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Art & About – Air Raid Arcade

Artist Anna Reynolds has a long history in the Top End – from working on fishing boats to studying art, it’s also where she first met fellow artist and soon to be retailer Shilo McNamee.

Reynolds is on the home stretch of a master’s degree, and will exhibit the work she’s created at McNamee’s new shopfront in the Air Raid Arcade, next to where she produces boutique/bespoke outfits from her fabric designs.

After the exhibition, McNamee and her sister Roxanne Voulanas will set up a vinyl record and art supply shop in what is becoming an artist take-over of the arcade.

Off The Leash had a yarn with Reynolds and McNamee about what’s next.

Anna, you’ve been doing your masters over the last six years, looking at digital culture – tell us a bit more. 
The exhibition and masters started with six themes about digital culture, how it’s changed, and the imaginary digital frontier – we are the dinosaurs and this new future is going to happen. I was looking at how environmentally dirty the digital culture is, about how destructive it is.

Since you started, you’ve opened  a store, Cloth, originally in Queenscliff and now in Darwin. How did that develop out of your master’s research? 
When I started my masters I was making pictures on the walls and I was collaging. Nowadays instead of printing a photo on a computer and cutting it out I’ve started using Photoshop and then managing colour – and it was like, bing!, I can print on anything! I can print on fabric and make wearable art.

What changed when you went from making canvas works to wearable art? 
It wasn’t until I started making clothes that people got political. Everyone wanted to know who was sewing my clothes, where they were getting made and who was getting paid – no one cares about the digital world – they wanted to talk about textiles. 

Shilo, tell us about your plans for the new space once Anna’s show is over. 
We’re going to be selling vinyl records – new and second hand – and also art supplies, plus run workshops.

So it’s a bit of an intersection of art and music? 
Yes. Some of these albums have really important artists and illustrators working on the covers or designing their sets. That’s how I got into art – by being exposed to it through music, so this shop is where we’ll bring it together.

Plans for world domination: art to textile | Sat 1 – Fri 14 Dec | Opening Sat 1 Dec, 5pm | Radio Gnome Records | See the event listing

Radio Gnome Records: where art and music meet | Mon – Fri, 7.30am-5pm | Sat, 7.30am-3pm | Air Raid Arcade, 35 Cavanagh Street, Darwin | 0413 011 157

Top right: Anna Reynolds

Bottom right: Shilo McNamee and Roxanne Voulanas

Thumbnail and header image: Anna Reynolds, ‘World Travel’ (detail), 2018, digital migration and multi generation on linen, cotton, silk, modal and bamboo

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