Category Archives: Events / Conferences

Tees: Exposing Melbourne’s T-shirt Culture

29/12/12 – Skulls in Temporary T-shirt Exhibition at the NGV Studio

So today I decided to visit Federation Square in Melbourne, while I was walking through the building, I recognised a very large t-shirt collection that was displayed within the NGV Studio; the temporary exhibition was titled, “Tees: Exposing Melbourne’s T-Shirt Culture”. For those who have not visited Melbourne, The National Gallery of Victoria do have a small studio located in Federation square that often exhibits contemporary art, illustration and graphic design.


T-Shirt Designs Displayed in Tees: Melbourne Street Culture Exhibition at Fed Square, Artists Unknown. 

In the first gallery space, I was amazed by all the different t-shirt designs that have been mounted to the wall. All the different patterns, colours and designs do add an interesting effect, the actual display immediately persuaded me to enter the gallery space. I had also realised that the skull was a very popular t-shirt design that continually reappeared throughout the entire exhibition.


Design by Harvey Nichols 

The display was quite tall, all the different designs were attached to the wall, one on top of the other in a grid formation. The way the designs were displayed was very creative, it’s not everyday where you see t-shirt designs / illustrations displayed on a large-scale in an exhibition. According to Federation Square website, the exhibition features Eddie Zammit’s t-shirt collection, Zammit also works for a popular T-shirt magazine known as T-World, that often displays a range of t-shirt designs from artist’s, illustrators and designers. On the website, Zammit explains that has collected 4,000 t-shirts in total, Zammit is definitely a t-shirt enthusiast that’s for sure.


Design by Meggs: I have also recognised this design in the streets and ally ways around Melbourne. I though this particular design was familiar when I walked into the exhibition! 

There is limited information on this particular exhibition so I will have to take another visit to find out whether the NGV have displayed all 4,000 t-shirt designs from Zammit’s collection. The gallery space also featured a range of photographs that featured a range of contemporary artists, designers and illustrators who are known for their incredible t-shirt designs. Each photograph featured a photograph of the artist, the artist’s name as well as a short description of the artist’s own professional practise. What I did find really interesting is the fact that most of the photographs did feature a skull within the background; either a metal or a plastic skull.


Design by Grand Scheme

Has the skull become a popular icon in Melbourne’s t-shirt culture? Well for almost a year I have seen so many people walking around the city with skull printed t-shirts and the exhibition does feature skulls in almost every single corner within the gallery space. I would say that there is a growing interest for the skull in contemporary street art and design. In fact, when I first started the blog all I could recognise was skull printed t-shirts and now they’re becoming popular than ever before, it’s hard to walk into a clothes store without noticing an entire selection of skull printed t-shirts.


This was my favourite design within the entire exhibition but I could not find the artist’s name. If you do know the name of the artist please let me know. 

I would definitely recommend visiting the exhibition if you are in Melbourne or click on the link below to visit their website.

Image URL Links:

Skulls at Melbourne Museum

28/9/12 – Trip to the Melbourne Museum

Visiting the Melbourne Museum on a rainy day was the best decision ever! Not only was I undercover, I had seen some very interesting installations inside the museum. My supervisor had suggested that I take a visit to the museum in order to gain ideas for the exhibition. I walked into the animal / insect room and I was impressed with the display, all of the beetles and butterflies for instance were used to create different patterns or swirls which I did find very creative.

During my visit, I had noticed that most of the items and the installations in the museum were displayed on a slant. The display actually provides a different experience and a completely different perspective of the artefacts within the space.

As I walked through the Melbourne Museum on a late Friday afternoon, I finally discovered the Human Body section. I have visited the Museum a couple of years ago and I do remember that this particular area or section was really interesting. I had noticed many skulls that were protected into glass containers, although I wasn’t too sure if they were real or fake.

Once I had read some of the information in the space, I had realised that some of the skulls and skeletons were actually real. In one of the rooms, I had discovered the skeleton of an 89 year old man, whose remains had been bleached and joined together with metal hinges. It was quite an amazing experience to actually see a real human skeleton, although the glass container and the metal hinges did become a distraction.

The skeleton didn’t really resonate any kind of connection with death and the materials that were used to hold the skeleton in place may have distracted my attention from the actual form. Other than that, it was the first real human skeleton I have ever seen in my life and it was quite interesting to see what we all look like on the inside.

There were skulls all around the museum and I couldn’t stop looking at them. Here is a real human skull, in a glass container looking directly at me. The skulls on display had invited me to question the person’s previous existence; who was the person, where were they from, when had they died?

What was there not to like about the museum? All of the information was interesting to read and the display was definitely inspiring. All photographs taken inside the Melbourne Museum.

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:

Field Trip

20/4/12 Field Trip – ACMI, Melbourne

Attended a conference, which featured artists, photographers, designers, illustrators and animators who discussed their work in detail. Each artist / designer conducted a presentation, which demonstrated their own experiences, techniques and methods in relation to their own practise, which was then incorporated into the other artist’s work in order to create a different style. it was very interesting to see what the artists/designers had created and how they used programs such as Adobe illustrator or photoshop. The conference did provide different ideas or concepts that I could use for my own research project.

Image, The Design Files, (accessed 20/4/12)

Travis Price

Price’s work also features skulls in some of his work and it was interesting to see how the designer applied different gradients to his own image in illustrator.The field trip catalogue also explains that that designer has worked for highly recognisable companies such as Milo and Drumstick. Travis’s designs feature a close association with popular culture, which often displays recognisable or iconic images or representations.

Image from Jack Winter Group Website,, Jacky Winter Group, 2012 (accessed 20/4/12)

Jo Duck

Towards the end of the conference, photographer Jo Duck explained how she combines different styles or elements in order to create an interesting photograph. Duck also described her own approach to different photo shoots, which have involved research and listening to sound tracks, which were then forwarded to the models, makeup artists or hair stylists. It was really interesting to actually see the photographer install an actual photo shoot on stage and to see what type of equipment was used.

Image, fdblog, (accessed 20/4/12)

Tin & Ed

Tin and Ed are two artists who began making an artwork on stage with colourful sheets of paper and card. There were a lot of bright colours and geometrical shapes, which looked similar to a character from Pac Man. It was interesting to see the final product and Jo Duck photographed the cardboard headpiece, which was placed on top of the model’s head. All of the artist’s works linked together in order to create an artwork towards the end of the day, which was very creative. It was also interesting to see other artists work together in order to produce something different. The conference also included Beci Orphin, Jeremy Ley, 21-19, Toby & Pete, who also presented interesting and inspiring work.

Image, Life Lounge, (accessed 20/4/12) 

Jacky Winter Group, “Field Trip.” Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne, 2012