In Gallery with MOP projects

1) How did you come up with the gallery name?

Was it your first choice?It came up after much discussion with our two co-founders, as most names we came up with were either too obvious or as Modes of Practise to pretentious, but MOP was more light hearted and approachable…
MOP Projects stands for Modes of Practice.

2) What kind of artists do you want showing in your gallery?

Is the there a general skill level or style that you look for?
Since its beginnings, MOP has aimed to promote young emerging Sydney artists. As ARI’s like MOP grow and change we seek to broaden our focus, and create space for established artists whom do not have, or choose not to have the benefit of commercial representation. MOP provides artists opportunity for exploration within their own practice, and cultivates a space for ideas exchange across artists at varying stages of their career.

3) What is the best way to approach your gallery?

People are encouraged to come and visit current exhibitions, our opening hours are Thursday to Sunday 1pm – 6pm. Artists and curators are welcome to hand in applications for exhibitions and curatorial projects via e-mail and by hard copy in the gallery of which we accept year round.

4) What is your galleries philosophy?

MOP Projects seeks to facilitate a sounding board for artists whom reside within Sydney. We consistently encourage interdisciplinary practices, exploration of ideas and modes of working, cross pollination of ideas through like minded bodies. As well as strengthening  the ARI movement within Sydney and interstate by holding exchange exhibitions and getting involved with cultural events through Sydney.

5) If you can, what advise can you give to an artist looking for

representation, what would it be?

We would say that it all starts with the artwork, as well as your involvement with your pears and your community. Getting yourself out there to openings, getting involved within the community that you are in, sharing studios with other artists. You get to know the people whom run and direct the galleries, and they get to know you. These all are factors that will support and nurture your art career.

6) It is a hard market out there, how are you finding it?

Mot so much for us as we don’t need to focus on sales, just presenting good quality shows and artworks… but that is not to say that we don’t sell for the artists, its just not our main focus.

7) Is it easy to sell art?

Yes, as people think that be course its an ARI that they may not be getting works that will last the test of time, which is sooo wrong as Mop has had  in its 10years of existence 20/25 artist picked up by Commercial galleries and most are now well established in their own rights.

8) Have you any advise when choosing a gallery to show in?

As an artist, it pays to be aware of the local art community that you are a part of. Become an active part of that community by getting to exhibition openings (best way to support your fellow artists), volunteer at ARI’s (like MOP) or volunteer your time to help with exhibition installations, and local events. By becoming involved you get to know directly the people whom work within the galleries, as well as each galleries ethos. This will help you choose which gallery you believe aligns with your own ideals within your practice, and gives you the contacts to become affiliated with them.

9) There are plenty of ARI (Artist run initiatives) out there, What are you thoughts on these spaces?

ARI’s are essential spaces for having the freedom to put up great shows that perhaps not commercial viable, are no less important to the contemporary barrel of ideas. It also brings together the art(ist) community and breaks barriers of established and emerging artists, allowing for a no age limit/no career point limit of ideas.  By abolishing these barriers, a self promoting system of enthusiasm, advice, new ideas and collaboration can be generated.

10) Melbourne vs Sydney how do you see the arts and the major differences?

We don’t, as the differences are what we need or they might as well be the same place…

11) Social media is everywhere, do you use it and does it help the gallery?

We utilise our website, facebook, and believe that it helps spread the words of whats on when. We use the MOP facebook to see whats happening when, promote our shows, other great shows, great articles and the likes. Social media allows for some big art love and idea spreading, both locally and otherwise.

12) What art do you have on your wall at home and your office?

I have started  my collection by art swapping with people, but bought my very first painting last year. A Kylie Banyard, adorns my bedroom wall. Bliss.

13) Where can we find out more about your gallery?

14) What shows are coming up over the next couple of months?


GALLERY 1: Untitled Fun – Paul Williams
Paul Williams has created a new series of paintings that explore abstraction and repetition by combining domestic motifs, distorted and silhouetted floating forms and vivid colour. This latest series of paintings sees the artist continuing his exploration of free-form painting through layering, erasure, ruination and revivification resulting in compositions largely created by chance. In 2007 Williams received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with first class Honours and the University Medal and in 2011 received a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts. He was the recipient of the Art on Paper 2009 Friends of Hazelhurst Award at Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery, received a residency at the Cité Internationale des Art in Paris in 2010. Williams’ solo exhibitions include: Wanderings Bathurst Regional Gallery, The Biz Ray Hughes Gallery, Junk Piles and Dirty Styles Kudos Gallery and Confetti Solution Firstdraft Gallery. Recent group shows include: 2020 Damien Minton Annex Space, Go-Figure Sheffer Gallery, Second Nature The Papermill, Southerly Buster Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery and a forthcoming show Gap Year at Artspace. Paul is a Co-Director at Firstdraft Gallery.

GALLERY 2: everywhere for going – Belem Lett
Belem Lett’s work explores contemporary notions of the landscape, space and memory through an experimentally based practice between drawing, painting and sculpture. His current work was produced in reaction to both the disorientating and familiar aspects of foreign space, experienced during extended periods of travel in Europe during 2011 – 2012 . This constant reorientation required within unfamiliar environments, extended his interest in how we perceive and navigate physical space. As a reaction to unfamiliar terrain various forms of data collection became the catalyst for visualising intangible, perceptual aspects of topographical environments through abstraction. Belem Lett is a Sydney based artist currently completing his Masters of Fine Art at COFA on an APA scholarship. Receiving his BFA with first class honours in 2008, he has exhibited in various Artist Run Initiatives and commercial spaces within Sydney and Paris. He was a two-time finalist for the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship before winning in the award in 2010, for which he undertook a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, in 2011.

13th September – 30th September 2012
Opening 6pm Thursday 13th September

‘Photo-Sculpture pictures, objects and paradox’
Criena Court, Michaela Gleave, Gemma Messih, SuperKaleidoscope (Kim Fasher & Sarah Mosca) and Marian Tubbs.

‘Photo-Sculpture pictures, objects and paradox’ is a group show bringing together inter-disciplinary artists Criena Court, Michaela Gleave, Gemma Messih, SuperKaleidoscope (Kim Fasher & Sarah Mosca) and Marian Tubbs.
The conceptual framework for P-S emerged from a conversation between the artists, regarding the changing nature of photographic representation. The discussion prompted questions concerning notions of authenticity, reality and observation and the paradoxes inherent in the presentation of photographs. Using photography in various ways within their practice, this group of artists explore the performative and sculptural possibilities of photographs.
Criena Court is a Sydney based emerging visual artist, her practice challenges preconceived notions of the painted surface and explores ideas of reality, perception and self. Criena is a recent honours graduate in painting from the National Art School, Sydney.
Michaela Gleave is an artist currently based in Sydney. Working across a range of media including installation, performance, photography and video, her practice centers on the physicality of perception and the ways in which we understand and engage with the world around us. Michaela Gleave has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and abroad she has participated in many international artist residency programs and was recently awarded a Creative Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Visual Arts.

IGemma Messih is an emerging artist from Sydney. Her cross-disciplinary practice explores our interaction and relationship with the natural world, investigating notions of curiosity through open experimentation both with ideas and the raw potential of materials. She has undertaken residency programs at The Green House in Broken Hill, NSW and will complete a two-month program at NES in Iceland in late 2012. Messih is a recent photo-media graduate from COFA, UNSW.
SuperKaleidoscope is a collective initiated by artists and emerging curators Kim Fasher and Sarah Mosca. Since 2010 they have been collaborating on both curatorial projects and a visual art practice. Together they have been awarded a OYEA ARI Grant from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, the Firstdraft Emerging Curators Grant, an Artspace Studio Residency and were Semi-finalists in the Realise Your Dream Arts Frontier, British Council Award. As collaborating artists, their work explores ideas of failure, optimism and memory. Both currently live in Sydney, Australia.
Marian Tubbs works with assemblage, photography and paint as a means of investigating philosophical questions with form. She has exhibited locally and internationally with recent exhibitions including, Have you ever been to the House of Cashmere? Maybe we could go and just roll around sometime, at DB Project, Sydney and Slush, with the art group Slush at Firstdraft Gallery, Sydney. Marian works as an artist, writer and teacher in Sydney.

All blog posts and images are copyrighted and all rights belong to – Sydney Art Galleries and Art Community and Mark Rowden


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