever has been.

24/05/2017
Interviews

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Upcoming Exhibition by Hannah Nowlan 'Myths, Moons and Mountains'.

Modern Times is thrilled to present Myths, Moons and Mountains the first solo exhibition by emerging Melbourne artist Hannah Nowlan. Opening Thursday 11 May, this show is a definitive body of work, bringing together Hannah’s distinctive abstract style and newly developed themes from her residency in Lisbon, Portugal.

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This series explores the young artist’s strong connection with the coastal landscape depicted through bold shapes, overlapping planes of glaze and colour, a muted earthy palate and subtle strokes of texture. Harking back to the modernist influences of Bauhaus these works are distinctly contemporary using confident strokes and designs.

“My art has always paid homage to the rugged yet relaxed atmosphere of the Victorian coastline, my travel through Portugal and Spain has evolved these elements further, resulting in new motifs and narratives,” explains Hannah.

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The exhibition will feature works on paper and for the first time, Hannah will work on canvas, pushing the boundaries of her materials and establishing her practice with more confidence and experience. The show promises to set a pivotal new path for the emerging artist.

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photography by Suzi Appel

Join Hannah and the Modern Times team at the opening of ‘Myths, Moons and Mountains’ for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Scotchmans Hill, Colonial Brewing Co. and Capi.

Exhibition Details:

Opening 6-8pm,Thursday 11 May 2017.

RSVP to [email protected]

To register for pre-sales contact [email protected] 

23/05/2017
Art

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Easter Hours

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We are taking an extended Easter break to give the shop a lick of paint amongst other improvements.

We will be back on Wednesday looking super freshhhh!

Thursday 13th April – CLOSED

Good Friday – CLOSED

Easter Saturday – CLOSED

Easter Sunday – CLOSED

Easter Monday – CLOSED

Easter Tuesday – CLOSED

Wednesday 20th April - BACK IN BUSINESS!

12/04/2017
Modern Times News

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Nocturnal Reflection: Midnight Modern III & Book Launch

We are very excited to be presenting our first exhibition for 2017 – exhibition and book launch Nocturnal Reflection: Midnight Modern III from one of our favourite artists Tom Blachford.  

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Opening Thursday 9 March the show brings together previously unseen works from Tom’s third series of Midnight Modern and the Melbourne launch of the publication “Midnight Modern: Palm Springs Under the Full Moon”, a hardcover release, published by powerHouse, NYC. Go Tom!

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As you may know the series documents the famed modernist period homes of Palm Springs, including prominent properties such as the Kaufmann Residence, Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate and Frey II house. Tom has charmed his way into the Palm Springs scene managing to get unprecedented access to these iconic homes, photographing them from inside their boundaries, rather than just from the street as with his first series.

These highly moody scenes, entirely absent of people, pay homage to the pinnacle of modernist architecture. In his most recent photo shoot Tom has included several modernist cars further emphasising the style of the time.  “Palm Springs, to me, is an inhabited shrine to the sun, to cocktails and hedonism. It has functioned for so much of its life as a Mecca for design and lifestyle, I wanted to capture its dark side”.

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Tom Blachford holds a strong international presence and has been actively exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions both locally and overseas. In 2016, Tom’s work was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Bowness Photographic Prize. This will be Tom’s second exhibition with Modern Times Gallery and his first publication launch.

REGISTER FOR PRE-SALES

BUY THE BOOK

Opening 6-8pm, Thursday 9 March 2017. RSVP to [email protected]

Exhibition Dates: 9 March – 23 March 2017

Modern Times Gallery – 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy

For enquiries contact Irina Asriian on [email protected] 

14/02/2017
Art

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A Guide To Small Space Living

Small space living does not have to be about making compromises. With a carefully selected furniture and lighting, apartment living in the inner city can provide a fantastic quality of life. Check out our tips for making your inner city pad feel more spacious and a joy to come home to.

A Restrained Colour Palette

Choose a colour palette that creates a sense of uniformity across the entire apartment. With open plan kitchen, living and dining, restraint in your colour choices encourages the eye to absorb the room as one larger space. The additional of accent colours, textural finishes such as metal and stone, and a fresh injection of greenery will add personality and a sense of homeliness.

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Nine Smith St Apartment by Neometro. Furnished by Modern Times. Image Credit: Shannon McGrath

Open Lines of Sight

Furniture that is raised off the ground on legs creates an open line of sight, making the space appear largerand lighter. Similarly, furniture with open backs, such as dining chairs, work in the same way, to enhance the feeling of space and movement.

Mid-Century Modern

Scandinavian mid-century furniture is often lightweight and therefore easy to move, ideal for modern daysmall space living. The aesthetic is minimal and refined, not clunky or heavy, perfect for the flexibility that is often needed when living in a small space, such as using an occasional chair at the dining table.

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Nine Smith St Apartment by Neometro. Furnished by Modern Times. Image Credit: Shannon McGrath

Maximise Every Inch

A study nook maximizes limited space while also providing a dedicated home for work, reducing clutterand providing another platform for personal mementoes, art and objects. Choose a desk chair that compliments the rest of the apartment so it can serve double-duty as an easily accessible extra seat when guests arrive.

Dining That Flows

Opt for a round dining table to facilitate flow and movement throughout the living space. Rectangular tables can be restrictive in a small space as straight lines leave little room for movement. Additionally, around table enhances interaction between dinner guests, ensuring everyone faces the centre and is therefore never left out of the conversation – the recipe for a great dinner party.

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Nine Smith St Apartment by Neometro. Furnished by Modern Times. Image Credit: Shannon McGrath

Open Plan Zoning

Large-scale artwork is ideal for creating zones in an open plan setting. The artwork can act as a focal point to draw your eye to its size and scale, creating the illusion of a much larger space. Rugs can work in a similar manner, defining zones while adding style, texture and warmth.

Bring The Outside In

When living within a limited space, your balcony should be viewed as an extension of your living room.Create the illusion of one large space rather than two divided areas by carrying the theme of your furniture outside and bringing plants in. Many vintage pieces are versatile enough to work indoors oroutdoors. This adds to the continuity of the home and allows you to rotate furniture to keep things fresh.

Breathing Space

Opting for a low sofa creates the impression of a higher ceiling, which is important in a small space. Pulling furniture away from the walls makes the room look more open and airy, and allows the furniture to act as a room divider. When considering the size of your furniture, don’t forget to allow for breathing space so you’re not tripping over the coffee table on the way to the kitchen.

The Importance of Lighting

Think vertically. When floor space is limited, play up the height of the ceiling. Installing a simple pendant light draws the eye upwards, taking in the full scale of the space. With endless choices, your pendant lightcan be a striking talking point or a subtle silhouette. Floor and table lamps are also great for adding visualinterest in shape, colour and material.

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Nine Smith St Apartment by Neometro. Furnished by Modern Times. Image Credit: Shannon McGrath

SHOP THE APARTMENT

 

07/02/2017
Furniture

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Extended Trading Hours

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Weds 21st Dec - open until 7pm

Thurs 22nd Dec - open until 7pm

Fri 23rd Dec - open until 7pm

Christmas Eve - open until 3pm

With our Extended Trading Hours this week, there is more time to shop and it's the perfect time to Click and Collect. Shop online and select Click and Collect at checkout and we can have your gifts wrapped and ready to pick-up after work.

19/12/2016
Modern Times News

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Art Gives - Interview Series - Caroline Walls

Artist Caroline Walls kindly caught up with us in our round of artist chats to talk about a special work in her collection that inspires her everyday. 

What is your most treasured piece of art or design object?

My most loved piece of art in our home is a photograph by Cass Bird, it's a black and white print and is one of the images featured in her book, Rewilding.

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When and how did it come into your possession?

I've had it now since 2012, I purchased it when her book was released and it sits framed in Tasmanian oak on my bedside table so I wake up to it every morning.

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How does it make you feel when you admire at it, and why does it stir this emotion?

The image is of four naked women in a wild landscape in Sassafras - it's free, unrestrained and unselfconscious - and those are the feelings it evokes when I look at it.

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What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfillment?

The image, as with the entire photographic series from the book, is an exploration of femininity, sexuality and identity, themes that I like to explore in my own work, albeit in a different way. It's a gentle reminder everyday to keep creating and delving deeper. 

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What piece of art or design object from Modern Times are you wishing for this Christmas?

The Flag Halyard arm chair by Hans J Wegner would be very loved in our home!
Photo credits: Bobby Clark
  

 

EXPLORE THE ART GIVES CAMPAIGN NOW

14/12/2016
Art

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Art Gives - Interview Series - Kasper Raglus

Artist Kasper Raglus kindly caught up with us in our round of artist chats to talk about a special work in his collection and how every time he looks at it it has a different meaning and feeling.

What is your most treasured piece of art or design object?

A painting I own by Matt Dettmer. 

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Kasper in his home studio.

When and how did it come into your possession?

I first saw the piece when he posted a picture online and I really liked it, I didn't think it was even for sale or anything but eventually that chance came to own it so now its mine!

What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfilment?

Not only do i love the painting, its also a good feeling knowing its a good friends hard work up on my wall. Because the painting is quiet minimal, every time I look at it it has a different meaning and feeling. It's like I can relate it to my life no matter whats going on.

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How does it make you feel when you admire at it, and why does it stir this emotion?

I usually look at it in the morning, I would have to say it makes me feel calm, and i love that it has pink in it, my favourite colour!

What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfillment?

Not only do i love the painting, its also a good feeling knowing its a good friends hard work up on my wall. 

Because the painting is quiet minimal, every time i look at it it has a different meaning and feeling. It's like I can relate it to my life no matter whats going on. 

 

What piece of art or design object from Modern Times are you wishing for this Christmas?

Grant Mobelfabrik arm chair to drink whiskey in.

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EXPLORE THE ART GIVES CAMPAIGN NOW

12/12/2016
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Art Gives - Interview Series - Sarah Kelk

Thank you so much to local Melbourne artist Sarah Kelk who took the time to be interviewed about the importance of art in her life and how she became an collector early in life. 

What is your most treasured piece of art or design object?

I have a large original painting by New Zealand artist Simon Morrison-Deaker

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Sarah in her home studio. Photography by Martina Gemmola for Hunting For George. 

When and how did it come into your possession?

My Mum and Dad gave me this piece for my 21st birthday

What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfilment?

I love that this piece was something I chose when I was 21 - it reminds me of my 21 year old self as well as growing up in New Zealand.

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Studio Details. Photography by Martina Gemmola for Hunting For George. 

How does it make you feel when you admire at it, and why does it stir this emotion?

My Mum and Dad always encouraged me to not only create my own work when I was younger, but also to collect artwork from other artists (whether they were established or not).

This piece reminds me to keep collecting pieces that pull at my heart strings! 

What piece of art or design object from Modern Times are you wishing for this Christmas?

I’ve had my eye on the new sculptures by Mark Alsweiler - so good!

Tell us a bit about your background. I.e. where did you grow up, what did you originally study?

I have both a Design and also Art History degree, which I studied in beautiful New Zealand, where I grew up. I loved learning about being creative from different angles, especially with the methodical approach to which design often takes. I was lucky enough to have had some influential lecturers and tutors whilst studying, who still make an impact on my work today.  

EXPLORE THE ART GIVES CAMPAIGN NOW


EVENT: Live Window Painting This Saturday

Visit us this Saturday as our store window becomes Sarah's canvas. Meet Sarah and see her fluid and expressive process in action. A unique opportunity to stand side-by-side with the artist and connect with her expressive and colourful approach as it unfolds. 

Saturday December 10th | 10am - 2pm

 

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Studio Details. Photography by Martina Gemmola for Hunting For George. 

04/12/2016
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Art Gives - Interview Series - Elizabeth Barnett

Continuing our chats with our favourites artists at Modern Times. We uncover the connection Elizabeth Barnett has to a special painting in her collection and what she's hoping to add to it!

What is your most treasured piece of art or design object?

I can't decide on my one favourite piece of artwork or art object. We have a growing collection of paintings, prints and photography and I have a thing for ceramics by local makers.

So I'll talk about one of the paintings that I love, a beautiful abstract painting by Nick Huggins of the factory warehouse next to Triple R radio station on Nicholson street which is actually where I had a studio many years ago.

Nick sketched up the painting from Milkwood cafe which is opposite. I can imagine it was a cloud grey melbourne day because the the painting captures so beautifully and in an abstract way the colour and feeling of that street and the bizarre stilted building. Nick is a friend of mine and my husband's so his work is particularly special to us. 

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Lizzie with some of her paintings and a teapot by Katia Carletti

When and how did it come into your possession?

We bought this painting from an exhibition that Nick had at Schoolhouse Studio's Long Division gallery, which was also special because I set up Schoolhouse with Alice Glenn back when it was located in the old school in Abbotsford. 

What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfilment?

I am inspired whenever I look at this piece because it reminds me of times gone by, Nick's use of colour and abstraction is amazing and his work really looks like his music (he is a brilliant musician and music producer). 

How does it make you feel when you admire it, and why does it stir this emotion?

I can hear Nick's music in this painting. 

What piece of art or design object from Modern Times are you wishing for this Christmas?

Oh goodness... so many beautiful things... I am always looking for the perfect couch at MT, one day I will walk in and there it will be. I would LOVE to buy one of Brooke Holm's photographs one day or Laura Skerlj's paintings. And then there is all the gorgeous ceramics (my favourites being Katia Carletti and Iggy and Lou Lou) and textiles by local makers like Hello Polly Home and Bonnie and Neil... the list could go on!! 

EXPLORE THE ART GIVES CAMPAIGN NOW

 

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Details from Lizzie's studio

20/11/2016
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Art Gives - Interview Series - Hannah Nowlan

What is your most treasured piece of art or design object?

My most treasured piece of art would have to be an oil painting on linen by my dear friend and artist, Madeline Simm. It’s a small abstract piece but it has really great energy and a calming vibe.

When and how did it come into your possession?

This artwork was actually made specially for me. It was given to me by the artist herself for my 21st birthday present, what a great gift!

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Hannah Nowlan in her studio. Photo: Lucy Amon

What has this piece given you in terms of enrichment, enjoyment, and fulfilment?

I was so grateful to receive this painting as a gift, as I really admire Maddi’s work and it's hard to come across an artist who is as genuine as her. Over the time I’ve owned this painting it has moved seamlessly with me from space to space. From my art studio, to my bedroom and now to my new house - it now sits pride of place in my kitchen. This piece continues to bring an immense amount of positive energy into the space and mirrors the calm, slow living ethos, that I’m all about. 

How does it make you feel when you admire it, and why does it stir this emotion?

This artwork makes me feel happy and peaceful! I believe you can feel the joy and positivity from the artist escaping the painting. The simple colour palette and subtle texture play a big role in creating these emotions. 

What piece of art or design object from Modern Times are you wishing for this Christmas?

Oh! It’s so hard to choose just one item! Can I be greedy and wish for three design objects this year!? Hmmmm… this Christmas I’m wishing for one of Amanda Dziedzic’s Glass Bonsai’s OR a Louise Kyriakou Ceramic Sun Face OR one of the stunning Cobalt Blue vessels by Alexandra Standen. Let’s hope Santa spoils everyone with art gifts this year!

EXPLORE THE ART GIVES CAMPAIGN NOW

15/11/2016
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Home Talent! An in-depth look into Yvette Coppersmith's Art Practise

What impact did winning the Metro 5 art prize ($40,000!) in 2003 at such a young age have on your career?

It could’ve impacted my career in a very different way than it did, but I knew at that early point (I’d not yet had a solo show), I needed to get some runs on the board and expand my practice with freedom to experiment. I didn’t want to make what was expected based on that winning work, so I didn’t ride that wave as I could have in a commercial sense. Instead I applied for my first solo exhibition in a non-commercial gallery and did what most fine arts graduate would do, with the exception of applying for any grants.

The avalanche of publicity the prize generated meant I was plucked from the obscurity of being a fresh VCA graduate. It was incredibly exciting to feel like your dreams have come into reality so soon.  However amongst the heaped praise, I heard a opinions that I was too young for a huge success and it would burden my whole career – if indeed I were to have one beyond that point.  But I felt a defiant my sense of myself as an artist.  At the age of 22 I quit my part time job (painting assistant in the studio of John Young) and painted full time for myself.  It was the financial backing that every young artist needs.

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Your practice has spanned realistic portraiture, performance art to more recently expressionism and cubism? Can you please explain a little bit about this journey? 


Ha!  Well it’s hard to sum up as each body of work has it’s own detailed story of how I arrived at it.

Style is a vernacular for the contemporary artist, to choose the language that best works to express their idea or subject matter.  I started as a photo-realist painter, and for the first few years exhibited very slick paintings with a psychological, emotional and theatrical dynamic.  The way I approached the ideas and subject matter varied but technically I was speaking in the same style.  In 2008 a shift took place where I looked at certain influences which were looser in the brushwork, although still realist and figurative.  Practicalities like a short timeframe for an upcoming show also helped precipitate a more gestural approach to painting.  In 2013 there was a period of transition where I realised that much of the artists whose work I loved was very different to what I was making.  I need to find how to align my influences with my own practice.   It took about a year for all the experiments and ideas to crystalise and form the basis of my first still life series Love and Light which was exhibited at Utopian Slumps.  That series was highly personal - it was a self-portrait in a sense, but through the genre of still life.  Rather than paint a model I made myself my own muse.  I approached former lovers and asked if they’d make a small sculpture from memory – of me as a reclining nude – giving them a packet of modeling clay to work with.  In effect they became artists and I was the model.  The results were humorous, clumsy little sculptures, which had little resemblance of me.  And that suited me perfectly – it allowed me to paint from life, and yet the distortions of the figure were inherently in the work.  I had been obsessed by Picasso’s figures, which were based on classical sculptures.  But rather than borrowing from the style of Picasso, I had all the distortions of the figure, just by painting from observation.  All the objects in that series were white, and I painted them in muted greys and pastels, so it actually looked more Morandi than Picasso.  Despite the emotional content, they were aesthetically quite restrained.

The next series I worked with couples.  Each couple participated by making a still life from their personal items in my studio.  That loss of control over the subject matter pushed my approach further to experiment with style.  I wasn’t just looking at the objects, but at Modernist artworks, which were relevant to the type of painting I wanted to make. Having restricted parameters pushed my style to develop further.  I became more reliant on looking at art, fashion, interior design, to give me the pictorial devices I needed to make a picture.   It also provided a more intuitive and imaginative way of making a picture.   From constantly broadening my visual language I have expanded the tools at my disposal as a painter.  The way I will approach the portrait or figure now might incorporate stylised and abstract elements. 

Just to expand on what you mean by my perfomance art – at one of my exhibition openings I did a performance as one of the characters in my self portraits.  It was tableaux vivant meets psychodrama.  The performative element to my practice has leant me an affinity working with professional performers such as Paul Capsis (my first Archibald finalist in 2008), Moira Finucane, Justin Heazelwood, and John Safran (second Archibald finalist in 2009).

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What themes are important to you, what do you want your work to communicate? Is it a common thread or is each work completely different?

The work might look different from one series to the next, however the underlying thread is that I’m influenced by my relationships with others and draw upon personal narratives.  My pieces have an intimate diaristic quality where my everyday surroundings and companions become muse, including myself in various guises. 

My work has an emotional, romantic side and I think, how do I translate this to a visual language that I feel comfortable with? I want to make paintings where the strength in them supports the vulnerability.  The paint itself is part of that, there’s also a cerebral aspect, a process driven approach, playfulness, but fundamentally I want to make paintings that I find desirable. 

What else are you currently working on? 

 There are a couple of commissioned portraits underway – one for the Australian War Memorial, Canberra and one for the University of Technology Sydney.  I’ve just written an opinion piece for the National Portrait Gallery magazine’s summer edition, and a studio interview for next issue of Art Guide.

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Do you have a dream project or opportunity?

I would like to exhibit more internationally – what’s not to love about a gallery hopping vacay to gather inspiration - while reaching a new audience for your artwork.  However I love working at home so much, I’d be just as happy staying in.

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08/11/2016
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Exhibition: 'Home' featuring 20 contemporary Australian artists

Modern Times is proud to announce their first ever group show, ‘Home’ opening on October 27th. Home showcases the work of 20 contemporary Australian artists exploring the notion of home and what it means to them, featuring Modern Times regulars such as printmaker Ellie Malin and painter Elizabeth Barnett, as well as guests including current Archibald finalist Yvette Coppersmith and Geelong Contemporary Art Prize finalist Jonathan Crowther.

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“The concept of home means different things to different people - it can be positive or negative, literal or spiritual and the works in Home highlight this breadth of interpretation,” explains Modern Times director, Amy Malin. “From the self-conscious display of convenience foods depicted in ‘Packaged Good’ by Sandra Eterovic, to the overwhelming pile of toys rendered in laborious detail by Eleanor Voterakis in ‘Work. Life. Balance’ how the artists have translated the theme is really fascinating.”

In Esther Olssen’s work ‘Never Home Girl’, Esther explores a version of home that extends beyond her four walls. Esther explains, “Being just 23, I spend a lot of time not at home so my work reflects the locations I spend my time, the streets I walk along and how important a sense of community is for me to feel at home.”

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Amy and Joel Malin, owners of Modern Times have always said, “We want people to feel at home at Modern Times.”  This show is a reflection of that philosophy and a culmination of years of nurturing artists and their passion to show
contemporary art with substance and integrity in an inviting space.

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Join Amy, Joel and the Modern Times team at the opening of Home for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Carlei wines, Daylesford Brewery and Capi.

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Opening 6-8pm, Thursday 27 October 2016. 

RSVP to [email protected]

Exhibition Dates: 27 October – 10 November 2016

Modern Times – 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy

View event on Facebook 

Request a catalogue: [email protected]

For media enquiries contact: [email protected] or +61 9913 8598

06/10/2016
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A guest showing by artist Yvette Coppersmith

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The stars have perfectly aligned and the wind has blown in just the right direction to bring you a very special collection. We are thrilled to present a guest showing of works by the highly accomplished and current Archibald finalist, Yvette Coppersmith.

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Yvette Coppersmith completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at VCA in 2001 and has since been a finalist in many prestigious awards including the Archibald three times including 2016 with her self portrait. Kicking off her career she won the Metro Art Award in 2003 taking out the award against runner up, Ben Quilty !

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Yvette is well known for her portraiture but over the years her practice has spanned realistic portraiture, performance art and more recently experimenting with styles from expressionism to cubism interpreted through Yvette’s own contemporary lens.  BEERS London – the UK gallery where she is currently part of a show - described her work ‘being firmly rooted in the domestic, Coppersmith’s works often portray their subjects as sharp and angular, with bold shapes and lines being indicative of a refined yet still deeply experimental practise.’

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This guest showing presents works from Yvette’s personal collection that span the last 2.5 years where her Modernist influences have come to the fore through explorations of contemporary still life inspired by the great Italian painter Morandi, Matisse/Picasso inspired nudes and rich abstract studies of colour and texture.

 

“My paintings are made to be lived with, they are born in the sanctuary of the domestic environment. It’s wonderful to exhibit in a place where the art of the domestic is at the core.”

 

These works will be available for a limited time at Modern Times. Works go on show in store and online Monday. Consider adding one to your collection or just drop by and appreciate them.

REQUEST A LIST OF WORKS

22/09/2016
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Feature Artist Q&A Esther Olsson

Today we introduce our second feature artist here at Modern Times. Every month or so we will bring together a series of artwork focusing on some of our fave local artists and designers.

Esther Olsson is a 23-year-old emerging artist from Melbourne, Australia. After starting out with a qualification in graphic design, she went on to work as an assistant to Melbourne artists Kirra Jamison and Beci Orpin.

With the encouragement and mentorship of these two successful and talented creatives Esther has launched her own painting career and developed a highly personal and idiosyncratic style. Her works are vibrant narratives within graphic grid systems bolstered by her attention to detail and sense of colour.

This series is part of Esther Olsson’s latest body of work ‘Hoops’ (2016). Hoops, takes its inspiration from gold earrings, girl gangs and basketball courts. With throwbacks to hip-hop, female sexuality, and her own experiences of moving from the country to the city ~ Esther has transformed her observations into vibrant modern allegories.

One of the most exciting emerging artists in Melbourne right now! Read more about Esther in our Q&A below.

Tell us a bit about your background. I.e. where did you grow up, what did you originally study?

 I grew up in a small town in country Gippsland, Neerim South then moved to Ballarat to complete my year 11&12 studies.  I studied graphic design and advertising in Melbourne.

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Can you give us a little insight about the body of works in this series?

This body of work all revolves around my friends and I (age 23) being super young and trying to shoot goals in life, sometimes missing and sometimes winning.

 

Where about are you based? And, how dose your creative process usually unfold?

 I’m currently based in Hawthorn.

I begin my creative process with a story from my life, and then try to portray that visually. I usually draw up super rough plan, which almost always changes when adding colors. This is mostly because the colors will change spacing and layout quite a lot.   

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What mediums do you love to work with?

 I work mostly with gouache with my hand painted work and occasionally I will create a vector artwork on my computer when working on a print.

What dose the typical day in the life of Esther Olsson involve?

 A typical day for me would start with a large list of jobs I need to complete on that day. I often like to go for a swim in the morning to clear my mind, and on the way back to the studio I will pick up my extra strong coffee to fuel the rest of the day. I usually paint all day until super late at night, and that’s when I will reply to all my emails.     

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Which other creative are you inspired by?

 Ren Hang (photographer) hiphop music always, Alex Gardner (painter) PAM (clothing) James Jarvis (illustrator) 

What would be your dream creative project?

 I would love to work and collaborating with interesting brands or artists.

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Is there any new inspirations/ new art pieces on the horizon?

 I really enjoyed running an interactive art installation at NGV Art Party, an underage rave.

My newest inspiration is boxing; I’m super into the analogy behind the move THE ROPER DOPE!!!   

I’m currently working on small group shows and some personal projects, and constantly trying to improve myself and construct new imagery.

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Favorite basketball player?

 New school- LeBron James

Old school- Allen Iverson

SHOP ESTHER OLSSON NOW

13/09/2016
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Opening night gallery! Elizabeth Barnett's 'Interiors'

A huge thank you to everyone that come down to Modern Times to help celebrate Elizabeth Barnett's exhibtion 'Interiors'. We had a such a wonderful night, and met some extordinary people! 

A big thanks also to Mr Fancy Plants, who provided our store with beautiful botanicals! And Carlei Wines, The Daylesford Brewing Co, and CAPI for providing delicious beverages! 

The exhibition will be open until the 8th of September. 

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Photography: Brigette from Modern Times

29/08/2016
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Upcoming exhibition by Elizabeth Barnett | Interiors

Modern Times is delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Australian artist Elizabeth Barnett. Opening on Thursday 25 August 2016, ‘Interiors’ showcases a series of 24 vibrant paintings that depict both real and imagined still life arrangements that hint at their most recent inhabitants. 

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Elizabeth’s works are portraits of domestic intimacy, the colourful scenes feature abundant potted plant life and flower arrangements with familiar cookbooks and art titles sitting askew Modernist furniture pieces and richly patterned rugs. The acrylic paint is built up in shimmering translucent layers and the influence of painters such as David Hockney is evident in her highly developed yet naïve style. 

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The word interiors tends to conjure up the manufactured perfection of designer homes featured in glossy magazines and coffee table books, however, Elizabeth’s work reclaims the word ‘interiors’ and depicts a more truthful and sentimental interior which is full of life, warmth and creativity. “Everything is relaxed about Elizabeth’s work – her compositions, fluid drawing style and choice of subject matter. It’s homely, warm and inviting”, says exhibition curator and Modern Times director Amy Malin. 

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Elizabeth has studied art extensively, most recently completing a Master of Arts at the Camberwell College of Art,London.Elizabeth was awarded the Collie Print Trust scholarship at theAustralian PrintWorkshop in 2006 and in 2010 co-founded the seminal Schoolhouse Studios in Abbotsford. Since largely making the transition from printmaking to painting her profile has been rapidly on the rise demonstrated last year by her sell-out painting show ‘In a Temperature Climate’, for The Design Files ‘ TDF Collect’. 

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Exhibition Details:

Join Elizabeth and the Modern Times team at the opening of ‘Interiors’ for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by Carlei Wines, Daysford Brewing Co. and Capi.

Opening 6-8pm,Thursday 25 August 2016.
RSVP to [email protected].
View Facebook event page 

Exhibition Dates: 25 August – 8 September 2016

Modern Times – 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy 3065

To register for pre-sales contact [email protected].



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Saturday Artist Talk Event: 

Join artist Elizabeth Barnett and Modern Times director Amy Malin in a casual discussion exploring the inspiration, motivation and processes behind Elizabeth's exceptional new body of work 'Interiors'.

Proudly sponsored by Everyday Coffee.  
Date: Saturday, 27 August, 9am - 10am
Get your free tickets here. 

For enquiries contact Gemma Leslie [email protected] / +61 3 9913 8598 
 

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Photography by Jessica Tremp | Styling by Alichia Van Rhijn | Invitation design by Self Titled

03/08/2016
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Feature Artist Q&A Madeleine Cruise

Today we introduce the first of our new Feature Artist series. Every month or so we will bring together a series of artwork focusing on some of our fave local artists and designers.

We debut the series with Madeleine Cruise, a name that has been circulating around Modern Times for a few months now!

Since completing her Masters in Painting at The National Art School in Sydney, Madeleine has since been practicing from her studio in Newcastle.  She is also the founder of an artist run initiative ‘NANA’, a not for profit gallery, shop and performance space located in the CBD of Newcastle.

Best known for her energising palettes and lively compositions her paintings are filled with personality. Working with acrylic paint, Madeleine paints effortlessly with bold brush strokes, layering her canvases with plentiful colour and detail.

In this series of paintings for Modern Times, Madeleine is richly influenced by emotional experiences in contemporary life, whilst maintaining a playful and engaging aesthetic. 

Madeleine’s work combines abstract shapes with those borrowed from nature so that the eye can journey through the work and piece together its own unique interpretation.

Playful yet considered they have that simple balance. Using mixed mediums she layers and reworks the surface until the warmth and textural qualities are harmonious.

Madeleine’s works are truly amazing up-close. The scale of the artwork is generous, and you can easily imagine how her palette of bright colours, alongside bold dark and neutral pastels could lift any contemporary space.

Madeleine took the time to have a chat with us about her process, inspiration and gave us a few insights of her day-to-day life. Truly a rising star!


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Tell us a bit about your background. Ie where did you grow up, what did you originally study?

I grew up in the country towns Camden and Bowral in New South Wales. I left home when I was 18 to study at The National Art School in Sydney, for a small town girl the city lights blew my mind and it was an important time of self-discovery. After majoring in Painting I won a Scholarship to complete Honours and graduated in 2010.

Can you give us a little insight about the body of works in this series?

This series is the result of a significant period of creative development and comes as the answer to the question I asked myself: What can paint do?  

 

A couple of years ago I decided to work with less intention, in a more playful and experimental way, in the hope of locating my own language and a greater understanding of what I wanted to paint. Working without pre conceived ideas or the pressure to complete, I was able to work ‘with’ the medium and discovered some wonderful techniques. Most significantly though, the process revealed pathways to my subconscious and with it, a world that I am compelled to paint. These discoveries have informed my current mode of practice and can been seen in this series.

I like to think of these works as psychological landscapes, in the sense that they represent internal experiences and give form to sensation and emotions. They are deliberately ambiguous so as to operate as spaces for contemplation. I have combined abstract shapes with those borrowed from nature so that the eye can journey through the work and piece together its own unique interpretation.

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Where abouts are you based? And, how does your creative process usually unfold?

I am based in Newcastle NSW. My creative practice is most often based around a series that I will work on for a number of weeks or months. However I have noticed that there is a limit to which I can focus on one idea or way of working, so I will often develop another very different series alongside it. Sometimes it feels like I have split painting personality but I think that perhaps it is a way of extending ideas and reduces the possibility of overworking individual paintings or becoming bored with them – which never leads to a good end result!


What does a typical day in the life of Madeleine Cruise involve?

I work from home where I have a studio out the back of my share house. I will most often sleep in and wait for my housemates to go to work before I get up so that I can have the house to myself.  I then drink coffee, do some internet research, check emails and work on any art applications that I might have underway. When I get to the studio I will select some music and then lead a fairly regimented day – stopping for lunch but working through till late afternoon. My Australian Terrier Louis and I will then walk to the dog park where I’ll buy a takeaway from the conveniently located bottle shop next door and we’ll both catch up with our ‘friends’ and unwind till sunset.

Which other creatives are you inspired by / loving at the moment?

I am really inspired by fashion at the moment and have come to appreciate the amazing historic lineage of fashion houses and their reflection of contemporary culture. I love the continuous re invention of tradition, the wear ability of such amazing creations and the spectacle of the catwalk and promotional campaigns. The whole oeuvre of a season collection, in clothing, make up, set and sound is so immersive and powerful. Some of my favourite designers at the moment are Gucci and Dolce and Gabbana.

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What would be your dream creative project?

I would love to collaborate with a Synth Pop musician someone like Grimes or Tame Impala, so as to create the backdrops to their live performances. I imagine making giant animated paintings  that change colour and formation with the  music. I could imagine that this type of collaboration would really satisfy my pursuit of creating immersive spaces as well as my alter ego of being a pop star.


What is your proudest career achievement to date?

It would probably be founding and directing the artist run initiative NANA contemporary art space. NANA was a not for profit gallery, shop and performance space located in the CBD of Newcastle, which operated from 2013 for two and a half years. As an emerging artist new to the city NANA was a project designed to facilitate community and exposure for like-minded contemporary artists in Newcastle. My role as director encompassed many unexpected responsibilities and I found myself juggling the role of curator, photographer, caterer, install team, secretary, graphic designer, mediator and cleaner at any one time – whilst trying to maintain a personal art practice and hold down a paid job! It was a big project and I am proud of all that NANA achieved.


Is there any new inspirations / new art pieces on the horizon?

I am working on a new series of paintings that work closely with music and are an extension of my current collection at Modern Times.


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View Madeleine's work via the Modern Times website. 


Have you heard of Art Money?

Interest free loans are available for artworks priced from $750 to $20,000.  After paying a 10% deposit, you can take your artwork home and pay the remaining balance over 9 months, interest free! Apply online for instant approval, take your art home and pay for it later. It's super easy and simple to apply.

 

17/07/2016
Interviews

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The wonderful world of terrazzo, and it's dear friend marble!

Let us take you back 500 years ago when terrazzo was discovered in Italy. Terrazzo literally means ‘Terraces’ in Italian, and was born out of frugality in the 15th century, when local Italian marble workers were unable to afford marble for their own terraces. Settling odd-size discarded marble pieces from paying jobs in clay, they created attractive patios or terraces for themselves.

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1. Venetian marble workers first started using broken and discarded marble pieces off custom marble slabs to build terraces around their homes in the 15th century.
 

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2. As the marble pieces were set in clay, they created rough, uneven surfaces. To even the surfaces, a stone was rubbed all over it to smoothen it out. The process started out by hand and later evolved to a long-handled grinding stone called Galera.

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3. Goats milk was used as floor sealant. Yes … you read correctly! Goats milk was applied over the surface which gave it a fantastic bright sheen to the marble pieces. 

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4. Skipping to this modern day, terrazzo has never looked so good in any interior situation. We’re completely obsessed.

Here are some modern day highlights that are worth mentioning … 

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(above) British designer 
Max Lamb developed a multi-coloured engineered marble for Dzek, which was used to build furniture that appears to merge with walls of the same material for an installation in Milan.

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Flat-pack marble tables by Australian designer Jonathan Zawada. Each table is a combination of three pieces of marble or granite.

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We're so lucky to have some beautiful terrazzo and marble pieces in-store at the moment. Check out the beautiful Dutch Terrazzo coffee table, the stunning Modern Times marble coffee table (available in pink marble too!), the Dutch rectangular coffee table and the charming Dutch square coffee table. We're always getting new designs in at Modern Times, so it's always great to drop by the store or browse our collection online if you're looking for anything special!

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Check out the Modern Times Pinterest page for some inspiration on terrazzo and marble.


 

04/07/2016
Design

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Daybed Dreaming!

Luxurious and light-hearted is how we would first describe this room! With an unmistakable glamorous pink palette, this room was ultimately inspired by the Cleopatra Daybed! Originally designed in 1953 by Andre Cordemeijer for Auping (Netherlands) this piece has a wealth of character and history.

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Modern Times owners, Amy and Joel sourced a handful of Cleopatra Daybed frames on a recent trip to Denmark, and wanted to bring the design back to Australia to share it with everyone!


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Above: Andre Cordemeijer, designer of the Cleopatra Daybed

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The fantastic thing about this piece is that you have the opportunity to create your own story through our selection of upholstery options. There is a variety of fabrics offered! Pink, check, wool, linen, green, navy, grey – there are several amazing options and variations you can choose from. Check out our Pinterest page for some daybed inspo!

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Above: Cleopatra Daybed Advertisement 1950s

For further informatin on the The Cleopatra Daybed, you can either drop by the store, email [email protected] or call (03) 9913 8598.

29/06/2016
Furniture

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Have you heard of Art Money?

Art Money is awesome! Art Money offers interest free loans to buy art

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At Modern Times we believe art should be for everyone. Good art is good for the soul, no question. Hanging a piece of art that you truly love can mark the point when your house becomes your home. But sometimes your bank account vs. your passion can get in the way! Therefore, we're very pleased to be joining with Art Money to make buying art easier. It's a little bit like an old fashioned lay-by, but you get to take your purchase home sooner.

Interest free loans are available for artworks priced from $750 to $20,000.  After paying a 10% deposit, you can take your artwork home and pay the remaining balance over 9 months, interest free! Apply online for instant approval, take your art home and pay for it later. It's super easy and simple to apply.

If you find some art you love on the Modern Times website, you can see how much repayments will be for your purchase here ...  for more information about applying for an Art Money loan visit www.artmoney.com.au. Or, send Pip an email at [email protected]

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20/06/2016
Modern Times News

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Four Dutch designers you should know

Today we're immersed in an exploration of mid-century Dutch design inspired by this super fresh scene from our current Winter Light campaign.

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One of the first things you notice when you see these pieces together is a more industrial take on modernism that's very different from the hand-crafted Scandinavian style of the same era.  The rigorous use of straight, horizontal and vertical lines, geometry and primary colours served as a foundation for many mid-century Dutch designers. 

When thinking of Dutch mid-century furniture, one might be inclined to imagine a variation on Danish mid-century furniture where the focus was on beautiful natural materials and hand finishing. In fact, Dutch design of this same period is quite the opposite! Whilst it is wholly informed by the same modernist principals that guided the Danes (read an earlier blog post about this!), the Dutch interpretation was led by the burgeoning manufacturing technologies emerging in Holland at this time.

Here's a rundown on four influential Dutch designers that have helped shape the landscape of mid-century design today.

Friso Kramer 

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Friso Kramer created some of Holland's most iconic modernist designs. In 1953 he produced a chair, called "Revolt" which was shown at the 1954 Milan Triennial and in the same year he designed the "Reply" drafting table designed with Wim Rietveld for Ahrend de Cirkel. The work surface pivots at two points and can be configured into a office desk, standing desk or anything in between. Inspired by Jean Prouvé, the design won a "Signe d'Or" award for the design in Brussels. 

 "You may design a beautiful chair, but put six around a table and something starts to happen. You say, 'It's too much this or that'. So you have to remove the irritation you will develop over time." – Friso Kramer

 

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Friso Kramer's "Reply" Drafting Table and his "Revolt" Chair

Cees Braakman 

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Another Dutch designer of the period that is highly valued for their contribution to Dutch Modernism is Cees Braakman. At the age of 17 (what a young-gun!), he began working at Pastoe, a Utrecht-based furniture manufacturer, where he learned the trade. Check out this three-legged desk he designed whilst at Pastoe!

During the 1950s and ’60s, Braakman placed particular emphasis on modular storage solutions. In 1955, Pastoe launched Braakman’s Made-to-Measure cabinets, which allowed customers to choose from a variety of woods and configurations and self-assemble them. This was all in keeping with the Dutch idea of creating accessible design that was functional and affordable.


Wim Rietveld 

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The youngest son of architect and designer Gerrit Rietveld (who designed the seminal Red/Blue Chair in 1917), Wim Rietveld (1924-1985) is considered to be another pioneer of Dutch Industrial design.

“The product needs an overall improvement. That means considering form, function, colour and price.” -Wim Rietveld.


Wim Rietveld took over as designer for company Gispen in 1949 and mainly designed office furniture and lighting. He introduced ‘furniture for simple interiors’ in line with the thoughts of  “Goed Wonen” (Good Living), a foundation set up to promote well-designed domestic goods.

Rob Parry

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You might have spotted Rob Parry’s ‘Easy Chairs’ in our most recent campaign - see the pic at the top of this post or the full campaign here!  These chair designs are just one project in an extensive body of work comprising furniture, typography, interiors, exhibitions and architecture, all in a contemporary style, appropriate to a prosperous welfare society in the making. Parry really proved he was a high achiever in all aspects of design.

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Easy Chairs by Rob Parry for Gelderland


19/06/2016
Design

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Modern Times Annual Warehouse Sale!!

It’s that time of year again! Modern Times is opening its warehouse doors to the public, for it’s exclusive annual sale. Come down and browse through the furniture jungle (Modern Times warehouse) for Danish leather sofas, teak chests, extendable tables, coffee tables, dining chairs, lounge chairs, desks, bureaus, artwork, homewares and more.

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Also just a quick note to also let you know, we’ve moved warehouses, so please visit us at our NEW location at 1A / 433 Smith Street.

Doors opening 11am-5pm Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th of June
Modern Times Warehouse – 1A / 433 Smith Street, Fitzroy

15/06/2016
Modern Times News

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20th Century Design Legends

As you know, the vintage furniture we specialise in at Modern Times is usually of the Danish, Dutch or Italian variety but that doesn’t mean we limit ourselves! We currently have some pieces by icons of French and German origin so I thought what a great time to shine the light on two legends of twentieth century design – Maison Jansen and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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Shot by Brooke Holm. Styled by us! Falcon Chair by Sigurd Ressell, Drinks Trolley by Artemide, Palm Lamp by Maison Jansen, 'Nevada', Photograph by Brooke Holm, 'Animals' Painting by Esther Olsson, The Barcelona Couch by Mies van der Rohe, French Lucite and Brass Side Table, Rugs by Pampa

Maison Jansen

Maison Jansen was one of the world’s first truly international interior design firms and arguably the top design firm of the twentieth century. They were founded in Paris in 1880 and by the turn of the century their services were in demand by aristocracy and royalty across Europe. From here the firm continued to expand, opening up offices and ateliers in South America, North America, Europe, and Africa. The Maison Jansen style was luxurious and dramatic with a touch of the exotic but mainly drew on traditional European design.

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Coco Chanel's 1930's Paris apartment by Maison Jansen

The furniture they manufactured, often one-off commissions, was mainly 18th century reproductions but Maison Jansen were not afraid to incorporate contemporary trends including Modernism and Art Deco into their interiors and custom designs.

Maison Jansen pieces are highly collectable and their interior projects that remain are preserved for posterity. The firm’s most notable project was The White House during the Kennedy years.

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The Maison Jansen Palm Lamp, designed in the 1970’s, was produced in many iterations and it’s blingy brass with dramatic and opulent form oozes 1970’s hollywood glamour. Shop Maison Jansen Palm Lamp here.

 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe was an esteemed German architect, in fact he is credited as a pioneer of modern architecture! He designed numerous buildings including the famous Farnsworth House (1945) and the German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona (1929) which both embodied his rigorous modernist principles. Mies summed up his design philosophy with his favourite sayings - ‘less is more’ and ‘god is in the details’.

 

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The Farnsworth House designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1945. Image via Beth Bullock

Mies, like many architects of the time, designed furniture that also followed these new principles of modernist design, doing away with the ornate decoration of the previous eras which were seen as excessive and a waste of effort and material.

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The Barcelona Couch originally in Harry Seidler's MLC Building, Sydney

The Barcelona Chair is Mies’ best known furniture design, originally designed for the Barcelona Pavillion in 1929, and a true icon of modernist design. The beautiful Barcelona Couch was added to the collection the following year both of which have been produced to his exacting specifications ever since.

The Barcelona Couch that we currently have in our collection came out of the Sydney MLC Building, an important building designed by our own proponent of Modernist design, Harry Seidler, in the late 1970s.  The condition is excellent, testament to the enduring quality of the original design. Shop The Barcelona Couch here

08/06/2016
Furniture

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Upcoming exhibition by Brooke Holm | Salt & Sky

We’re delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Melbourne photographer Brooke Holm. Opening on Thursday 23 June, Salt And Sky brings together Brooke’s amazing landscape photography with her keen eye for linear compositions in a series that depicts the salt fields of Western Australia.

 

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Brooke is interested in both the tension and bond that exists simultaneously between humans and the natural world. The salt field landscapes that she captures are based within the UNESCO Heritage site of Shark Bay and in her eyes provide “a visually stunning example of nature and human intervention entwined.” Shot from above, the salt ponds and harvested fields create graphic compositions with painterly textures in ice-cream hues.

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Brooke masterfully utilises minimal composition, while also creating images that are rich in detail and sensory experience. “At a distance they can be enjoyed as pure studies in colour and composition but on closer inspection the smooth, creamy and powdery textures of the works are palpable as is the sensation of a breeze as it whips up the surface of the ponds," says exhibition curator and Modern Times director Amy Malin.

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Brooke is an acclaimed commercial and fine art photographer published in numerous Australian and International publications including Trendland, AD Spain, Vogue Living and Belle.  Salt And Sky will be Brooke’s last show in Australia for quite some time as she is set to head off for New York mid-show where her star will no doubt continue to rise.

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Join Brooke and the Modern Times team at the exhibition opening for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by McPherson Wine Co, The Melbourne Gin Company and Capi!

Exhibtion opening:
Opening 6-8pm, Thursday 23 June 2016. RSVP is a must, to [email protected]
Exhibition Dates: 23 June – 7 July 2016
Modern Times – 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy
For catalogue and to register for pre-sales email us here.

In-store Q&A:
Brooke Holm and Modern Times director Amy Malin in a casual discussion exploring the inspiration, motivation and processes behind Brooke's exceptional new body of work 'Salt and Sky'.
There are limited seats, so please secure your seats here.

Saturday, 25 June 2016 from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM 
Modern Times - 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065

 

05/06/2016
Art

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Winter Light - Access All Eras

1 - Rosewood_34_Blog_2Photography by Brooke Hom. Styled by us!

We love to collect and bring together pieces from different countries and design era's. This scene from our current Winter Light campaign epitomises this aesthetic with pieces ranging from the atomic style of a 1950s Louis Kalff lamp to the sharp lines of the 80s in the FM60 Cube lounge chair by Dutch designer Raboud van Beekum all softened with the warm hues and organic material of a Danish Gunni Omann sideboard.

All the pieces we collect have fascinating stories and histories...read on to get the back story on a few featured here!

Matteo Grassi Arm Chair

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Matteo Grassi is an Italian company with rich heritage. Their craft centred approach has it's origins in their beginnings as a saddlery company.

This sophisticated lounge chair from the late 1970's utilises innovative construction with its leather covered frame and balances the strong square design with subtle stitching and seaming details.  See their video to fully appreciate Matteo Grassi's amazing attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Cubic FM60 Armchair by Raboud van Beekum for Pastoe

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Striking and sculptural! What an amazing statement chair that is a perfect expression of modern Dutch design aesthetics. Inspired by the Dutch artistic movement De Stijl (think Mondrian and Gerrit Rietvelds Red and Blue Chair) Raboud van Beekum has distilled his FM60 Cubic chair into its essential linear forms –  a cube intersected with the two planes of a chair. The saddle leather used for the seat and back is the perfect material as it follows the linear forms of the chair while providing a comfortable place to recline.

Model 'Z' Table Lamp by Louis Kalff for Phillips

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We are all familiar with the name Phillips, synonymous with all things electrical, but did you know that Phillips brought on an incredibly talented industrial designer in the 1920's? Louis Kalff guided the company to adopt a more modern and colourful approach to their entire business and worked on numerous design projects including a range of innovative and beautiful lamps Louis Kalff lamps are rare and valuable, sought after for their space age silouhettes and simple design details such as perforation, colour and mix of materials that are all used with restraint and purpose.

Shop The Look!

Shop by Era

Shop by Origin

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24/05/2016
Interiors

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Ellie Malin | Old City, New World

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This month, Modern Times is excited to present an exhibition of new works by Melbourne-based printmaker Ellie Malin. Opening on Thursday 28 April, Old city, new world showcases the latest work from this unique printmaker –  a master of colour, texture and distilled form.

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Old City II, unique state woodblock print. Part of Ellie Malin's upcoming exhibition.

“Spring greens, and oceanic blues draw in a world of nature while circles, arches and squares evoke memories of old worlds,” states Ellie. Large scale, brightly coloured shapes are individually inked and laid down layer by layer in a process that may take months from beginning to end. Compositions go from loose and chaotic to orderly, meticulous and condensed.

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Old City V, unique state woodblock print. Part of Ellie Malin's upcoming exhibition.

The work has a distinct architectural feel so it is no surprise Ellie cites the work of Japanese architect Tadao Ando as an inspiration.  But, just like her technique, what informs the work is also multi-layered. “I might lay down a colour in order to challenge myself and push the boundaries of my work. For example, I have introduced intense clarets and yellow ambers, colours that challenge me, in my endeavour to understand them and find harmonious resolutions.”

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New World I, unique state woodblock print. Part of Ellie Malin's upcoming exhibition.

It is evident that Ellie looks back to artists such as Malevich and Kandinsky for inspiration, however Old city, new world is nothing less than original, fresh and contemporary. 

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Shadows, unique state woodblock print. Part of Ellie Malin's upcoming exhibition.

Exhibition co-curator, Pip Stevenson, describes her take on the work: “Ellie’s new work literally took my breath away when I first saw it. Her use of colour has continued to evolve and her subtly evocative compositions are mesmerising. Overall it displays a new maturity and a consolidated personal style.” 

Ellie has exhibited widely and her work has been acquired by collectors both here and overseas, she collaborated with Gorman in 2013 and most recently entered the archive of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Join Ellie and the Modern Times team at the exhibition opening for a celebratory drink kindly supplied by McPherson Wine Co! All welcome but please RSVP to [email protected] by 25 April.

For catalogue and to register for pre-sales contact [email protected]

07/04/2016
Modern Times News

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Modern Times In Conversation

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We are hosting an exciting series of free talks on your favourite topics throughout February and March and we'd love you to join us!

Visit mid-century architectural gems in LA and Palm Springs without leaving your seat with interior architect David Flack, get my insights into buying art and the commission process when I share the stage with artist Sarah Kelk and learn from the best in the biz with interior styling expertise from Simone Haag.

Big thanks to Denton wines who will kindly be supplying the libations.

Wed 17 February, 6.30pm
Architecture – In Conversation with David Flack

Interior architect and rising star David Flack recently immersed himself in an architectural tour of Modernist paradise, Palm Springs and LA. Instead of us having to be quietly jealous, he is so kindly going to share what he learnt, what he saw and what will be inspiring his next projects. It’s the next best thing to being there! SOLD OUT

Free event | Spaces are limited | RSVP Now 

SOLD OUT

Wed 02 March, 6.30pm
Art – In Conversation with Amy Malin and Sarah Kelk

Buying art can be scary! Thought about commissioning a piece but don’t know where to start? Allow us to remedy all that anxiety and demystify the basics. Modern Times director Amy Malin shares her expert knowledge on selecting the right art for your space and budget and artist Sarah Kelk talks about her artistic practice and the commission process.

Free event | Spaces are limited | RSVP Now MORE TICKETS TO BE RELEASED

SOLD OUT

Sat 19th March, 10.30am
Interiors – In Conversation with Simone Haag

Interiors Stylist Simone Haag will generously share her wealth of knowledge on the ins and outs of furnishing a space that reflects your character and lifestyle. The core principals are covered including budget, colour and materiality, along with her many personal insights into the process itself; including scale, placement and the importance of greenery. Love it!

Free event | Spaces are limited | RSVP Now

SOLD OUT

All events are now sold out. We had such an overwhelming response and even with a doubling of original ticket numbers, some of you still missed out so I'm very sorry to those people.

We'll have more events coming soon!  Make sure you are on our mailing list to be the first to know!

02/02/2016
Modern Times News

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An exciting time of year for Ellie Malin.

Ellie Malin is one of the most successful artists we show at Modern Times. Ellie’s prints showcase her superb eye for colour, form and composition. We asked Ellie to curate her top gifts from Modern Times and her selection reflects this. “When looking for gifts at Modern Times these pieces jumped out at me. Colour is usually the first thing that draws me in, followed by beautiful textures and functionality,” she explains.

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The gifts curated by Ellie Malin reflect her love of colour and texture. Image styled by Nat Turnbull. Shot by Elise Grace

We love the dark and moody palette of Ellie’s curation of gifts with highlights of deep green and beige. If Ellie had to choose just one of these gifts for herself she says, “It’s hard to choose just one favourite, BUT at the top of my wish list is the dark green glass bonsai by Amanda Dzeidzic, a timeless piece reflecting colour and light.  Simply beautiful!”

Ellie sums up her philosophy behind choosing the right gift, – “I’ve chosen these gifts because I believe functionality and beauty should always be purchased in pairs. One for you, and one for me!” Discussing further, I love her idea that “in giving something we love and adore it’s like we give a token of our self. 

I think the same can be said for entertaining. This year Ellie has had her favourite Ottolenghi recipes out and tells me she is planning a tomato and roasted lemon salad as her contribution to the family Christmas. Yum! It sounds as though it’s just one part of a delicious spread too as Ellie explains, “our food style is a cross between Argentinian, Italian with a touch of classic Australian. Christmas lunch generally folds into dinner then into supper. All in all, it’s a fairly relaxed day with family and friends.” 

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A relaxed day will be just what Ellie needs as she has had a bumper year. Ellie tells me the highlights have been a printmaking residency at Megalo studio in Canberra, renovating her future home and most of all preparing for her first baby! With the baby due on 28th December, it might just be a completely different Christmas for Ellie this year…and certainly an exciting 2016!

Shop Gifts Curated by Ellie Malin

14/12/2015
Interviews

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Good time giving with Billie Justice Thomson

Melbourne artist, Billie Justice Thomson is known for her playful and humorous paintings but when we asked Billie to curate her top gifts from Modern Times she came up with a surprisingly sensible yet sophisticated edit. Billie was kind enough to enlighten us a bit more on her selection but added that her family always gives to charity at Christmas so doesn’t get too caught up in the Christmas present-buying madness – there’s a lot of sense in that too, hey.

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The gifts curated by Billie Justice Thomson are all about everyday luxury. Image styled by Nat Turnbull. Shot by Elise Grace

If Billie does need to pick up a gift or two she simply chooses things that she would want for herself! “I’m drawn towards things that are practical yet luxurious. That’s what everyone wants in a present isn’t it?” The Grafa garden tools are a perfect example of this and Billie says they’d be at the top of her list “because I feel like they’re a lifetime investment in your gardening. Something that will never break and will age beautifully.”

If you have friends and family who are not so easy to buy for (because let’s face it, most people are pretty hard to buy for), Billie makes a great suggestion for those very folks. “The picnic rug, it works for anyone of any age, there’s no one who doesn’t like picnics!“ she says.

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The lovely Billie with a work, Convenient Dom, from her sell-out show this year. BTW..it's now available as a print.

Despite Billie’s charitable approach to her own Christmas gift-giving she does seems to have it sorted. I almost expect Billie to tell me she does a soup kitchen on Christmas Day but she tells me - “I have a large extended family here in Melbourne and if there was anything less than the FULL traditional spread there would be a riot.” One of the draw cards being her mum’s famous trifle – “a sort of a pavlova/trifle hybrid. It’s ridiculous,” Billie explains.

Billie’s approach to Christmas is refreshingly sensible without missing out on her fair share of festive season indulgences. Billie’s steadfast family tradition of giving to charity at Christmas is one we could all make part of our own traditions too...if it's not already!

Donate to The Smith Family Toy and Book Appeal

Shop Gifts Curated by Billie Justice Thomson

01/12/2015
Interviews

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Sarah Kelk has Christmas covered!

At Modern Times, we strive to bring together the best in Australian art and design so it’s the perfect place to start your Chrissy shopping. For some extra fresh inspiration, we asked four of our favourite local artists to curate their own selection of gifts that will top their Modern Times wishlist this year!

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Gifts Curated by artist Sarah Kelk.  Image styled by Nat Turnbull and photography by Elise Grace.

Lets start with painter Sarah Kelk, whose sell-out show this year left us all on a high. Where she finds the time with her business Hello Polly, her successful painting career and family life I have no idea but I’m so thankful I could get the lowdown on her top gifts and her general approach to the festive season.

Sarah’s curated selection has a graphic yet organic aesthetic, she says “I wasn’t looking for anything specific, but was drawn to inspiring products that Id love to be constantly surrounded by.”

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Sarah Kelk on her home studio.

As a self-confessed ceramics addict combined with her love of texture and pattern, it’s no surprise Sarah is attracted to the stunning work of Katia Carletti and Louise Kyriakou. Sarah says, “I love anything with pattern or texture, and these pieces are no exception. I absolutely love giving gifts to people, and often take way too long choosing the perfect thing for people I love. I think I always end up giving pieces that I’d quite like to have myself (thats common right???).”

Sarah’s best efforts to avoid the whole ‘One for you, one for me’ routine are not always successful – “ I’m a sucker for homewares , shoes and sunglasses!!”

In fact, Sarah tells me her go-to gift for that friend or family member who has everything would be anything ceramic. “Ceramics! You can never have too many ceramics”

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Sarahs Gifts Curated includes original print by Ellie Malin, ceramics by Lene Kuhl Jacobsen, Katia Carletti, Concrete tray by Studiokyss and Suds Collar by Two Hills. Image styled by Nat Turnbull and photography by Elise Grace.

With such good Christmas shopping advice, Sarah sounds like she has it covered and when I ask about Christmas more broadly, I’m convinced!

Sarah blends together the best of her family traditions with her personal experience from spending many years in Europe. “I grew up with the traditional Christmas fare (Turkey, Ham, Pav etc) but always with a summer afternoon running race or cricket game with the cousins thrown in for good measure. After spending 8 years having wintery European Christmases, I’ve picked up a few extra Northern hemisphere additions that all seem to blend together to make a fun family Christmas.”

When Sarah starts talking about her secret family recipe for the perfect baked ham, the obligatory Pimms and bubbly, all followed up with a Boxing Day family picnic at Heide I start to wonder how I might wrangle an invite to this picture-perfect sounding Christmas!

Shop Gifts Curated by Sarah Kelk Now.

 

17/11/2015
Interviews

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The Best Christmas Gift Ever | Orders Close Soon!

We really love to mix up a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new. In the new camp we have the supreme talent of local furniture makers; Alex Rains of the 'Lex' range and Adam Markowitz of cross-breed 'Fred' table fame.

We know so many of you have been lusting after one these tactile, hand-crafted tables made from Australian Timber. Don't miss out on getting yours in time for the holidays! Think of it as the Best Christmas Gift Ever! 

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The Lex Table Designed by Alex Rains. Available made to order at Modern Times!

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Corner Detail of the Lex Dining Table By Alex Rains. Available at Modern Times!

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The Fred Table Designed by Adam Markowitz. Made to order from Modern Times!
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Leg Detail of the Fred Table by Adam Markowitz. Available to order from Modern Times! 

To customise your very own Fred or Lex Dining table for your place pop in for a chat or email us anytime! 

Orders for Pre-Christmas Delivery Close 2nd November! 

19/10/2015
Furniture, Modern Times News

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Billie Justice Thomson | The Order of Things | Now Open!

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Billie Justice Thomson in the studio with paintings from her exhibition The Order of Things 

It has been a stellar year for exhibitions at Modern Times, with a sell-out from Stephen Baker followed up by runaway success, Sarah Kelk

We couldn't be prouder to wrap up the exhibition calendar with an oustanding exhibition from the effervescent and utterly talented painter, Billie Justice Thomson.  

'The Order of Things' showcases a series of Billie’s playful and humorous paintings in the illustrative and nostalgic style she is so well known for.

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Your Invitation! Bring your friends! Invite design by Seld-titled.

Billie gleans endless inspiration from the everyday and the unique lens with which she views her world. "My paintings pay homage to the kitschy delights of eating, drinking and the bizarre day to day miracles of existence," she says.

Loved by us and Modern-Times-art-lovers alike, her colourful and graphic style is immediately striking but the particular way she presents familiar subjects means the viewer often finds one or two pieces that especially resonate with them. 

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Whisky on the Rocks by Billie Justice Thomson

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Toast by Billie Justice Thomson 

The exhibition moves through a range of subject matters, from the familiar - in a painting of a red pair of socks, to the creepy – a cleanly severed, perfectly manicured hand. 

“When viewed together, they create a narrative where the images are arranged and rearranged into a sequence that can tell many stories, it all hinges on the state of mind of the viewer,“ states Billie. “There is a departure into slightly more sinister territory with my latest series”. 

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Red Socks by Billie Justice Thomson 

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Severed Hand by Billie Justice Thomson

We're spoilt with stunning wines from Gomersal Wines and cider and beer from Young Henrys so mark September 24 in your calendar and join us to celebrate this clever and funny exhibition from 6-8pm at a NEW VENUE 466 Smith Street, Collingwood. Please RSVP to [email protected].

Pre-Sales are now open! To get your hands on a catalogue email [email protected]! All paintings are available to purchase online here!

The exhibition is open at Modern Times from 25th September and will run until the 8th October. See you there!


09/09/2015
Art

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Now Open! Sarah Kelk - All Things Now

 

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Sarah Kelk in her studio with paintings from All Things Now

All Things Now is a warm interpretation of the world around us, evoking visual memories and allowing the viewer to decode their own meanings. 

Sarah's soft edged abstract paintings have an exquisite balance of strength and lightness to them that makes them so appealing. 

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Layered by Sarah Kelk, from All Things Now.

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Sheltered by Sarah Kelk from All Things Now.

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Under the canopy by Sarah Kelk from All Things Now.

We are so pleased to announce Trophy Wife Nail Art will be having a Pop-Up in-store for tonight only! You can get your very own Sarah Kelk inspired feature nail painted for just $5 (or $10 for 2!) while you drink a glass of wine! Line up ladies!

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Sarah Kelk Inspired feature nails by Trophy Wife Nails!!

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All Things Now! Image courtesy of Peter Kelk

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A happy crowd at Modern Times celebrating All Things Now by Sarah Kelk. Image courtesy of Peter Kelk

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Drinking and mingling at Modern Times! Image courtesy of Peter Kelk.

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The beautiful paintings of All Things Now by Sarah Kelk at Modern Times

All Things Now will be hanging in-store until Thursday 6 August and you can see the paintings all online here! 

02/07/2015
Art

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