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Culture

The Inspiration Conversation

Settling into our new neighbourhood of Melbourne, we're thrilled to find ourselves surrounded by a plethora of talented and inspirational artisans. Creative Director, Liam Bowden, always looking for the art in the unexpected, proposed a collaboration between Deadly Ponies and three exciting local Melbourne businesses.

Challenged to build a sculptural interpretation of a Deadly Ponies piece, our co-lab partners have charmed us with their artistic creations.

Deadly Ponies proudly present Georgie Boy’s floral tote, nature’s bounty-turned-bag inspired by Mr Robin.

Miss Ladybird Cakes have concocted sweet confection purses inspired by Mr Sling Mini and Mr Caiman Mini, and Wild Life Bakery bring new meaning to the words ‘bread bag’, inspired by Mr Cub Chain Mega.

“I wanted to ensure that we celebrated what each business does in an art form, using Deadly Ponies’ pieces as inspiration but letting our collaborators utilise their expertise; exploring a concept and delivering sculptural works.”

- Liam Bowden, Deadly Ponies Creative Director.

Bowden selected local photographer, Lilli Waters, to capture the creations - equally as crafted and considered as the bag sculptures themselves. As artworks, it was imagined that they could sit comfortably in a home or museum; fitting with the concept of Deadly Ponies’ retail spaces as a ‘home away from home’.

Georgie Boy's piece is on show as a printed work in Deadly Ponies’ Myer concept space, with the three creations available to collect as a set of postcards at Deadly Ponies’ Melbourne stores, and at each local business premises.

We asked each of our artists for some insight into their creative process for this work.

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Wild Life Bakery

What was your creative process for this work?

Our creative process was largely about trying to find the intersection between the shapes of our typical sourdough, and those of the different handbags.

We always wanted to make edible, sourdough products that looked like bags, rather than treat the dough more like modeling clay. This made it a bit more challenging, as we had to work within the limits of baking bread, including making shapes that could support themselves properly, and rise like a normal loaf. We looked at different techniques like egg-washing, scoring the dough with blades, and scattering seeds on the dough, in much the same way we’d do with our bread here, to try to mimic (or at least evoke) different surfaces and textures of leather. Bread expands quite a lot between shaping and the final bake, so there was lots of testing to see how we could create a final shape that still hewed closely to the bag designs.

 

Why is it important to ‘support local’ at times like these?

Supporting local is an admirable idea that I worry has become a little bit one-sided. Businesses have, understandably, been very outspoken about their need for support from the local community, but there hasn’t been enough focus on the flip-side. Wild Life, like many businesses selling “essential” products, was quite successful during the pandemic, and we had heaps of wonderful support from our community. However, I knew it was more important that we used this time to look a bit more outward, and think about how we can support the people who make up our local area. I hope more businesses realise the privilege it is to play a part in people’s lives, and to do as much as possible to give back.

What do you love most about living in Melbourne?

I find this a bit hard to answer, because I’ve never really lived anywhere else! I think that, cost of housing aside (and that’s a huge aside), living in Melbourne is relatively simple. People love to make over the top claims about it being the food or sport or music capital, and I tend to roll my eyes a bit, but it’s at least quite good for most of that!

 

Wild Life Bakery is a Brunswick based bakery and cafe that loves sourdough, seasonal produce and community. A predominantly vegetarian menu focuses on simple, quality dishes, combined with an extensive range of cakes and pastries that are all baked in-house daily.

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Miss Ladybird Cakes

What was your creative process for this work?

Well I did love making coconut ice as a child! So that was easy, but i love having some good music on , a full cup of coffee and get carving/ moulding and icing!

Why is it important to ‘support local’ at times like these?

We have all had a rough couple of years and those small purchases, instagram shares all just get our names out there and keep that business momentum rolling.

What do you love most about living in Melbourne?

The food and wine!

 

Miss Ladybird Cakes specialises in beautiful cakes for events - be them big or small. Running for 8 years now, the team source local produce and bake everything on site from scratch, taking pride in a product that interprets the love they have for the industry; and one owner Gina has spent her life immersed in. The cakery, affectionately known as The Little Shop is located in Elsternwick.

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Georgie Boy

What was your creative process for this work?

I was really drawn to colours in some of your collections. Specifically the colour in the mini python, brown to blue palette and anything and everything in that absolutely perfect shade of green suede. The collaboration lined up perfectly with the time of year which offered up green gumnuts and tall, blue ixia flowers which are the most striking natural shade of pale blue. I began to work with the two elements until I achieved something that I felt was a reflection of Georgie Boy and Deadly Ponies. Manipulating the ixia whilst honouring the flower's natural state, until it resembled a bag.

Why is it important to ‘support local’ at times like these?

Supporting local businesses comes down to three fundamental factors for me. Lowering our carbon footprint, stimulating our local economy particularly after such a devastating couple of years and tapping into the plethora of incredible things that our community has to offer. In my work, I'm much more focused on using seasonal products whenever possible rather than local. Buying out of season means that the conditions need to be manipulated to produce that flower which is extremely unsustainable. It doesn't really matter if it's being produced locally when a huge amount of natural resources are being used to make that happen.

 

What do you love most about living in Melbourne?

So many things... the food, the culture, the art, the accessibility to nature. Definitely top of the list is the people. It feels quite obvious to say it but there really is something to the creative community in this city. I'm constantly blown away by the sense of connection and support I feel.

 

Georgie Boy is a floral studio founded in 2015 and led by Gina Lasker focusing on events and large scale installations. The work that Georgie Boy produces brings to the surface an unwavering love of the natural world with empathy and delight. The studio is based in Northcote, working across Victoria and at times, NSW.