Hey, Hey, Which Way?
Melbourne-based artist Beck Wheeler is in the middle of an exhibition at St Kilda’s Uber Gallery which runs until March 30th. The show, called Hey, Hey, Which Way? is ‘a labyrinth journey into the afterlife. Based on a board game she used to play with her siblings, Wheeler has entwined fables, the polemic, beliefs, the oddly beautiful and lucid realities of the departed. If dreams were an ocean, then she has paddled across it and collected all the messages in bottles that have drifted between the living and the dead’. Sounds like fun! We caught up with her to get the lowdown on what to expect: Sounds like you’ve been in some deep thinking space lately? ‘I like working with dark subject matter, but producing playful imagery. The mystery of what happens after you die, is one of the mysteries that someone has yet to prove. We know the earth is round, we know butter won’t cure a burn, that smoking is bad for you, that e=mc2 … but what happens to us after we die? I asked a bunch of people I knew what they reckon happened, and then started making drawings and paintings from the ideas and stories they told me’. Tell me more about how your hometown of Beach Haven has shaped your art, if it has at all? ‘I love the fact that Beachhaven sounds so beautiful and that anyone who hasn’t been there would start imagining a sunny haven of beaches, white sand and sunbaking couples. The only beach in Beach Haven is a mangrove swamp that someone dumped piles of sand on. If you tried to go swimming you would end up knee high in swampy mud. It’s one of the dodgiest areas I know. My dad always told me to get out as soon as I could. So I did. I don’t like to think that it shaped my art too much, but I guess what I took from it was a sense of irony’.