Here’s a Chunk of Drewfunk

Born in Malaysia, well-known street artist Drewfunk currently resides in Melbourne and has also lived in Sydney, Australia. After moving to Australia in 2006, Drew studied art at RMIT University in Melbourne. His interest in street art began in 2002, after finishing school.

Drewfunk’s style is a cross between East and West which he refers to as Oriental Funk. He creates murals using spray paints, wild style letters in street art and has completed commissions both public and private including a wall commission in South Melbourne, near York and Clarendon Streets. He is also a fine artist and illustrator.

  • Drew’s influences include food, Ming Dynasty period artworks, mystical imagery and folklore, animals, dragons, koi fish and bonsai plants.
  • As well as on the streets, Drew has exhibited nationally and internationally, through nine solo exhibitions, a prolific street art reputation, and a number of group shows.

Further information can be found on Drewfunk’s Instagram @drewfunk account or his Website.

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I Allus Has Wan At Eleven

 

  • Many may recognise this famous vintage Carlton United Brewery beer poster advertisement, entitled – “I Allus Has Wan at Eleven”.

There is plenty to be said about the history of the man who posed for this poster. For starters, there is uncertainty about this man’s true identity. One thing we know is his name was Sam. Some claim it was Sam Griffin, others claim it was Sam Knott. However, both men were roustabout prospectors from the old gold-mining area of Woods Point in Victoria.

The poster depicts Sam with a long beard, cap, long-sleeved flannel shirt, low-waisted trousers hitched with bowyangs below the knees and batted looking work boots; and a piece of cloth tucked into his belt near the hip pocket, ready to wipe the sweat from his brow.

  • One consistent fact is that Sam was having a drink at 11.00 a.m. at McVeigh’s Upper Yarra Hotel at Walsh’s Creek high in the Yarra Valley, near Warburton.

Secondly, there seems to be some consternation as to whether the poster was derived from a quick sketch taken at the Hotel, or from a photo (ca 1906) by a travelling salesman for the Carlton and United Brewery. Nevertheless, it was given to the advertising team at the Brewery and the rest, one might say, ‘is history’.

I allus has wan at eleven” has become a famous chant in Australia’s beer drinking culture. Simple, but effective, it caught the imagination of the drinking public at the time.  Closely associated with it was a little verse:

I allus have wan at eleven,
It’s a habit wot’s gotta be done,
Cos if I don’t have one at eleven,
I allus have eleven at one.

  • There is a suggestion that Sam died a fortnight before the poster was released.

We also know that McVeigh’s Hotel no longer exists. It was subsumed after the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works cleared a large area to put in the Upper Yarra Dam project in the late 1930s.

  • Now here’s the best bit. These days, somewhere nearby is the Sam Knott’s Hotel at Wesburn (West Warburton), where they tell the tale of Sam’s coffin being taken into the hotel at 11.00 a.m. on the day of his burial; and since then, some people claim to have seen his ghost at the hotel – at 11.00 a.m.  (of course!).
  • But this cannot be true, as Sam Knott’s Hotel was built well after the time when Sam died, but it seems to indicate that more people believe that Sam was Sam Knott; not Sam Griffin.

Doesn’t matter much either way how the story goes, but regardless of theories, mysteries and inconsistencies, this tale reads as a great Aussie yarn.

Is it beer o’clock yet?  | Must be somewhere in this world!

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UNeeda Shida Fix?

Mik Shida aka Shida (b. 1990) is an Australian artist, specialising in large-scale murals, painting, sculpture, video work and installation. In 2004, as a teenager, he began experimenting with street art in northern New South Wales.These days Shida lives in Brisbane and travels throughout Australia and the world painting large scale murals.

Shida often collaborates with other artists including Adnate, Twoone, Vexta and others.

  • Discover more about Shida’s art at his website, shop, Flickr or email shida@gmail.com

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These Are No Fakes | These Are Real Thake’s

 

Eric Thake, (1904-1982), Australian print-maker, painter and photographer trained at the National Gallery School and the George Bell School. During his earlier career, he showed with the Contemporary Group in Melbourne between 1932 and 1938 before serving as an official war artist for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This was followed by 30 years in advertising.

While he held his first solo exhibition at Georges Gallery, Melbourne in 1947; Thake worked as a medical draughtsman at the University of Melbourne in 1956; and he designed postage stamps and covers for the journal Meanjin. Thake shared the 1941 Contemporary Art Society prize with James Gleeson.

  • Like his contemporaries, Thake used elements of surrealism to capture the mood of the Australian landscape.
  • During his artistic career many of his works were held in Australia’s National and State galleries as well as a selection of overseas collections.
  • A retrospective of his work was held at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in 1970; and an exhibition of his cards, Christmas Cards, Eric Thake: was held at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne in 2002.

Images:

  • One of four illustrations of surgical procedures – 1960 (Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne)
  • Salvation From the Evils of Earthly Existence (1940) oil on cardboard.
  • Nuns on the Geelong Road, 1969
  • An Opera House in Every Home
  • Woman of the World | (Shop in Smith Street, Fitzroy) – photograph

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Sporadic Braddock | Is Hardly Nomadic

Michael Fikaris (aka Braddock) is an Australian multidisciplinary artist whose career has spanned nearly 20 years including street art. Initially a central figure in both Melbourne’s comic book and street art movements since 2003, Braddock has expanded his oeuvre into print-making, small press publishing and large-scale painting.

Fikaris (aka Braddock) has worked extensively on projects locally and internationally with varying communities as well as art institutions and educational bodies.

  • As a freelance artist and community driven project leader, he has been publishing anthologies under the name Silent Army comic collective since 2002.
  • Fikaris has also been teaching workshops in these fields since 2009 and is currently a sessional lecturer in street art with Melbourne University.

In 2017, he was awarded the Platinum Ledger Award for outstanding service to Australian comics.

  • Discover more about Braddock or Michael Fikaris at Michael@fikarisart.com | or his website www.fikarisart.com

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Ring Ring Why Don’t You Give Me a Call?

The Telstra Museum (Melbourne) is a small museum situated within the Hawthorn Telephone Exchange, Burwood Road, Hawthorn. It is managed by a group of dedicated volunteers from the Victorian Telecommunications Museum who strive to preserve Australia’s telecommunications heritage.  The museum houses historical telecommunications equipment including a working mini telephone exchange with four old phones that can call each other.

Highlights of the interactive tour include: seeing telephone exchange equipment in action, the first mobile telephones in Australia – the brick; and operating manual switchboards. You can speak to members of the Morsecodian fraternity and send a telegraphic message to your family and friends.

The most significant exhibit is one of the original mechanical speaking clocks, made with rotating glass discs. This is one (number 2) of the four Mark II machines produced in England for use in Australia, which were received in Australia in the early 1950s. The discs were originally read using an exciter and a detector made with valve technology. These devices are no longer available and; because all the originals had failed, replacements had to be fashioned using digital technology adapted to plug into the original valve sockets. This development has enabled the speaking clock to be restored to full operation.

  • There is also a display of model telephone designs by David Woodland. One of these (featured above) looks like a prickly cactus. I wonder, if it rings, does one answer: Aloe, Aloe, – Aloe Vera?
  • If there is no answer, you’re probably ‘Hanging on the telephone’.
  • Did it want you to respond? Then you might want to Send a Message; or ask it to Call Me.
  • If there is total silence then it has ‘Hung Up On You’; Otherwise, if the line sounds alive, you can always respond with:

Hello
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home?

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One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Junky Projects is the street art contribution of refound items created by Daniel Lynch (born 1977). Lynch is a contemporary artist based in Melbourne and working in multiple media using waste and recycled materials as the principle material for his work. He has also been a street art tour guide for 6 years; and a street art and graffiti workshop facilitator for over 15 years.

  • Junky Projects are small sentinels created from found refuse; our forgotten and discarded garbage reanimated to haunt us.
  • The works speak to a cultural anxiety of excessive consumption and waste and expand the idea of what graffiti can be, which makes them a leading example of Melbourne Street art.

Lynch has a background in Visual Communication and Education, (Diploma of Education (Secondary) specialising in design and technology; Bachelor of Design – Visual Communication (Honours).

  • Discover more about Junky Projects at his website or Insta account @junkyprojects

BTW – There are reportedly over 2500 Lil Junky’s out in the wild – and here are 12 of them!

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Not the Blue Poles You Were Perhaps Thinking Of?

Jonathan Jones Kamilaroi/Wiradjuri (born 1978) won an Art and Australia Emerging Art award in 2005 for his work entitled: Blue Poles.

  • [Blue Poles (2004) 10 fluorescent lights, transparent synthetic polymer resin, composition board, electrical cord, 168.9 cm x 285.3 cm x 65 cm overall; edition of 3 and one museum edition; ART AND Australia Emerging Artist Collection; National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Collection (purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2010)].
  • [Untitled (Muya) (2011) Light Boxes NGV Melbourne. This work is a dedication to the Wurundjeri Ngurungaeta (Leader) William Barak. Like all true leaders, a cultural ambassador and advocator; a devoted father and an insightful and gifted artist]; also
  • [Blue Poles (2010) (fluorescent lights, transparent synthetic polymer resin composition board, electrical cord, plastic, steel, adhesive. NGV Melboune.]

Blue Poles references elements of Western modernism, indigenous art and history; the symbiotic relationship of the individual; and the community which is represented by a grouping of lines of fluorescent light.

As Jones states; “Lines of light are connected to the Aboriginal line designs specific to south-eastern Australia. In this region the line is used to create patterns and designs, often carved into wood, skin and the ground. These designs are best illustrated by the region’s carved wooden shields and the works of Tommy McRae and Uncle Roy Kennedy. This work is based on continuing this cultural vernacular”.

You Light Up My Life!

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Don’t Be Put Off By Putos

Putos is a graffiti / street artist from Melbourne who loves painting dragons, dogs, lions, rhinos, hippos, gators, tentacled sea creatures and any other creature that comes to mind or suits the wall.Putos is an expert with tones, shades and tints whilst creating electric shimmering chaos and textures from skin and scales to fire and water and smoke.

Don’t be put off by Putos

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A Great Combi-Nation of VW Art

I base this on my love of the Kombi/Combi VW van.  In fact we are a family of devotees of the Kombi and many friends and family members seek out gifts, cards and other paraphernalia related to the Kombi, for us.

VW Kombi/Combi memorabilia focuses on the German Volkswagen Type 2, Kombi, which was introduced in 1950 as its second car model – after Type 1 (The Beetle).

  • The first generation of the ‘Kombi‘ Type 2 with the split windshield was produced from 8 March 1950 through to the end of the 1967 model year.
  • It was informally called the Splitscreen, or Splittie.

Like the Beetle, the Kombi van has received numerous nicknames worldwide, including the “microbus“, “minibus”, and due to its popularity during the 1960s counter-culture movement, the “Hippie Van“.

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I’ve Been Itching to Show You These for Some Time

Inkbomb Studios is the online manifestation of Bryan Itch, or “Itch“, a melbourne-based illustrator and street artist with a diverse skill set drawn from experience in an array of oil and acrylic painting, aerosol street art murals, animated motion graphics, tattooing and custom soundtracks and sound effects; through his VJing and musical art endevours.

Over the past 10 years, Itch has exhibited in group shows across Australia, Europe and the United States alongside leaders in both the street art and visionary art worlds. Itch has been part of the AWOL street art crew along with Adnate, Deams, Lucy Lucy and Slicer.

Highlights have included:

  • live painting at the Symbiosis festival, designing stages for Earthcore, Strawberry Fields and Rainbow Serpent festivals;
  • AWOL crew’s group exhibition “Fabric”,
  • a National Gallery of Victoria installation;
  • and a trip to Mongolia as a featured artist for the Ink Graffiti festival in Ulan Baataar.

Discover more about Itch via his Website.

Itch | I’m bewitched!

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Luna Park | Just for Fun

The Carousel at Melbourne’s Luna Park (formally known as PTC#30) is the 30th carousel machine made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company (PTC) in Pennsylvania, USA and was built in 1913. Like a giant puzzle, the huge carousel complete with cast iron machinery and hundreds of timber parts set sail from the US in October 1913 and arrived in Sydney, Australia in November, 1913.

  • PTC#30 came to Luna Park Melbourne in 1923, where it has remained ever since and is fondly remembered by many generations of Melburnians.
  • PTC#30’s two Roman chariots bear out the Carousel’s theme War and Peace.
  • The chariots were originally fitted with wooden shafts which connected each chariot with its two leading horses.

In 2001, during the restoration of the Carousel, the wooden shafts were reconstructed to the original design using archival photos taken in 1913; with the work carried out by Equus Art Pty Ltd and International Conservation Services.

  • Three of the overhead panels on the carousel are pictured above: ‘On the Scent’ ‘Breakfast Time‘ and ‘Gypsy‘.

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Never Debate the Art of DVATE

DVATE (born 1981) is a Melbourne graffiti street artist and professional artist since 2009.  He uses spray paint and acrylic to paint large scale works. DVATE has developed and varied his own unique street art font and has created amazing photo-realistic portraits of local and endangered flora and fauna as well as portraits.

  • DVATE started his street art in 1997. Over the years he has worked for many crews including: SDM ADN TMPS ID and painted with many different artists such as Dabs, Myla and Gent.

Learn more about DVATE and his art at his website, Instagram account or @dvate

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Heesco | Paradiso – How Could He Be So

Heesco Khosnaran (Real name: Khürelbaataryn Khosnaran) is an impressive photo realistic portrait street artist. Born in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Heesco moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2010 and has painted various artworks around the city and in the wider arena.

  • Drawing since a youngster, Heesco  has been inspired by modern media and has worked with the Melbourne street art Blender Crew. He uses a free hand style often using the tag Mongo in his works.

Heesco has also contributed street art murals for the Silo Art program, having decorated the silos at Weethalle and Grenfell. Some of his works focus on a darker twist – painting with a sardonic sense of humour popular figures, such as: Tony Abbott, Gina Rhinehart, Donald Trump, Heston Blumenthal and Teddy Boy hooligan Alex, from Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ amongst his many works.

  • Discover more of Heesco’s art at his website.

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Three Slithers of Walter Withers

[Images: Allegory to Spring (Portrait of Gladys Manifold) oil on canvas (1902); The Drover (1912) Bendigo Art Gallery]

Walter Herbert Withers was an Australian landscape artist and a member of the Heidelberg School of Australian Impressionists (The Heidelberg School) along with other famous Australian artists such as Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin.

Withers was born at Handsworth, Staffordshire, on 22 October 1854. He showed an early desire to paint, much to his father’s distaste. By 1882, the 28 year old Withers had migrated to Australia and lived in Melbourne, after completing 18 months on a farm. He began working as a draughtsman for a firm of printers. In his spare time Withers kept up his artwork and some were accepted for exhibition in the Old Academy, Melbourne.

  • In 1887, Withers went to Europe; and with his wife settled in a small flat in Paris, where he studied for some months at the Académie Julian. They returned to Australia the following year settling in the Melbourne suburb of Kew and later, at Eaglemont. It was during this period that he became a member of the Heidelberg School.

After a couple of years, Withers took out a lease on the south wing of the “Charterisville” mansion in East Ivanhoe, where he and his family lived for four years. Two of Withers’ notable pupils were Percy Lindsay, and his younger brother Norman Lindsay.

  • In 1891, Withers opened a studio in Melbourne’s Collins Street West, where he held his first private exhibition. Three years later he was living in a cottage in Cape Street, in the local suburb of Heidelberg.  It was here that he painted some of his finest work of the fin de siècle period.

In 1897, Withers was awarded the first Wynne Prize in Sydney for his picture, “The Storm“, which was purchased by the National Gallery of New South Wales. He was elected to the council of the Victorian Artists’ Society in 1889, and in 1905 held the office of President for one year.

  • His health began to deteriorate, but he continued to do a large amount of painting both in oils and in water-colours. He died just nine days short of his 60th birthday, in Eltham, Victoria on 13 October 1914; and was survived by his wife and four children.

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