Telltale was held at the Arts Project Australia (APA) in Northcote, and the exhibit was a part of the 2016 Next Wave Festival. Telltale served as a quirky and masterfully executed exploration of narrative and imagination.
Put together by Justin Hinder and Anna Louise Richardson, their decision to work together as part of the new curatorial program at the Next Wave Festival opened up an opportunity for them to work with several other artists, some of which were already involved with APA.
Telltale is gothic, Dickensian, and flamboyantly comical.
Hinder penned a story about a fictional bunch of eccentric and whimsical characters living in a fictional hotel The Telltale. It was based on an intensive session with all the collaborative artists. Later the artists broke off in pairs and worked in the studio space at APA three times a week. They produced work in their chosen mediums reflecting and representing thematic devices of the story.
The result is an eclectic collection of works ranging from ceramics, painting, mixed media and sculpture, and stop motion. All works are playful and subtly provocative. Georgina Cue, who works with craft and fabric installations, claimed it was a good opportunity for her to experiment with another medium and develop work with Paul Hodges, who works in pottery. They based their work on talisman themed objects such as the Cigar Case, Whisky Glass, Rolex and the more haunting references to the text such as the Sweet Treat and the Wedding Cake referring to the ghost of Veronica, the jilted bride, who haunts the Telltale Hotel.
The stop motion created by a dynamic duo, Kate Just and Kate Knight, utilised the entire Telltale team to improvise and interpret movement and costume in stop motion. It included Op-shop excursions and prop decisions with ad-lib modelesque performances from all artists. This provides the audience with a sense of fun, and a cheeky insightful look into this offbeat tale.
Meagan Sloan and Katherine Hattam used paint and mixed media to produce a series of works on paper and board, with focus on architectural perspectives. Their work encompassed the idea that the interior and exterior façade reflected the recurring theme of the ghostly jilted lover and the eccentric opulence of the Telltale Hotel.
Richard Lewer and Eden Menta strayed from the generic thematic of the Telltale and focused on the studio ambience, sounds, and character portraiture of the work environment. Play acting the character leads Mr. and Mrs. Telltale helped them to draw inspiration and focus on portrait study via layered paint brush strokes to signify difference and character.
ChillPhilly and Mark Smith focus on a singular event of Telltale; Mrs. Scott and Pookie go on an outing. A mixed media/sculptural piece with a stunning paper sculpture of Mrs. Scott, Pookie the knitted cat, and the kooky immediate space. It is sure to amuse and fascinate.
Telltale is a refreshing interpretive examination of collaborative work. If you like an imaginative challenge, then head on down to APA. Immerse yourselves in the myth, feel the adventurous vibes, and let the artists take you away on an imaginative holiday to the Telltale Hotel.
The Telltale story is also available for your perusal on the website or grab a copy at APA and read it while viewing the works.