Plume Gallery

5 mins reading

Owned by artist Katrina McKeon and situated at 3-7 Albert Place, South Melbourne, Plume Gallery sits unassumingly behind its black steel-framed glass façade in the midst of the buzzing, frenetic energy of the South Melbourne Market. The gallery is an art lover’s oasis, meticulously curated and organised by McKeon, herself, whose creative passion inspired her to study art and design, majoring in painting. Having worked full time as an artist and curator for more than 25 years, her career has steadily developed and evolved and her pieces appear in numerous collections both within Australia and overseas. One of the primary influences on McKeon’s development as a painter is the time spent with and learning from Indigenous artists in their communities. These experiences have imbued McKeon with an intense love of and appreciation for Indigenous culture, generally, and Indigenous art, specifically. This love and appreciation are exemplified by the fact that McKeon continues to support and work with remote First Nations communities, proudly curating these communities’ works in her galleries – “galleries” plural, as Plume Gallery branches exist in Armadale and Lorne, as well. In addition to McKeon’s own paintings, Plume Gallery currently showcases the creations of four featured artists: Kendra Sloan, Bianca Conwell, Cathy Robinson and Raymond Walters Penangke.

Encountering Kendra Sloan’s mixed-media interpretations for the first time, it is immediately apparent that she grew up with a needle in hand and a sewing machine in front of her. Prior to submerging herself completely in the fine art world, Sloan studied and worked in fashion design and then transitioned to the fast-paced advertising industry – an experience which saw her lead a team across a spectrum of projects, including production, styling, design and packaging. This background in fashion and advertising adds a particularly fascinating conceptual layer to Sloan’s pieces, which are created upon a foundation of staunch originality and are forever quirky and full of texture.

Like Sloan, Bianca Conwell discovered her creative outlet at a young age. Unlike Sloan, however, Conwell’s medium is – and always has been – photography. As a matter of fact, photography has been a significant part of Conwell’s life since her early teens. Since then, technology and photographic art have undergone tremendous transformations. Conwell has recently been inspired to study and pursue historic and alternative photographic processes, interestingly returning her to what she originally fell in love with all those years ago – that is, the science and art of handcrafted photography. To personalise her artistic experience, Conwell challenges herself by using various combinations of historic processes, including a range of alternative printmaking methods.

Due to juggling family and other work commitments, Cathy Robinson’s creative journey has certainly been a lifelong one but, until recently, only a part-time one. Robinson studied at La Trobe College of Art and Design, where she explored line and its relationship with space. As a result of the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, she was given a considerable amount of unforeseen time to explore her passion further. This translated into a deep dive into the further exploration of conceptual ideas related to her mathematics background, specifically regarding geometry and dimensional space, both finite and infinite. From Robinson, herself, “I hope you enjoy my lockdown lines.”

Finally, Plume Gallery is more than proud to present the work of Raymond Walters Penangke. Penangke was born in Alice Springs in November 1975. His grandfather’s country is Ngarleyekwerlang Western Desert, and his grandmother’s country is Alhalkerre of Utopia. Both grandparents come from the Anmatyerre language group. Penangke hails from a family whose members comprise some of the most amazing and sought-after Anmatyerre artists, such as Kudditj Kngwarreye, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Minnie Pwerle, Margaret Scobie, Maureen Hudson, Gloria Petyarre, Barbara Weir, Kathleen Petyarre and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. Having been painting for over 15 years, Penangke is passionate about his culture and art and feels as though art is the perfect vehicle through which he can share the richness of Anmatyerre culture, a richness learned via participation and direct teachings from his grandparents and extended family members. It is with this cultural pride and creative spirit that Penangke is driven and motivated to do the important work investing in the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their families and their communities.

Plume Gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. Private appointments are also available.  

Plum Gallery, South Melbourne

Plum Gallery, South Melbourne

Plum Gallery, South Melbourne