Sylvia Tan is a new artist, debuting in Australia at this month’s Thinkers and Makers Salon. She took a plane to Melbourne in 2015 with an international student visa, and an open mind and heart. Since then, she has picked up the art of collecting stories and is ready to gently pour her heart out to strangers with her experiences of shame, conflict, love and kindness. Trained on the classical piano from a young age, she eventually turned to experimenting with music and creativity with self-taught acoustic guitar. Her music remains very much confined within her bedroom doors as she is still in the initial stage of exploring her musical capabilities and finding her footing in music genres.
Mars Drum was raised on a farm in the Wimmera region of Victoria. She left home at eighteen, free to explore life over the next three decades as an evolving creative artform. This period included over six years of multimedia art residencies and travel in Europe and Asia, six years of obsessive video documentation of Melbourne’s fringe arts and counter-cultural happenings during the 90s, and many years of performative experimentation investigating social perspectives on belonging, dress code and identity. Immediately following the attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11 in 2001, Drum began wearing the burqa in solidarity for Melbourne’s Muslim women. Her ongoing series, The True History of Ned Kelly and Burka Woman has extended to over one hundred and twenty oil paintings which since 2004 have been presented in four solo exhibitions and numerous group shows, including Bendigo Art gallery’s 2015 “Imagining Ned” exhibition.
In 2012, Drum moved back to Wimmera Victoria. She is currently experimenting with a broader range of media in continuing to promote a more compassionate, tolerant and enlightened Australian culture through the eyes of Ned and Burka Woman. Drum is a passionate advocate for promoting Arts in Health and Education, and is currently teaching art to 130 junior primary school students each week, and also facilitating weekly painting sessions with elderly residents suffering dementia.
Salvatori Lolicato is one of Australia’s accomplished ceramicists. He is one of the pioneers of the St Kilda Veg-Out community gardens. He achieved international note when three of his works were selected for display at the prestigious 17 ceramics competition in Italy in 1995.
He was born in Australia of Sicilian parents. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (Visual) from the Canberra Institute of Arts (Australian National University) in 1987 and earned a Diploma of Education from Deakin University in 1998. At the ANU, he studied under Alan Watt and Heroe Swen, both distinguished Australian Ceramic Artists.
Regan Tamanui is a self-taught artist who started off by spray painting stencils on the street & has since then graduated to the gallery. By using multi-layered stencils of up to 40 layers Haha’s work is a reflection of popular culture. He gets his images direct from the newspaper or from photographing the subject to tell a story of the here & now. Without the aid of a computer, his cutting technique produces lifelike imagery.
He has been exhibiting for over 8 years he has held 10 solo shows in Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart & Sydney. He is represented by 3 commercial galleries across Australia. His work can be found in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, BHP Billiton, State Library of Victoria, City of Melbourne, Artbank & private collections across Australia, NZ, UK & USA.
The work of Haha explores the power of mass media within Australian popular culture. The reality TV phenomena, the religion of sport, criminal lifestyles, get rich quick & instant fame becomes the obsessions, the new virtues of the 21st century.
SALON #6: September
The Ned Kelly edition....
Featuring Mars Drum, Salvatori Lolicato & Regan (haha) Tamanui
with special musical guest Sylvia Tan