INTERVIEW: MIKE WATT - NO SUCH LUCK

With impending misfortune looming in the next month's trajectory, we're getting very excited to revel in all that is dark and dreary with an absolute banger of a group show, No Such Luck launching on Friday 13th of October.

FULL LINE UP: ART BY DALE, MUCHOS, SINDY SINN, MIKE WATT, SHIDA, IROK, DIZZY LITTLE DOTTY, MAD CROOK, MAID, MICKY HORA, MASONRIE, TORI-JAYE MORDEY, CRISIS, ZOO KEEPER, LUSID ART, HARLEY AND HANDEN, INK BOY, LACEY, MARK RICHARDSON, JOEL MCDONALD, BILLIE SCHNEIDER, QUINCY MIKE, SHVMVN, ADAM AVERY, TUCKS ONE, JOE O'TOOLE, ERIC BRUCKNER, MATTE & LUCKS.

We catch up with one of the feature artist's from the show, and a new comer to the gallery walls - Sydney based illustrator / creepy character creator, Mike Watt. 

CC: Tell us about the piece you’re creating for No Such Luck - what’s the story behind it?

MW: I was a massive horror movie nerd when I was younger and Jason from Friday the 13th was my favourite character. When I got the brief all I could think of was Jason, I think he's probably already a sign of bad luck but I covered him with bits of broken mirror just to be sure.

CC: What materials did you use to create it? 

MW: Mostly acrylic on water colour paper, there's a tiny bit of whiteout and biro in there too. 

CC: Are you superstitious, if so - what of? 

MW: I'm not that superstitious, but at the same time I'm really paranoid, so I avoid opening umbrellas inside and every thing I can just in case. 

CC: What should you be afraid of on Friday 13th? 

MW: Jason.

CC: What’s the most unlucky thing that’s ever happened to you?

MW: I think it's really unlucky to drop food. It sucks on so many levels, you loose your meal and then you have to clean up. It's the worst.

 

Check out the facebook event for more artist interviews, artwork previews and spooky stories in the lead up to Friday 13th!!

PRAISE YOU: HANGING AT AMBUSH GALLERY

We're so honoured to be in Sydney, hanging at aMBUSH Gallery for 'Praise You' - an exhibition with the power to make a difference. Experience the unfolding of this incredible show, curated by our good friend, Lusid Art has been an insane and inspiring journey.

Join us this Friday at aMBUSH, and experience the 30 pieces on display, by 30 creative females from around the world.

The night will also feature, DJ Nes-t, Elizabeth Rose and Annie Bass, live speakers, raffle prizes (from major sponsors), catering (food and drinks),  and limited edition artist t-shirts and live speakers. This is going to be HUGE.

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ALL PROCEEDS donated directly to the Butterfly Foundation, working in support of people suffering from negative body image and eating disorders. 

RSVP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/481401472236636/

INTERVIEW: MAID & RETRO - SOMNAMBULISTS

"Somnambulists is a six part film series that follows the actions of MAID and RETRO on their recent Italian adventure. The series takes a fresh approach to filming, editing and track selection which results in high-end filming, drone footage, slow cuts, and bleeding edge bass music taking you on a journey so intimate you’ll feel like you’re sitting on the tracks eating spaghetti bolognese."

With the 3rd edition of Somnambulists, 'Greetings from Genoa ' fresh on our screens, we catch up with the infamous Aussie duo, MAID and RETRO to talk through the Somnambulists series, and their shared 'sleepwalker' experiences across Italy.

CC:  Tell us about how did the Somnambulists concept come about?

RETRO: I guess always watching graffiti movies with gangsta rap on real fast pace never really gave me the feeling that I was there, as I've experienced it first hand. So I tried looking for songs and found it was the slow pace video editing that made me feel like I was there in the moment.

MAID: Retro was the ideas man behind it all. I think he did an awesome job giving it the right feel. Spots can be very stressful, but painting is a very quiet activity. We returned from the US and were a bit sad we couldn't create something to share of our travels and painting so next trip we locked in Tom Rolfe to come and shoot it all.

CC: You’ve gone into the definition of the word in the video descriptions (Noun: A condition that is characterised by walking while asleep or in a hypnotic trance.) Is this how painting feels to you?

RETRO: Feeling calm in these experiences is important most of the time....

MAID: Mostly, yeah. Painting can be another world. I feel completely free to roam around and do what I feel. It’s a nice peaceful trance.

CC: What was your favourite model and why?

RETRO: for me, Rome... we met with great people. We painted a model in a spot that I've tried several times over the years, so to get that done felt really good!

MAID: The Northern line - model and colour!

CC: What was your favourite destination and why?

RETRO: Napoli for the Pizza and metro.

MAID: It’s a hard one. I loved travelling through all the cities and seeing all different ways of life and architecture. Although, Napoli did have beach of cats and Mt. Vesuvius!!

CC: How did it compare to painting at home?

RETRO: At home I’m chill.. I work plenty to feed my addiction of travelling and painted a few times every year. I still love painting here, but there seems to always be problems and too many politics that come with it...

MAID: Yes, I agree. I wish we painted more at home, but at the moment we are just focusing on working at home.

CC: Do you always paint as a pair?

RETRO: Umm yeah. For the last couple of years it has been a consistent doing. It works well because we are both pretty relaxed in these moments. We are both motivated to travel and consistently try paint while away.

MAID: Mostly. Even if one of us has planned to paint, the other will come for the drive but then most likely do something too.

CC: If we were to trawl through your travel bags, what would we find?

RETRO: SD cards, cameras, a few t-shirts and shorts.

MAID: Lots of random shit. Good jeans, sneakers and goretex. Drawing supplies, a crystal, shells, a good book and oils.

CC: Can you tell us something that happened along that way that we won’t see in the clips? 

RETRO: A whole lot of driving was done over that 3 weeks... not a whole lot of relaxing though.

MAID: Some close calls and weird conversations with police. Then there was all the rad people who made me coffee, and Tom’s Rolfe sleep deprivation.

CC: What were the major highlights?

RETRO: Pizza, gelato and overall just doing galves.

MAID: A line, B line, Margaritas in Napoli. 

CC: What’s next for MAID and RETRO?

RETRO: Well the plan is hopefully to do another trip by the end of the year, but it's hard to leave an Australian summer for an international winter....

MAID: More travel and more painting. And hopefully release some artwork pieces together!

Keep an eye on @liquidpastels and @blogtheif instagram accounts for updates, and catch the next episode coming soon via the @ironlak youtube channel. 

HARLEY AND HANDEN CUSTOM EMBROIDERY

Here's a few feature flicks of our Resident babe, Harley and Handen's finished piece. Throughout her time with The Culprit Club, Harley worked patiently in store, hand stitching and customising this denim jacket surrounding the theme of heart break. Check out the finished product!

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Harley and Handen Interview - Cluprit Club Resident Artist!

If you've not yet been online aquatinted with our current resident angel, Harley of 'Harley and Handen' - now's the time to read up. This talented lady has been working on a number of different creative projects around Brisbane, kicking goals in the crafty community. We were very excited to have her with us for a 4 week residency at The Culprit Club while she created her in house project - an embroidered and embellished denim jacket surrounding the theme of heartbreak. Get to know the influences and motivations of Harley through our catch up interview below!

harley and handen the culprit club

How would you describe your style in one sentence? 

Embroidery: Lost and confused, but finding it's way. Collage: Naughty, true blue, feminine. 

Can you tell us a bit about the piece you're creating through your Culprit Club residency?

 I'm doing my thing on a denim jacket I rescued from an op shop. I've themed it around heartbreak and missing someone. Over the past year or so I've been doing a lot of journalling and writing down my experiences and feelings, just as a therapeutic release. I never really like to publicly share stuff like that, but I recently decided it would be a great starting point and inspiration for my art. This jacket is mostly based off the time I spent with a great guy in NYC earlier this year, who I had to sadly leave behind when returning to Australia. The time I spent with him was amazing and kind of feels like a dream because I was so far from home. We would never have crossed paths any other way apart from the way that we did. I was working as a dancer at Pumps Brooklyn, and he was a customer. We instantly clicked, and spent most of the time I had left there together. He took me to art galleries and his favourite spots around NYC as he had lived there all his life, easily one of the best times in my life so far. The jacket also has some sub-stories in a way. I based it around friends, and friends of friends who have recently lost someone close to them. It's so devastating to hear when someone has passed, let alone passed when it really wasn't their time to leave. So this is kind of for them, as well as for me.

What inspired your focus on embroidery and embellishment? 

I've always done embroidery, I was taught at a young age by my Ma, and have continued since then. Take away embroidery and there wouldn't be much else left in my life. It has taken me so, so long to get into apparel though. I was never confident enough in my own ideas for fashion, so I only took on commission works. This residency is a good kick in the butt to get my ideas rolling and to have something completed at the end.

How does this compare to your collage work? 

My embroidery and my collage are still very different from each other, which I love. I think the funniest way to describe them is that they're both my children, but to two different baby daddies. After years of experimentation, I feel my collages now have a very individual style. I only use Australian flora and landscapes, paired with beautiful ladies from vintage Playboy and Penthouse magazines. I've recently started incorporating textured paint and scribbles over the top of them, in their frames, which I haven't seen many artists do, let alone collage artists, so I am extremely happy with where my collages are at the moment.
My embroidery is still finding it's feet as I don't have a unique illustration style. I have played around with doing Australian flora but I didn't enjoy the final outcomes. It's still a work in progress which I am enjoying.

How/where did these creative interests begin? 

Lately I've grabbed inspo' from my travels and adventures, also my feelings and the weird thoughts I have to myself on the train, after I've been left on seen, or when I've fallen completely in love with someone I've known for a day. I've enjoyed being a little more transparent about the emotions we all go through yet mostly just keep to ourselves. My life has definitely improved by openly talking about experiences and emotions I go through.

What's the story behind the name, Harley and Händen? (we're assuming handen as a German reference to hand?) 

Yeah! Firstly, I wanted my name to be in it, and also the initials to be H&H. I based it off the word 'hand' because I never want to go into mass production, everything I make will be made by me, by hand. I chose to translate hand into Swedish because I always admired their simple and clean designs, which is something that my Ma constantly told me, "the back must be as neat as the front". Fast forward a year or two later, I was at a family reunion on my Dad's side, and I found out my great, great, great grandparents came over from Sweden on a boat, aged 21, so that was rad to find out.

Who're you favourite artists/ creative icons, and why? 

My all-time favourite artist and person is Bob Dylan. Watching interviews and reading about him inspires me SO much. At such a young age he knew what he wanted, and he worked hard towards getting it. He didn't care what other people thought of him and dealt with the negativity in such a great way. He was kind of cocky and harsh at times, which I like, but confident and seemed like a very loyal friend once you were 'in'. One of my favourite interviews of his was the one he did in 1965 with Time Magazine, watch it when you have a spare six and a half minutes. I continue to admire him as he is 76 and still tours more days than he has off. His birthday is also exactly a week after mine, so I take that as a nice sign. Also rad artists such as Tyler, The Creator get's me going because they too don't give a fuck, they just do their thing. I'm definitely no where near as hectic and in-your-face as he is, but I definitely notice similar traits in the way he goes about his art.

If we were to trawl through your backpack, what would we find? 

You'll always find at least one embroidery needle with thread attached, sometimes you'll be lucky to find a current WIP, Blistex, which has been a massive help this winter! Usually a stack of receipts or notes that have been in there for decades, lolly wrappers and a holographic purse. Nothing too crazy!

Do you think Brisbane has enough initiatives to offer local artists? 

I think it does, but at the same time (just like Nutrigrain) you're only gunna get out what you put in. There's plenty of art collectives around, I'm involved in three: Primary Arcade, TBC and Brisbane Collage Club. These groups have helped me immensely both in self growth and my art, but all of this 'success' in a way also comes with sleepless nights, volunteering your time, energy and resources to help out with exhibitions or market days. Most of the people in these communities help you up and support you, they'll go out of their way to give you feedback or tag you in an article that could be helpful to you. I know there's also a lot of cool local publications that are helping out the creative community too. You just gotta remember you're only gunna get out what you put in.

Where can people find more of your work? 

A website is still in progress, but the best way is to check in on my Instagram @harleyandhanden, I post a heap of progress shots in my story, and always have new content up every few days. I'm also vlogging my time at the Culprit Club, so check into YouTube for those.

 

Check our Haley's Vlog's here and stay tuned for a photo series blog of her completed residency project! 

JUST ANNOUNCED: Arswandaru Chayo - Bad Things In Everything

The Culprit Club is proud to announce, ‘BAD THINGS IN EVERYTHING’ - a debut solo exhibition by ARSWANDARU CHAYO.

EVENT LINK: https://www.facebook.com/events/327941357649015/

Arswandaru Chayo The Culprit Club Bad Things In Everything Brisbane Australian Indonesia

Born in Jurakarta, Indonesia, now residing in Bali, Arswandaru is the first international artist to debut at The Culprit Club.

When asked to describe his work in one sentence, Arswandaru turned to the words of C. Bukowski. “Great art is horseshit, buy tacos,” he said. 

Arswandaru Cahyo’s ‘Bad Things in Everything’ is an exploration of daily life, in particular the iconic influence of technology in the modern world. 

Arswandaru’s satirical style and quirky characters convey the nuances of these themes. He draws upon his personal experiences to create surreal and psychedelic settings with his sought after, tattoo-inspired style. 

It’s with huge excitement and pride that we welcome Arwswandaru to our walls.

Join us Friday, September 15th for the launch of ‘Bad Things In Everything’

 

JOE O'TOOLE NERVOUS WRECK - SOLD OUT

HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to The Club on Friday night for Joe's debut SELL OUT show, Nervous Wreck.  All 16 hand painted plates were snapped up in two hours - insane! Giant congratulations to our friend Joe. 

Read up more about the show's concept, here. 

Joe O'Toole - Nervous Wreck Launching at The Culprit Club

The Culprit Club is proud to announce, NERVOUS WRECK - a debut solo exhibition by JOE O’TOOLE.

RSVP HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/343415562758493

Working with both enamel and acrylic paint to produce his traditional sign writing/ hand lettering style, the focus of Joe’s work to date is the mechanics of creating letters by hand, both on a small and large scale.

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NERVOUS WRECK will showcase a series of Joe’s hand painted porcelain plates, expressing a collection of honest, brave and touchingly bold statements to form a self-portrait of his personal anxiety. 

“My grandmother loved kitsch decorations. The decorations which were most fascinating to her were the plates. Not only the bizarre nature of the plates, but the sheer quantity she owned made me realise their significance to her. They were symbolic of the manifestation of an overcompensation of having something ‘nice’, to distract herself from being dull.”

“The painted truisms are a personal reflection of my patterns of anxiety. The four stages are perceived conflict, victimhood, pity and resolution -each stage being characterised by the painted letters.”

“The works I have created are a reflection of my personal realisation that I have an irrational anxiety of abandonment, and a habit of making the same mistakes over and over again. Always recognising the patterns of conflict, but failing to break them. The decorative plates are representative of my unreasonable perceived fragility of human connections.”

LAUNCHING: Friday, August 4, 6PM

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Back To Square One - Culprit Club One Year Birthday Show

To celebrate our ripe upcoming age of one-year-old, we popped our birthday off with giant group show title 'Back To Square One' featuring the collaborative works of over 40 artists who’ve been the heart of The Culprit Club over the last 12 months.

ROLL CALL:
Aeon, Aidan Ryan, Alex Lehours, Arswandaru, Bafcat, Blex, Buttons, Billie Schneider, Chris Doyle, Chehehe, Chrissie Abbott, Dean Nenadich, Diz, Drule, Emmanuel Moore, Funeral French, Graham Hare, Hanna, Inkboy, Irok, Ivo, James Nye, John Kaye, Kiss, Kiel Tillman, Lauren Webster, Lusid Art, Lucinda Wolber, Lucks, Luke Henery, Maid, Markus Ravik, Memos, Oh Noes, Pat Rogasch, Phibs, ProCreativ, Reuben Stocks, Ryan Bowels, Sevens, Shaman, Soda Mouf, 1337.

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Photos by our resident photographer big boss Markus Ravik. 

INTERVIEW / COURTNEY BRIMS / BUSH FABLES

The Culprit Club is proud to announce, BUSH FABLES – a solo exhibition of new works by Brisbane-based artist and illustrator, Courtney Brims launching Friday 09 June, 6pm in Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley. 

Inspired by the beauty of the Australian landscape, Courtney Brim's incredible new series of work, promotes appreciation and awareness of our unique biodiversity, while exploring ideas of destruction, displacement, rebirth, and the delicate connectedness of nature.

We catch up with the lovely lady herself to talk through the concepts and ideas of the show, and well as her inspirations and experiences as an artist. 

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How would you describe your style in one sentence?

CB: Loaded with tiny details and always a touch of macabre.

What’s the premise behind the Bush Fables show?

CB: The whole idea behind this collection of work was to bring attention to our beautiful endangered wildlife and plant species.

How do Australian fairytales and Picnic at Hanging Rock come together in contrast in your work?

CB: I wanted to mesh together the sweetness of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with the surrealism of The Magic Pudding and the eeriness of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I feel like the Australian bush has all three of those qualities.

It's the idea of nature being this beautiful, cruel beast that's mysterious and dangerous yet vulnerable and fragile. There's this line from The Witches of Eastwick that says 'nature absorbs all', which kind of sums up my this collection perfectly.

With Picnic at Hanging Rock, I guess, in a slightly disturbing way, I've always liked the idea of these three ethereal girls walking off into the bush and vanishing, like the wilderness just gobbled them up.

In my narratives I'm not necessarily representing humans as the baddie. We're definitely not blameless for the state these species find themselves in and a lot of my pieces touch on the issues of feral predators and land clearing, but I wanted to focus the attention on how wonderful and unique our species are, rather than focusing on the blame.

Whether the bone fragments are humans that have perished because of how they treated the earth, or whether like Miranda and co, they have been absorbed into the bush, I like to keep it fairly open for interpretation.

The vibe of the show really remind us of Fern Gully! It’s like you’re whispering Magi’s words of wisdom! What do you want audiences to take away from seeing the show?

CB: To go home and watch Fern Gully!! Not to take what we have for granted, be a responsible pet owner and familiarise yourself with the awesome work of conservation groups like Bush Heritage, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Arid Recovery.

How much time do you spend creating each piece?

CB: Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

What materials do you use to create them?

CB: I use of combo of Polychromos and Prismacolour pencils on paper.

What's you favourite thing about Australia’s native species and why?

CB: The diversity! Mountains, deserts, beaches, woodlands, reefs, rainforests. It gives us the most amazing biodiversity.

If we were to rummage through your backpack, what would we find?

CB: Crackers. I rarely leave the house without snacks.

What would you be lost without in the world?

CB: I guess it would be really inconvenient if I lost my right hand.

If you could be any native creature / critter, what would you be and why?

CB: A quokka! They seem so damn happy with life!

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