Even if you don't know her name, I am pretty sure most Melbourne peeps would be familiar with Christina Gordon's brilliant little prints. Her characters are unmistakable - pretty, sullen little wide-eyed girls with a sweetly sinister edge! If you're a Northsider you might have seen them in the window of PG Printmaker Gallery in Brunswick st Fitzroy... and you might also remember seeing a few of her sassy little ladies gracing the walls of Shelley and Stephan's home back here?
Christina is one super-talented lady. In addition to her prolific printmaking output, Christina is also a whizz with a sewing machine - she makes and exhibits the most incredible dolls and softies which are almost like 3D versions of her printed characters. Christina also has a huuuuge Blythe doll collection - and of course she also makes the most beautiful hand-embellished clothes for her girls to wear! ...I get the feeling it's like one big Tim Burton-esque fairytale at the Gordon household!
I particularly loved seeing Christina's recent handmade 'Creepy Christmas' decorations... her black Christmas tree is so perfect - and how about all her fab creepy little stitched characters? The voodoo gingerbread man - inspired!
Thanks so much to Christina for her time with this interview! Christina's work is available at Print Guild Printmaker Gallery in Melbourne, and you can also purchase from her Etsy shop! Also Christina has a fabulous blog called JamFancy! If you like her work, you should totally pop over and say hello :)
Tell me a little about your background – what path led you to what you are doing now?
I think I always liked drawing and making things best, even as a child and it has continued the same, I even do the same kinds of things. I went to art school at RMIT and kind of fell into the printmaking side of things, I didn't actually know what it was when I started. I think that might be why I ended up working on hessian plates, I didn't realise you probably shouldn't, that and a love for textile arts combined to create my printing technique.
How would you describe your work?
I love fairy tales, the mix of the cute, beautiful and fully macabre and that is what I try to do in my work.
What is one of your favourite pieces and why?
That changes all the time, it seems each new set of work is the favourite, I suppose if I have a favourite it is this one as it makes me laugh, its nice when the expressions on the faces are just right, I hadn't really intended it either, the bunny just came out looking highly scandalised.
What does a typical day at work involve for you?
I tend to wake up a bit horribly early, around 5am and spend far too long over breakfast and mucking about on the internet. Some days I'm drawing up the prints for next day, other days I start printing after breakfast. I like the non-printing days as they are my days off where I can make toys and dolls and sew.
Tea or coffee whilst you work?
Definitely tea. I'm addicted to Karel Capek teas from Japan, they come in wonderful flavours like caramel and chocolate, strawberry and apple cinnamon. They genuinely smell and taste like what they say they are as well and the tins are very cute.
Music or silence whilst you work?
I usually have something on, music when I draw and This American Life when I'm printing. I like Joanna Newsom and Arcade Fire particularly for drawing.
Where do you turn for creative inspiration – nature, travel, books, the web etc?
It seems like I find it everywhere, I often have to stop myself from looking at things in an acquisitive way, I tend to be looking for what I can use in my own work instead of just enjoying things for what they are. I think the internet is a great source of inspiration and just lately I have found much to work from in Japanese fashion as well.
Which artists / designers / creative people do you admire?
There are a lot and it would be hard to name them all without leaving people out.....just at the moment though I particularly like the photography of Tim Walker, its so dream like.
What are you looking forward to?
Christmas and going to Japan again in the New Year sometime.
Melbourne Questions -
Your favourite galleries to see the work of local artists in Melbourne?
I tend not to leave my house all that much actually, I like when I drop in to PG Printmaker Gallery to check out the other printmakers they have, its such a good source for young up and coming work.
What/where was the last great meal you ate in Melbourne?
This is going to sound terrible, but it was suckling pig at Libertine. You have to have ten people and they roast a whole pig, it was a bit sad to see the little guy, but there is also something very French and sumptuous about it as well. We had ten or so wines and a great group of friends and I just remember it as a really splendid night.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
Rather boringly doing the weekly shopping with my partner Paul. I don't notice many people doing the weekly shop together, its the only way to make it a bit fun.
Melbourne’s best kept secret?
I don't think its much of a secret but Madame Sousou's is a very nice place to be. I like that they do breakfast all day and that you can have French champagne and French Fries at the same place.
Ps) I am posting this interview today because I have decided to take a little break tomorrow for New Years Day! See you all next Monday - 2010!