Thursday, September 02, 2010


It’s Art, For Walls

It’s a street artist’s greatest challenge, making something urgent and beautiful while one eye looks over the shoulder. For Walls, a new gallery “hosted” by Curator and Artist Bo Kitty (pictured right) upstairs at Miss Libertine is a space where “street style art” has found some respite and some cool beats too.

“In Street Art there is a lot of looking anxiously over one shoulder,” says Kitty, “ the opportunity to develop a style doesn’t happen so readily while you’re working quickly on the street . When artists get involved with a gallery like this they can spend some quality time developing their own unique style. Something rare happens for the street artist, there is an opportunity to produce beautiful finished works of art, to create an entire exhibition.”

For Walls is a lively, intimate and professional exhibition space located upstairs at Miss Libertine’s in Melbourne’s oldest and heritage listed Coaching Hotel. This boutique venue produces music events and club nights across hip hop, trance, techno , live bands and sound mashups.

“ We like to keep an open mind here,” Kitty says. “We mix it up, from De La Soul performing to a regular Thursday nighter, Racket presenting new works by sound artists and sound designers from RMIT.”

With three recent street art exhibitions to its credit , For Walls has found a legion of punters who share Kitty’s two greatest passions- art and music. Her curatorial slant for creatives blending street style with traditional techniques like oil painting, drawing, printmaking and installation art, has attracted the interest of artists and collectors alike, “it’s been an overwhelming response so far”, she says, “ For Walls is booked up for the next year by artists who want to hire an affordable space with a low gallery commission, there is an art for charity event with Room to Read early next year and the collectors and occasional art buyers like me seem to be lapping it all up.”

“I worked for a multinational for a while curating various street art exhibitions throughout five countries including Japan. It was a rewarding job bringing together people for the pure love of art. Now I am much happier, working locally, for local art, for local artists. I am surrounded by so many amazing talented people who work with both music and art. Francisco Dos Santos’s exhibition Mind Gap opens this Wednesday.”

“He is producing a club gig during the exhibition too. Octopussy, a DJ based RnB, Hip Hop, Funk one-nighter. For me, this is exactly what For Walls is really about-artists working interactively, engaging actively with different media, different styles, imagining between music and art.”

With For Walls Kitty seems to have tapped into and found a solution to what a lot of people have been thinking: what do you do once you’ve looked at the art, the ideas are flowing and you kinda don’t want to leave just yet. “ It’s a major problem for gallery goers, where to hang out after an opening,” she says. “ We are a music venue too, so people just head into the club.”

“Unfortunately there have been quite a few galleries in the precinct that have closed recently , for different reasons”. Kitty cites Per Square Metre, the 696 Gallery and the McCullough Gallery as a few examples. “ It’s a bit sad really, these were important places and each one of them was pushing underground art and underground artists. So many artists need a professional venue for their works.”

No comments: