[Left to right] Campbell Roberts (artist), Dev Mason (event organiser) and Joe De Blasio (musician and visual artist)
By Amy Loughlin

Live music and art exhibitions usually occupy completely different spaces in the arts scene today – however, one up-and-coming Melbourne music manager, Dev Mason, aspires to bring these two worlds together.

Musicians and visual artists are set to share the stage as Mason prepares to host his second Wherehouse event on the 5th of May.

Wherehouse is a bi-monthly event which aims to incorporate various genres and styles of art in Melbourne and offer a platform for new rising artists to exhibit and sell their work.

“I get five bands and five artists, generally from different groups, to come together for the one night, not only for more people coming through…but also to centralise the spread-out Melbourne scene we live in,” said Dev Mason, the event organiser.

The first Wherehouse event took place at Eddie’s Poolroom and Bar in Cheltenham, and was considered a major success as nearly 180 people were in attendance.

The bands performed on a stage opposite a make-shift gallery which had been set up towards the back of the venue so that patrons could enjoy music whilst observing the art at their own leisure.

The event featured local visual artists such as Sian Davies, Adelaide Norris, Hannah Potter, Xtine De Blasio and Campbell Roberts, also known as ‘Salad Bowl”, alongside local music acts such as Too Birds, AGRGT, Dole Cheque, Boy Parts and Circle Person, ranging from electronic music to alternative music.

“I want to have as many genres as possible, so the night stands out amongst gigs that are genre based and also so that everyone going there has something they’ll enjoy,” said Mason.

“The goal is to always have a metal band, generally always have a rap or electronic group, have a punk band, have an indie band, have a jazz band…just make it all spread out.”

Dev came up with the idea idea for the combined arts show when he was managing gigs for the band Too Birds, and saw an opportunity to bring artists of all kinds together in the one venue.

He was also inspired by the popular Seattle and Manchester music scenes, and in particular the famous music venue, CBGB, which was located in New York City.

The majority of the artists and bands involved are up-and-coming artists, and for some the platform provided by Wherehouse has been invaluable.

Local artist and student, Sian Davies, who participated in the first Wherehouse event agreed, stating, “We need more events like this, especially for people who are less experienced, like for me this was…kind of my gateway into viewings.”

Davies recently organised her own art gallery show featuring local Melbourne-based bands at The Vic Bar in Abbotsford, drawing upon her experience with Wherehouse.

Sian Davies in front of her work at “Down the Rabbit Hole” Art Lanch – taken by Amy Loughlin

“I think that music and art go well together because the music gives another element to the gallery experience,” Davies added, “Music and art are a part of the same family in my eyes.”

It may seem like a simple concept, but many agree that Melbourne definitely has room to host more combined-arts events and take advantage of both crowds.

Local artist, Campbell Roberts (also known as Salad Bowl) said, “I think it’s just a lot of organisation to get it done. Dev did a pretty exceptional job because he did everything by himself.”

Musician and visual artist Joe De Blasio (also known as AGRGT) said “I really don’t think that Wherehouse should, or is going to be the first or last of it’s kind.”

Dev Mason added, “Most venues do definitely need to tune into the art as well as the music, because all you need is a few easels or even some tables…it’s really not that hard, just no one is doing it.”

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