This weekend, some of Melbourne’s finest emerging artists are donating their works for cancer charity Open Mess, whose collaboration with Carlton bistro Fenton will see a genuine, zero waste farm-to-table dinner party surrounded by art.

Brightly coloured, energetic and daring is a theme that has organically come together as the art has amassed for the silent auction fundraiser. Highly collectable works are available for bidding on from leading emerging artists Esther Olsson, Andy Pye, Benjamin Thomson, Skye Ronnenbergh, Zoe Milah DeJesus, Charlotte Alldis and Olana Janfa. 

Works of note include Esther Olsson’s painting Keeko, which explores the need for emotional release and the beauty in losses in one’s life. Here, mythical creatures, angels and surfers riding dolphins collide in a joyous composition that offers a true sense of freedom and letting go. 

Sophie Bullen Tangible Dream, Tangerine
(Mixed media) 300 x 42cm
Fenton Bistro, Carlton

Sophie Bullen presents an outstanding polyptych series of 4 (auctioned separately) mixed media on wood abstract works – Tangible Dream, Tangerine; Southern Seas, Killarney Breeze; Winter’s Promise and Memory’s Day – that depict dappled sunlight on rural landscapes shaded by black cockatoos who flew above. Tangible Dream, Tangerine glows with all the strength and intensity of the Australian summer – highlighting the high contrasting heat and cool / light and shade upon shaley soil, layered leaf matter and natural objects. Southern Seas, Killarney Breeze is cooler in colour tone but equally beautiful and exploratory in its detail and brilliance in composition.

Andy Pye Bottle Tree Study
(Oil stick and graphite on paper), 21 x 29.7cm

Highly prolific regional Victorian artist Andy Pye is offering both an oil stick and graphite on paper work Bottle Tree Study, plus an 80 x 80cm commissioned framed painting of an Australian bush scene of the buyer’s choice. After a near-sellout Sydney exhibition in May-June this year with Martin Browne Contemporary, and a recently exhibited second full-scale exhibition of oil on canvas paintings at Melbourne’s Modern Times gallery, titled Magma : Gamma – his two contributions to the Open Mess silent auction is significant. Winning bidders of the works will take home some of Andy’s best depictions of the Australian bush, uniquely drawn and painted with energy, powerful colour and the exploration of light rays, reflections and haze, a current theme within his works. 

Esther Olsson Keeko (Painting) 77 x 56cm
Charlotte Alldis Our Trip to Space from Memory (Painting) 91 x 91cm
Freshly harvested produce sourced from Tanaka Farm in South Gippsland
Delicately designed dishes are a feature of Fenton

Freshly harvested produce sourced from Tanaka Farm in South Gippsland will be a feature of the art/dinner event. The night’s menu  includes impeccably presented plates like focaccia with house dips and pickles; kombu celery with soy sauce; kohlrabi with chilli and salsa verde; cured trout with pickled beetroot and crème fraîche; slow-cooked lamb with jus and cauliflower puree; and fried nettle gnocchi with a cauliflower and pea ragu. There’s a citrus and almond clafoutis for dessert, and you can also add on olives, cured meats, terrine and cheese. The bistro’s walls will be decorated with works by the artists; while diners will place final bids via Open Mess’ online auction platform (linked below) throughout the evening.

Fenton X Open Mess

Proceeds from the dinner party and the auction will help fund research into heart disease and cancer at the University of Sydney’s Nano Institute, which is focused on developing nanorobots for early treatment and prevention.

Produce for the event is supplied by Tanaka Cafe & Grocer, Carlton grown at Tanaka Farm, South Gippsland.
Fenton images courtesy of photographer Esin Ustundag.

Fenton Food & Wine Harvest Dinner Event:
When: Saturday, August 27, 2022
Where: 58 Rathdowne Street,
Carlton, Victoria
Book: Your seat online

Open Mess Online Silent Auction
Register to see the artworks and bid online now at:

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