Friday, April 5, 2013

a promising development on my 2013 ghost sign project Keepers of Ghosts

I and project colleague Dr Lisa Cianci are in the process of getting a State Library-supported, VU-funded project underway that uses elements of the Lewis & Skinner archive ( relating to the inner west of Melbourne - Footscray, Seddon, Yarraville, Spotswood etc. 

The project is called Keepers of Ghosts, and it will involve contacting people living or working in the locations represented in the Lewis and Skinner signwriting documents. The plan is to create postcards and deliver them to the same locations as those represented in the (mainly 1950s) L&S job sheets, inviting residents to come along to a local exhibition of L&S visual material as well as to contribute anything they know about the building and the neighbourhood they inhabit.

Anyway, this afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting up with Tony Mead who runs the Industrial Art Sign Company, fittingly located in Spotswood: Tony’s a signwriter with 30 years’ experience and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the signwriting craft and its history.

Together we cooked up a scheme for Tony to do some signwriting 'performance art' as part of the Keepers of Ghosts project, and in tandem with the exhibition. Tony will paint a large Lewis and Skinner logo (which actually has a signwriter incorporated into it: see the top of on a public wall somewhere in the neighbourhood, perhaps for some hours a day spread over a week. Tony also has a collection of signwriter tools from over the years (boxes, paints, brushes, manuals etc) that he'll put on display along with the Lewis and Skinner visual material.

This will help to bring the project alive and draw people in, as did a Stella Artois project in New York that involved hand-painting a series of changing large Stella signs in the inner city:

We just need to find a venue in the inner west, and an owner who will let us paint on their wall. Any ideas are most welcome!

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