Gnosis

Gnosis was a group exhibition featuring work by Mary MacGregor-Reid, Math Kabryn, Melanie Tahata (that’s me!), Joel Bradley, Jared Holland, Abby Helasdottir and Steven Johnson Leyba.
It was held at at Nature: Art + Design, Newton, Auckland, from 18 October to 16 November, 2013.

Gnosis basically means to develop your own mode of deep critical thinking, maybe investing time in some esoteric or occult theories. Anyway, I was invited to be a part of this exhibition, by old friend and fellow Art School Girl of Doom, Mary MacGregor-Reid. I produced 3 large posters for the exhibition. They were all done in the style of the star skulls that I posted about here.  This post is packed with photos, so I’ll stop blithering and get on with it.

The Art

Pics of the prints at home,  hanging in the gallery in Auckland and a glimpse of my artists’ statement. A post about the Goat skull design is here.

The Venue

This is where the Nature gallery was, on St. Benedict’s Street in Newtown. Beautiful Auckland, days like that made me miss you.

The Opening

This is obviously the fun bit. Hanging out with friends, old and new, was really awesome.  Thank you to everyone who came along, Mary for being awesome and Jared at Nature for currating the show.

Poster Ghouls

Poster Ghouls – chicks who are skulls with hair wot have flames and hearts and were built (for speed) to go on rock n’ roll posters.
I always thought my Deathpunk Ghoul looked a little lonely, so I drew some friends for her.

The first one is Tweeti Pai – a Maori transliteration of Sweetie Pie. She’s purple, she’s in love with the world and she’s not just wearing her heart on her sleeve. They’re in her hair, her eyes, or floating beside her.  She was a lot of fun to draw, after a caffeine fuelled weekend, I believe. I tried not to go toooo overboard on the skull detailing, because I thought she might look like she had stubble! (Sorry DPG, you’re still beautiful in my eyes). If you like the look of her shirt, you can buy one here.

Her friend is the Flame Ghoul. Yes, I did listen to Firewoman by The Cult rather a lot while I drew this. And the colours were definitely inspired by Flame Princess in Adventure Time. What would Flame Princess look like if she was a skull ghoul who listened to The Cult? Look no further. I gave her a Maori name too – Hana for Flame. You can find her here.

First Ever Australasian Welt Turbojugend Day

This one is all about a poster I made for the Turbojugend.

So, there’s this kick ass punk rock band called Turbonegro.  They are from Norway.  They have a massive fan club, called the Turbojugend.  There are many different ‘chapters’ of Turbojugend around the world.

Here, in New Zealand, there are 3 official Turbojugend. There’s Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666, Turbojugend RocknRoll Vagabonds, and Turbojugend Taranaki.  If you haven’t already twigged by now, I am the President, Glorious Leader, Pacific Princess and Senior Arthole of TJ Aotearoa U-666. We’ve been doing this for the last 10 years, but the band have been going for a lot longer.

In Hamburg, once a year, there is an intergalactic meetup of various Turbojugend from around the globe. It is called the Weltturbojugendtage (WTJT or World Turbojugend Day) and it is apparently a grand spectacle, involving a hell of a lot of denim and even some mini-golf.  If they’re lucky, Turbonegro will play a show, like they did at this year’s one. And the worldwide Turbojugend members party on, like Wayne. Excellent!  After this year’s WTJT, many thought it would be the last one before Doomsday.

But it wasn’t.

Thanks to Turbonegro announcing an Australian tour earlier this year, El Commandante (aka Janne, of TJ Munster, Aotearoa U-666 and Melbourne, AmbASSador extraordinaire to the Pacific Rim) started co-ordinating the First Ever Australasian WeltTurboJugendDay.   This means us gutter snipes down here in the basement finally get a chance to see The Band we’ve all been yahooing along to. Finally! Just like the CeCe Peniston song!

Designing the poster

And Janne asked me to do a poster, for the Turbojugend meetup.  He told me to put anything I liked on it.  And mentioned something about gay sailors. Then I watched the end of the Olympics ceremony with George Michael (yes, I squealed) and it was all over.

I based the design for the poster on the insignia for the Royal Navy (of which Australia and New Zealand are a part).  I changed the crown to the Turbonegro/Turbojugend peak cap, and added plenty of swelling hibiscus in the background. Down the front are some dancing sailors – Andrew, Wayne and Craig, the Sisters of Denim! In the middle, Andrew is in denim ecstasy as he holds a bunch of flowers (poppies – obvious ANZAC reference there!) and is covered in tattoos that relate to just about everything Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666 have achieved, or humped their way through in the last 10 years to get to this point.

And in front of the sailors is a tiger snake. It was either that or some large anchors, but I thought some rudely suggestive phallic imagery was called for. Show us yer tiger snake, ASStralia!

Only 3 A1 posters were made, one is in Janne’s hands, one was stolen from Cherry Bar in AC/DC Lane in Melbourne and the other is still hanging in Reverence. I will not be making prints of this poster.

BUT!

If you would like to get your hands on this, then the best way is to buy a t-shirt from my Print Might store. I am immensely pleased with how the prints have turned out.

Before I left for Australia, I got some pre-orders made and gave each member of Turbonegro a t-shirt each after the Sydney show on Thursday 6th of December, 2012.  Thank you for the music!

And yes, they were AWESOME live. Everything I could have hoped for, and a whole lot more on top of that.

You can buy the shirt from here:

http://aotearoa666.printmighty.co.nz/products/first-ever-australasian-wtjt

 

And here are the photos! I put in some cell phone snaps of my trip over to Aussie as well.

 

Electric Frankenstein

This is my latest poster commission. It’s quite different to anything I’ve done before.  I seem to always get carried away with the details, and as you can see, this poster is no exception.

Do you want the long story? OK then.

At the end of last year, Sal Canzonieri asked me to create a poster for his band, Electric Frankenstein.  They are an awesome punk rocknroll band from New Jersey, USA.  Electric Frankenstein created their own art book, which featured the best rocknroll poster artists.  Sal asked if I would like to be included in the next one. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.  Once I’d picked myself up again (jumping was never my natural talent), I started out.

The brief was for a Psychedelic Zombie BBQ fest that they had played at.  There were zombie go-go girls with hula hoops, I was asked to add a Frankenstein girl barbequing, and to tie it all together with the band, a rocknroll Frankenstein.

So I came up with a rocknroll Frankenstein at the bottom, while a Frankenstein girl and her zombie mate watch over the BBQ. Which happens to be going on inside Frank’s head.  The Frankenstein girl is carefully lifting out his (electric) brains, while the blue zombie girl looks on and salivates.  Because zombies love brains!

Meanwhile, Frankie isn’t bothered by what’s going on. That’s how tough he is. I bet you he doesn’t care what type of smarties he eats first either.  And besides, he’s got hula hooping zombie girls popping out of his head. Who doesn’t have hula hooping zombie girls on their mind?

This poster took quite a while to complete.  I had no time constraints and was able to work on it until I was totally satisfied with what I had done.  If you can’t tell by now, I really enjoyed working on it.

 

The book was released in March 2014 and it’s called “It’s Only Rock n Roll but I like it”. La la la like it. Mate.

A brief description
“This volume is another brain-frying collection nearly as big as a Marshall stack showing an up-to-the-minute cross-section of today’s booming rock poster scene, showcasing hundreds of works by top poster artists from every dive, hellhole, dungeon, and landfill from sea to shining sea, creating a deafening visual tribute to just about every goddamn cool band you can imagine! Get kicked in the eyeballs and give your sensibilities the beating they so richly deserve! Grab this amazingly cool collection of the wildest Rock Art you have ever seen!”

I’ve got a 2 page spread and you can find me in the index under my real name, Melanie Tahata.

Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-Only-Rock-Roll-Like/dp/1482391538/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362344137&sr=1-3

Mauri Ora!

Deathpunkfest 2011

Been a bit quiet haven’t I? Well after the Peter Steele posters, I dived straight into Deathpunkfest 2011. That’s our annual gig for the Turbojugend Aotearoa U-666. We’re a bunch of denim-clad demons who like to get together, watch some fucking choice bands and have a laugh. Or several. This year was the 5th Deathpunkfest, and the Turbojugend has been plowing along since 2003.  Honestly, you couldn’t find a better bunch of people to rocknroll with. The gig was held in Napier earlier this month, you can read about the gig here.

And this is the poster I made this year.  It features a Poster Ghoul, inspired by the wonderful ladies in our Turbojugend. And skulls, of course.  And Pania of the Reef.  My way of acknowledging my Kahungungu links! This design was done entirely using Adobe Illustrator, based on reference photos I took myself. Totally DIY, mate! Punk fucking rock!

The skull flower in her hair is based on an actual hair clip I made, although I changed the colours in the poster to make it ‘pop’ more. If you ever bothered to look closer, you’ll see some fishy shapes and seaweed swimming around her. At that moment in time, the drunken captain on the MV Rena had smashed into the Astrolabe reef, off the coast of Tauranga. Tauranga Moana (it’s real name) is a few hours drive from Gisborne. What affects their ocean, eventually will affect us. The resulting oil spill is a major environmental tragedy, not just for the life forms on the reef itself, but for the surrounding tribes that the ocean sustain. It’s like tipping petrol into someone’s fridge. So, if you don’t give a fuck about the marine life, perhaps you might give one for the people it affected? If not, then just fuck off entirely and get. your. fucking. boat. off. our. reef!

And all of that went into making this poster.

Seee, I can be romantic! (To quote this awesome lady I know). And political, too. While making art. About going to a rock n roll show.

Mauri Ora!

Winners!

I would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey for the May Birthday Giveaway.  I enjoyed reading through the responses.  Those sentences sounded a bit dry, but believe me, I was fucking stoked.  All of you helped to make this month FUN and gave me something to look forward to at the end of it. Apart from getting older, hehe.

OK so after waiting until very late in the evening, I have used all my numerological powers and black bitch magick to draw two winners for the poster competition!

Drumroll please, Lemmy!

(He’s doing a drumroll in his dreams, honest) … anyway here are the Winners…!

The winner of the SKOOTA poster is ….. Richard McKenzie of NSW, Australia

and the winner of the Moko skull poster is …. Jenny White of Birkdale, Auckland.

 

Congratulations to you both! Your posters will be sent off to each of you shortly.
Thanks again to everyone else, you’re all winners to me.

 

Mauri Ora!