Fusion Arts Studio

Fusion Arts Studio, 2015
Lead Artist: Carol Smith
Support Artist: Eleanor Purseglove

Where: Chippendale Lodge, Heidelberg

Fusion Arts Studio emerged from a group of artists converging to create works from their hub at Chippendale Lodge, experimenting with a range of media and forming key relationships with the local community.

The studio was abuzz with activity, the Fusion artists drawing upon their rich vocab in a range of mediums to drive their own outcomes today.
Newcomer Sarkis, not having painted since primary school, gave us a range of acrylic works in his favoured black and Julio and Kate did some printmaking onto t-shirts. We are considering a group installation piece where the artists hang their individual t-shirts onto a rack.
We were excited greet our new volunteer, Ellie, to the program!

"Maybelle" by Kate Simms
(Fabric paint on cotton t-shirt)

"Maybelle could be a cat or a human" - Artist Kate Simms.


We have initiated a language swap to begin our sessions. Despite meeting in the afternoon, we now can say 'Good Morning' in Vietnamese, Egyptian, French, Indonesian, Italian and Somali! Go team! Chao Buoi Sang!

One form of storytelling we know that transcends language differences is the ancient art of puppetry.

Today, we peered into a host of different puppetry methods, from Indonesian Wayang to Vietnamese Water puppetry, hand puppets, shadow puppets, finger puppets & more... Which did we enjoy the most? We observed the different forms according to mood, music, actions, sound, costumes and characters.

As a group, we've resolved to make a comedy skit about a fairytale character being pestered for cigarettes - an experience common to the group members. We'll film it and see how we feel about performing this.

Here are some snippets of some quick sketches the artists produced.

Above top: Support Artist George Akl with mask 
Above bottom: Jeoff's character smokes - and dies.


Who were we to waste sunshine on a day like this?

Fusion Arts Studio today went mobile, gathering our tools in a backpack and exploring the local community on foot. We further enriched our engagement with the theme of PLACE.

Kate led the way, creating a visual story of her regular footpath stomp to the local cafe.



Trung followed suit, juxtaposing industrial texture with tidy estate living.

Julio offered some incisive poetic verse, musing on the mentalities of modern living and the wisdom of trees.

It's gotta be lived in

In some houses, people can't touch anything.
Can't touch this,
Can't touch that,
Can't touch the furniture,
Can't touch the porcelain,
That's not lived in.
You've got to accept that things break.

Some people say that we're separate from God but then you look at the trees. You see that we're all connected.

- by Julio.

Scooter's Cafe, doubling as a gallery, was interested to meet the artists. After a brief discussion and the flashing of our best smiles, the owner invited us to exhibit works on the cafe wall...

Now excited and over-stimulated with caffeine, we ventured through the light and leafy Rosanna Parklands, taking a quiet hour to make impressions from the surrounding natural environment. Rubbings, tree portraits, more poetry...


"I like the trees. I like the grass. I like the sound of birds. I don't like the creek. I don't like the cars." - Trung.

.                                                                                                                                                                 .

Fusion has reignited its art practice for 2015 with a celebration of last year's works, putting the finishing touches on some wearable art and planning for the year to come!

We finalised our t-shirt design process, pressing a series of layered portraits we had created in-house onto shirts that were worn directly out of the studio.

Above: Geoff mentored other artists through the design process.
He was pretty wrapped to wear his love of cricket out of the studio.
Geoff, Trung, Kate  and Abdi put their brains together to formulate some ideas for further exploration this year.
  • Trung is enthused to share his language of origin, Vietnamese, with us, perhaps combining this with aspects of Vietnamese culture. He intends to lead an activity at some stage on this topic.
  • Geoff wore proudly his newly pressed shirt and spoke again of this passion for trees. He suggested a photography trip in nature and the possibility that he might lead this.
  • Kate expressed her love of music and theatre, expressing a short-term goal to explore a range of musical genres and respond to these through dance.
  • Abdi taught us a thing or two about Somali music and some key artists on the scene. He expressed a strong desire to engage with Somali music and dance, perhaps linking this at some stage to a performance. 

Through these great discussions, we drew up a group vision of:
  • creating a puppet show, to be filmed and performed live
  • having a music appreciation session and responding through physical movement and dance
  • taking a walking photographic tour of the local area, encompassing the natural environment and a coffee stop
  • supporting each other to lead activities in areas of each artist's unique talents and interests
  • furthering the group's development of musical skills; selecting an instrument to learn
  • possibly revisiting Jets studio 
  • embracing comedy in our practice!

Above: Kate's passion for horses becoming wearable...


Chippendale Lodge SRS Studios short film 2013 

Fusion Arts Studio was formed in 2014 and grew out of Chippendale Lodge SRS Pop-Up In house Studio, which began in July 2013 with a four week intensive, to build interest, test the waters, find out what art forms residents are most interested in.

Fusion Arts Studio is generously supported by
Banyule City Council's Community Development Grant 2014.

The main themes of creative exploration by members of Fusion Arts Studio in 2014, whilst visiting local arts venues and locations.

Jets Studio
The Fusion Arts Studio group spent nine weeks at Jets Studio, investigating multi-media techniques and processes. With the guidance and support of Jets team member Simon, the group developed new skills in photography, video production, green screen techniques, editing, music and computer generated imagery.

Click here to view the short film created at Jets Studio by Fusion Arts Studio.
Above: Abdi creating music on accessible devices, while Brendan photographs him. Photo credit: Rachael Walker
Above left: Kate on the electronic drums
Above right: Geoff creating haunting sounds on a theramin-like instrument. Photo credit: Rachael Walker
Jets Studio has a fabulous range of instruments for creating music and sounds, including fully accessible devices, such as the theremin-like instrument shown above (right). Regardless of skills, knowledge and ability there was an instrument for everyone to explore.

Creative Writing
The group also tried their hand a creative writing with guest artist, Writers Victoria's (Write-Ability) Fiona Tuomy, as well as poetry and word collage.


I am me…………….

Fashionable colorful

Aware nice holy
Scared depressed
Active busy
Sociable fit
Tasteful outgoing

I go to the theatre
Movies restaurants


The Heidelberg School Artists Trail
Banyule is home to the Heidelberg School, also known as the Australian Impressionists, of the late 19th century, including nationally celebrated artists such as Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton, Eugene Von Guerard, Charles Conder and Clara Southern. The Heidelberg School Artist Trail spans 40km of walking tracks along the Yarra River and surrounds. 

Fusion Arts Studio visited sections of the trail, to learn about the history of arts in their local community and to immerse themselves in the local natural beauty. There the artists took photographs, made sketches and frottage drawings of native flora. 

Top Left: Abdi sketching. Top Right: Kate waving next to the Arthur Streeton signage. Bottom Left: Tanya, Geoff and Abdi. Geoff shared a moving description of the spiritual connection he has to trees. Bottom Right: Geoff showing off his sketch of a tree. Photo credit: Rachael Walker

Heide Museum of Modern Art
The group visited the Heide Museum of Modern Art to see a number of exhibitions that addressed the themes of Self, Place & Community. 

Above: Artwork by Melbourne-based artist Emily Floyd from the Far Rainbow exhibition
Above: Soft doll sculpture by Mirka Mora, one of the works shown in the From The Home of Mirka Mora exhibition.

Hatch Contemporary Art Space
The group visited the Banyule City Council art gallery, Hatch contemporary Art Space, to see the Seventh Skin group exhibition. There they met with gallery curator Claire Watson, who gave them a tour of the show, sharing information about each artist and their work.
Seventh Skin featured the work of over 20 Australian artists, exploring the theme of identity via costume, garments, make-up and fashion.
"Feeling 'comfortable in one's own skin' is an expression that has multiple meanings in today's age. This exhibition asks 'Just how many layers do we present through our public fae to the world?' and 'Exactly what is real and what is disguised or concealed?'"

No comments:

Post a Comment