Self Portrait

Self Portrait
Holly Pepper

Tread Lightly

Currently I am undertaking an internship in Utrecht, Netherlands with the renowned design team consisting of Tejo Remy + Rene Veenhuizen. Through this blog I plan to document my design experience in Holland.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Young People and the Arts Fellowship

The other day I got some dam fine news. I was awarded a Department of Culture and the Arts Young People and the Arts Fellowship. This means I will be heading across to Europe for three months to work with Tejo Remy a renowned found object furniture maker/ designer. On the way to Utrecht in the Netherlands I will go and visit the 2011 Milan Furniture fair.

It’s pretty exciting to finally have the opportunity to head to Europe and expand my design horizons.

Escape the Heat

There is 6 days to go for you to view the Tread Lightly Exhibition at Howard Park Winery. This could be a reasonable enough reason to escape the heat of Perth and trundle down to Denmark.

The exhibition opening went really well down here. I think growing up down in Denmark, people have a genuine interest in seeing how your work has changed over the past few years. There are lots of creative people in Denmark who fostered my interest in the arts from the outset. It has been nice to come back home and give back to the town that was so encouraging from the outset.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tread Lightly- Virtual Gallery

If you didn't get a chance to make it to the Tread Lightly exhibition
at the Free Range Gallery, I have just posted a selection of works on my webpage.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tread Lightly Exhibition opening

Tread Lightly opened last night the Free Range Gallery. Thanks to everyone who came along to the opening, it was a great night. Hopefully the visitors will flow in over the weekend.

The exhibition runs from the 18th- 23 rd November. Open 10-4 pm and on Tuesday 10-12.

Hopefully see you there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tread Lightly

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Go and See this Film!

Exit through the gift shop is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I left the film inspired by the works of Banksy, I was ready to become a street artist. until I read the notices plastered around the Luna Leederville cinema stating that the film does not endorse tagging in Leederville. The film must of made a big impact on a number of viewers, seeing a spike in graffiti in the area or maybe it was a case of sparking some alarm in a conservative local member.

 Anyway just to give you the gist of the story if you haven’t already seen it. Exit through the gift shop tells the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker spent about 10 years of his life recording street artists undertake there somewhat temporary works. The films served a great purpose in documenting many well renowned street artists works, like Banksy and Shephard Fairey. During the film things take a turn and the relatively uncreative filmer decideds to turn his hand to art. As a result many spectacular outcomes occur and the French film maker becomes famous over night.

 The film leaves an artist like myself questioning how popular endorsement and media attention can lead to artist success. It basically outlines that you don’t necessarily need a lot of artistic creativity and skill to become popular artist. Basically it comes down to who you know and who can endorse your work.

 Anyway, I found the film very thought provoking and would recommend anyone reading this blog to go out and watch the film for yourself.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back to REMIDA

I went into REMIDA last Thursday and was reminded of what a fantastic place it was. REMIDA is a non-for profit organisation that collects industrial Waste for creative re-use. I stopped going for a little as I had a bad habit of loading up the car with lots of inspiring materials and then when I got back to the studio I had no space to store all of these treasures. The Bath that was used for material storage at the studio was bulging. The temporary loft above the garage was spewing with plastic PET strapping. So it was time to take a break from REMIDA.

 Anyway, I took a trip back to REMIDA, I was on a mission to find about 4 meters of framing to finish off ‘Progression’ a neoprene acoustic paneling piece I have been working on. Anyway, I found a gem piece of picture framing just the right colour, and not too ornate, it will work really well with finish off the piece.

 As well as this I met up with all the enthusiastic staff at REMIDA. They are always interested in the projects their visitors are cooking up and if you get on the right side of Max he will show the sneaky storage space for any large size or excess materials.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Artists Rights

Working in the arts in Western Australia means you are in a pretty tight social group . Sometimes when you get screwed over for your work, with things like delayed payments, lack of payment or stolen ideas. There is an urge to let stuff like this slide to prevent rocking the arts boat. Being such a small scene you fear that you will burn your bridges for future work or will tarnish your reputation. 
However, I would suggest  that any artist who is mistreated in anyway, should attempt to go public in an attempt to protect artists rights. To me this story in the West was a bit risky, but from the article half of the subsidy has been paid out and it has given the public a bit of an inside story on exhibiting in Sculpture by the Sea.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SSX falters on artist payment!

Yesterday I had a email from Sculpture by the Sea stating that the organisation had not received anymore revenue from the sale of sculptures in the exhibition, since the conclusion of this years Cottesloe exhibition. As a result SSX organisers have breached the artist contract, which states that if artists who are unsuccessful at making any sale at the exhibition, will receive an artist subsidy to assist with the cost of exhibiting. 


SSX was relying on receiving a grant from the Department of culture and the arts to provide this subsidy to artists. However, they were unsuccessful at receiving this grant and as a result artist have been left to bare the full cost of showing in the exhibition.


This is the sixth annual Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. It is a well established exhibition that should be working towards creating a financially sustainable exhibition that is not totally dependent on funding bodies to pay there exhibiting artists subsidies. SSX has become complacent with there previously successful grant applications to the Department of Culture and the arts. Generally funding bodies assist with establishing new projects and exhibitions.


For myself exhibiting at Sculpture by the Sea was a big financial risk. It took me over 400 hours to complete my sculpture, I contracted a metal fabricator who spent another 100 hours on the project and then there is over one thousand dollars in materials. The artist subsidy was a small token gesture that I was relying on to pay my material bills. It is very disappointing that Sculpture by the Sea is not able to pay this subsidy on the agreed 10 week time line following the conclusion of the exhibition.


I feel that artists will be deterred from exhibiting in future events because of the SSX organisers inability to pay the artist subsidy this year. I also think that it will begin to stifle the type of work exhibited in the exhibition, artists will tend to create commercial work that will guarantee sales, rather than edgy works which experiment with new materials or works that make a political statement. 


The piece i created for this years exhibition experimented with the use of industrial waste. The piece I created used recycled plastic, not a traditional sculpting material. This experimentation in the work meant I couldn't guarantee the lifespan of a relatively expensive work to interested buyers. 

It is disappointing that artists who basically make the show at Cottesloe have been left to bare the entire expense for exhibiting in the show! 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sydney Town Inspiration

Over the past week I have been in Sydney with my partner Saj. It was a great week to break up the design work and to scope out art and design in Sydney. We met up with a group of mates in Surry Hills on Crown street for dinner while we were perusing the streets for a good place to eat I came across my mate Adam Cruickshanks Chrysalis Pendant lamp. I was pretty chuffed to see Adams lighting design piece progress from the small paper models from back in the uni days, to a really spectacular feature in this bar in Surry Hills. It is people like Adam who have stuck at there design work over a number of years to develop very marketable pieces , who provide a bit of inspiration for me to keeping pursuing this very challenging career path. 

We also went and checked out Carriage works in Redfern. Carriage works is a railway yard that has been converted into a contemporary Art-space for a range of different artists and art forms. On Saturday morning there are bussling food markets, filling the shed spaces with nice foodie aromas. In other railway sheds there are installation artists who have installed massive steel sculptures. At track 8 my sister works away doing some crazy hours at Murrugecko Stalker. A whole heap of art based offices have been created with precast cement panels. This is a quick way to stick up internal walls and fill the large ceiling space in the railway sheds. However, one downfall of the space is that the offices are bloody cold. It is like a house within a house, so no sunlight touches the office space. Maybe the offices should have been positioned on the North side of the the shed with an exposed wall to the sun.
Anyway, to get to the point, this was good food for thought. The space is very similar to the Midland Railway Yards, which is currently being developed my Midland Redevelopment Authority. It also showed an example of a fairly dero suburban location being converted into a really nice artistic space. This gives a bit of hope for Midland in Perth.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pacific Designs

Over the past month I have been undertaking some graphic design work for UNESCO. It is pretty amazing that through the technological wonders of the world like the Internet and Skype that you can complete international design jobs.

Basically I was given a brief to create a logo/ visual identity for the UNESCO Apia office which was more Pacific than the international UNESCO logo. Finally 127 emails later, 2 Skype calls and a few meetings in country and the final graphic solution has been developed into a A4 presentation folder, e- signatures and A4 letterheads. For the past few weeks I have been waking up anticipating a flood of emails from Akatsuki the Culture officer at UNESCO who is coordinating the project. She has the difficult job of trying to explain the different designs and to try and get her office over 50 + people to agree on an appropriate logo.

Anyway, I am glad to see the end to an interesting but challenging project. The logo needed to represent 18 Pacific Island Member Nations. It also needed to fit within UNESCO’s international graphic style guide. All of these aspects of the project as well as communicating via email has made for a challenging project.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Midland Junction Opening

The Midland Junction Building which has recently been converted into an art studio space is ready to be opened. You are all invited to attend the launch on the 30th of April 2010, Spring St Midland, WA. Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Skidstar

I think the collecting gene was bread into me. About 10 years ago when I was about 14 I was rummaging through the street chuck out in Como. I came across a Malvern Star Skidstar. It is a beautiful bike with a nice arced frame, and to top it off it has a cute little gear stick to change gears.
Anyway, the bike sat in numerous sheds and endured numerous moves from the trail of rentals we have lived in. Finally Nate Nisbet decided to take on the challenge of restoring the bike. What an awesome job he has done, turning a street chuck out item into a work of art. The bike is so nice that i am a bit scared to ride it.

(Just a word of advice if you live in Perth and you are up for the task of repairing an old bike, I wouldn't recommend you deal with Pal and Panther in North Perth. They have been the worst bike shop to deal with throughout the restoration process.)  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Midway Message from the Gyre

On the topic of Plastic on beaches. Here is a pretty tragic consequence of littering our beaches with plastic. Check out Chris Jordans Photographic and film exploration of the plight of Albatrosses on the North Pacific. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank You

I might list my name as the artist to Spinifex. But a large piece like this doesn't happen without the help of so many people. This is visual artists version of the Thankyou credits that scroll out at the end of the film.


John Pepper: The genius who pulled this piece together, with his welding and engineering skills.

Alan Morgan: For being a all round help. From digging holes to cutting up strips right through to continually reminding me that the project was still not complete, right up until the night before.

Nathan Nisbet: Thanks for Digging holes

Don: Another sterling hole digger

Saju Abraham: Cheers for spending many hours drafting the plans for the engineering of the piece. And thanks for turning up for a surprise visit from Samoa, it was great sharing the celebration of finally having Spinifex up on the beach.

Jason Goddard: Thanks for making me add so much more steel to the piece to make it structurally sound. But seriously cheers for signing off on the engineering certificate for the piece.

Gabe: Thanks for the many phone calls and brick strap pick ups around Perth

Karli: Thanks for the Strap pick ups.

Nathan Setzinger: Cheers for collecting the straps from Balcatta High Schools paving project.

Shirley Pepper: Thanks for letting me convert your house into a temporary Artist Studio and for all the meals you feed the frustrated artist.

Lisa Fay: Thanks for the honest feedback on Sculpture by the Sea Application. Your critical judgement probably helped me get in. 

Michelle Sullivan: Thanks for picking up straps even if we did have to do a midnight drop to get rid of them, because they were steel.

Michael Pepper: Cheers for letting me loan so many tools and trailers from around your place. 

Steven Morgan: Thanks for the copper pipe

Newy: The good old Bunnings employ who picked up all the Gem transparent green straps.

Wilma Van Boxtel: Thanks for the mentoring my design project. Sorry I went so off track on the Sculpture by the sea piece.

Fiona Pepper: Thanks for spending an arduous day cutting up strips, you felt the pain as blisters popped up all over your hands.

Zoe Pepper: Great Sangas on install day.

For anyone I have forgotten, Thankyou!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sea sculptors ask for more help

I totally endorse this article in todays West Australian Newspaper which calls for the Department of Culture and the arts to increase there funding to the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition (SSX). As the article outlines a lot of artists exhibiting in this event take a lot financial risk to be able to exhibit. SSX gurantees that all artist will recieve $1000 dollars if they don't make any sales during the exhibition. This money is largely provided through the provision of funding from the Western Australian Department of Culture and the Arts.
I am pretty frugal with my money so I went to many lengths to save money on the project to prevent myself going in to too much debt. This involved making absolutley everything from hand. My motto was that I have time to spare but not a lot of money to spare. Laser cutting was a very tempting option when it came to making 160 lantern shaped spacers, but at $800 dollars I flagged that idea. Instead I have an ingenious father who welded up a cutter to stamp out all of these plastic fittings.
When it came to finding plastic to make the pods. Instead of buying raw material I cruised new housing development sites to find find my treasured brick straps.
These are just a few of my frugal ways which I employed to avoid racking up too much debt.
However, envitablly when you work on a project of this scale you will run up a bit of a debt. I have a $3000 debt for all the new steel and fittings I purchased.
When it comes to labour well the piece took around 400 hours of my own time to create. I was pretty strict at keeping a log book, so that for future projects I have a guide to how long it will take. I also owe my dad for around 60 hours labour, for all the technical advice and welding expertise he brought to the project.
Anyway, I am not writing this blog to rant at how much time and money was spent on the project. But merely to outline that the government expenditure to SSX would basically be a token gesture to cover costs incurred by the artists. It would be great if they come through with the full amount of funding request by SSX.

Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea 2010

After a nerve racking one hour drive from Darlington to Cottesloe the sculpture made it safely to the beach. We just clipped a few gum trees up in the hills, but other than that everything was ok. When we made it down to the beach I had a stirling install team including Dad, Alan, Saj, Nate, Don and myself. After dragging the sculpture round the sand for a few hours while the curator got the position and angle correct it was time dig the 1.5 m footing in 36 degree heat. After about half an hour of digging and numerous wall caving in events we decided to opt for the easier option and get the skilled digger driver to work his magic. So all in all it was about a 5 hour installation, which was pretty much smooth sailing.

Now it is time to just chill out a bit and marvel at the work while relaxing at the beach!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Perth Festival 2010

The Perth Festival for 2010 has commenced again. Perthites are treated to lots of inspiring international acts over the course of 4 weeks.
On Friday I attended the Noel Lane Key Note Address. Noel Lane and his family have established The Gibb's Farm, which is a farming property in New Zealand which has been transformed into a spectacular Sculpture park. There are over twenty works at the farm, many of the works are created by world renowned sculptors such as Richard Serra and Andy Goldsworthy.
After listening to this talk my 3.6 m square work paled into insignificance. The scale of the works at this farm are immense. The works range from about 27 m to 40 m sized pieces. The time frame of the work generally stretched for about 5 years from the initial consultation to the final installation. These time frames were humbling, here I was pretty proud of the 6 months I have poured into the sculpture i have just made.
Anyway, if anything this talk gave me some insight into the life of sculpting in the future. There are things to look ahead to like private commissions for sight specific works, five year work time frames and even larger scales to create work at.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cow Parade 2010

This is another project that I have been helping out on in my Job as a Art Tech.  Julia a Year 10 student at Iona came up
with the design for Doodles the Cow. Julia spent about a month drawing the design on to the cow. Then Lisa ( Julias Art Teacher)  and a whole bunch of mates ( including myself) spent many nights painting the intricate details into this cow. The Cow will be shown in the 2010 Margaret River Cowparade.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank Christ it is up!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Artist in Residence at Nan's place

Well I have come to the point where I have out grown my studio and I have taken up an artist in residence at my Nanna's place in Darlington. This is the life! Nan reads my frustration at the laborious task of threading pods together and pumping out plastic joiners, she comes out with a cold ginger beer and ice-cream. 

What a Nan, putting up with her garage being turned into the welding shed. The Back room is the pod threading station. The verandah has become the temporary photography studio. It must take a fair bit of tolerance to have an granddaughter come and be your artist in residence. Nevertheless the support keeps flowing, at 9 pm last night just as nan popped off to bed she came out with a plate of sweets to keep my sugar levels up.

Anyway, as you can see sleeping and breathing this project has enabled me to make a bit of progress. The frame has been welded up, at a very overwhelming scale. The miniature version for the Sculpture inside exhibition is now complete. It turned out to be not so miniature seeing as though i couldn't fit it into any car. 

Hopefully with another week at Nan's the final piece will be near to complete. Dad has decided to mission up to Perth to help put an end to this task. He is the one of the most relaxed blokes I know and he is loosing sleep over the Spinifex screen. 

Midland Atelier

Midland Atelier
The Water Tower Studio.

The Water Tower View

The Floor Mat

The Floor Mat
This is an organic looking floor mat I am creating. It was inspired by mold crawling up the wall