Featured Creatives

Bleeding Heart

January 2014

We chat to our gorgeous friend Elle Banks, the queen of art and design in Brisbane and the go to lady for shows at Bleeding Heart. Elle likes to travel, wear leopard print Vans and has curated many shows in the leading Brisbane gallery. Intertested in working in a gallery and not sure where to start? Read on!

Tell us about Bleeding Heart and what its aims are?

Bleeding Heart was brought to life in 2008 by the Wise Foundation. We are a ‘profit for purpose’ art gallery, event space & café that contributes all profits into charitable and community enterprise. Bleeding Heart brings together community, business, the arts and local talent to provide a place for social enterprise and positive activism in the heart of Brisbane.

Sporting the motto, “Using our powers for good and not evil”, we pride ourselves on our operation as a “profit for purpose” organization. This means that every dollar that people spend goes into funding charitable and community enterprise.

Along with that, we have tried to utilize Brisbane’s mass of growing artists and talent in our own creative programs, including; the Hearts of Gold series, Deck the Walls, and Emulator just to name a few. These programs were developed to showcase and provide a platform and exhibition and working opportunities for those in the creative fields, which we did and kind of kicked butt in!

What have been your favourite five shows since working there?

I sound oh so clichéd when I say it, but there’s been so many amazing shows that it’s hard to recall every single one and narrow it just to five. One of the first exhibitions I was involved with was Hearts of Gold 5 (2011) which had a crazy good opening night, diverse selection of work and great artists. Other exhibitions, include Brad Marsellos’ documented tour life exhibition of Brisbane Band Violent Soho, Biking Brisbane, the annual Brisbane Lowbrow exhibitions, of course our great friends at The Design Kids with Terrible Twos Brisbane (and I am not just saying that!)

What do you love about the Brisbane creative scene and who are some of your favourite local artists?

Oh man, the Brisbane creative scene I think is something that has not even really been explored yet. There is so much going on, projects, artist collectives, spaces and opportunities that people are coming up with, achieving and killing out there. Some my favourite artists include, Monica Rohan, the guys over at Let’s Face It, Jack Rogers, Ken Smith, Georg Whelan, this list would also go on forever but I am thinking you get the idea. Brisbane has pretty much hit the jackpot with emerging artists & designers residing here, we all need to start getting out there and making some investments!

What advice would you give students starting out?

So many things I could say! The pay is going to be crap, if there’s any at all, but do it anyway! There are always ways to get your work & work out there, so say yes to everything ! All publicity is good publicity, also working really hard, harder than you thought think it should be is always good. It will give you an experience base for others to envy. Also! Deadlines, they are also important, just like emails, try and respond to all of them, one other thing, is be prepared different types challenges, they may be frustrating but they too will  build your professional experience.

Artwork from Nitsua / Ken Smith

What did you study and how did you end up working where you are today?

I didn’t do the typical degree at a typical uni, in a typical city. However I think that Rockhampton was able to provide me with some great knowledge and opportunities that I may not have otherwise been able to experience in bigger city. I started with your plain old arts degree, then moved onto a Bachelor of Creative Enterprise, (Now only offered in masters in Sydney) which specialised in creative industries and arts, as well as business, marketing and management. All of which I surprisingly use today. Who would have thought a uni degree being more than a piece of paper. I ended up working a Bleeding Heart through a contact looking for a simple office girl, from that beginning role way back when, I have worked with the Wise Foundation and the great team here to build our business and my position to where I am now. It’s wonderful to be able to work somewhere with an awesome support network and doesn’t mind a totally quirky idea.

Describe a typical Elle Banks day?

As much as I think I would like a typical day. I love the absolute spontaneity every day at work. Obviously there are lots of things that carry over day to day. But each one has some new challenge, project or adventure to work on.

Whats on for 2014?

2014 is going to be a cracker, with Bleeding Heart gallery space undergoing some renovations in the gallery space, we will be seeing some new community space activation projects that we will heading outdoors for, so keep your eyes peeled for those ones.  We will still be exhibiting in our café area and have some great events booked in. We have also taken a new venue on to list of our initiatives based in the Brisbane botanic gardens which will be officially launching soon for forums, artist talks and other events. The Wise Foundation is always looking for new ways to support our community in creative ways, so there’s probably things in store that we haven’t even heard about yet!



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