Message in a Bottle Exhibition

Featuring artists Alina TANG + Bodie HARTLEY | Leonie BRIALEY + Layla | Jessica MCLEOD + Edward J. GRUG III | Elizabeth MARRUFFO + Campbell WHYTE + Tale Town Residents

Curated by Elizabeth Marruffo
…In our creative lives we set ourselves adrift with the pure hope that our message will be found on some distant shore. If we’re lucky, that message is found by just the right kindred soul. Message in a Bottle is the third exhibition as part of the annual Perth Comic Arts Festival (PCAF), showcasing four collaborating artist duos from Perth, who were lucky enough to find their kindred soul. Their works explore comics narratives, small sculptural vessels, and poetry. This exhibition features the strong but delicate connections that bond and bind us together.
Opening: 2 July 6pm
Exhibition dates: 3 – 22 Jul 2021
Artist Talks and Creative Collaborations: 11 Jul 2021 10am – 12pm
Gallery opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm
Building 3, 2 Bradford St, Mount Lawley

Jessica McLeod works in a number of art forms and media including ceramics, textiles, illustration and comics. Her work is informed by many influences including prehistoric sculpture, twentieth century children’s books and Japanese character design. She is particularly interested in pareidolia, surface decoration and linework. She has made many comics (together with and separately from her partner Edward J. Grug III) but currently enjoys the process and sensory experience of working with clay, and the tactile nature of ceramics. Her comics background is reflected in her ceramic work. For her, “making things out of clay is as much a mental health process as an art practice.” Jessica lives and works on Whadjuk Noongar land.

Edward J. Grug III has been reading and making comics for most of his life, publishing dozens of mini-comics and appearing in several anthologies. His art and writing are influenced by Jim Henson, James Kochalka, Joann Sfar and classic newspaper comics. He lives in Perth on Whadjuk Noongar land with his wife Jessica McLeod and his comics-obsessed son.

Alina Tang works across ceramics, printmaking and illustration, she runs Pansy, a shop & studio space based in Amsterdam celebrating colourful, handmade objects made in the studio and also by other artists and makers.

Bodie Hartley is originally from Perth and currently residing in Amsterdam, Bodie mostly creates illustrated content for people to use in their role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, as well as creating a variety of small fantasy books and artworks.

Leonie Brialey is a cartoonist and writer who sometimes also works with clay and screen printing. Psychic Hotline is her most recent comics work, published by Glom Press in 2018, it’s about a ghost calling a psychic hotline, also a woman and her dog.

Layla is a 6 year old stumpy tail cattle dog from Walwa, New South Wales (Dhudhuroa Country). Not much is known about the first 5 years of her life or how she wound up at the pound. She was described as having a “huge heart” and this has proven to be true.

Elizabeth Marruffo currently lives and works in Perth, Western Australia. She is also the director of Milktooth Arts Space, where she develops and runs children art classes and adults art workshops. She is a sessional lecturer in painting at Edith Cowan University, has been a finalist in numerous national painting awards including The Portia Geach Memorial Prize and is represented in various collections.
In her work with children’s community groups she uses poetic and gentle techniques in ways that encourage a child’s ability to develop their own creativity and sense of self.

Campbell Whyte was born in Perth and has lived here for most of his life. He has a deep love of comics and believes that they are a profound and accessible storytelling medium. His own comics works include the award-winning graphic novel series Home Time, that is a children’s fantasy story set in Perth. Shaun Tan describes it as “Beautifully realised, funny, smart, weird and surprisingly epic in scope, Home Time is also just plain brilliant.”

He is a Co-Founder of the Milktooth: Children’s School of Art and Stories along with his wife Elizabeth Marruffo, where he teaches comics-making. He is also a Co-Founder of the Perth Comic Arts Festival.

The TALE TOWN Community are a group of Inglewood residents who took part in the recent TALE TOWN arts project that just finished at the Inglewood Library. Over 5 weeks, people collaborated in retelling personal stories from the area through sculpture and comics.