Talking with MONIKA WYNDHAM from OPEN HOUSE PROJECTS

K: I came across a super old article and was not surprised to find out that you used to be an art director in another life…I loved seeing your earlier work, especially the sentiment around your ‘Funny Cool’ folder & Google images — dare I ask if you could share a collage from this era?

M: Ha! You're a good journalist! Yes in a past life I used to do art direction and make large scale collages and sculptures for a Canadian fashion company. They were used in stores as part of the permanent interior design, and the 2D work was used on everything from marketing collateral to building wraps. I'm sure my older work is just a google away for those who care to dig ;) 

K: On the topic of Google images… Do you have a favourite meme? 

M: You know, I can't think of any one favourite, though the distracted boyfriend ones are good and stupid and usually give me a chuckle. Here are a couple for ya:

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 M: I also just really love The Far Side by Gary Larson for quick good jokes, I think he gave us a huge gift with his work. This is the mug I use every morning:

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K: The ‘Sister’ earrings that you created many years ago are so good that you’re constantly getting copied. Do you have any advice for emerging designers and artists on how to protect their work?

M: Copyright Copyright Copyright. I can't say I've had a ton of success defending our original Sister Earrings design but a copyright is the legal leverage you need to get taken seriously. Many "design" companies who steal work and market it as their own will respond only to public shaming or a lawsuit. We all have huge power and also a responsibility with social media to call out those with unlawful practices and foster a creative environment that supports small scale designers. I really feel for anyone who has had their work stolen. It's hard to fight even though the injustice is clear, and can take a huge toll on your creative energy and livelihood.

K: When we first met a couple of years ago, I was highly impressed with your use of non-traditional materials in the presentation of Open House Projects pieces. I especially recall the bricks you collected from an abandoned building in Cuba, which you painted and repurposed. When was the last time you felt truly inspired? 

M: Thank you. Yes I really get excited to build environments around each collection that help deliver their story. I love contrasts in texture and setting my work in a palette that suits the mood or the feeling. When I have the ability to travel to make a jewellery collection, I find easy inspiration in being outside of my regular world and schedule. I have a one year old now so it's not so easy any more! I'm glad to report that inspiration still strikes, even when I'm busy and tired! A few months ago I was hit suddenly with the idea shown drawn below. I was at a restaurant, and had to scrawl it quickly on a napkin to not lose it. This led to the "eaten pear" necklace design, with 2 faces hidden in the bite marks of a pear. 

 I just love the feeling of having ideas, and thinking through how they can take shape. To jumpstart the process, I have a toolbox labelled 'METAL DO-DADS OF INTEREST WITH POTENTIAL". This is a collection of objects that hold a little spark for me, but I don't yet know what they're good for. I collect (hoard) little things year-round for their colour, shape or texture to add to my box. 

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 K: I recently moved to a bushfire prone area but the payoff is being surrounded by nature and trees, imaking a list in my head of things I would save in the event of a bushfire (aside from my husband & dog) eased my anxiety. Do you have objects you are very much attached to? What is one of your most prized possessions?

 M: All I can think of at this moment is a little ink drawing of my best friend and me in a hotel room in Morocco. We made an Australian traveller friend for a few days in Fez and he's a really great artist. He drew us sitting on our newly purchased rugs, scheming as we always do when we're together about whatever our next plan was. I just love it.

 K: What are some of your favourite places to spend a day off in Brooklyn?

 M: Lately I've been trekking up to the Central Park Zoo (not in Brooklyn!). My baby Felix loves Owls so much so we go visit the big old owl there so she can hoot at it and yell OWL OWL OWL way too loud.

K: Who are some of your favourite living artists, who are still ‘active’/producing work?

M: I am really moved by the work of Mark Baumer, who was a poet and environmental activist. He was killed by a car 2 years ago while walking barefoot across the country to raise awareness about climate change. His art, beliefs, and activism were merged in a beautiful and inspirational way, and he was very very funny. 

https://www.instagram.com/baumerworld/

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Images from Mark Baumer’s Instagram

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 K: Do you have a ritual when you are in the studio to help you create? What kind of music do you play?

M: I listen to NPR (and get fired up and freaked out about the world) or stream bad shows on Netflix or listen to Chances With Wolves which I highly recommend! http://www.chanceswithwolves.com

 

ANYONEGIRL ART PRINTS ⏤ THE GIFT OF WOMEN, AT BASERANGE MELBOURNE STORE

 
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#1 by Nastassia Brückin and Kayten Schmidt, $120.00
 

ANYONEGIRL.COM WAIST 02
LIMITED EDITION GICLEE PRINTS

In collaboration with anyonegirl.com, Baserange Melbourne Store have created limited edition art prints of selected works from WAIST 02 journal, printed by Hound & Bone Fine Art Printers on Hahnemuhle Bamboo stock 290gsm.

The museum-grade prints are now available for purchase at the Baserange Melbourne store and from the anyonegirl online shop.

Each print is 11.7 x 16.5", $120.00.

Framed pieces are in Tasmanian Oak, 16 X 20" – $240.00.
Available exclusively from Baserange Melbourne Store. 

Email us: summerstore@baserange.net
Telephone:  +61 3 9600 0459

 

#1 and #3 by Nastassia Brücken and Kayten Schmidt

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WAIST 02 cover photograph by Nastassia Brückin and
Kayten Schmidt, $120.00

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A collaboration between Nastassia Brückin and Kayten Schmidt exploring the art of undressing, composition and a return to the nude figure (or partially nude but with the pleasure of wearing only one item).

Using the waist as a metaphoric and visual focal point, representing the centering of one's thoughts and priorities (finding what is important in an over saturated visual existence) or the center of the frame, composing and cropping around it, searching for the golden ratio.

[Figure: Kayten Schmidt. Photograhy: Nastassia Brücken. Styling: Gina Espitio.]


#2 by Crista Leonard

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Inspired by the quote:


"I am neither subject nor object, but a subject who feels s/he is becoming an object."


from Camera Lucida, ROLAND BARTHES, 1980
 





– $120.00 

 
 
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#4 Self Portrait
by Kimbra Audrey



– $120.00
 

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Kimbra Audrey is an American photographer living in Paris.

She takes self-portraits shot exclusively on film which she develops herself at home.

#5 Collage by Ophelia Mikkelson and Ryder Jones

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Hands Alone (isolated Movement) 

The Artemision Bronze (Sculpture): ca 460bc There are two hands. One points in a direction unknown and the other is empty. The empty hand poses a mystery. When the Artemision Bronze was dragged up from the seafloor there was no trace of what the hand was holding. If he were Poseidon he'd grip a trident. If he were Zeus he'd hold a lighting bolt. - Ryder Jones

$120.00
 

#6 and 7 Flowers by Yasmine Ganley and Natasha Mead

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#6 – Dahlia, $120.00

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#7 – Hibiscus, $120.00

From our interview with Yasmine and Natasha:

Do you have a notable memory or experience from making this waist journal? 

N: Many, but perhaps Yasmine and I doing the language of flowers story. By the time we'd finished my kitchen was strewn with candles, matches, cans of sardines, and many, many flowers. It was like being inside a still life painting and I remember wanting to leave it exactly like that from then on (although that was somewhat impractical). 
 

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# 8 WAIST 02 TEXT

The notes written by WAIST 02 editor, Yasmine Ganley, during the early stages of creation, and designed by Natasha Mead.

 

In Heavy Traffic Allow For More Breathing Space. Strategy Against Loneliness. Saturn and Melancholy. Aggressive Privacy – Joan Didion. Poetry After Breakfast – Milton Avery. The Revolutionary Act of Listening – Gloria Steinem. Every Year is a New Land. Dealing With Anxiety on An Empty Stomach. The Theatre of Everyday. We Make The Best Decisions Based on our Worst. 



– $120.00

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✳︎

 

BASERANGE MELBOURNE STORE PRESENTS:

W A I S T   0 2    B Y   
A N Y O N E G I R L . C O M

WAIST is a print project by Yasmine Ganley and Natasha Mead. The contributing artists’ pieces reflect on the female mid-section, as symbol and physicality, and collectively highlight the subtle communication of this body part.

Baserange Melbourne Store invites you to contemplate the photographic works featured in anyonegirl.com’s publication, WAIST, as part of a collaborative in-store exhibition.

We spoke with Yasmine and Natasha about the second issue of WAIST, and of their larger creative processes and experiences.

 
 

WHAT WAS YOUR INTENTION BEHIND CREATING THE SECOND ISSUE OF WAIST?

YASMINE: I started by wanting to capture movement in motion. The very first shoot we ever did for WAIST was with photographer Greta van der Star where we invited two friends to come into a space and move in reaction to what I was talking about – I was prompting them with ideas from the gut, for example; what does a buried emotion feel like in your body? 

This second issue was a continuation from this idea, however, this time I was also interested in creating movement on the page through language, layout design and working with the medium of film. A lot of printed images in magazines feel very 2D for me, so for this second issue I was really trying to explore ways in which we could disrupt that traditional set up.

NATASHA: In terms of the scope, Yasmine and I felt we’d only just started to dip our toes in with the first issue, so this one was about pushing the original WAIST ideas further, while exploring it via the concepts of film and motion. It’s twice the size of the first issue and that extra room was a real luxury in terms of giving ourselves and the contributors more depth.

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NATASHA, WHAT DO YOU INSTINCTIVELY SEEK OUT AS
A DESIGNER?

I look to a lot of historic design references, architecture annuals, old furniture manuals - publications that are utilitarian but beautiful. I like how unselfconscious they are in their design, and that they feel both modern and yet of no specific time period - something I hope to convey a of sense of in WAIST.

DO YOU HAVE A NOTABLE MEMORY OR EXPERIENCE FROM MAKING THIS WAIST JOURNAL?

Y: Driving through Joshua Tree desert with Natasha, Greta and Chelsea Jade listening to Chelsea’s new album before its release. The first time I heard her lyrics for Perfect Stranger I cried. I was so happy when she agreed to let me publish them in this issue.

N: Many, but perhaps Yasmine and I doing the language of flowers story. By the time we’d finished my kitchen was strewn with candles, matches, cans of sardines, and many, many flowers. It was like being inside a still life painting and I remember wanting to leave it exactly like that from then on (although that was somewhat impractical).

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WE LOVE SEEING HOW INTIMATE AND CONNECTED YOUR COMMUNITY IS IN NEW ZEALAND, AS WELL AS YOUR GLOBAL NETWORK OF COLLABORATORS AND FRIENDS.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE COMMON THREAD THAT TIES YOU ALL TOGETHER?

Y: We’re not competitive with each other, it feels very inclusive and supportive. A safe space to grow and nurture each other’s ideas. Perhaps, too, we all have a mutual love for print and making something slowly and with intention. It balances out our other work. I really wanted to make the journal for this community, as a way to celebrate our friendship. 

N: I think New Zealand’s small size helps - we’re all connected by our relative isolation, and there seems to be a shared love of making things together, perhaps especially when they offer a different outlet to our other works. The opportunity Yas created in the journal, bringing together so many women with the room to create for themselves, is genuinely a gift.

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SELF PORTRAIT BY KIMBRA AUDREY,
PAGE 7 OF WASIT 02

 
 

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR AS AN EDITOR AND CURATOR, YASMINE?

Work that honours the process. I love the process of making over a finished product, and am drawn to people who like to experiment or shape things in a new way. I love seeing things from the inside out and feel most compelled by those who are brave enough to share their work in honest and transparent ways. It must feel human, not perfect.

 
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WHICH PIECE OF WORK FROM THE ISSUE SURPRISED YOU, OR SHOWED YOU SOMETHING NEW?

Y: Su Wu’s poem made my heart stop. She has carved out a way to express the most exact way she is feeling. There’s never phrases you’ve heard before or any cliché imagery, it’s raw and powerful.

N: I really enjoyed both the written piece and stills by Veronica Crockford-Pound (Musing on the Film Image). It contained ideas I was vaguely aware of but didn’t know any of the film history behind - like Suspended Bodies. Her Super8 stills accompanying it are sublime and slightly haunting.


 

P H O T O S   B Y   G R E T A   V A N    D E R    S T A R     F O R   S H E R I E   M U I J S   X   W A I S T    N O .   1 9   T - S H I R T

P H O T O S   B Y   G R E T A   V A N    D E R    S T A R    
F O R   S H E R I E   M U I J S   X   W A I S T   
N O .   1 9   T - S H I R T

 
 

WAIST 02 prints by selected artists and the
Sherie Muijs x WAIST t-shirts are available
at Baserange Melbourne Store. 

SHIFTING WORLDS CHATS TO BIDDI ROWLEY

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Could you share with us the story behind starting yuko design?

I suppose the foundations started after my first trip to Japan in 2014 - I was often being asked for recommendations by friends and various people who were travelling there.

Last year I travelled throughout Europe for two months and when I got back to Melbourne I made my second book including recommendations for Paris and Copenhagen. I showed this to a friend whose opinion I really value - She gave such an
encouraging response and was actually the first person to commission a book.

Various friends saw the production of this book and from here I started to receive orders for travel books and customised product. Yuko design developed from this point and has consistently grown since officially launching in December 2016.

 

 

"THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN THE WORK I CREATE, SO TIME AND PATIENCE ARE ESSENTIAL IN MY PRACTICE."
 

 

 

 

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What are your aspirations for yuko design moving forward?

The freelance side of yuko is continuously growing and I am driven to explore this further. I am currently working on multiple projects including invitations and binding books for a photographer. There is also the prospect of printing which I am looking into at the moment. I would also like to focus on the development of my current product selection, as well as expanding the offering. It is a lengthy process though - A lot of thought and time goes into the execution and there are never enough hours in a day

 

 

 

What is your favourite city you have visited?

Tokyo is the obvious choice for many reasons; my practice has been inspired by elements of Japanese culture and aesthetic, and I source my materials from Tokyo, which has given me the opportunity to travel here frequently and become familiar with the city. Regardless of how busy I am when in Tokyo, there is always a sense of calm and comfort, and the orderly city culture resonates with me personally and professionally.

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Where would you next like to visit/travel?

I feel a strong desire to visit South Africa, South Korea, and return to Poland; I would like to learn more about their design industries, cultures and traditions, and be able to explore their countrysides.


What would you consider to be the driving elements of your design process?

Creating product that is unique, considered and handcrafted is really significant in my design process, and I am continuously driven to produce work where these elements are combined.

All yuko design product that I have created so far has been individually hand written and hand bound, therefore organisation and methodical thinking are of a huge importance within my process and execution.

I have recently completed my second collaboration with Aesop. This consisted of 65 handwritten and hand bound books for customer events for the launch of Room Sprays; The workshops were based on the tradition of Kodo, the Japanese art of appreciating incense. Taking this brief and our previous collaboration into consideration, I wanted this book to be unique and interactive for Aesop customers. The book is bound with linen thread which wraps around the exterior allowing customers to unravel and explore. The design appreciates empty space through the placement of
text and features three different papers, incorporating texture and weight.

 TAKEO PAPER  /  TOKYO

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Do you have a favourite collaborative project created by yuko design?

My favourite collaboration is a bespoke project that is ongoing - I work with a close friend to create yuko fabric envelopes for various projects and products. It is a really important part of my practice to work with people who I feel a connection with. My friend and I share a similar appreciation for fine details and craftsmanship and because of this, we work well together. We have a mutual understanding when it comes to creating detailed, handcrafted product and I am so thankful for the beautiful work he produces. We are currently working on envelopes for upcoming projects, using a variation of fabrics, colours and designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about yuko design:

yukodesign.com.au

 

 
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WINTER WORKSHOP: CRYSTAL HEALING PRACTICE

Thank you to those who joined us for a dreamy Sunday morning, learning about crystals and how to work with them for personal healing. Here are some notes from Crystal Healing Practice workshop:

Just like the puppy at the dog shelter, crystals choose you. Pay attention if are drawn to one more than the others.

Crystals can become polluted with outside energy. You know when your crystal is dirty because it will actually feel a bit sticky or grubby. To cleanse it, either place it in water with Himalayan salt, or just on a bed of salt (some crystals are too porous to be immersed in water), and under the new moon.

Crystals are intelligent and receptive. They can be programmed to aid and benefit you in a specific way. To recharge a crystal of its natural energies, place it under the full moon.

Diamonds are known for their incredible receptivity and power to absorb energies. If you receive or give a diamond as part of a joyous event, the diamond will draw in and contain those loving feelings. Likewise, it can also exasperate negative vibrations – the diamond does not discriminate.