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 the culprit club brisbane winn lane muchos
harley and handen the culprit club brisbane

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! 

RESIDENT ARTIST #2: LUCINDA WOLBER

We couldn't have found a lovelier lady to take on The Culprit Club's second Residency placement. Lucinda Wolber will be creating a cheeky and cute illustrative/watercolour series titled 'Nude Life' throughout her time with us. As an artist we've watched progress through many local Brisbane art shows over the last few years, it's an honour to have this adorable creative utilising the space. Read more about her inspiration, style and thoughts on the local creative industry below.

lucy wolber the culprit club brisbane art resident artist

How would you describe your style in one sentence?

I like to make art that makes people smile.

Tell us about the body of work you’re creating throughout your Culprit Club residency?

I’m going to create a series called ‘Nude Life’ which will take a cheeky look at things people do in the nude, nothing too rude. I’ve never done any nudes so it should be fun! If I get that finished I’m going to start on a nature series exploring people spending time with nature, camping, walking, swimming etc.

What inspires your colour pallet and optimistic illustrations? They always seem so cheery.

I suppose my medium, watercolour, inspires my colour pallet, the way I use the colours they always turn out very translucent. I start off really light and build the colour up with more layers if I want it darker or brighter.

In regards to subject matter, I just like creating illustrations that make people chuckle. I get a lot of inspiration from my friends and husband. I hope by drawing fun stuff viewers might feel a connection to the work through memories from their own lives.

How long have you been illustrating?

At uni my major was printmaking, when I graduated in 2010 I didn’t have access to the studios anymore and it was had to continue with that practice. I started illustrating after that because it was easy to do at my little desk at home.

How/where did your interest in art begin?

I’ve always loved drawing and painting. When I was a kid we had a ‘feature wall’ next to the dining room table where my Dad would sick up all my creations, even if they weren’t very good. When I left high school I took a few years off to decide what I wanted to do with myself and I decided the only thing I really felt a passion for was art so I decided to do that at uni. Although I can appreciate conceptual and academic forms of art, in my own art practice I have always leaned towards the low brow side of things.  

Who're you favourite artists, and why?

There are so many! I love Femke Hiemstra, David Shrigley, Lili Piri, Kristen Liu Wong, Sean Morris, Stephen Bird, AJ Fosik, Jeremy Fish, Courtney Brims among many others. I like all these artists because they have amazing technical skill and use of colour and they are all interested in creating a sense of whimsy or humor in their artwork which inspires me in my own practice.

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

Today my backpack has two magazines, a book, pens, a notebook, my computer, some lip balm, gum and my lunch.

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

In terms of opportunities for emerging artists who choose not to pursue a conceptual or academic based arts practice I don’t think there are enough affordable opportunities to exhibit in a real gallery environment. I suppose we will just have to keep making our own opportunities and supporting each other in the industry.  

What's the best and worst things about Brisbane's creative industries? 

In Brisbane we are lucky to have some amazing art institutions, university art galleries and commercial spaces to give us inspiration. The worst thing is the lack of gallery spaces that feature alternative forms of art and design. I think that illustration and ‘lowbrow’ forms of art have a lot to offer and this is not necessarily recognised or valued enough in Brisbane like it is in cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

Where can people find more of your work?

I sell most of my work though Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay. You can also find my work at The Happy Cabin in West End. Or if you’d like to chat about a commission you can contact me via my Facebook page ‘The Art of Lucinda Elisabeth Wolber’. 

RESIDENT ARTIST #1: BELLA REBOUL

Welcome to the mind of Bella Reboul - our first resident artist for 2017. Having only been illustrating using her signature stippling technique for 6 months, Bella's humble creative concepts express an air of quality and compassionate creativity well beyond her years. We're very excited to welcome her into The Culprit Club for our one month residency program to continue creating her latest body of work, Exodus.

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How would you describe your style in one sentence?
I would describe my style as stippling or dot-work based illustration. 

Tell us about the body of work you’re creating throughout your Culprit Club residency?
During my time at The Culprit Club I will be creating a body of work called Exodus which portrays extinct or critically endangered animals. Exodus mainly consists of portraits of these animals based on natural history drawings and aims to bring to light the mass biodiversity loss that we have been experiencing in recent times. I do not try and place blame for these extinctions in my work, by rather try to encourage my viewers to understand the significance of the loss of these creatures. 

What inspired you to make this your creative focus?
My focus on animals is born of my innate curiosity regarding the natural world. It is mainly as a result of my zoology studies that Exodus came about, as I think understanding an animal's adaptations such as behaviour and physiology makes it that much more enticing to draw. Australian creatures are particularly interesting to me purely from a scientific and evolutionary perspective as the isolation of Australia from other land masses resulted in a number of unique species lineages that will become totally extinct if not protected. 

How long have you been illustrating?
I have been illustrating using stippling for about 6 months. 

How/where did your interest in art begin?
I have always been interested in art and cannot remember an age where I was not drawing or painting to some extent, but it wasn't until about year 10 that I realised how important art was to me. I was fortunate to have incredible art teachers in high school who took a very contemporary approach to art education and that opened my eyes to modern art. 

Who're you favourite artists, and why?
I have always been fascinated by the works of Patricia Piccinini, despite working more as a sculptural artist. Her grotesque, organic forms have always intrigued me and I love the interactions she creates between the children and creatures in her work. It is from her that I have learnt that I do not necessarily have to accuse or blame my audience for anything but can rather present them with material and an issue (for me mass extinction, for her usually genetic modification) and let them form their own opinion on the subject. More pertinent to my body of work are the works of Walton Ford, which I find to be an almost paradoxical mix between natural history illustrations and surrealism. 

If we were to trawl through your backpack, what would we find?
My backpack always contains a sketchbook and pencil case, both things I can never go without! I don't like clutter, so I usually only really have necessities like my purse, sunglasses and earphones, but often I keep leftover brochures from galleries I've visited and unnecessarily old receipts.

Do you think Brisbane has enough initiatives to offer local artists?
I think Brisbane has some wonderful initiatives for local artists but they can be very difficult to find. When I was 15 I painted a traffic signal box in the Valley/Newstead through a Brisbane City Council art initiative called Artforce which is still in place today. Visible Ink is also an amazing space in the Valley provided by the Council for artists to use for free to rehearse or create. I entered the art scene through a collective called Primary Arcade and later TBC. My only 'criticism' is that unless you know the right people I think these events and groups can often be difficult to find. 

Where can people find more of your work?
On instagram @bellareboul

If you're interested in applying for an artist residency for 2017, click here for application information.