INTERVIEW: MEL STRINGER

We caught up with local art angel, Mel Stringer to chat girly facts and the inspiration behind her artwork for upcoming fem first exhibition, Praise You (launching Thursday August 22 at Lightspace, Fortitude Valley). Anyone familiar with Brisbane art who know that Mel Stringer is an absolute veteran. As a women who inspires many with her creations and encourages pride and diversity across all body shapes and sizes, Mel Stringer is an artist we’re absolutely head over heels for.

WHO IS MEL STRINGER? I'm a 32 year old Australian artist based in Missouri.

YOU'VE SEEN INCREDIBLE SUCCESS IN THE LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ART AND DESIGN SCENES FOR SUCH A LONG TIME! HOW DID YOUR CAREER KICK OFF? I have been creative from an early age, having a cartoonist father helped with that. After I finished high school I worked for a year then convinced my parents to let me move to Brisbane to study art. They let me! I started making and distributing zines like Girlie Pains and involving myself in group shows. Livejournal and Deviantart were a great way to meet other likeminded artists, some of whom I've finally met since moving to the US!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN ONE SENTENCE? Equal parts sweet and sour, cute and tough curvy girls.

TELL US ABOUT THE ARTWORK YOU CREATED FOR PRIASE YOU. It was inspired from a recent trip to Joshua Tree and other desert-like places in the USA. It's a cute witch hanging out with an armadillo as the sun goes down.

WHAT DOES THIS ARTWORK AND THE CONTEXT OF THE EXHIBITION MEAN TO YOU? I wanted to create something peaceful with a little edge and a little bit of cute while showing off some curves. Also, I spent a lot of time painting it. It went through many transformations. It finally revealed itself to me and I had to stop putting down paint and know it was finished.

YOUR WORK REPRESENTS WHAT WE SEE AS AN ULTIMATE CREATIVE EXPRESSION OF BODY POSITIVITY, SHOWING THE BEAUTY OF PEOPLE ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AS WELL AS THE QUIRKS OF THEIR PERSONALITY THROUGH YOUR CUSTOMISED CHARACTERS! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO CREATE CHARACTERS, AND BE SUCH A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL FOR THE INDUSTRY AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE THIS WAY? First and foremost I create for myself and am inspired by my own body and other body types similar to mine. To know I inspire or encourage people who may look similar is really encouraging. I wanted to create art that I wanted to see in magazine pages and hanging on walls.

IF YOU COULD LEAVE ONE LASTING MARK ON THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE, AND WHY? Just be kind to people.

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INTERVIEW: MOSESSA (PRAISE YOU)

With Brisbane’s annual exhibition, Praise You just around the corner, our eyeballs are getting excited for the visions of this year’s all female showcase, featuring 40 artworks from renowned women from across the globe to raise awareness and funding for body positivity and female empowerment.

Curated by one of our very own, Lusid Art and presented by our friends at UNE PIECE, this exhibition was created to raise awareness for body positivity and female empowerment. It’s a body of work with the power to make a difference.

We caught up with Praise You feature artist, MOSESSA (who you may recognise from our recent Brisbane Outdoor galleries project!) to chat about her creation for the show. See below her INCREDIBLE original artwork ‘Ode to Femme’ which will be available for purchase at the exhibition launch of Thursday 22nd August.

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MOSESSA, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE STYLE IN ONE SENTENCE?
Feminine and surrealist-inspired portraits of women and animals featuring floral imagery

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE ARTWORK YOU CREATED FOR PRAISE YOU? This piece is very personal and the initial idea came to me when I was going through a transitional phase in my life. I was in a position where I had to rely heavily on the people around me, and needed a lot of support. It’s titled ‘Ode to Femme’ and is dedicated to my sister, mother, and girlfriends. It’s a tribute piece to all the loving women who’ve supported me. Upon completing the piece I also feel now that it is about self-love, patience and that everything will be ok in the end. I feel that Praise You is all about women supporting women which is why I wanted to especially submit this piece for this years show.

WHAT’S THE BEST AND WORST THING ABOUT BEING A WOMEN IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY? I am lucky that I have not experienced much negativity being a female creative. One of the best things I feel is that it is easier to reach out and connect with female artists. It is like we share the same spirit and are working towards the same thing so we are naturally drawn to each other.

WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOUR PIECES? I grew up in the Gold Coast hinterland and was surrounded by nature. I paint a lot of floral work as I feel it takes me back to that time. My work is inspired by a mixture of nature, folklore, surrealism and art deco. I also have an interest in art therapy, so I aim to create soft, soothing imagery in my work.

WHAT’S IN THE PIPELINES FOR MOSESSA? I have something exciting coming up with the Brisbane City Council, Griffith University and The Culprit Club! It’s an outdoor gallery that will be showcasing throughout the city. I am also planning to move to a new studio next year that is 10x as big as the workspace I have now, which means I will be painting bigger works.

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Since 2017, Praise You has raised over $13,000 for The Butterfly Foundation with donations going towards much needed resources, along with immeasurable awareness for the work and message of Butterfly.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PRAISE YOU EXHIBITION VIST WWW.PRAISEYOU.CO

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MOSESSA VIST WWW.MOSESSA.COM.AU

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/