Meet the artists: Scotty So and William Eicholtz

Published on 19 May 2021

Artworks from Scotty So and William Eicholtz

Stonnington is home to a thriving community of LGBTQIA+ artists and creatives, admirers and allies. As an annual supporter of Midsumma Festival and its performances that have lit up our venues and showrooms, the City of Stonnington has been proud to champion queer artists and their work. Through our Arts and Culture grants, many LGBTQIA+ artists have brought their work to gallery spaces and stages, connecting, informing and entertaining our community through their own lens. 

Following on from IDAHOBIT Day (International day against LGBTQIA+ discrimination) and ahead of the Midsumma Pride March this weekend, we spoke to two queer artists working in Windsor who have played large roles in their contribution to Stonnington’s thriving art scene through their own creative practices.

Scotty So

Scotty So is a multidisciplinary artist who works with paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramic, video and drag performance. Originally from Hong Kong, Scotty has been in Melbourne for the last three years residing in the City of Stonnington. 

What kind of art do you create?

My work focus is driven by the thrill of camp and the often-contradictory relationship between humour and sincerity within lived experience. My work involves a lot of genders and cultural playing and acting through drag performance and fashion and I also use a lot of repurposed daily found objects in my work as ways to reconstruct the perception of identity and the surroundings. 

How did you start your creative practice?

I often start my practice with my instinct. If I see something that makes me curious, I would want to get to know why it interests me and to find a way to "play" with it. For example, I once walked past a tax return agent window front in Fitzroy and I was fascinated by the look of it and I replicated the window front and then changed its lighting to give a totally different atmosphere as a work for my grad show at VCA in the end. 

Who/what has been the biggest influencers of your work and why?

My biggest influencers have been Kylie Minogue. She is so iconic that I have always loved ever since I was a little kid in Hong Kong. I have always loved her ultra-camp costumes, music video and lyrics. I see this element of her to be so ambiguous as I would often enjoy reading into them on a deeper level by actually reading essays that talks about her work in a scholastic way but also her work are just something that can be literally something campy with no meaning at all. 

Scotty is represented by MARS Gallery, located at 7 James Street, Windsor.
Instagram: @scotty.so

William Eicholtz

William Eicholtz is a sculptor who has been working in Windsor for over 25 years. During this time he has created numerous large public commissions, many solo exhibitions and countless group exhibitions. After working in his sculpture studio in Windsor for over 25 years, he has seen Chapel Street Windsor change from a sleepy shopping strip serving local needs, to a groovy restaurant and bar scene that really only comes alive at night.

What kind of art do you create?

At the moment, I am making many smaller scale ceramic sculptures that all begun with the restrictions of COVID lockdown. These smaller works were inspired by experiences I had during a residency in China, where I met Pixiu (pronounced pea shoe).

Pixiu have a voracious appetite towards only gold, silver and jewels and therefore, Pixiu have always been regarded as auspicious creatures that possessed mystical powers capable of drawing Cai Qi (財氣 wealth) from all directions. Because of this, according to Chinese zodiac, Pixiu are especially helpful for those who are going through a bad year.

One story of the Pixiu tells that it violated a law of Heaven by defecating on the floor of Heaven. When it was found out, it was punished by a spanking executed by the Jade Emperor. The spanking was hard enough to cause its rectum to be permanently sealed, hence Pixiu have no assholes!

How did you start your creative practice?

Even as a small child, I created things that I wanted to exist, but that certainly were no part of my suburban upbringing. Images gleaned from art books and magazines were soon reinterpreted as small sculptures, drawings and paintings.

Horizons have expanded since then and our multicultural community affords many and varied creative influences which I explore with enthusiasm in my work.

Equally my artwork has often been an expression of my sexuality as well, and the current campy reinterpretation of a traditional pan Asian feng sui symbol of Pixiu is very much in keeping with my practice.

William Eicholtz’s exhibition, Greedy Pixiu, is showing at fortyfivedownstairs from 25 May - 5 June.

Instagram: @dishboydreaming
Visit William's website

 

Tagged as: See & do