Artist Profiles

Stefano Conti

Stefano Conti, pictured here with Hr Heidi Victoria, Minister for Arts & Culture at the Skin Gallery Summer Group Show launch. Photo credit: Paul Dunn.
Stefano Conti is a practicing poet, artist and musician. He has been a member of Artstop SRS Studio since 2011 and is also a long-standing member of The Exchange Program (MCHS). A well-known entity in the Melbourne poetry scene, Stefano has performed live at many public events, including the Melton Djerriwarrh Festival 2013 and Brunswick Music Festival 2013 alongside well-known acts such as Rebecca Barnard and Heidi Everett. 
Melancholy Portrait 2013
Stefano has held a solo exhibition at Skin Gallery and group shows, including The Fluid Ink Project, Brunswick Art Space and The Skin Gallery Summer Group Show. Recently Stefano has joined Writability a partnership between Writers Victoria, Wheeler Centre and Arts Access Victoria. Stefano is also a key contributor to the ongoing Brunswick Lodge Outdoor Art Project.
 “I see myself first as a writer, poet and singer. I had skills in creating works of art or so long now, I was a dreaming boy thirteen years old when I started my poetry and my artworks. I like to give to people images, words, shapes that can encourage them to see something not easy to see. Here in Australia, Melbourne, I grew up to be what I am… I welcome you into my world! “
The Poet's Still Life 2013 
 Stefano has been a participant of Artstop SRS Open Studio for the past four years, where he has worked steadily on his visual arts practice. In 2011 Stefano was involved in The Fluid Ink Project, short film and exhibition at Brunswick Art Space.
A well known character around Melbourne’s north, Stefano often performs poetry readings at Dan O’Connell Hotel, Saturday afternoon’s. An intimate venue frequented by poets from Melbourne.

Richard Phelan

POEM 2013


Artist’s Statement 2013

All the artists at Artstop21 are graduates of the school of hard knocks.
Living lives that can often be bereft of personal success on a level other than the mundane. For us Artstop21 brings to life a good measure of what I call “the magic of creation”.
Firstly there is the magic of coming together for a few hours with a shared purpose of being magical with art; in an atmosphere of mutual trust, encouragement and exploration. This atmosphere comes from the heart of the artists as we all agree that what we have in Artstop21 is a weekly routine of transcending experience.
Then there is the magic of the artistic process. I feel that this process engages us on levels that are as relevant to our good health as food or love.
It can be a meditative experience.
A joyful experience.
A key and unlocking experience.

Meditative as it is intuitive and knowing, asking each artist to look for personal dimensions that are hidden.
Joyful as it brings to reality these unseen realities of being.
And these are key and unlocking because they are arts of he mind and can change a person’s day from being negative to positive in the blink of an artist’s eye. Indeed I have seen the accumulative effect of these positive moments bring about permanent and palpable satisfaction in art, in myself and in others.

Next is the magic of the artists of Arts Access. From th every beginning of every client of ARtstop21, I see the facilitators address the curiosity and innate artistry of people – and gently, gradually and with purpose, guide us to bring about something which was not there when we walked in, that is the realization that there is an artist in all of us – proven by the work we do.

The people of Arts Access have no standard of bad art or good art, they reveal the truth that each work is intrinsically great art because it is so many wonderful things to the artist
·      Challenge
·      Engaging in the process
·      Revealing of depths of mind and soul
·      And rewarding in that it is a concrete artifact of the inner world.

Artstop21 is unique in my life. It is a place and time that can be joyful even on the darkest days. It is somewhere safe enough for me to balance my life with this magic called art. And it is a time of the week that is a wonderfully rainbow time.

Richard Phelan 2013

Glenn Court

Edwards Lodge Artist, Glenn Court
I've done paintings for a long time, not drawing, just painting. Nothing serious.
Red Beard there, that was a serious one.

Red means wolf. If your beard is red through it, it's got warmth through it. So it's really a compliment to me when someone asked me to grow a beard, cause my beard's red. There's a dragon in the background. See that blue thing there? That's a dragon.

That's called shan in Chinese, that's what a mountain is. Painting mountains makes me feel a bit better.

I'm learning Chinese. The art teacher helped me make the books. I like having them.

Troy Lewthwaite

I began painting and drawing when Aliey and Celeste came here and brought all these books. I did not trace. I did free-hand and used quite a few different colours.
It was at first a challenge when I started my first one, cause I didn't know what to do really to draw and paint. But now I just have a look and whatever I see that I like, I just draw it or paint it. 
The thought of an exhibition of my work inspires me to do harder and better drawings. I get a bit fussy because I want to make a perfect picture. 

Peter Low

Edwards Lodge Artist, Peter Low  with his work
at the Artists In Unison, opening launch at Skin Gallery
I used to be not much good at art, but since you people came along I've come good. I've always tried different subjects since that time. The art class is pretty good, something new, better than what I've been doing the last couple of years. Having my work in the exhibition (Artists In Unison, at Skin Gallery), I was pretty happy with that.  It was pretty good. I feel happy. It gives me something new, something different to do all the time. I always try different patterns or something like that. I try to make it a bit brighter. I try to make it a bit more colourful.

Leonie Hinjus

Leonie Hinjus has been committed to the arts for a long period of time. She continually creates art and often her artwork is given away as a gift and reflects her generous nature and need to connect with others.
Leonie enjoys telling a story with text and imagery and often uses text, outlines and often animal and cartoon imagery. Recently she has been using story book collage imagery, photos, colored shapes and stencils to create her artwork, books and cards. Leonie has a strong vision and purpose with all the artwork she creates.
Melton Meadowbrook SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Rod Austin

Rod Austin uses line created from ink and pencils to create the structure of his work. He has the ability to capture form through observational drawing and artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec, Modigliani, Roman art has provided him with ideas to develop his artwork.  Washes of color compliment his draughtsmanship abilities and surprising color combinations and tonal ranges creates moods and expressive feeling within his art.

Artist statement: ‘I don’t care what I do, I just do anything at all. It relaxes me’.

Melton Meadowbrook SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Miranda Bevan

Miranda Bevan’s artwork seems to be derived from playful and storytelling sources. Her imagery is whimsical and she enjoys creating large expansive shapes and textures and color. More recently Miranda has been building her space, texture and color through collage and enjoys adding three dimensions to her artwork. Some of Miranda’s latest artwork has been about bees and nature and she has been creating mixed media artwork by combining painting, drawings, found objects, collages of children’s books and jigsaw puzzles.

Melton Meadowbrook SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Stella Stratas 

Stella Stratas' colorful imagery often reflects the sun and colors from her home country Greece. Stella has created a large body of work and works quickly.  She prefers a direct approach to her work and enjoys building color and texture within her collages, paintings and drawings.  At times her work has become abstract and minimal and compositions are based on the interaction of color and tone.  

Artist statement:
‘I like the bright colors. I like squares. I am very happy. It makes me very relaxed and it makes me proud because I am relaxed.’

Melton Willows SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Angela Brodo 

Angela Brodo seems to have a strong connection to geometric forms, overlapping and bright colors. She has been creating her own stencils and studies mandalas and has a direct hands-on approach with creating her artwork.  Angela enjoys the process of collaboration and more recently she has been using found objects to create outlines and stencils for her artwork. 

Artist Statement: ‘ Art has made me build up my confidence’ I like constructive approaches.’

Melton Willows SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Ziggy Okrasa

Ziggy Okrasa has a calligraphic approach to his artwork and often enjoys using layers of lines, transparencies, maps and hieroglyphic based imagery. Ziggy has a mark making approach to his work and utilises a variety of mediums. Ziggy states that he is ‘creating cryptic poetry’ within his art. He also states that ‘when he paints he feels like a superstar’. Ziggy was born in Russia and has a broad knowledge of art and literature, he also has a great sense of humour and this often is depicted in his drawings of aliens. 

Melton Willows SRS (Photo credit:   Leonie Van Eyk) 

Julie Kreyan

Julie Kreyan is extremely versatile and has tried her hand at observational drawing and as well as expressive approaches to collages, ink drawings and paint. Her work evokes moods and has become poetic on many levels. Julie can concentrate for long periods of time and her works reflect her focus and patience.  Julies enjoys using washes of paint with texture, line and shapes.

Artist statement: ‘I was terrified to do art. Memories of school days. I was the one who couldn’t do art and rubbished. I have a lot more confidence. The art world scared me. I do find art relaxing.’ 

Melton Willows SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Jarna Lee Wilson

Jarna Lee Wilson is committed to her arts practice has an interest in arts therapy. Jarna often uses textures and forms that are symbolic, personal and spiritual.  She is also very musical and her love of rhythm and texture in music is expressed within her visual art.

Artist statement: ‘From the subconscious mind to the canvas. My pictures come along reflecting spirituality, dreams, ideas and hopes - reflected in color, shape and form. I see god and continuously merge one with the holy spirit. The colors of this portrayed within the visions and tone of my work.  I am also a healer and healing from schizophrenia. As this is also a journey my work goes through this journey – to the healing god. Jai mata di. Love’. 

Bill Griffiths

Bill Griffiths uses line to create space, color and texture and he states that he enjoys ‘drawing’. Bill draws with his paint and he sometimes uses delicate line and brush strokes to create minimal textured areas and sometimes line is used as a structural base to the work. Bill often combines his line with sensitive color combinations. Bill has been interested in all types of imagery. Bill Griffiths states that ‘art makes him feel good’. 

Melton Willows SRS     (Photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Anita Agius 

Anita Agius enjoys creating art that is bold, colorful ,tactile and adventurous.

Anita is able to create lines and structures in her work that are confident and able to hold color and texture and picture plane. Anita is very flexible in her approach and she will try all mediums.  Imagery has spanned from Asian inspired flowers, to collages made from plastic animals, to prints of windmills.

Artist statement: ‘I do it from the heart with feeling and feel happy doing. It builds up my confidence and makes me feel that I can help others. All like a family here. I like to be more creative and have good ideas. Improve my ability and help me with my illness. I suffer from anxiety, when I come in I feel happy and I get support and feedback’.

Melton Willows SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk)

Irene Heather Ryan

Melton Willows SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk)
Irene Heather Ryan has painted for a long period of time and her sketch books contain En plein air painting that resembles Monet and Pissarro to illustrating dreams and personal images.    

Irene is a skilled at drawing and her impasto based paintings becomes shallow and frontal in space, emphasising her sensitive passages of color and tonal ranges. 

Irene embraces her creativity and she also creates music and textiles and she stated that she was awarded an appreciation art prize in 1963 in local Braybrook art exhibition. Irene also mentioned that she was selected for Rolf Harris exhibition.

Artist statement:

‘Color to me is fire. Fire is all color. White included. Black is over fire’.

Dale Morgan

Dale Morgan has been painting for a long period of time and his landscapes are evocative, iconic and personal. Dale often focuses on a singular motif and waterfalls themes reoccur in his work. His paintings are often of a dark palette and his impasto, scratched, glazed surface adds to the evocative nature of his art. 

Dale paints regularly and he has a set of paint brushes, oil paints and is familiar with all mediums used in painting.

Dale has a strong vision and focus within his art.  
Meadowbrook SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk) 

Robert Cahill 

Robert Cahill often uses broad brush strokes and a variety of green in his art. Peter has the ability to assemble and place color, tactile elements, broad lines and collage to create engaging, bold artworks. Imagery has spanned from animal scenes, to balloons, to King Kong.

Artist statement: ‘I like painting, drawing, patterns, colors and collage. I like doing art and craft and colors on paper.’
Meadowbrook SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk)

Gerardine Scarffe

Gerardine Scarffe's artwork is linear, bold and strong. Her lines are able to capture form and her expressive lines have described overlooked objects such as cups and door knobs. Her lines have accentuated color that resembled rainbow imagery and have created compelling tree imagery.

Artist statement: 'I paint trees'.  

Willows SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk)

Rosie Sita

Rosie Sita has an expressive approach to color and this has spanned from portraiture to landscapes to creating rainbow imagery. Rosie has been using frames and tracing to create her imagery and often uses thicker lines within her work to create unified shape. 

Artist statement: ‘I love decoration, tracing, color. I enjoy doing craft. I enjoy painting. I enjoy tracing. I enjoy every little bit about it. I enjoy everything I do.’
Willows SRS ( photo credit: Leonie Van Eyk)

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