Monday, February 23, 2009

Exhibit at Town Hall Gallery in 2010

Yes, it may seem very far away to be planning for exhibitions in 2010 but it will come along quicker than you think!
The Town Hall Gallery applications to exhibit in 2010 are available to download now. Click here for application forms. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 30 June 2009. Applications that are submitted after this date will not be reviewed, so please ensure that you get your applications well and truly in before the 30 June 2009! Please note that we will accept applications that are postmarked prior to 30 June even if they arrive after the date.
Keep an eye open for future blog posts about how to make your gallery proposal the best it can be. We did do a brief post on this last year. Click here to check it out. Also if you have an idea that you would like to discuss for 2010, take a look at the gallery application form then arrange a time to discuss with the curator prior to submitting.
Good luck and hopefully we'll see one of your proposals to exhibit soon!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Some of our fabulous volunteers hamming it up for the camera at an exhibition launch!

Do you have a few hours a month spare? Do you love the arts and want to get involved? Then we need you to volunteer at Town Hall Gallery!
Town Hall Gallery couldn't keep it's doors open without the fabulous team of volunteers that are the face of the gallery. Volunteers assist on the front desk with exhibition and artist enquiries, help at opening night functions and public programs and also in promoting the gallery.
We currently need people who can offer a minimum of 5 hours a month to staff the gallery and help on out of hours programs, especially people who can assist us on the weekends as well! Volunteering at the gallery is a fun, rewarding and diverse work environment. You get the opportunity to meet with a variety of artists and gallery patrons and also help make the gallery a fantastic place to visit.
If you have some time and would like to help out at the gallery, please contact the gallery curator on for a gallery volunteer application form. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

article on I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2

tee exhibition 2009 opening 001

The article below was in today's Beat Magazine on the current exhibition.

I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2
by LOU PARDI (featured in the Arts Section of Beat Magazine 18 February 2009)

“Whenever you see something you haven’t seen [before] or [it’s presented in] a new way of printing, it’s like, ‘Oh man, I wish I’d thought of that’. That spurs you on to rethink what you’re doing and change it up and keep it interesting for the people who are going to buy it, because if it’s got my attention then obviously it’s got other people’s attention as well,” shares Natalie Shields, creator of fashion label Maru. Shield’s had the chance to see a lot of new ideas whilst exhibiting in I Wear my Heart on my Tee 2 at Town Hall Gallery in Hawthorn.
The exhibition gathers t-shirts from over 20 designers for men, women and children and all t-shirts are available for sale.
Brainchild of curator and t-shirt lover Mardi Nowak, this is the second exhibition of its kind at the Town Hall Gallery. “The amount of interest from the last exhibition proves the popularity of the t-shirt within everyday culture. There are so many people making and printing t-shirts within Melbourne and it’s not just big fashion labels, but people making them in their own homes for family and friends too,” Nowak explains.
Shield’s business is fairly young. “I’ve got my own fashion label Maru, and the t-shirts that I put in the show are part of the range that I do. I’ve probably been doing this about two and a half, three years, and t-shirts have always been a really strong design element in what I do,” she says. Part of the attraction of being in the exhibition is meeting peers. “You see a lot of work around, but you don’t always get to meet everybody. It’s always fun to meet new designers and see what they’re doing and make the connections,” Shields says. While she speaks fondly of her peers, Natalie admits, “I guess anything that involves fashion is always really competitive. Everyone is always looking at what other people are doing and comparing what they do with other people’s work.” A hot issue in t-shirt design is the question of borrowing other people’s ideas. “It happens all the time. People go around saying, ’This is a completely original idea’. I’ve always been of the opinion that there isn’t really any original work anywhere, especially in digital arts, everyone’s sort of borrowing and copying and reassembling it in its own way.” says Shields, who admits she’s not afraid to see her own work borrowed. “As far as I’m concerned if people want to rip me off, great, that’s fantastic there’s nothing more flattering than someone who likes what you do and wants to assimilate it into another situation for their own work.”
Not everyone sees it this way though. “You can actually be sued. It seems to be more and more the case now, where more chain stores and big companies are taking people and suing them for breach of copyright on imagery. It’s hard to know what is a borrowing of ideas and reinterpretation and what is actually a stealing of ideas,” she says.
While many t-shirt designers might find a gallery space a foreign environment for their work, Natalie’s artwork background, some 40 – 50 shows as an artist, mean she’s quite at home in the gallery environment. “I did mainly installation artworks and I also tended to put work in public places and that kind of thing, I think that’s one of the reasons I got into fashion, I wanted to put my stuff out there, away from a gallery situation. Now I’ll go down Smith Street or wherever I’m going and see people wearing my stuff and think, ‘Great, this is an idea that I’ve had, now other people are enjoying it and wearing it and talking about it’,” she says. On a t-shirt, the work is appreciated by more people, for longer, “As an artist you have such a limited opportunity for people to see your work [when it’s only in a gallery] and this way (on a t-shirt) so many people get to see it and appreciate it, and buy it as well, because on the whole most people don’t buy artwork, but they buy clothes and t-shirts especially,” says Shields.
There’s nothing better than walking away from an exhibition with a piece of your very own, especially if you can hang it in your wardrobe. The exhibition is already open so get on down before my beloved favourite, Johnny Depp on sea green has sailed away, or sign up for the conversation on Saturday and speak tees with Curator Nowak and the designers.Celebrating the art of the t-shirt design, I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 is on at the Town Hall Gallery, rear 358 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn until March 7. Visit for more details.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Find out more about the designers behind the tees

tee exhibition 2009 installation 002

With the exhibition I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 starting yesterday, I thought I'd give all our blog readers a reminder about the public program coming up on Saturday 21 February 2-3pm, being held in conjunction with this show.
Join us for In Conversation: Curator Mardi Nowak with some of Melbourne's t-shirt designers in conversation about the power of the t-shirt. This discussion will also look at how some of the exhibiting designers approach their branding, design and vision for their t-shirts.

When? Saturday 21 February 2-3pm.

This session will be held in the gallery from 2pm to 3pm and refreshments will be served.

As space is limited, please rsvp by next Friday. This session is free to attend.
As you can see from the image, we've colour coded the tees in the display which has a fantastic visual impact and there is definitely something for everyone!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

T-Shirts this week

I Wear My Heart On My Tee 2 exhibition starts this week. We have quite a few new artists and designers that weren't previously featured in our last t-shirt exhibition so we hope that you will come along and check out what they have to offer.

Artists and designers who are featured in this year's exhibition are:

Almost Human
Claxton Kustom Design

seven breaths
Go Monster Everything

Aaron Torrance
Bronzen Temple
Julia Lumsden
Madeline Farrugia

silly pear designs
T-shirt Garage
Rebecca Hartley
Kylie Gilhome
House of Botticelli
Orri Henrisson
Barry Spencer Design
Monster Funk
Camille Hayton
David Kurzydlo
(Un) Naked

There are loads and loads of tees and all of them are for sale so we look forward to seeing you at the gallery over the next few weeks!