Saturday, March 5, 2016

MWP zines at Sticky Institute

Stocked at Sticky: Top row: The Shadow Women 1-3 and Card Sharps
Bottom row: Poker Faces, Tattooed Faces and
Tattooed Faces in Living Colour

Since Hand Held Gallery closed its doors in 2013, Moth Woman Press has felt rather like a ship without a sail. The aesthetic of our zines was in comfortable alignment with the artist books and zines that gallery director Megan Herring showed; in fact, many were sources of inspiration for our own fledgling efforts.

Despite Melbourne’s thriving zine culture, as witnessed by the annual Sticky Institute Festival of the Photocopier zine fair (FOTP) held last month at Melbourne Town Hall, commercial outlets for zines are somewhat thin on the ground - at least, as far as I've discovered.

There is, however, a notable exception, namely the above mentioned Sticky Institute, a veritable Aladdin’s cave located in the Degraves Street Subway, Campbell’s Arcade (“Under Flinders Street Station”, as they say on their website).

My first memories of this arcade, with its distinctive pink tiles and art deco curves, date from childhood train trips to the city with my parents. Sticky has been there for considerably less time than that, but since its formation in 2006, it has firmly established itself as the mecca for zine culture in Melbourne.

Campbell's Arcade, Degraves Street Subway, leading to platforms
for Flinders Street Station

As of yesterday, a small selection of MWP zines are now stocked by Sticky. I’m not sure why it took me so long to approach them. I’ve visited many times, and have acquired numerous zines for my personal collection from there. I guess I had it in my head that the aesthetic of my own zines wouldn’t fit in with those at Sticky, and that they’d be rejected out of hand. In fact, Sticky shows an astonishing range of zines, and I’m thrilled that seven Moth Woman Press publications have joined their number.

Sticky Institute