Swinburne students won’t be enjoying a regular O-Week anytime soon – that much is clear. But thanks to the beauty of Zoom and social media, events we would normally attend face-to-face will next week be streamed directly to our living rooms.
One such event, a live-streamed show by folk-pop band Parkville, is one of the SSU’s most anticipated virtual O-Week activities. When you listen to the wistful yet majestic sounds of guitarist Liam Bell, pianist Michael D’Emilio and violinist Dylan Knur, it’s not difficult to understand why.
SWINE Editor Tina Tsironis spoke to Parkville ahead of their July 27 O-Week performance, talking musical influences, the challenges of working as an artist amidst COVID-19, and the emotionally taxing nature of writing and recording music.
T:How did Parkville initially form?
Parkville: The three of us went to school together in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. We were in different years, but we met because we were all involved in the music theatre shows at the school. After Dylan graduated, we had a few jams to keep in touch, and then we just… never stopped, and now it’s almost six years later and we’re still playing!
T:How have you found performing to an audience who isn’t standing directly in front of you, in the wake of COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns?
Parkville: It feels much more like we’re just in our rehearsals – even though there is an audience on the other side of the screen, we can’t see them so it feels like a low-pressure situation where we can relax and enjoy the experience. I think this means our livestream viewers are getting more of a look into how we are when we’re just being ourselves and having fun.
T:What other roadblocks has the pandemic presented to you, especially as live performers?
Parkville: A lot of musicians, as well other kinds of artists, are struggling at this time – being an artist often means living on a very low income, which makes artists especially vulnerable in times of economic turmoil. I encourage you all to, if you have the means, support your favourite artists of all kinds financially by purchasing from their online stores, subscribing to their Patreons or spreading the word about their art.
T:Your lyrics are so poignant and emotionally raw – and this is a compliment! To what extent does the process of writing, recording and performing a song fulfil a therapeutic function for you all?
Dylan: I can’t speak for Liam, the other songwriter of the band, but I find that I often discover how I feel about something as I’m writing about it. That said, sometimes the process of writing and recording is incredibly frustrating and demoralising and is the reason I need to take therapeutic measures in the first place! So, there’s a kind of back and forth to the role that being creative plays in my life.
T:What kind of musicians, or artists in general, is Parkville inspired by?
Parkville: Lots of them! Liam grew up listening to a lot of Motown and older pop music like Stevie Wonder, Dylan got very into alternative rock bands like Radiohead when he was younger, and Michael listens to a lot of Hans Zimmer film scores. Recently, though, the three of us have all been really influenced by the Punch Brothers, a contemporary bluegrass band who’ve really impressed us all with their ingenuity and attention to texture.
T: Did you engage in the arts at all, as university students? Can you tell us how immersing yourself in music, or other creative fields, may have enriched your university experience?
Dylan: I did a degree in jazz music, so my entire university experience was art! It was amazing to study these theoretical music constructs and work hard to develop technical ability during the day, and then go to see live music at night and be in awe of the amount of incredible musicians that call Melbourne their home. Watching live music was a strong motivator, reminding me of what I was working towards.
Brimming with creative craft, the Australian Furniture DesignAward 2020 exhibition is an exploration into alternate furniture solutions. Hosted by National Gallery Victoria (NGV) and Stylecraft, the shortlisted entries of Australia’s most significant furniture design award aspire to promote a life of luxury and contemporary style.
Part of Melbourne Design Week 2020, the biennial Furniture Design Award sees Australian designers compete with their innovations, oﬀering the winner professional mentoring, commercial production opportunities and a $20,000 prize. This award is reserved for a current concept design which has not yet been exhibited or commercially produced. This makes for an exciting playing-field, as the designer cannot gather public response before entering it into the competition.
Located on Little Collins Street, Stylecraft’s showroom provides a sophisticated, modern backdrop to the exhibited works. Viewers are free to explore the works. Some pieces allow interaction, while others are off limits to public. This year, many pieces bore clean, geometric silhouettes. Two prominent styles were statement and art deco; an indication that Australian designers seek to make an impact in your home.
Pieces such as Datum 72 Table, by Design King Company x Dr. Christian Tietz, explored a new perspective on the ‘ritual of sharing a meal’, inspired by ‘still life and Cubist paintings’. The modular table had recessed holes to place bowls, vases, and tableware into the surface. The table has a striking presence in the room, especially with the vibrant-coloured accessories. Though possibly susceptible to scratches, the acrylic tabletop created a futuristic feeling with the objects appearing to float in space. The piece challenges current perceptions of quality dining tables. Ultimately, The Datum 72 Table cleanses the dining room of its traditional history.
The Floor Lounger piece re-manufactures textile waste into a functional, tactile and sustainable floor cushion, as part of the international Supercyclers design initiative. Its mottled texture is both subtle and earthy, making it an apt contender for many home styles – personally wish I could have sat on this one! Floor Lounger is a great example of how waste can be both beautiful and useful.
Nave by Skeehan is a furniture range which has been slowly expanding over the past few years. The sofa integrates a floating side table through steel tubing welded to the sofa frame. The soft edges create a casual, inviting feel to the sofa while the steel tubes provide a structural contrast. Sedis by anaca studios similarly uses steel combined with comfortable cushions. The chairs reference art deco styling, a style which is seeing a resurgence in the design world.
The interesting Place Collection by Ross Gardam is a flexible and integrated lounge system. Gardam prides themselves on quality materials and attention to detail of the upholstery, which is highlighted nicely by this collection. The comfortable modules featured within Place Collection can move and change as needed, with each module containing a hidden zipper that allows the modules to be secured together. While the structural form of the collection says ‘oﬃce lobby’ or ‘airport lounge’, it nevertheless maintains a homely feel. The segments may appear rigid, but are in fact comfortable and provide solid ergonomic support.
Many shelving units and cabinets were also featured, showcasing unique storage solutions. The C5 Cabinet by James Howe, for one, creates a lasting impact on a space. The attention to detail in the cabinetry elevates the piece above the simplicity of contemporary trends, while the corrugated doors utilise a feature making a strong comeback in furniture design.
Contrast Howe’s work with Michael Gitting’s Abandoned Cabinet, which incorporates decorative art to achieve its visually arresting aura. If the C5 Cabinet was a snack for the eye, then Abandoned Cabinet would be a king’s feast. Gittings is flexing his abstract art muscles with the decorative all-chrome piece, though the contrasting mix of styles is are a polarising force.
The Elementary Abacus by Marta Figueiredo is another unusual piece, setting it apart from typical homefurniture. Figueiredo prides herself on sensory experimentation and creating a sense of fun in her works, and The Elementary Abacus is no different.Boldly proclaiming itself as a side table and cocktail bar table,the piece engages our sight, smell, sound and touch in numerous novel ways. The Elementary Abacus also has an abacus cube infused with incense – with its overpowering odour inspiring coughs in the throats of some viewers, it’s hard to say that the odour would complement every cocktail served on its cone-shaped platform.
Lastly, James Walsh’s Anthropic Bench embraces simplicity, sustainability, and traditional craft. Though the bench is crafted from beautiful hardwood, but the feet are where the main innovation lies. To the average Joe, they might appear to be made merely of clay – and they would be right…almost. Initially appearing to be regular clay, the feet actually use the millennia-old technique of rammed earth combined with glass rubble. Walsh wanted to experiment with rammed earth as it is low-tech, low-energy, and creates no waste. Overall, this simple and practical bench would be well-suited to any indoor environment, while being easy to manufacture and assemble.
The striking designs on display at the Australian Furniture Design Award 2020 display a level of technical and artistic expression, leaving the judges with a difficult selection process. The Australian designers have interpreted furniture in unique and novel ways, some challenging the very essence of what a ‘home’ should be.
Everyone’s doing it tough right now, including your regular uni food spots. But you can show your love for the hospitality industry by supporting your favourite businesses and bars still operating tirelessly around Glenferrie. Restaurants have readily transitioned into delivery services, making it easier than ever to access food and make ‘eating out’ an ‘eating in’ experience. Here are a few of our favourites.
The staple burger joint we know and love is still operating through regular takeaway, Uber Eats, Menulog, and DoorDash. While no shisha is available through delivery, you can supplement your classic shakes with burgers, wings, and fries – very handy for when your groceries haven’t quite stretched through to the end of the week.
While the Hawka part of your Tuesday night is temporarily postponed, you don’t have to go without its hand-in-hand 2AM feast down the road. Our beloved HSP place is still open for takeaway and are offering delivery via DoorDash, UberEats and Deliveroo.
While their Malvern, Balaclava and Carlton stores are big enough to maintain social distancing, their Glenferrie Road store is closed until mid-May. But don’t fret – they’re still operating via delivery with UberEats & Deliveroo! Treat yo’self to some yo’chi (Sorry. Had to do it).
Australian Venue Co initiative Meals for Hospo Mates will soon operate through two of your locals, The Hawthorn & Beer Deluxe. If you’re an out-of-work hospo worker, you’ll be eligible to pounce on this deal and get a $3 takeaway meal. Stay tuned via the Hawthorn Hotel & Beer Deluxe Facebook pages and check out the link below for updates about this service.
With some of the tastiest Mexican food around, Fonda remains available at their Richmond, Windsor, Hawthorn and Bondi restaurants! Open 5pm-9pm every night, with delivery available through UberEats & Deliveroo, as well as a fun link you can currently access via their Instagram bio.
Takeaway business as usual for this divine pizza place, for both their Hawthorn East & Malvern restaurants. Order online, over the phone or directly via UberEats for some authentic Italian pizzas at a reasonable price.
Open for takeaway from 7am-2pm daily. Call to make a pickup order or deliver via UberEats or Deliveroo! You’ll still get the same tasty nibbles and great coffee. Do your part to support these local guys.
There’s some classic breakfast and lunch meals available here – as well as coffee, which is still available for takeaway daily, from 8am-3pm. Just make sure to respect social distancing measures in their small store.
These OGs are still mixing those Mango Magics! Download the Boost Juice app to order so you can pop in and out with speed, or order for delivery through UberEats and Deliveroo. Their Glenferrie store is open Monday to Friday 9:30am-5:00pm, and Saturday, Sunday 10am-5pm.
Located on Auburn Road, which will grant you a nice walk through Rocket Park, The Counter cafe is open daily from 7:30am-2pm. This quaint coffee place has been supporting our community since this crisis began, with free coffees for those struggling, no questions asked – what a lovely gesture of kindness and empathy. Please give back to this business.
Operating as a take away and delivery café, one of the best cafes in Richmond is running their full food menu, with delivery available via Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Going the extra mile to make sure their community is supported, this amazing team have also been delivering pasta, bread, rice, and milk at cost price to anyone requiringgoods in self-isolation. They have also arranged free delivery to the 3121 area with ready-made meals. If you’re looking for small businesses to give back to, consider these guys. See @myohmyespresso for daily updates!
Our beloved Pancake Parlour have commenced a new contactless ordering system at their Doncaster & Malvern East restaurants – available via an online Click & Collect service and Drive Thru pickup. Cheap & easy eats without leaving your car. Also available through Deliveroo, DoorDash and Menulog delivery services.
For delicious burgers and beer, this place is operating full takeaway service, and delivery through Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Plus, alcohol delivery services are available when you order a burger to surrounding areas, which includes craft beer, cider & wine! Altered opening hours are 12am-9pm Thursday to Friday, and 5-9pm on weekends.
Opening 5pm every day, with takeaway and DoorDash services – plus 1/2 price tacos every Tuesday! Providing authentic Mexican dishes, this warm little place thrives on a love for food and community. If you love Mexican, this place deserves your TLC.
Their Hawthorn branch is delivering via Deliveroo and UberEats, and their Richmond, South Yarra & St Kilda stores remain open Monday to Sunday. Don’t sacrifice nutrition when it comes to indulging in some devilish delivery. Spudbar’s got all your veggie needs covered!
Please note: delivery services like Menulog, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Deliveroo are requesting to leave your orders at your door to stop the spread of COVID-19. Respect your delivery driver by refraining from contact and go the extra mile while thanking them for their service. And remember, social distancing measures still apply when ordering takeaway in store.