For Space at Mary Cherry, LAST Collective presents a group exhibition of artworks by each of the LAST artists. The exhibition title is derived from a photograph taken by Clare Rae; a close-up of Katie Lee with the printed word ‘space’ plastered across her torso by a cold wind during a recent performance. As one of our four elemental concerns (Light and Air and Space and Time), the word offers us a conceptual prompt as we prepare to occupy the intimate Mary Cherry space. This exhibition makes visible the ongoing dialogue we have as a group, and the ways in which our individual practices are amplified when we operate collectively.
About LAST Collective (est. 2016)
‘You’re going to create with a cat crawling up your back while the whole city trembles…’
– Charles Bukowski
Light and Air and Space and Time (LAST) is an artist collective based in Naarm/Melbourne. Beth Arnold, Melanie Irwin, Katie Lee, Clare Rae and Hanna Tai each have independent art practices and have come together with shared creative affinities.
Each LAST artist is committed to experimental and ephemeral modes of practice, including performance and site-responsivity. Feminist threads run through each practice, evident in the artists’ materials and subject matter, their playful and unapologetic occupation of space, and their sense of humour and the absurd. The works often have a lightness of touch, or a subtlety that blurs the distinction between the artwork and other things.
The group’s name derives from a Charles Bukowski poem that undermines the idea of the ‘perfect’ conditions for creative work, and celebrates the potential for art to emerge from chaos and mess. The name also reflects the elemental concerns that inform and guide LAST’s collaborative work: LIGHT, AIR, SPACE, TIME.
Since 2016, the LAST Collective has initiated events, exhibitions, activities and connections in Melbourne and further afield, with a focus on community and the long-term sustainability of creative practice. Recent LAST projects include Front Beach, Back Beach, Mornington Peninsula, curated by David Cross, Cameron Bishop and Danny Lacy (2022); Evidence of Life: MoreArt 2022, Coburg, curated by Emily Cormack; and a Melbourne Art Fair Project Room (2022).
The LAST Collective artists live and work on the lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung/Bunurong people of the Kulin nation and the Brataualung people of the Gunaikurnai nation.