Earlier this week the National Gallery of Victoria officially announced that the Everfresh collective had won the gallery's recently inaugurated NGV Studio initiative. The innovative competition saw a succession of four graffiti crews pass through the glass-walled studio, located on the corner of the Atrium and across the road from Hosier Lane, that much lauded and much debated bastion of street art culture. The participating crews – Formula One, SDM, AWOL and Everfresh – each had a chance to create a large-scale mural in the new space, before the resulting works were voted on via the NGV’s social media services. After the dust settled across the Twitter-verse, the Everfresh crew's bold Graffiti Always Wins piece was crowned victorious.
Their prize is a month long residency in the new street level space, culminating in an exhibition to be held on the July 8 at the NGV. The Everfresh crew will be recreating their notorious home-studio in the space for the length of the residency, giving members of the public to observe and interact with the crew. The new space will contain a selection of work from the last decade of the Everfresh’s collective output.
"It's crazy, we started off without any thought of ever exhibiting work and now we're showing in the NGV," says Everfresh’s Reka. "This will be as close as we ever get to an open studio."
The initiative seems to represent an unofficial blessing of the art form on behalf of the NGV, and the way that the public receives the work will go a long way to defining their future involvement. The Everfresh artists certainly seem up for the challenge. "People who don't like graffiti might see this show and change their view," says Reka, but after a moment’s pause, he laughs and adds, "We want negative feedback, we want to piss people off.”
Everfresh's residency begins on June 11, 10am-10pm.