An ongoing series of experimental short films.
Volumes II films are presented by Trocadero Art Space in 2021:
Volume I films were presented by Bus Projects TV in 2020:
The series is also featured on Victoria Together online government initiative, you can watch all film here:
You can also watch all the films on this page, all links are below.
A dedicated website is coming soon: livingroomfilmseries.com
A review by Azza Zein at Women’s Art Register Bulletin #68, July 2021
Living Room series review by Azza Zein_ WAR Bulletin_Issue68_July2021
Nina Sanadze talks about Living Room series with Irina Burmistrova on Russian SBS, October 2021:
The most interesting thing about artists is how they live.
— Marcel Duchamp
Who is that person serving your coffee?
Living Room is an ongoing series of short experimental films by visual artist Nina Sanadze. Idiosyncratically shot on a mobile phone, each film presents a portrait of an Australian artist captured in their home studio space, as well as the hard reality of their experience of paid employment.
Working against the circumstances of isolation, the series started during the first Covid lockdowns in Melbourne in 2020, as an attempt to bring community together through sharing personal stories and illuminating extraordinary and inspirational artistic worlds. The series grew into an ongoing anthology that documents the livelihoods of contemporary visual artists, depicting their immense cultural contribution, beauty, depth, generosity, and political concerns.
The films blend the domestic with the political by revealing the blurred division between an artist’s private and public space. The living room is a space where stories are told, lives are lived, and in this case where work is done, artworks are created and history is made. We are presented with a privileged and valuable insight into the lives of the culture makers of Australia.
Representing the limitations of a society that undervalues its critical and evaluative cultural industries, the films also reveal the tension and the incongruity between the immersive, creative activity that saturates every corner of an artist’s life, and the economic necessity of doing often menial work to support their obsessive dedication to their craft.
The slow panning camera creates a witness view where people and objects are still, presenting a slice of time and timelessness, reminiscent of a theatrical tableau. A moving picture that doesn’t move, a film evoking a monument. The narrative is told through scanning a trail of domestic objects, trinkets, books, textures, tools, artworks, and an overlaying soundscape, producing an audio-visual synaesthesia. The home becomes a rare still life, uncovering ephemerality, beauty and the unique and rich world of its inhabitants. House and objects become epic, revealing stories and history through the micro and macro dimensions.
Living Room, Volume II, 2021
Siying Zhou, 21 November 2021
Siying Zhou is China-born Melbourne (Naarm) based artist. Her practice is mostly identified within the visual art discipline. It draws upon her self-reflection on her Chinese heritage and her ongoing interrogation of the ontological value of the female Asian immigrant to western societies. By producing predominantly installation works, Zhou uses the permutation of multiple objects at the exhibition space, and the contrast of various media, such as video, photography, performance, drawings and text, to create a hybrid narrative and fictive space. In the production, the slippages and conflicts are deployed as the strategy to examine the notion of the Other, and to inform an alternative reality. Zhou is the winner of the Linden Art Prize 2019 and the National Gallery of Victoria Women’s Association Award twice in 2015 and 2017. Her works have been included in many exhibition programs and shown in international and national art organisations, such as Buxton Contemporary Art (VIC), Newcastle Art Gallery (NSW), Ararat Art Gallery TAMA (VIC), C3 Contemporary Art Space (VIC), Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (NT), and Meinblau Projektraum (Germany).
It gets more complicated to separate the day-to-day experience from radical thought.
My desire has never been to make art but to express something that I cannot recognise or understand.
I believe that all my skills, knowledge and experience of the world are transferable, I never waste any opportunity to learn something new and shift.
Chris Bond, 17 October 2021
Chris Bond is an artist and character who inhabits the uncanny worlds of his own invention. His fictional scenarios require him to adopt auto-fictive, pseudonymous and collaborative authorial personae in which he attempts to shift habitual response, experience new ways of seeing and cultivate atypical expressions. Fictional artists, writers and organisations are typically invented as a support mechanism, which provide Bond with documentary material that he appropriates and recontextualises within his painting and installation practices.
He completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts (Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2018, in which he considered the role of dissociation in the manipulation of subjectivity within the visual arts through the invention and play of alter identities.
Megan Evans is an interdisciplinary artist, working in video, photography, sculpture and installation. These media build on a traditional background in painting and drawing. Megan’s work is informed by social issues. It examines the nature of belonging and the impact of colonisation on identity, both self and nation. Megan began her creative life doing large political murals in the 1980’s such as the Women’s Mural and the Northcote Koori Mural. Her career has spanned several decades and practices. Over the last ten years she has exhibited both nationally and internationally, been published widely in books and journals and been awarded international residencies.
Established in 2007, Public Assembly is an ongoing collaboration between Lynda Roberts, Ceri Hann and a dynamic, everchanging community. Acting as playful provocateurs, this creative duo aim to stimulate conversation and disrupt our expectations of the objects, spaces and systems around us. They work towards this by devising site specific participatory workshops and installations that venture out into the public realm.
Wearable Artifactory is an ongoing self-initiated project, inspired by Lynda and Ceri’s regular weekly visits to the Camberwell Sunday Market. Found objects are re-assembled in-situ to become wearable ‘subjects’ of conversation, purchased by donation. As a social hub for a diverse cross section of the community, the market provides a regular venue and context to source materials, make and draw on complimentary social dynamics already underway within the market.
Public Assembly live and work on the unceded traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung peoples. Lands that have long been a place of learning, teaching and creativity.
This short film documents fragments of a living-practice which includes my day-to-day vocalisations with place, people and companions on my grandmother’s farm, just outside of Naarm. I am interested in the stories that inhabit our voice and its inter-dependance with the more-than-human world. I also work closely with my grandmother as she enters the twilight years of her life. She is an eco-monument and a place of personal and political praxis.
I work undisciplined with and across a diverse range of mediums, practices, approaches and labours: an embodied practice that I call voice in the expanded field . Within this field are many projects including designing a speculative multi-species hospice for dying-better-together with a group of interdisciplinary thinkers and makers. Collaborating with animal companions, family, regional communities, and peers, I explore the more-than (the potential for alternate flows of movement) through feeling-kindness-warmth as thinking-instrumental and interrogate market value identities/socio-economical implications on the commoning of Life and cultural production.
Chelle Destefano, 9 August 2021
Chelle Destefano is a Deaf multi-disciplinary artist working with performance art, sculpture, textile, poetry and Auslan poetry, drawing and painting, often combing some or many of these disciplines into one work. Such as some of her Auslan poetry performance artworks used textiles and later the textile works had poetry words sewn into the textile works and then the textile work was installed on wall, with the performance video projected onto it.
Chelle’s works are currently focused on informing of her Deaf history and Deaf experiences to educate people on Deaf culture and Deaf history and to give them a real Deaf experience.
Chelle has had many solo and group exhibitions between 2012 and 2021, shown in Melbourne, Adelaide and between 2015 and 2017 abroad in Venice, Paris, Berlin and Rome. She was selected as a finalist for many art awards from 2019 to now. Art awards she has been in include the Banyule Art Award for works on paper, Lyn McCrea Drawing Prize, Noel Counihan Art Award, Incinerator Art Award, Fishers Ghost Award, Lake Art Award (which she became the winner of in December 2020), and the Footscray Art Award in 2021.
Through a sensitive engagement with the intelligibility of matter, Narelle creates porous and provisional assemblies of ceramic material. Embracing experimental strategies and material poetics, her work proposes an ethic of empathy and recognition, through the organic and animistic qualities of her porous, lively things.
Narelle holds a BA, MA and BFA – having studied in Australia, The Netherlands and the United States. In the European winter of 2020, Narelle undertook an intensive residency at the European Ceramic Work Centre in Oisterwijk as a beneficiary of a Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant. She is presently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Living Room, Volume I, 2020
Azza Zein, 16 September 2020
Azza Zein is an installation artist and writer who lives and works in Narrm/Melbourne. Born to a Syrian mother and a Lebanese father, Zein grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. Her practice-led research examines concepts of value in art through the materiality of domestic space and personal experience as a migrant. Through a process of rematerialisation, conceptualised as care for ‘migrant materials’, her recent works comment on the dematerialisation of the economy and offer a revaluation of invisible labour. Her artistic research draws on her heritage and her background in economics to explore how artistic processes can be alternative modes of revaluation.
Zein recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of Arts, the University of Melbourne. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions held in artist-run spaces in Australia. She has participated in art residencies in Argentina, India and remotely the Santa Fe Art Institute Labour residency. Zein was recently a finalist in the Incinerator Gallery Art Social Change Award (2020), Australian Muslim Artist Award (2019) and the Athenaeum Club award (2020). Zein won the Fiona Myer Art+Australia Internship award for 2020. She published her writing in Art + Australia, in Kohl Journal for Body and Gender Research, Un projects review and recently Kings Artist-run Live from the field. She also performed in the CARE: transforming values through art, ethics and feminism, at George Paton Gallery in 2019.
Seth Searle’s work investigates the relationship between painting and performativity. Through working with the imagery of cropped limbs, vessels, food, patterns and hanging backdrops, she is playing with the symbology of the empty container, cropped and measured foregrounds and distortions through glass. The paintings aim to articulate a feeling of theatrical uncertainty in regards to the performance of self and ask the question: what parts of this performance are visible?
Shane Nicholas uses systems of art making to explore the mechanisms inherent in current smart technologies to investigate how the human subject could be viewed by systems of online surveillance and subsequently represented.
The systems of artmaking Nicholas employs reproduce the human form based on the mishandling of data. The resulting forms echo the fundamental contradictions inherent in systems of online surveillance.
The artwork produced through this process draws from limitations common to neural networks that process collected data. By decontextualizing, filtering, fragmenting and reconstructing data to create distorted versions of the original, the resulting sculptures present a vision of how systems alter subject matter when rendering a model from reality.
Sculptures were produced using an iterative method of 3d scanning, 3d printing, rescanning and reprinting. The distortions in form were directly caused through errors that occurred when translating the subject into digital data, and then back into a real-world object.
Shane Nicholas was the recent winner of the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture in 2020 and has exhibited his work nationally at Kings ARI, C3, Dominik Mersch Gallery, Linden New Art, Incinerator Gallery, Trocadero Art Space, Five Walls and Latrobe Regional Gallery. Nicholas won the Peter Redlich Memorial Prize in 2017 for his Masters exhibition at Victorian College of the Arts and has previously been a finalist for a number of other awards. Most recently, Nicholas was a finalist for the Incinerator Art for Social Change Award, 2018 and the Linden Art Prize, 2019.
For Alison Kennedy, the art road twists and turns. She is interested in ways of poetic being as disclosed by technology and interprets this through handmade media – combining digital with digital.
Her work so far includes print making, computer modelling and painting and is informed by thinkers including Heidegger and Stiegler.
Untroubled by nihilism – more with the contemporary excess of meaning- Alison considers that it is in this amorphous unpredictable surplus of activity where art is particularly powerful. She is on the lookout for slippage, error and the overlooked because we are at once closest to and furthest away from ourselves.
She has recently completed her MFA at VCA, has exhibited in Australia and overseas, with work held in private collections.
Books are a constant shining presence in her life.
Tracey Lamb is a sculptor who works mainly with welded steel from her home studio in Melbourne. She has created a range of large to medium sized, modular, site specific, welded installations that reference geometry found in architecture and design and often refers to the stories and works of woman who have been erased from these related histories. She is also currently working on a series of smaller welded sculptures made from steel sheet. The works are finished in clear coated polished steel to reveal the gestural marks of their construction or alternatively painted over in a variety of colours. These smaller abstract works generally acquire their form from fragments domestic or interior design.
Tracey completed a Master of Fine Arts at Monash University in 2018 and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) Honours from the Victorian College of the Arts (2013) as well as qualifications in Interior Design and Decoration. Her work has been shown throughout Australia and internationally.
Jaime Powell explores printmaking in a spatial practice, using prints to investigate scale, pattern and tessellation. In installations consisting of multiple prints, organic imagery is created by aligning simple geometries or patterns. The mark making is influenced by the various languages around her while growing up in India. She has trained at Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Tamarind Institute of Lithography, New Mexico and is a recent recipient of the APW James Northfield Trust Lithography scholarship. She was awarded Highly Commended at the Fremantle Print Awards 2018, and is a finalist in 2019.
Cheralyn Lim is an artist and emerging conservator. She works with collage, paint and printmaking to explore interactions of colour, shape and texture. In addition to her solo practice, she works collaboratively with artists, designers and independent organisations as a visual artist, graphic designer and digital marketer. She specialises in paper conservation, and has worked with Australian collections including the photographic collection at the Kanamkek-Yile Ngala Museum, Wadeye, the City of Melbourne Collection and the University of Melbourne Hanson-Dyer Rare Music Collection. Cheralyn is also a member of artist book collective 5 Press, five artists brought together by an appreciation for handmade forms and traditional techniques in bookmaking.
Linda Gibbs is a landscape painter who has spent the past decade surveying Wilson’s Promontory, the most southern tip of the Australian mainland. Her practice begins in the field, franticly recording wild weather, subtle colour shifts and the ever changing atmospheres of Bass Strait. The field studies reveal vast panoramas of complex abstraction and inform large scale, pared back oil paintings produced in her country studio. Simon Gregg best describes her as painting “with the soul of a poet and the eyes of a realist.”
Following studies at the National Art School, Linda worked in Melbourne as a gallery director, curator, major festival events producer and adult art tutor. Her main focus is always her own studio practice. She is included in private and public collections and has been selected for many prestigious art prizes.
Christine Fontana, 29 July 2020
For Chris Fontana, medieval aesthetics offer a compelling and explicit vehicle for story telling, allowing her to present a contemporary worldview through a historical lens. While precariously fragile and tactile, her work often takes on a monumental scale, adopting the principle of the medieval map and incorporating graphic narrative illustration within portraiture to address broad political and social concerns. Combining both art and writing practices, she currently works across mediums and genres to develop alternative methods for the delivery of story.
Gonzalo Ceballos is an multi-disciplinary artist based in Melbourne. Exploring the tender forces that draw people together and the bleakness that accompanies the dissolution of idyllic moments arising from love and friendship, Gonzalo captures his subjects in everyday scenes, emphasising the deceptively unremarkable settings of these happenings. Eating dinner with Matisse, drinking wine with Frida Kahlo, or simply documenting the subtle intimacies of friendship by drawing a friend lying in the grass; through these works Gonzalo extends his fixation with human connections to a yearning for a different reality, and the possibility of living and breathing with those he reveres. Gonzalo is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, where he studied painting from 2009-2011.
We are listening to a structural composition of an architect’s drawing for the internal framework of the inner atrium of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center. The sound is constructed based on a system of numbers created from an overdrawing of music notation onto the architect’s structural plan drawing.
Artist and composer Mia Salsjö orchestrates multi-disciplinary art projects, encompassing drawing, music composition, text, performance, video, and textile-based works. Her practice is grounded in complex code-based systems. The systems are devised by Salsjö as a means of linking diverse media to an underlying linguistic system. It is through this process that Salsjö reflects on the elusive nature of communication – its potentialities, triumphs, failures, past, present and future. Her work has been performed and presented in many exhibitions, most recently Moving Pictures at LaTrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, Modes of Translation at the 13th Biennale de la Habana, Cuba 2019 and The Score at Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne in 2017. Mia is currently a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.