Crafty: Amy Tsilemanis with her Unicorn Lane exhibition, 49 Collages for friends. Photo: RUBY STALEY

Friendly art pieces take over local lane

January 22, 2021 BY

THROUGHOUT lockdown, bookseller and producer Amy Tsilemanis created personalised collages as a way of keeping in touch with friends near and far.

Until 31 January, Ballarat’s Unicorn Lane Art Space is currently housing a selection of these collages and prints for Tsilemanis’ exhibit titled, 49 Collages for friends.

“I didn’t plan to have an exhibition but I was working away at home making these pieces for my friends and I asked them to give me a colour and a word to be the starting point for a collage,” Tsilemanis said.

“I would send it in the mail or drop it in their mailbox during lockdown so when they would come home or go to the post office, they could have a little bit of joy waiting for them.

“When I saw them all together I thought, they look so joyful as a group so I thought why not put them out here for everyone to see.”

Having always been interested in a variety of art forms, Tsilemanis said working with collage was a fun way to stay creative and connected throughout the COVID lockdown.

“I played with colour and shapes and linking it to my particular relationship with that friend,” she said.

“There’s lots of imagery of people dancing, three of them actually have imagery of me dancing, so it’s all about lightness, joy and the celebration of friendship.”

In addition to the lane exhibition, Tsilemanis is selling not only the displayed prints but also postcard sized recreations of the sections of the collages to help others connect with their friends.

“For the postcards, I picked out 20 prints from the images and split them into two packs for people to take home and write little notes to their friends or stick on their wall,” she said.

“The postcards are available at Sothis Books and on my website as well.”

Due to the central location of the exhibit, Tsilemanis said she’s already received some great feedback from locals and tourists on her eclectic pieces.

“It’s fun bringing the muses for the original pieces to the exhibit, everyone’s loving them having this extra life,” she said.

“The nature of it being here and people wandering down the street, I’ve had a few emails and things of people saying they stumbled across it and to order some prints … it’s such an amazing space.

“We’re having an event here 29 January, just before the exhibit closes, anyone can come, all COVID-safe from 5.30pm to 6.30pm and I’m maybe going to have a collaborative artwork going on.”