Urban artists answer call

Up-and-coming Melbourne artists are getting out of the metropolitan art scene and showing their work in a converted butter factory gallery in Cowwarr.

The annual ‘Future Now’ exhibition at the Cowwarr Art Space is featuring seven graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts, who have shown their work in Warrnambool and Castlemaine as part a regional tour.

“This is the third year we’ve participated in the regional tour. It’s a great opportunity for people to actually see the new ‘up-and-coming’ artists and other artists to see what’s happening in the Melbourne scene,” Cowwarr Art Space director Carolyn Crossley said.

Ms Crossley said five of the seven graduates would also spend an artistic residence in Cowwarr, making contact with the community, offering workshops with local schools, while experiencing a retreat in the country.

“I enjoy the whole experience of the young artists coming down, installing and reinterpreting work into our space,” Ms Crossley said.

“It’s great seeing what young artists are thinking and exploring at the moment.”

The exhibition premiered at the Substation Centre for Art and Culture in Melbourne. Curator Rosemary Forde said the young artists were all friends, and it was the first time they had showed together.

Ms Forde said artist Kenny Pittock even referenced the artists’ friendship in the exhibition, making a ceramic DVD cover of popular television series, ‘Friends’, and a series of artist portraits.

“It’s a cross-section of artists and practices and it’s called ‘Future Now’ as its predicting trends or new directions in contemporary art,” Ms Forde said.

“They’re artists who we think will respond to the challenge of working in different gallery spaces, and in a regional context.”

Mr Pittock said an element of humour and play was important in his work, especially when he was trying to do something serious.

“It isn’t always possible, but I hope my work would be approachable and stimulating for someone who is very informed in art history and contemporary art, but also for the more general public. Kind of like Andy Warhol, or The Simpsons.”

The exhibition can be seen until 27 April. For more information visit www.cowwarr.com