Semi Permanent

14/9 – 15/9 – Two Days at Semi Permanent: Creative Arts Conference in Melbourne

Last weekend I attended an arts conference also known as Semi Permanent at the Melbourne Convention Centre. Over the past two days, there were some fantastic presentations from local and international artists who had explained their own practise; including recent projects, work in progress and upcoming exhibitions.

The presentations were very inspirational and each year, visitors receive an art book from Semi Permanent that features the works of arts and designers. This year the presentations featured guest speakers in art, design, photography, architecture, visual media and animation. According to the Semi Permanent website, the conference was established at least 10 years ago and the event occurs in five different counties around the world.

The presentations in Semi Permanent have provided lots of different ideas that I could experiment with in my own research project. The event was definitely worth while and I would recommend Semi Permanent to anyone who is interested in developing an arts or design career. The advice and wisdom that was provided during the presentations have also motivated me to experiment with different mediums and art forms.

All of the presenters in Semi Permanent, 2012 has displayed their work in a creative and innovative fashion through a series of images, photographs and video clips. I have listed at least three to four presenters that have inspired my project and my own work in progress.

1. Michael Leon: The first artist to present was Michael Leon who has created designs for skateboards and for large corporate brands such as Nike. According to the Semi Permanent website, Leon’s work has been displayed internationally and the artist has now become an industry professional for art and design. Leon had also displayed his skull series, that started with a few basic shapes and designs.

The artist had explained that he had wanted to see what the skull would look like with a pair of sunglasses. This particular idea had developed into a series of sculptures that were made from clay and the artist had used paintballs to cover the entire surface of each skull.

Video Clip: Michael Leon – Skulls 

The video clip was definitely very interesting and each skull has been sculpted from clay and sprayed with different colours that also creates different shapes, patterns and designs. What I find really interesting is Leon’s comments about the skull that were made during the presentation . Leon had mentioned that the skull is generic, the skull no longer has a meaning or a purpose.

I was very surprised by this comment and Leon’s presentation also displays how the skull is depicted in contemporary art and design.

Top Image: Tattoo Design / Illustration – Ian Bugsy

2. Ian Bugsy: Bugsy is a tattoo artist who presented his own style and technique. Bugsy had explained that the most popular designs that he is asked to creates are either panthers, Indians and skulls. Throughout the majority of the presentations, the artist’s designs featured skulls in different patterns and designs. Bugsy had also believed that the skull was a representation of life and death.

Top Image: Painting – JKB Fletcher

3. JKB Fletcher: JKB Fletcher creates realistic paintings that appear very similar to a photograph. I have actually attended the entire presentation, believing that the images on screen were actual photographs. I was actually amazed and shocked when the artist had presented a videos of himself creating one of his paintings from scratch. The subject matter is also really interesting and Fletcher’s recent project, “Dirty Faces”, appropriates super heroes through the application of paint.

One of the hosts had asked Fletcher why he had decided to female models, which I thought was a really interesting question. The artist had explained that he didn’t want to re-create the super heroes and Fletcher had wanted to try something different that has allowed me to identify how important it is to test different styles and mediums. Towards the end of the presentation, Fletcher had presented another video clip that has provided lots of ideas for my own project.

Video Clip: JKB Fletcher & MARFRIS – “Out” 

The video features a woman who begins to smother paint onto her neck and face that eventually begins to replicate Spiderman. The actual face painting in the video is messy that may aethetisize the materials that have been used for the project. The dripping paint also adds a very interesting effect and I like the fact that the paint is spontaneously applied to the model’s face, arm and torso. The different brush strokes and textures add a different perspective to Flecther’s paintings that may have not existed if the face paint was applied perfectly.

Top Image: Photograph – Boogie

4. Boogie: Boogie is a contemporary photographer from Serbia who has documented gangs around New York City.  The black and white photos that were presented on screen had shown images of war, violence, drug use and poverty. The images had captured the everyday from a unique perspective that confronts the viewer to acknowledge what actually happens in the real world. The Semi Permanent website also explains that Boogie has published several books and his works have been exhibited worldwide.

Semi Permanent 2012 definitely featured some interesting presenters and make sure you book your tickets for the next conference in 2013!

Semi Permanent, Melbourne 2012,

Image Citations:

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