Rob Mancini was born in Spotswood and grew up in the west. His wife is also from the west and their children were born here too. They are a family of artists, designers and makers and recently (March ‘16) opened ‘misc’ in Newport, which is, at its core, a showcase for the family’s work. Additional to that, misc stock exclusively Australian made craft and goods.
“When I was a kid, Spotswood felt more like a country town, I’d spend most of my time hunting for lizards and frogs in the local creeks and mucking about amongst the factories and railway lines.”
Rob has been drawing and creating visual imagery from an early age, never happier than with pencil in hand. He has had an extensive career working as an artist, illustrator and graphic designer, working in general design and publishing industries, nationally and internationally as well as creating personal works. You can see some of his past and current work as part of Hobsons Bay’s Art in Public Places.
‘Wild West and Beyond’ is part of an ongoing series of images featuring snapshots of the often overlooked nature that frequent the industrial landscape of Melbourne’s west. These paintings are a response and a desire to raise the awareness of the rich and natural diversity of these environments.
Having grown up in the coastal west spending long hours exploring the waterways and grasslands in pursuit of it’s resident creatures Rob has a deep affinity and nostalgic fondness for the west’s industrial past.
“The exhibition is in part my response, nostalgically and currently to the area and it’s landscape and nature in the form of images, paintings, drawings.”
Rob is saddened that the ‘basic’ neighbourhood businesses are no longer there; the milk bars, butchers, greengrocers, even a hardware store, but delighted by some of the new enterprises.
“I have mixed feelings about the gentrification of this part of the west. I used to do local chemist deliveries and my paper round here. I have a fondness for the industries that surrounded us, my father worked at the Glassworks in Spotty. But I could not have imagined that Spotty would have such amazing cafes and hospitality venues, exceptional places like Doyle & Sons and Candied Bakery, and one I still find hard to believe, the fabulous Two Birds Brewery in the old Goetz’ Engineering works.”
You can find Rob at misc from Tuesday to Saturday at 312 Melbourne Rd, Newport.