Curator Inquisition: Strange Neighbour

Words - Melbourne Arts Club Photos - Evan Mery


Continuing our Curator Inquisition series, Linsey Gosper from Strange Neighbour. 


Tell us a little bit about what's currently happening at your gallery? And what upcoming shows can we look forward to seeing there?

We have a series of collaborative exhibitions at the moment- the next 3 shows. In the current exhibition, ‘Anomalies’ a solo exhibition by Brisbane based artist Zoe Porter, it contains elements that are collaborative, such as the video piece and the performance on the opening night. In September we have a solo show by Philippe Vranjes and he has invited people to participate in making work.



How did you first get involved in art - were you one of those little kids who always loved being creative, or is it something that came later?

When I was a kid I used to draw a lot. However I didn’t do much art in high school. I did photography as an elective in Year 11 and that was my introduction to the Darkroom. It wasn’t until my first year out of high school when I went through a difficult time that I turned to art making, and it was also at this time that I met some people who came to be highly influential in my life in a creative sense.


What's your process for selecting works and artists at the gallery – how do you find new talent? Do you have a particular style of work that you're drawn to?

We have an advisory panel of industry experts who help with the selection of our exhibition program in terms of going through the exhibition proposals we receive from our callout. This forms only a small part of the program. The remainder of the program is exhibitions I personally curate, exhibitions with artists who I have previously worked with, and artists who have specifically approached me or Strange Neighbour that fit our curatorial style and vision. I am attracted to work that is challenging and experimental, resolved and well made.

I don’t find it hard to find new artists. As an artist myself, with lots of friends and colleagues that are artists, also working in the arts as a lecturer I spend a lot of my time researching, discussing and socialising around art. I don’t have any trouble finding good art.


How does living and working in Melbourne influence you?

I think Melbourne has a particular style and I’m sure that influences me - perhaps a gothic sensibility. It is a city with a strong creative community and there is always something on and to do, which I love. I think that creates a certain momentum and push forward. I am influenced by the music and experimental sound scene, just as much as the visual arts. When it comes to curating, my personal research and interests influence more than anything, however these concepts are often expressed through making connections between local artists work.

Who or what do you turn to for inspiration on days when creativity just isn’t flowing?

Listen to music, doing research, reading, watching a film, documentaries on artists. Or just making – take photos, spending time in the darkroom.



What is your favourite artwork of someone else’s, and why? 

That’s a really hard question – especially to choose one.  My Annie Sprinkle Polaroids that I bought for a bargain a few years ago in LA. They inspired the SEX show I curated with Jack Sargeant in 2015. I’ve been a massive fan of hers since I was 20, and having the opportunity to buy and also exhibit her work was really exciting.


How is the relationship between your gallery and other local galleries? Is there a good, collaborative, supportive vibe? Are there any galleries you particularly enjoy visiting or find inspiring?

Although the art scene, like any scene, can be cliquey, I feel that I have very good local support. My immediate neighbours are Colour Factory Gallery and CCP, which are both previous workplaces and I have wonderful relationships with them. Most of my encounters with other galleries, both commercial and artist run have been very positive. It’s pretty tough going running a gallery and I think it’s important to support one another. My current favourite gallery is Arts Project Australia.

Who in your opinion is the most underrated artist in Melbourne at the moment – or, in other words, who can we expect big things from in the future?

Two young female artists: Georgie Mattingley, Ruby Knight.


Strange Neighbour 

395–397 Gore St Fitzroy Victoria Australia 3065

Gallery Hours Wednesday to Saturday 12–6pm

Linsey Gosper