By Mario Varricchio

I’m sitting in a container looking out over the Maribyrnong River at one of my favourite spots in Footscray, talking with local artist Antonia Marshall who together with fellow artist KLARA are coordinating the ‘Contain Y’self Creative Containers situated on the Maribyrnong River below the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

“The emphasis of the space is to provide a platform for creatives, particularly females based in the west although not exclusively. We want to encourage the talent to get out there, actually show case that talent and not profit from it. It’s about time that female artists got noticed for their art, really. We’re giving them that leg up, or trying to. We’re experimental, that’s an important thing. Whoever is coming here is collaborating with the space and with other artists that are in that space. They are then networked with everybody else as well. We’re cross promoting with Maribyrnong Council and the FCAC, putting artists in touch with each other and sharing the work. We’re not for profit; we’ve got the gallery space and the studio space which are available for use at any time by the community at large. They can come down and use the space to meet people, to hang out, to make some artwork, to exhibit. The possibilities are endless!”

One such person utilising the space is RMIT arts student, Eva Giannoulidis. I was fortunate during my visit to see Eva at work on her potter’s wheel throwing a beautiful simple bowl. Antonia and KLARA call her an official ‘Artist in Residence’.

I speak to Eva about this opportunity and how it presented itself.

“I saw info on the containers on Facebook and it kind of blew my mind as its everything I want as an artist whose been working out of my bedroom, to then have a space on the river. To be able to access (the space) 24 hours a day and treat it as a space where I’m creating things and then be able to exhibit within the space as well. It’s a really good way for me to get things done. I’m here; I’m making it and then exhibiting it! It’s in such a good spot, you can see the containers (across the river), the world is churning, boats here and there, people cycling and being so close to the arts centre (Footscray Community Arts Centre) and its 10 minutes from my house, it’s just supreme. People are keen on what you’re doing and it’s a really groovy position as well. I’m a student but I have no space to work and this (space) brings privacy and also just getting involved in the community.”

Eva is working towards her first solo show opening 18th September.

“It’s called ‘Longwaves’ and it’s a mixture of ceramic and video medium and it’s about the analogue transition between colours and saturations. I’m using this vintage Fairlight machine and it’s fantastic, I’m so in love with it and it’s feeding into my ceramics.

Another artist utilising the space is Sarah Masson. I catch up with her on opening night.

“It’s my first show that exhibits street art and graffiti. I’ve only been doing it (aerosol art) for 5 months. There are a few self-portraits in there so it’s a pretty personal show. It’s exciting and I’m literally containing myself within a container, so that’s why I’m calling it ‘Sarah Masson Contains herself’.

The show continues until the 5th September. At Sarah’s launch I also chat with KLARA about the Contain Y’self project.

“It’s been great, like tonight, we get to host really good shows and showcase people’s art work. You know, Antonia and I are always bitchin about trying to find somewhere to showcase our work and now we have our own space. If you can’t find a space, make one. We’ve had some cool shows and performances already and there’s more to come”.

Contain Yourself Creative Containers have registered with the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015, (16th Sept – 4th Oct). Upcoming events include street art workshops, markets and Bey Dance workshops.

Contain Ya’self Upcoming Events

20/08 – Gallery Opening – Sarah Masson ‘Containing Herself’, 6-9pm.

05/09 – Closing Party – Sarah Mason ‘Containing Herself’, 3-9pm.

12/09 – Art Walk 6pm

FRINGE 16/09 – 04/10

18/09 – Eva Giannoulidis, 6-9pm

19/09 – Bey Dance Workshop 2-3.30pm

20/09 – Artist Market 11 – 4pm

26/09 – Adults Street Art workshop with Trashort.

27/09 – Adults Street Art workshop with Trashort.

02/10 – Fringe closing party

  • Gallery Opening, Klara & Antonia Marshall, 6-9pm
  • Art Walk 6pm

03/10 – Bey Dance Workshop 2-3.30pm

04/10 – Artist Market 11-4pm



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