Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ballarat Pop-up shop

For 7 days this Christmastime Ballarat talent will be featured in a pop-up retail shop in the centre of Ballarat and I'm the poster girl... well... my design has been featured on the poster... but I think that counts, haha. 
The store is aimed to showcase the varied makers and designers in the region and is a great opportunity to pick up some awesome handmade gifts this Christmas if you are in the area.

Laura Day, the event co-ordinator has featured me on the events blog and I have shared the interview below...  read on if you would like to hear more about me. Or not if you don't :)

The pop-up shop will be running from November 3rd - December 9th and is located in the Backspace gallery in Huyghue House behind the Ballarat Art Gallery.

"FEATURE : Steph Wallace

We just had to start off our first FEATURE post, with the one and only Steph Wallace. Steph is a super talented Paper-Cut Artist and the creative mind behind our beautiful Ballarat Pop-Up Shop branding image. Please read on to find out a little bit more about this talented lady…
Tell us a little bit about yourself Steph… and how you came to live in Ballarat?
I run a small independent art gallery in Ballarat called Red Brick Gallery, or ‘the brick’ as we affectionately call it. I’m originally from the UK and after traveling and working in the U.S I settled in Australia in 2005. After living in various parts of Victoria I was drawn back to the hills of the Central Highlands and tried my hand at living in the bush. I joined the Ballarat roller derby league in 2009 and as I began to become part of the Ballarat community I relocated into town a year later and have enjoyed putting down some roots since then.
What is your background and when did you start paper-cutting?
When I think about how to describe what I ‘do’ I get a bit confused… I studied ceramics and fine art in Edinburgh and although I still practice I wouldn’t describe myself strictly as an ‘Artist’, perhaps more as a ‘creative’. I write a blog, make stuff and nurture a business as well as create artwork and I love all those roles! I get a lot out of exploring new materials be they yarn, fabric, paint or timber and paper is my latest love. I adore the simplicity of paper and scalpel…. You can create so much from so little, with no fancy expensive equipment, just a bit of patience.

What or who inspires your work?

I have a large collection of vintage children’s books which is a great source of inspiration for me, both the vintage illustrations and the tales of adventure and fairy story. I love museum collections, the old cabinets of pinned beetles and pickled bits and pieces, and taxidermy. I really admire graffiti and street art for it’s use of colour and line. Obviously papercut artist and designer Mr Rob Ryan is a hero of mine too.
What is your work space like and what things do you like to surround you when you work?

I used to have a dedicated studio space but found I didn’t really use it… I like to be where the ‘action’ is so I constantly move the actual space that I work and just used the studio for storing my materials… fabrics, screen printing inks, paints, canvas, papers… you can never have too many art supplies! As I’m usually working in ‘the brick’ I often create at my desk or in the beautiful little garden behind the gallery… it has great light which is so useful as I’m always toteing my camera and recording moments for my blog. I guess that’s the joy of paper, it’s so easy to transport… my studio is where my heart is!
Where are your favorite places to go online for inspiration (blogs/websites etc…)
Don’t you just love the interweb?! It’s revolutionized living in a country town, now I can acess amazing artists and designers from around the world with a click of a button and, boy, is it good. I love Ausssie websiteThe Design Files, Lucy does an awesome job of traveling far and wide to meet some pretty amazing designers. My fave websites are more about staying inspired to create, and the girls over at ‘A Beautiful Mess’ inspire me not only to keep making and photographing but to work hard growing my business too. They inspire me to stay motivated an enjoy what I do!

What advice would you give other artists (just starting out?) or that might want to follow in your footsteps? 
It’s hard to see yourself as a role model for others…. but I guess when I was a graduate the path ahead seemed so long and unclear. There is no way I would have even hoped to be owning a gallery (no matter how small) 10 years later! For me it was a question of working out what really made me happy… I thought it was making things, and in part it is. But it’s actually how that creative act can bring you closer to people, help you form relationships and interact with people in your community, that’s what really makes me tick! Once I figured that out, the rest is now flowing. I’m no longer over-thinking, alone in my studio, but I’m getting out there and being inspired to create by my relationships with other motivated, down to earth people.

Where are your top 3 favorite places to go in Ballarat?
Vegas and Rose cafe on Humffray Street is a fave place to relax with an Earl Grey tea. They have simple and delicious food and the atmosphere is so welcoming and friendly. You can expect to be greeted by your name and a smile… the best bit about small-city living!
On a sunny day a picnic at Kirks reservoir is a must… it’s never busy, so a peaceful arvo in the beautiful traditional gardens is pretty much guaranteed. Maybe a little campfire even!
Ballarat is riddled with secret bike trails which meander along the many creeks. Exploring these with the dog is refreshing and inspiring… Lake Wendouree is very pretty too but there is something about the Yarowee River trail that always makes me feel like I’m on an adventure. A great place to collect mosses for my terrariums!"