Long-time East Melbourne artist commences touring show at local library 

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Kaylah Joelle Baker

East Melbourne resident Sarah Gabriel has been showcasing her talent in the suburb for many years, and she is doing so once again by starting her touring show Comfort Creatures at East Melbourne Library. 

Taking place for a short time only, Ms Gabriel’s artistic works will be showcased within the meeting room of the library on Saturday, July 1, from 1pm to 6pm and Sunday, July 2, from 10am to 5pm. 

While Ms Gabriel’s style often changes depending on the materials she chooses, her Pianola still life works are often her most recognised as they are inspired by her love of gardening, textiles, and music. 

But for Comfort Creatures, Ms Gabriel is using her creativity to explore some more diverse works. 

“My exhibition this year is a departure from my usual style, and moves more into drawing-based illustrations,” she said. 

“Using handmade silk papers from Japan, I create dreamlike images and stories of faraway lands inspired by the animals that are on the farm and their interactions with one another.” 

“While I have been creating this work for years, this new series of 25 works is my first solo exhibition of its kind for the ‘creatures’.”

This is not Ms Gabriel’s first exhibition at the library, having been involved in a Creative East Melbourne Community Art exhibition that was held a few years ago. 

It was within this creative environment where Ms Gabriel met with business owner Lisette Malatesta of the East Melbourne General Store, who has since then been selling Ms Gabriel’s artistic gift cards.

“It was a brilliant event where all the artists who lived in the area could connect with one another and explore themes relating to East Melbourne,” Ms Gabriel said. 

“Lisette has been selling my gift cards for years, and continuing to support local artists and their creativity.”

Similar to the artists at the previous exhibition, Ms Gabriel also finds inspiration in the suburb of East Melbourne, and despite living between here and a farm near the township of Kyneton, her “inspiration bubble from my surroundings”. 

“East Melbourne has always been a beautiful inner-city area with its wide open streets, beautiful gardens and close proximity to Melbourne CBD,” she added.

“It has a strong community that appeals to me. But in 2008 I also established my business Lauriston Press in Kyneton, where I offer local artists a place to showcase their printmaking works.” 

“The gallery has grown over the past 15 years and is now well established in our community.”

Navigating life between the two locations, while clearly busy, has helped to influence the beautiful nature-inspired prints and drawings Ms Gabriel has continued to create to this day. •

For more information: sarahgabriel.com.au/ or lauristonpress.com.au/

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