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This is the first episode of the podcast "Market to Melrose" by the North and West Melbourne News. The newspaper is a community effort with locals contributing their words and pictures. The podcast features interviews with people from the newspaper. In this episode, the interview is with Parul Sen, a visual artist who runs a pop-up retail space with her friend Sarah Allen. Parul creates paintings of Melbourne streetscapes primarily using an iPad. She finds inspiration in the urban landscapes of Melbourne and is particularly interested in cafes in the inner suburbs. After the pop-up shop, Parul and Sarah plan to look for a similar space together. Parul's paintings reflect her personal experiences and portray the simplicity and beauty of the buildings. She uses bright colors to convey her feelings. The interview also discusses specific paintings of Luncheonette in Kensington, Auction Rooms in North Melbourne, and Market Lane Coffee in the CBD. Parul's artwork can be seen on social media G'day, I'm Tom Rigby, and this is Market to Melrose. This is the first episode of the podcast by the North and West Melbourne News, an award-winning local newspaper published by the North and West Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre on Darrell Street, North Melbourne. In 2022, the News won Community Newspaper of the Year, which means it's the reigning champion. This very special quarterly newspaper is the fruit of a community effort, with locals offering up their words and pictures for a team of dedicated volunteers to weave together into a fun and informative quarterly newspaper. At the turn of the season, more than 7,000 copies of the latest edition are hand-delivered by News volunteers to the terrace houses, cottages, converted factories and apartment buildings of North and West Melbourne. Ordered by Flagstaff Gardens to the south, Queen Vic Market to the east, Royal Park and the Hospitals to the north, and the Moonee Ponds Creek to the west, ours is one of Australia's most densely populated neighbourhoods. It's a village right on the edge of Melbourne's CBD, where people like living close to each other and within walking distance of everything. In each episode of this podcast, we'll introduce you to someone from the pages of the North and West Melbourne News. Today, our feature interview is with Parul Sen, a visual artist who has been operating the pop-up retail space at 54 Errol Street, along with her friend and fellow artist Sarah Allen. Parul and Sarah were featured in the Spring 2023 edition of the North and West Melbourne News. After our feature interview, we'll go to the community notice board, which highlights a few things coming up in the neighbourhood, in which you are sure to want to get involved. One final thing before we dive into our feature interview. We appreciate you listening, and if you like what you hear, there's three things you can do to help us get on our feet. First, please subscribe to the podcast so we can reach you every time we put out an episode. It's free to do, just hit the subscribe button in your favourite podcast app. Second, please leave a 5 star rating. And finally, please leave us a review, even just a word or a line that shows newcomers that real life humans have been enjoying this show. If you can't think of what to say, just write, love the pod. These three acts will take you about 90 seconds, and we will be eternally grateful. 90 seconds for an eternity? That's a pretty good deal, so get on it today. For this episode's feature, I caught up with Parul Sen, a local artist who, along with her friend, illustrator Sarah Allen, has been running the pop-up creative space at 54 Errol Street. During our discussion, Parul and I looked at some of her beautiful paintings of Melbourne streetscapes that were for sale at Shop 54. I say paintings, in fact, Parul joins the growing ranks of fine artists primarily using iPad. These include one of the most celebrated modern masters, David Hockney, some of whose iPads are on permanent display at the National Gallery of Victoria, and my sister Bec Rigby, who did the logo for this podcast, the 57 Tram. Originally from Jaipur, India, Parul says it took her several years to be able to find inspiration in the urban landscapes of a very different land. The daughter of an architect, she has a keen eye for buildings, and it was inner Melbourne's eclectic heritage of modest but graceful suburban buildings that eventually drew her in, and she's never looked back. When you view the examples of her work that we discuss in this episode, which will be posted on our social media, I'm sure you'll agree that Parul's pictures are nothing short of iconic. Parul is particularly interested in cafes around Melbourne's inner suburbs, and we discussed three examples, Luncheonette in Kensington, Auction Rooms in North Melbourne, and Market Lane Coffee on Collins Street in the CBD. Once again, you can see all of these on our social media. For more about Parul and Sarah's story, check out the most recent Spring 2023 edition of the North and West Melbourne News, which you can access in the episode description, or by wandering down to the centre on Earl Street, where there's always some copies available for free at the front. And now, for our feature interview with Parul Sen. My name is Parul Sen, and that's P-A-R-U-L-S-E-N, Parul Sen. And we're here in- This place is called Sarah and Parul, and I'm the later part of Sarah and Parul, and Sarah is my friend who I've collaborated with to share this workspace. And you're here in the pop-up shop on Earl Street, and I think this is your last couple of weeks at the moment. Is that right? Yeah, that's right. We have two more weeks, and unfortunately, we have to leave the space, and we had the best, best time in the space for three months. It was absolutely incredible. I think I remember you saying in the article that this is the first time you've done a bricks and mortar type store for selling your art. Is that right? Yeah, that's right. We have never had a physical space, and this has been our first time having a studio slash workshop slash shop front. And it's been such a good model for us because when we are not dealing with our customers, we are doing our own client work. And then when we are not doing that, we are running workshops. And it's all of it combined together. We get the feedback from local people, what they want, what they need, and so we can customize what we deliver according to their needs and wants. After you finish up here on Earl Street, do you have plans to look for another similar kind of space together? We would love to. That's what we are looking at right now. Not this year, but I think next year, Sarah and I are both, because we work really well together, and it's good to have someone else because creating art can be so isolating and you can be in your head, but when you have someone else to bounce up ideas, it's great. So Sarah and I are both looking at a space where we will, again, a similar model, but it will be mostly a workshop studio space. Can we take a look at one of your pictures? I'd be interested to hear you describe one of your series of pictures of Melbourne buildings and maybe describe what we're looking at and what it says about the way that you practice as an artist. Yeah. I think it started really organically. So when I moved to Melbourne from India, nothing about Melbourne inspired me as an artist, like nothing. What inspired me back in India was the chaos, and this was too organized for me to tickle my creative brain, and so for years, I did not create any painting, and it was only later when my child started going to school, I would drop him to school and then come back, and I would see all these beautiful houses and pick on little details, like the cat at the window. And because my father was an architect, I've always been drawn towards architecture and the design and little things, and that's when I started creating buildings, but it was really an organic process, and every piece that I create is an opportunity for me to reflect how I see the world. So that's LunchNet, and that's my local cafe. When you see the real building, the real cafe, it looks quite different to how I've portrayed it, but this is how I see it, because when I see that building, I actually don't see any of the clutter. Everything makes me happy, and so I wanted to use really happy colors that really bring that really cheer me up, the bright red doors, and the complimentary blues and the blue skies. It's a reflection of how I feel when I go to that cafe, and it's my personal experience that I've really tried to portray. That's interesting that you have said in this picture, there's no clutter. You were saying that it was the chaos of your home city that inspired you, and now you're finding inspiration in something more ordered. Is that right? Oh, that's actually really true. My brain has switched, and I've almost started looking at the simplicity of straight lines and the contrast between the old and the new, and the straight lines and the curved lines, and portraying it in a very stylized way and a decluttered style. But yes, you're right, they're quite clean lines now. This is a local cafe for you in Flemington, is it? That's Kensington. Kensington. And we're looking at the auction rooms here. Yeah, auction rooms, that's interesting. So when I painted auction rooms, I had no idea that we were going to get a space right next to auction rooms, on the same street as auction rooms. It was incredible. And so when I was deciding how to paint auction rooms, I knew that I had to include the median strip, which is such an integral part of when anyone's going to auction rooms, because they take their coffee, they come and sit on the bench with their dog, with a bag, whoever, and it's all part of it. So that's an important part of the composition of this picture. Most of them, it looks like you're standing in the middle of the street looking at the shop front, but here it looks like you're standing on the other side of the street because you've got the median strip in the front. And I see you've got a dog there. That's a greyhound. And so after I had finished auction rooms, and I was really happy with how the building was looking, the tree was looking, and there was a bench, and I knew that I had to include a dog, and I did not know what breed of dog to include in that. So I went onto Facebook, North Melbourne Good Karma, and I asked the people, you know, what do you think? What sort of breed should I include? Most of the people said greyhound, because there's a massive greyhound, lost dog community here. And then, yeah, of course, it had to be in a really beautiful stripy jacket. It's a very iconic North Melbourne dog for sure. Maybe you could just show us one more that really inspired you, and tell us what drew you to maybe another part of the city to paint this particular one. Yeah, I think we can go to Market Lane Coffee. It's not a very, I have to say, it's not a very popular print of mine, but I absolutely love it, because it gives me the opportunity to really focus on the architectural part of it, and how there's this huge contrast between the old and the new, so the old building with the new cafe, and the starkness of the white around, and the colorful reflection. And every reflection gives me the opportunity to show what's on the other side of the street. And I can add layers and layers in that reflection. And I really like that contrast. And it's also a contrast between the digital and the traditional medium. Yes, and speaking of reflections, there's one over here, which you've described as a bit of an experiment, but it's a really interesting one. Can you describe this one that we're looking at here? Yes, that is, it's called Order and Chaos, and it was inspired by one of the reflections in a shop front in Footscray. And because Footscray is quite similar to how India is to me, it's like there's this massive chaos, but there's that order, and everybody knows their place within that chaos. That's what I wanted to reflect in this painting. It's got a lot of chaos happening with so many reflections, but the colors, the greens and the blues and the yellows, the warm colors, it all brings it all together in one painting. Yes, that's what I tried to show. Fantastic. So, could you tell us a little bit more about your time here? I believe you've been running a workshop today. So, I had a gouache workshop today, and we had seven participants. It was amazing. I think the people have been absolutely incredible, and the feedback that we got from them has been so encouraging. So, when we started this place, we didn't know what to expect, because we were so like, our suburb is the best, which is Flemington, Kensington. And then we moved here, and we meet these beautiful people who are so inclusive, such a strong community. And the feedback that we got was like, we would love for something like this to permanently exist here. So, we're definitely looking at something in North Melbourne. If we can, that would be great, absolutely amazing, and we absolutely love North Melbourne. What are your future plans for the rest of the year and the next couple of years? I do have plans for this year. Next year seems so far away. We're doing lots of markets. We'll be doing lots of big markets, like the finders keepers and big design markets, and lots of small markets in between. And we'll be doing lots of client work. So, while we were at the shop, I felt like I was so, I could not deliver all the work that I had committed to my clients. So now, after this is over, I'll just be focusing on all the client work, all the custom pieces, the commission pieces, and collaborations. And we'll also be creating new series of work for the big design market and finders keepers. Thanks for all. Have a great day, and it's been great having you here in North Melbourne. Thanks, Tom. Thanks for this opportunity. That was amazing. Thank you. Thanks again to Parul for taking the time to talk to us. On the day I met with Parul, her colleague, Sarah, was away from the shop finishing off a book called Ingenious Insects, and it'll be out in 2024, and it'll be the third in the series, published by Film Press. Previous installments were Busy Beaks and Jumping Joeys, both of which have been recognised by the Children's Book Council of Australia, and can be purchased where good kids' books can be found, including the Melbourne Museum. Sadly, Parul and Sarah's time at Shop 54 will be nearly over by the time this comes out, but there are plenty of opportunities to catch them at art expos over the next few months. Sarah and Parul will be at finders keepers in October at Royal Exhibition Buildings, Makers and Shakers Market in Williamstown in November, and Big Design Market at Royal Exhibition Buildings in December. Links to their Instagrams are in the show notes. Now it's time for the Community Notice Board. If you want to send something in for the Community Notice Board, email us at markettomelroseatgmail.com with the subject heading Community Notice Board. That's markettomelroseatgmail.com. We're especially interested in events organised by local people and local achievements. Sporting team victories, 50th anniversaries, 100th birthdays. If it's interesting and it's local, we love to hear about it. We'll start this week with one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar. The Queensbury Cup Billy Cart Race is back for a second year. The Queensbury Cup is a fun, vibrant, family-friendly event that showcases the community of North and West Melbourne. Held for the first time in 2022, the Queensbury Cup is back this year, bigger, better and faster. For a day, the main street will be closed and transformed into a racing track, where people can cheer and watch and use, while gravity takes the racers downhill on Errol Street. Enter yourself or your team in the Billy Cart Challenge for a shot at glory, with prices including $1000 as standard for local shops. But wait, there's more. The Queensbury Cup is a street festival with something for everyone. A dog show, music from across the globe, a courthouse bar, fun activities for kids, community dances, tasty food and pop-up performances. It's on Saturday 21st October 2023, one way or the other. On Sunday 15th October, the Kangaroos play Port Adelaide at Arden Street Ovals, the AFLW. The Kangas are enjoying some fantastic food and drinks. The Queensbury Cup is back for a second year, bigger, better and faster. For a day, the main street will be closed and transformed into a racing track, where people can cheer and watch and use, while gravity takes the racers downhill on Errol Street. For a day, the main street will be closed and transformed into a racing track, where the Kangas are enjoying some excellent form this year. The third on the ladder at the time of recording, the midfielder Jasmine Garner is looking for all the world like she's going to achieve a third AFLW Champion of the Year player award. The third on the ladder at the time of recording, the midfielder Jasmine Garner is looking for all the world like she's going to achieve a third AFLW Champion Player of the Year award, having previously taken a song in 2020-2022. So get down there and check out the action. First bounce at 5 past 1. So get down there and check out the action. First bounce at 5 past 1 on Sunday 15th of October. It's $10 entry and free for people under 18. That brings us to the end of our first episode. Thanks for joining us. Remember to subscribe, rate and review, and follow us on social media. We'll be back in a fortnight with a show about the Queensbury Cup. Until next time.

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