Housed inside a graffiti store / screen-printing and sign writing studio, No Comply Gallery is set to showcase an impressive scope of work from national artists including Ghost Patrol, Gimiks Born, John Kaye, Sean Morris and Shida with ‘Versus’.
Grace, tell us about ‘Versus’! What's it all about?
'Versus' is a group exhibition featuring 16 Australian artists and their response to the theme video games. It's a solid mix of illustration, painting and sculpture, playing on the iconography of the coin operated arcade games and home consoles of our childhoods.
I recently watched the documentary 'Video Games’. Until then I had never really considered the graphic artists working behind each game, keeping up as technology developed. I like to think of this show as a high-five to those guys! They helped make some fond memories for me as a kid. Aside from that, it’s just a fun celebration of staying up late, collecting coins, cheating death and slaying baddies.
Is there any particular game that artists drew inspiration from, or was the influence really random?
Most people have some kind of relationship with video games, and it’s nice to curate a show that references that. I invited each artist either knowing their work would be a great fit for this theme and also out of interest to see what they’d put together.
Carla McRae (aka the Paper Beast)’s piece is a tribute to her first game console, a PlayStation 1, acquired in 1998. She had a demo disk called Winter Releases 1998, and her favourite demo to play was Tekken 3. Sean Morris has included a beautiful watercolour, exposing a study of SEGA as a sensual lifestyle choice, also playing on the fallout from the aggressive video game merchandising wars of the early 1990s. Dan Elborne is showing a series of slip cast porcelain floppy discs, commenting on his first experience with PC operating systems. The rest will have to be a surprise.
Can you tip us off about some stand out artworks? You've got some excellent artists on board for this exhibition.
I’m really chuffed with the response to ‘Versus’ and how interested these artists were in the show. They’re all really different, so it’ll be a fun one to see everything in the space and try to make some kind of dialogue between the pieces. They’re all stand out artworks.
We love that NO COMPLY features a new mural on the side of the gallery to promote upcoming exhibitions. Who's doing the gallery mural for ‘Versus’?
Yeah, we love painting the space and it’s nice to have it changing in sync with exhibitions. We’re hoping Brisbane legend, Gimiks has time to visit and take it out. Up next we’ve got a solo show by street artist, Guido Van Helten. I’m sure we’ll have a sweet new addition on the wall for that one.
If you could be any video game character, who would it be and why?
I’m a Super Nintendo kind of girl. As a kid, I always had to be Chin-Li in Street Fighter…I think it was the pigtails.
What can we expect from the ‘Versus’ launch night? We heard word of retro arcade games?
We’ve lined up a few multiplayer arcades, so that’ll be rad. Our friends at Stone & Wood have us on the beer front and we’re loving having local food vendor, ‘Best Dumpling’ set up shop at ours for the night. Their dumplings are actually the best. It’s been a while since I made a big batch of sangria - it definitely feels like a good time to bring it back.
You can read more about Grace and No Comply in the new issue of No Cure available in stores March 12th across Australia & NZ
Opening Launch: Friday 13th March, 7 til 9PM
Works displayed: 10th March - 4th April
No Comply Gallery at Kontraband Studios
6 Laurel St, Toowoomba QLD