The name Molecule conjures up the image of something diminutive, hidden perhaps. This is but one possible description for the tiny, 2x2x2m white cube that is Molecule Gallery, embedded in Molecule HQ on Bourke Street.
Set against the backdrop of a working design studio, the gallery welcomes the public for a second time to present artist Lizzy Newman's Let the Sun Shine in. Her new set of varied and colourful sculptural objects are changeable and fluid, presenting an open idea of 'mutable painting' within the gallery space.
Since establishing itself as a creative multi-platform studio only 12 months ago, Molecule has worked according to its own ethos. Here, the boundaries between disciplines prefer to be breached. Though predominantly architecturally based, the studio is not afraid to exercise its creative muscle by traversing different fields, including interior design and art direction.
Originally from New Zealand, its three directors, Anja de Spa, Richard Fleming and Jarrod Haberfield, shared the dream of starting up their own practice for almost a decade. “The idea of Molecule started while we were studying architecture in Auckland,” says de Spa. “We uncovered a real synergy in how we approach design. Since then we’ve all travelled a lot and worked in some amazing places, but we’ve all settled in Melbourne and the inspiration to work together is greater than ever.”
Great timing is integral, no doubt, but an obvious inquisitiveness for other creative pursuits like art has helped build a unique and imaginative business model. de Spa explains how luck and ingenuity provided the opportunity to open a gallery: “Because of the space we found, we've been able to enact a long-term plan for a gallery that sits in amongst our studio.”
Molecule Gallery has two criteria for its bi-monthly exhibition program: the artists are to be represented by a commercial gallery and the work is to be site-specific. Curated by Gertrude Contemporary Space's Amita Kirpalani, this space is only a starting point. “It's a platform of which we're very proud”, says de Spa. One gets the feeling that Molecule can only grow from here.