Posts tagged Sydney

A humble ten years ago, Sydney’s Inner West was blessed with the birth of Aisle6ix. The bespoke screen printing studio is a thriving, homegrown business with a talented crew of 6 who can print... well… just about anything! With a diverse client base under their belt and a passion for the traditional printing process, Aisle6ix has, and deservedly so, become a force to be reckoned with. We caught up with Shannon, the brains behind Aisle6ix, to dig a little deeper into what it means to be a part of such a homegrown landmark. 



NC: Tell us your love story with screen printing! How did you discover the process?
Shannon: It all started when I moved to Sydney from Canberra when I was 26. Aisle6ix started as a T-shirt label as I’m a huge fan of the clothing label Mambo and I loved that they were constantly coming up with new ideas and designs. I loved buying the T-shirts on the racks that I thought were one offs so my plan was to make limited runs of T-shirts under Aisle6ix and the first ones that I printed has slogans on them such as ‘sarcasm = honesty’. In the early days when I was doing screen printing classes at Tafe everyone started to become graphic designers but no one was printing, so I started doing super short print runs. Then in 2005 I went to London and worked at Photofit, which is a print shop near Old Street Tube, and that’s where I learnt most of my printing skills. Returning to Australia I set up my studio in Redfern while doing NEIS and being supported by my wife, Shakira. Fast forward to 2017 and the studio is now in St Peters, Sydney, and we’ve been here for five years. I have an amazing crew working with me. 


NC: What does a typical day look like in the Aisle6ix studio?
Shannon: We start early, which means coffee, ovens are turned on and jobs are set up by Matty V and Benny C. If Orbski isn’t printing posters he’s setting up screens, mixing ink or packing finished work. JC, our art guy, is in the artwork preparation zone working his skills and all of this is going on while I’m taking calls, answering emails and running the studio. 

"We’re a bespoke printing studio, handmade with passion and skill. We’re interested in delivering products that are well made, durable and unique so they won’t be thrown away in four weeks time."

NC: In a world full of mass production and outlandish consumer demand, it has become increasingly difficult to find businesses with the same level of passion and craftsmanship that exists at Aisle6ix! What is so special about owning a local business?
Shannon: We feel that having control over all aspects of production means that we produce a superior finished product. We are a small team but we all work really well together to ensure attention to detail is maintained throughout every step and we all love what we do. Being based in St Peters which means that clients have easy access to us to discuss their projects. 


NC: How do you feel about the nature of mass production in the consumer market right now?
Shannon: I understand that it has a place but it’s at the other end of what we do. We’re a bespoke printing studio, handmade with passion and skill. We’re interested in delivering products that are well made, durable and unique so they won’t be thrown away in four weeks time. 

NC: A key part of what you do at Aisle6ix is collaboration! Tell us about that!
Shannon: We love doing collaborations and some of our past clients have included, Kindred Studio, Headset Apparel, Garbett and Formist Studio. Collaborations also push us out of our comfort zones so we’re continually expanding our skill set. We worked with the amazing Jess Scully to put together a fundraising exhibition for Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney. The exhibition included some of Australia’s best artists and graphic designers including Luca Ionescu, Vince Frost, Jumbo, Collider, WBYK, Numbskull, Toby and Pete and Nadia Hernandez. We printed 26 different A2 poster editions of 10. 


NC: What is the most memorable job you have received so far?
Shannon: We were contacted by a production company to do some filming for the Mambo: Art Irritates Life documentary that was broadcast on ABC. Mambo is one of the key reasons I got into screen printing so I didn’t hesitate to say yes. At the end of filming, Scott Dettrick, the creative director, said that the studio was the closest to what Mambo was back in their prime. That is easily the best thing that any one has said about the studio. The icing on the cake was printing some original Mambo T-shirts that were used in the tv production. 


NC: What’s the grand plan for Aisle6ix? What can we expect to see in the future?
Shannon: We’ve just launched a new website with a bunch of collaboration T-shirts that we’ve been working on and we have our 5th birthday in early 2018 which means it’s going to be a busy and exciting couple of months. We’re always looking to work with different collaborators on projects and our collaborations keep getting bigger and better. One arm of the studio is live printing at events and we’ll be expanding this in 2018 which is really exciting.


Sea-side Sydney natives, Ben Brown and Kentaro Yoshida, are set to bring the ruckus on Wendesday night at Goodspace Gallery, Chippendale. We spoke to the lads and gained some insight into the skull infused collaboration that is ‘RUMBLE’.


Tell us about your art style!
Kentaro: I have been drawing and reading manga since I was a kid. I grew up in Japan and moved to Sydney when I was 18. Since then, I have been living in Manly and have been influenced by the coastal culture here and the experience of living overseas by myself. The way I draw hasn’t changed much since I was a kid, I have always created clean line drawings as it is a basic technique in Japanese comics.

Ben: I have been doing art since I was a little kid, I am quite an old bastard - I grew up through the 70’s and 80’s and have been influenced by punk rock, skateboarding, surfing and all the goodness and art that accompanies those culturally rich underground lifestyles… basically - I like drawing skulls ’n stuff.

Give us a run down of how this collaboration came about…
Kentaro: One night we had few beers together at our local pub and we started talking about a collaboration and having show together. I also thought it could be a good opportunity to show how different our styles are as we both draw lots of skulls and are surrounded by similar cultures and environments. Ben has been one of my favourite artists since I was a uni student and I have respected him for a long time. I still remember my first task for my internship at O’Neill wetsuits - making something like Ben does! This collaboration means a lot to me.

What has the process been like working collaboratively with one another in the lead up to the show?
Ben: It has been really fun - we get on quite well and whenever we meet to discuss or work on the RUMBLE project, we end up drinking a lot of beer. It is really quite funny how the whole thing has pulled itself together considering we purposely had no concept or theme.

"We would email ideas back and forth to each other so we could both open our photoshop file and work directly on to the same piece using tablets. We later painted these designs on large canvases. We have truly collaborated in a very cruisey, Stress-free manner, it has been a lot of fun."

-Ben Brown

How did the name ‘Rumble’ come about?
Kentaro: We originally planed to make artworks separately, we got stuck on coming up with a concept for the show. One day, I was listening to one of my favourite Japanese bands, Dry and Heavy, and their song ‘Rumble’. I didn’t know the meaning of “Rumble” so I randomly found a meaning from dictionary. One of the definitions stated ‘rumble’ as ‘a street fight between gangs or large groups’ which made me realise it’d be really cool and fresh if we fight in the artwork! We came up with the idea of painting on the same canvases to create series of purely collaborative artworks together.  Fortunately we both live around Manly so it made the whole process way easier.

You’re exhibiting at Goodspace in Chippendale. Both of you are from the Northern Beaches and your work reflects that lifestyle and surf culture in general - has this had an influence on the works in ‘RUMBLE’?

Ben: We both do commercial work within that world and are keen surfers - but the work we have put together for this show reflects our individual styles crashing into each other. We made a conscious effort to steer clear of what people might expect and concentrate on the two of us essentially having a visual painting rumble that makes no sense and has no obvious references.

"RUMBLE is all about collaboration and visual experiment."

-Kentara Yoshida

What can people expect to see from the show?
Kentaro: RUMBLE is all about collaboration and visual experiment. Even I had no idea how final artwork would look until we finished them. We are both excited about how all the artworks turned out and they look really fresh too. Like Ben mentioned, there is no such theme or concept throughout the exhibition, but we did use limited colours and both of our characteristic and motifs to create the consistency across the show - that’s what I love about whole project. Our audience can expect to see our art crush and, of course, see lots of skulls. Come have couple of beers with us!

Ben: You can expect to see a tangled yet clean expression of our ideas clashing on canvas. We have stuck to a nice and simple colour palette and kept the themes and concepts completely meaningless and fun. We will have something for everyone. Original canvases, a limited number of t-shirts and sticker packs - and prints for sale online after the show…. all affordable art … all for the people!

Catch 'Rumble' tomorrow night 6-9pm, 31st May - 115 regent street, Chippendale, Sydney. / Kentaro Yoshida

10 Questions with Brooklyn Whelan

Sydney based creative Brooklyn Whelan is one of Australia’s finest emerging contemporary artists. Bringing elements from his days of graffiti writing together with his fascination with the unpredictable nature of weather patterns, Whelan creates dreamy pieces that are both minimalist yet other-worldly. We picked his cloud-infested brain about all things city, art and his upcoming solo show at China Heights gallery launching this Friday night.


Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m a  Sydney-based artist.

Your style is so carefully executed but soft at the same time, surely this has taken a bit of development! When did you start painting?
I've always created art. My style has evolved with the flow of events in my life. I know it sounds cliché but I just paint how I feel, my works take on a life of their own.

Clouds are evidently a bit of a recurring theme in your work. Why clouds?
There's something really powerful about an oncoming cloud front. I've always been drawn to storms and the way clouds rapidly move and transform like shape shifters. And lightning!

What were you like as a kid?
Ha. I didn't mind jumping fences and walking on the wrong side of the tracks. But in saying that I was still a good kid

"There's something really powerful about an oncoming cloud front. I've always been drawn to storms and the way clouds rapidly move and transform like shape shifters. And lightning!"

-Brooklyn Whelan

When you have a good look at some of your art works there are definitely undertones of urban culture. Has graffiti had an influence on your artistic practice?
Yep, for sure. I was an 80's kid which meant I was also growing up in the peak of the New York graffiti movement which hit Sydney pretty hard. Catching a train to school, it just seemed like a natural progression to try and emulate what I was seeing trackside and on 'Beat Street'. Ha

"All the paintings are large scale works using my signature palette of pink, grey and black continuing my fascination with sky masses. It will be my third show at China Heights (2nd solo). I'm really excited to show this new body of work."

-Brooklyn Whelan

Tell us a secret -
I hate avocado, but I love guacamole

What does the day-to-day of Brooklyn Whelan look like?
It's pretty routine. I try and have structure to keep the momentum. Wake up, make a coffee for my wife, walk the dog then paint. I try and keep it pretty chill.

Your exhibition, ‘Pushing Past’, at China Heights is going down on Friday, March 31st at 6pm. Tell us a bit about the show!
All the paintings are large scale works using my signature palette of pink, grey and black continuing my fascination with sky masses. It will be my third show at China Heights (2nd solo). I'm really excited to show this new body of work.

Is there anything you’re hoping people will take away from your exhibition?
A painting! And I hope for people to feel my works in the real.

What can we look forward to seeing in 2017?
More solo shows here and internationally.