Cowaramup’s Fugazi Gallery opens for Callum Fairnie and friends

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Fugazi Gallery owner Callum Fairnie has big plans for the Cowaramup art scene. Warren Hately
Camera IconFugazi Gallery owner Callum Fairnie has big plans for the Cowaramup art scene. Warren Hately Credit: Warren Hately

Mosaic artist Callum Fairnie has established a new gallery in Cowaramup’s light industrial area, which he’s using to showcase the work of contributors from across the region.

Fugazi Gallery, on Wrigglesworth Drive, is hosting its first exhibition – titled Nudi(Branchs) – which ends on May 28. It features some provocative work from Laika Bowman, Rebecca Cool, Leanne Prestipino and US artist Eve Devore.

Fairnie told the Times Devore’s work was included in part because of his own experiences in Brooklyn, where he has previously held two exhibitions while undertaking an artist-in-residency in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

“After returning back to WA, I leased a space in the industrial area of Cowaramup, with the goal of setting up a gallery that has a similar urban vibe to the Lower East Side and Brooklyn with the aim of promoting local artists with a difference whose work probably doesn’t have a natural fit with the other galleries in the area,” he said.

“The other main goal I have is to have an interchange of artwork, from these same artists, with the gallery I have mosaics in, in Brooklyn, and vice versa.”

Fairnie had worked in mosaics for about 20 years specialising in pop-culture mosaics using mostly recycled and found objects.

Originally from Victoria, Fairnie and his artist partner moved west 15 years ago and recently settled in the area after adventures overseas.

He hoped the collaboration with Devore could be the start of a cultural exchange for other artists in the region, with the potential to exhibit work from Margaret River in New York.

“Eventually we are aiming to set up a residency program between the two galleries so local artists have the opportunity to live and produce art in New York and vice versa, although this may be a little while away,” he said.

On the personal front, Fairnie is also working on a graphic novel he aimed to publish in English, Spanish and Italian by the end of 2022 called The Book of Pazzo, and next year hopes to return to the US for another exhibition.

The three local female artists in Nudi(Branchs) have contributed a collection of works focused mostly on the nude form, with each artist giving the work their trademark distinctions.

The next exhibition is already planned, with One Of Us ... One of Us: Celebrating the freaks in us all, running until the end of June featuring Laika Bowman, Rebecca Cool, Sam Crowley, Casey Fagan, Leanne Prestipino, Angus Watkins and others.

Fugazi Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday until the end of the month at 2/12 Wrigglesworth Drive, Cowaramup.

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