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This Is Northern New South Wales

Monte Lupo

During a recent visit to Multicap in Brisbane, I was introduced to Monte Lupo, who employ that same ethos of sharing the responsibilities of production as their namesake. The name Monte Lupo was taken from a small pottery village nestled in the hills of Tuscany called Monte Lupo Fiorentina. Monte Lupo has a unique ceramic history that can be seen in the use of bright, exciting colors and design that can still be purchased today. Another attribute of Monte Lupo Fiorentina was their skill of sharing responsibilities in the production of ceramic wares – many artists contributed to each piece of work, thus utilising the strengths of each and every individual artist.

For the Byron Bay Writers Festival Monte Lupo has produced 3 large Frida Kahlo sculptures. The Monte Lupo artists felt that Frida embodies the passion, which was very evident through her journals.  The artists have depicted Frida as the modern archetype, each sculpture depicts with the messages of love, sacrifice or passion this is reinforced and on the text that has been mosaiced on Frida’s clothing and the design of the sculpture.  The woman holding the child depicts the sacrifice, the Frida with the heart in the chest is passion and Frida with the bird and love.

Multicap is statewide nonprofit, established in 1962, that provides high needs disability, individual, respite and family support for people with disabilities their families and carers in Queensland. In 1991 Multicap established the Monte Lupo Disability Enterprise to provide a career path for people with disabilities who wished to be gainfully employed in an area encouraging creativity and artistic expression.  Today Monte Lupo employees over 30 people.

With minimal training, Monte Lupo artists have developed a very distinct, individual, naïve style. I could not resist a beautiful green ceramic fruit bowl that now resides in my kitchen! The artists are encouraged to  express themselves freely through several mediums including sculpture, painting, pottery, and screen printing. Monte Lupo staff find this freeness in the artwork visually inspiring and exciting. In these artists, one can truly see the infinite expanse of human expression.

The Monte Lupo machine operates through individual commitment to a team effort – Creative Collaboration, collaborating to produce the finished product and all that entails from unloading the clay off of the truck to the selling.  It’s an opportunity for people with disabilities to contribute to a whole, to be a ‘creative cog’ in a machine that wouldn’t operate without them.

If you are heading to the Byron Bay Writers festival this year be sure to take in the sculpture exhibition and see these magnificent “Frida’s” for yourself.

For more information about Monte Lupo –