The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review – Raw: Ensemble — October 1, 2012

Event Review – Raw: Ensemble

What: RAW Brisbane: Ensemble
Where: Oh Hello!
When: 26 September 2012
Reviewed by: Steph Dooris and Andrew Watt, Brisbane Ambassadors

Somewhere between the visual art, samba dance routine and fashion shows, Steph and I looked at each other and realised: what a crazy amount of diverse talent exists in the Brisbane arts scene.

RAW Artists is an independent arts organisation originally from the United States, but last month saw their first international showcase at Oh Hello in Fortitude Valley. With RAW’s fourth showcase in Brisbane, dubbed “Ensemble” the organisation is fast solidifying itself as the hub of Brisbane’s art community.

After both attending the launch of RAW last month, Steph and I were eager to get along to the second Brisbane showcase and check out the fresh batch of artist’s work on show. Yet again we were dazzled with a slew of visual art, photography, music, fashion, dance, hair and makeup that our city’s art scene is bursting at the seams with talent.

This time around we wanted to connect with more of the attendees, and hopefully suss out some juicy information from them. As we floated through Oh Hello! mingling with the crowd, drinks in our hand, we got chatting to some interesting personalities and decided to share their opinions with you.

Nicki and Linda (exhibitor)

Thoughts so far: I’m loving tonight so far! I can’t wait for the showcases to begin. We’re very excited.
Excited about: The work by the other designers on the runway. I can really relate to how excited they will be. So far tonight has been a lot of fun.

I’ve met a lot of fun people and there were lots of fun behind the scenes. Hair and make up was really great. But we’re really just excited for the show to start.

Brad, Sonya, Emma

First time? Yes
Discovered RAW through: Zanee, my sister, is one of the design exhibitors here. She’s awesome.
Excited about: I’m quite excited to see the bands. I’ve been told that they’re quite good.
Three words for tonight: Raw, energetic, Zanee


Discovered RAW through: My friend, Megan Lumley, has art in tonight’s exhibit and she was like ‘Come along!’ So I thought OK because I haven’t seen her art before. But it’s really amazing and I’m really excited.

Everyone’s art tonight is really cool. I’m enjoying it a lot.
Inspired by: Damien Hirst. I love the skull he did that’s covered in diamonds! I really like him and he has really controversial artwork that I think are interesting.

Alex Gee (exhibitor)

Excited about: I really enjoy the photography, actually. I think I’m just attracted to photography in general and to see good work coming out of Brisbane is always exciting.
Inspired by: The studio that I work with inspires me every day. I work for Breeder, which is a part of another company called Josephmark. We’re doing really exciting things for a lot of really exciting clients, Myspace being one of them.
Points for: All of it. It all rocks.


Discovered RAW through: I was here to visit Kahlia Litzow, one of the artists. I’m really glad I came because I’ve been introduced to so many other amazing people as well. It’s been great.
Inspired by: It’s sort of hard to say because I’m not really involved in the arty scene. But I have been looking at a lot of burlesque stuff so I guess that’s been inspiring me.
Points for: It’s nice to have a bar where you get spirits, you can’t really do that at other art exhibitions so that’s definitely a plus.

Jose and Jacob

Thoughts so far: Jose: The art is really nice. I really like it. And all the artists are really friendly as well, so its great. Jacob: I’ve really liked the art tonight. It’s very good. Really diverse, as well.
Excited by: Jose: I like Fleur‘s work. She’s my friend’s sister. It reminds me a lot of Agnes Cecile, which is good.

Jacob: My favourite would probably have to be the landscape photography.

Three words for tonight: Jose Indie, fashion, art. Jacob: Lively, inspired, art.


Thoughts so far: I think the fashion show is definitely the most exciting part of the night. I also love all the artwork as well. I think it’s really good to get young artists out there.
Inspired by: Everything in Brisbane. Everything and anything that looks good to my eyes, which in Brisbane there is a lot.
Three words for tonight: Really fucking awesome.

Andrew and Steph attended the Ensemble showcase courtesy of RAW Brisbane. The next RAW event is on the 24 of October at Oh Hello!

Interview: Brisbane local, Claire Louise Leonard — September 16, 2012

Interview: Brisbane local, Claire Louise Leonard

Four buses had driven past without stopping. I was running late. When I finally arrived at the West End cafe I was 10 minutes behind schedule. As I walked in the door my phone buzzed and I discovered that I wasn’t the only one having a bad afternoon. Phew. Claire and I ended up arriving at the same time. Things only got better from that point as I ordered a cup of tea and got to know the delightful, open book that is Claire Louise Leonard.

Name: Claire Louise Leonard
Website: or
Instagram: @ClaireLouiseLeonard

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
I am a makeup artist, stylist and a beauty therapist. I’ve been doing makeup for about seven years now. I took a break from freelance to start Black Dove, a gym, spa and clinic in West End, my first business. Now that the business is fending for itself I’m getting back into doing some freelance again and I’m loving it.

How did you get involved with RAW Brisbane?
I was approached by RAW to do this showcase and I was super chuffed. I’d never heard of RAW before. I think it’s amazing and I think it’s awesome that its happening in Brisbane. I’ve done some different runway things before, makeup for photoshoots and competitions and I really enjoy doing the more creative side of makeup. It gives me an opportunity to really think outside the square.

Do you get to collaborate much in your work?
I’m surrounded by an amazing group of creative friends – hairdressers, photographers, stylists. I’m really lucky. I think because I’ve been passionate about this for years, it’s more something that people know I’m involved in. We then have a talking point to start with and  then we go on to form a friendship.

What’s been one of your favourite projects?
My last project was really fun. I did a collaborative project with my partner, a photographer, my best mate, a hairdresser friend and a whole bunch of my really good-looking friends. I wanted to have a rough idea of what I wanted to do for RAW, so I pulled some people together for a practice run.

I’m astounded at how easy it was and it was so much fun. There was nothing riding on it, it was just experimenting. I haven’t had that opportunity for a long time. When you are working in the industry you are working towards something. When you are working on a job you are working on a brief and working to a budget. This project was mine and I could do what I wanted. Just tweaking ideas and changing things allows me to learn.

Where do you look when you are looking for new ideas?
I’m obsessed with Instagram and I love Pinterest. I’m a very visual person. I also like We Heart It, when it’s not being teenage-angsty. Getting lost in blog land is amazing. I really love The Sartorialist and I love Fashion Toast and the way that she writes. I think that inspires me more than her photos do!

SIde Project Interview with Nadine Schmoll — August 29, 2012

SIde Project Interview with Nadine Schmoll

I really need to work on my public meeting skills. The plan was to meet under the Wheel of Brisbane. Little did I realise just how many people there are gathered there on any given lunch hour. Thankfully, Nadine has a stronger sensibility that I and picked me out in an instant and we sat down in the lovely South Bank parklands to chat about her work and upcoming exhibition with RAW Brisbane.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art practice?
My name is Nadine and I run a label called Spiritfire Designs. I make wearable art, like jewellery, handbags and also homewares, all using salvaged and up-cycled materials. I’m really, really passionate about reusing materials, so I spend a lot of time going to opshops, garage sales and markets to find all of my materials and then I try and turn them into something new and different.

Is it a side project for you or is it a full time gig?
I’m the workshop coordinator at Reverse Garbage, so Spiritfire is a side project for me. I do that in my free time, when I’ve got a day off or on the weekend.

It is a great fit though, I buy a lot of materials from Reverse Garbage and get a lot of inspiration from being surrounded by other creative, likeminded people. I’m really lucky that I have that as my other job. I get to go out to schools and teach kids how to make robots and spaceships and wearable art out of reused salvaged materials.

So at what point does that side project turn into the main gig for you?
I think I’m really happy with the way things are at the moment. I want to keep doing what I’m doing, so long as I enjoy it and I still love it, I think that is the main thing for me. Because a lot of the work that I do is one of a kind, it takes a lot of time to make as well. I think if I was doing it full time I would be tearing my hair out!

What are your favourite haunts for finding pieces to put together your creations?
I love going to the Chandler Markets. Not many people have heard about it, but it runs every Sunday. I bought some really great antique pocket watches and vintage buttons. They have some great stuff . I also head to Reverse Garage and do the rounds of all the op shops in Brisbane.

How do you find inspiration for how to put it all together, do you have a story that runs through the pieces?
Sometime I have a story, but really I get inspiration from the materials themselves. For example, I made a necklace from Dungeons and Dragons coins that my boyfriend used to have when he was into that kind of stuff. It does have a story and a history and I think for me the real challenge is trying to transform perceptions of what people see as garbage waste. All these things are things that people would usually throw away, because they don’t want them anymore and it’s trying to show that these things can still be beautiful. They can still take on a new life.

With the whole creative process I like it to be really organic and spontaneous. I might have a bit of an idea about a colour scheme and I’ll take a few bits and pieces from here and there and assemble it, see what it looks like. Sometimes I have to sleep on it if I’m not sure, but largely it’s intuitive decision making.

How did you get involved in RAW Brisbane?
One of my friends was part of the first showcase in Brisbane June. I went along and thought ‘Wow, this is so awesome. I really, really want to be involved‘ and that’s basically how it started.

What can people expect when they go to RAW?
People can expect a whole array of different creative people all showcasing what they do. Not just fashion and jewellery, it’s short films, live music, photography and visual art. That’s what so amazing about RAW, you’ve got all these creative people coming together under the one roof sharing their ideas, sharing their knowledge.

Do you think that kind of collaboration is important for a creative city?
I think that a lot of people look at Sydney and Melbourne and think they are a lot further ahead than we are, that Brisbane is a bit of a cultural backwater. But I think the handmade community and creative community here in Brisbane is strong and there are more creative opportunities for artists. We are so much stronger when we can join together and share ideas and opportunities together.

What are your picks of the Brisbane calendar over the next couple of months?
One that I can think of is the next Reverse Garbage exhibition in mid September at Woolloongabba. Brisbane Festival has heaps of stuff on, including the theatre performance Soap with circus performance in bath tubs.

Where can people find you and your designs?
In terms of selling I go to the Young Designers Markets on the first Sunday of the month, through my website, the GoMA store and online at Etsy. You can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: