Rivers Run Free – Dirty Dozen exhibition with River Studios

This February I participated in the art exhibition Rivers Run Free at the Dirty Dozen with artists from River Studios. The exhibition ran from 4 – 29 February 2020.

The Dirty Dozen is an unusual gallery – a series of 12 display cases in the below-ground entrance to Flinders Street Station. The display cases are located in Campbell Arcade. The rollerdoor entrance is on Flinders Street between Elizabeth and Degraves streets.

The other artists participating were all resident artists from River Studios. They include screen printers, fabric designers, illustrators, glass bead makers, photographers and painters. Then there’s me, a found object assemblage sculptor.

We were each allocated one display case for our own works, then a second display case to share with a partner. I shared with Lin Tobias. She is primarily a painter, but she also loves making paper mache birds.

Not on the Level – Centrepiece of the display case Down by the Riverside.

Down by the Riverside (Display case 5)

My solo display case was entitled Down by the Riverside. It comprised several wall sculptures that all alluded to water in some form. Most were cityscapes along a river’s edge, though some were suggestive of bays or billabongs.

Top row left to right:

  • Cityscape on the Edge 5: Rolling River, 37x52cm (veneer, sheet metal, tile, cylinders, rusted rod)
  • Not on the Level 1: From the Harbour to the Hills, 84x45cm (weathered backing board, black laminate, miscellaneous metal pieces)
  • City – River Corridor 1, 29x57cm (black laminated ply, veneer with protruding stick, miscellaneous metal pieces)

Floor level left to right:

  • City by the Bay 4, 12x25x4cm (ply offcut, orange tile, metal, tyre weights)
  • Billabong 1, 21x21cm (broken ply, wooden stand, sheet metal, marble)
  • Rustic Cityscape 2, 14x33cm (tiles, dilapidated board, rusted metal, gold ‘sun’)
  • City by the Sea 1, 6x30x6cm (triangular board, rectangular metal, washer)
  • Table Mountain Skyline 2, 8x20cm (triangular wood, tile, rusted nails, screws)
  • Family Excursion 1, 30x30cm (tiles, miscellaneous metal including pipes, hinge)
  • Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning, 12x24cm (board, tile, faux marble, metal)
City on the Edge 5: Rolling River. In the display case Down by the Riverside

Bird’s Eye View (Display case 12)

Artist Lin Tobias and I collaborated on the display case Bird’s Eye View. Lin has created several cheeky paper mache birds. Some were painted, while others showed their newsprint origins. They sat on wire legs, on top of ‘buildings’ made of cardboard boxes.

The birds were looking down on a range of cityscapes. Each of the cityscapes was a bit different. Some were created from screws, some from bolts, some from rectangular or cylindrical pieces of metal. They represented a range of ‘neighbourhoods’.

Large centrepiece:

  • Water Under the Bridge, with Julia Zoellner, 54x61cm (acrylic on board, plastic bottle lids, hibiscus)

Lower level from left:

  • Cylindrical City 2, 9x9x10cm (board base, short round metal cylinders)
  • Along the Yarra 2, 12x19cm (ply boards, round battery, screws)
  • Silver City in Miniature 8, 4x4x5cm (triangular black wood, flat metal pieces)
  • Silver City in Miniature 6, 4x7x4cm (black wood, cylindrical metal, diamante)
  • Silver City in Miniature 7, 5x4x5cm (triangular black wood, screws, diamante)
  • City Skyline 8, 8x11cm (composite cement tile, silver paper, nails, screws)
  • Balloons or Bombs?, with Julia Zoellner, 19x25cm (acrylic on board, metal)
  • Windswept City on the Plain, 10x18x19cm (ply, orange tile, nuts, bolts)
  • Cylindrical City 1, 9x25x6cm (board, cylindrical pieces of metal)
  • Rustic Cityscape 1, 12x21cm (warped board, tile, miscellaneous metal)
  • Along the Yarra 4, 5x11cm (faux granite, metal cylinders, bifurcated metal)
  • Cityscape 5, 10x25x6cm (board, rectangular pieces of metal)
  • Forest for the Trees, 10x9x6cm (wood block, miscellaneous metal, nails, golf tee)

Thanks to the City of Melbourne

River Studios and the Dirty Dozen are made accessible to artists by the City of Melbourne. Both facilities are managed by Creative Spaces. The City of Melbourne is known as a City of Literature, but to its credit, it is a strong supporter of the arts. For more information about this exhibition and the other artists from River Studios who paraticipated in it, see the Creative Spaces blog.

Availability of works

If any of these works catch your eye, please email me at nancydeesculptures@gmail.com or use the form on the contact page. I can let you know if it is still available, and if so, the price and postal charges depending on weight of the item and where it needs to be posted. If you are in Melbourne, we can arrange a local pick-up.

Water Under the Bridge, created jointly with Julia Zoellner. Centrepiece of display case Bird’s Eye View with Lin Tobias.
Along the Yarra 2, in the display case Bird’s Eye View
Cylindrical City 1, located in the Bird’s Eye View display case
Forest for the Trees 1. 10x10cm. In the display case Bird’s Eye View.