Q&A WITH WESTIE POSTERS ARTIST – KERRIE GOTTLIEBSEN

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By Meagan Kearney

The Footscray vintage ‘Westie Poster’, featured on the cover, is just one of many handmade pieces, featuring a western suburb, by Seaholme artist Kerrie Gottliebsen

The Westsider chats to Kerrie about making art, vintage posters and old and newcomers pride in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

How did the vintage Westie Posters come about?

During COVID-19 lockdowns, I was spending more time in my Seaholme studio painting, that is until a trip to Phillip Island changed everything. I was admiring a seaside vintage poster on the wall of an Air BnB and wondered why the west didn’t have its own range of vintage posters.

I set about creating images of my favourite locations around Altona and Seaholme. That led to Williamstown and then Footscray, West Footscray, Newport, Yarraville, Spotswood and Sunshine. All of my art is handmade and printed in Altona.

Photographing and creating illustrations around the west is an adventure in understanding the significance of Melbourne’s industrial heritage.

Have the Westie Posters been a hit?

The great thing is that people are always asking me to create posters that celebrate their ‘hood. I wish I had more time but I can generally make one or two a week.

Because of the Australia Post parcel shipping issues, I do my best to deliver to the inner west, although I’m spending many hours in the car when I should be creating new work, so that’s probably not sustainable!

Sending Westie Posters locally and all over Australia as well as countries like New Zealand and Germany is pretty exciting.

I am thrilled that organisations have approached me like Ship4Good who are selling ‘The Steve’ print, Jill Hennessy MP is using the Altona Beach design as her Season’s Greetings’ card and of course The Westsider selecting the ‘Footscray’ poster for the November Issue cover.

Are you planning to extend the Westie range?

Designing new artworks is incredibly satisfying.

Feedback has shown me that they bring a sense of nostalgia and pride in the west. Right now, I’m planning for Christmas and hope to have framing and wrapping options and even tea-towels.

The great news is you can never run out of amazing places in Melbourne’s West. West is best!

To see the full range of Westie Posters go to:
www.kerriegottliebsen.com

 

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