Meet Studio Twocan – the “two can do it better than one” creative studio managed by sisters, Maddie and Becc Sharrock. They’re a local yin and yang duo that says while working together isn’t always “all rainbows and sunshine”, ultimately they combine to complement each others’ skill-set perfectly.
Cue a new exhibition, Of Green and Shaded Lanes, a series of framed prints and sculptures inspired by the diverse Australian landscape and its colours, patterns and textures. The concept came after several years of “getting their hands dirty” casting cement, when they were asked to explore emulating the layered sediment and water levels of the Murray River. “We layered colour cement and aggregate to create works with unique and organic imperfections that could be seen in the cavernous air pockets and various gradient colours and textures,” Becc says. “When photographed, the resulting imagery had the appearance of aerial views and cross-sections of the Australian outback.”
These cement plates were photographed using a macro lens to develop a series of prints for this exhibition. Becc says the outcome captured, “An intense amount of detail which further abstracted the works and resulted in a painterly quality synonymous with Australian landscape.” Taking the Australian influence further, the sisters drew on childhood road trips spent singing along to Australian bush songs and poetry – all prints in the exhibition pay tribute to Australian art, poetry and music. The exhibition title is pulled from Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic poem, My Country.
Becc says they hope the works, “Inspire people and trigger memories. Some of the works are quite large, and it’s very easy to gaze into a piece and feel immersed in the environment it creates, giving people the opportunity to relax and escape – that’s tricky in today’s world.” This effect connects Of Green and Shaded Lanes with its exhibition venue, the new My Bookshop Toorak.
We often find solace in books for their escapism and their way of employing the imagination. My Bookshop Toorak captures this same calming effect and reproduces it in a real-life space. The store is Corrie Perkin’s second project, following the success of her first bookshop in Hawskburn Village. Perkin says she wanted her second shop to have a cafe and a gallery to show the work of local artists, and collections of homewares.
My Bookshop Toorak aims to be a “new creative hub” where a like-minded community of students, workers, artists, and bookish folk can feel “welcome, included, and well-serviced,” says Perkin – whether by attending creative workshops, studying over a coffee or looking at art.
“We love [My Bookshop’s] intention of creating a hub for local artistic talent to show works and inspire others in art, design and literature,” says Becc. “A place where people can share knowledge and ideas. The multi-purpose space [feels] relaxed and engaging, unpretentious and honest, which is our relationship with art."
Studio Twocan’s Of Green and Shaded Lanes is on display at My Bookshop Toorak from October 15–29, at 430 Toorak Road, Toorak.