We have always loved featuring local artists on the walls at Bivs. Recently, we made a call out for artists to come up with a concept to reimagine the front windows of the venue.

Artist Pete Long totally nailed the creative brief for our soon-to-be window feature. It is very “Bivs”, encapsulating all the origins of our food and the cultures we’re inspired by.

We can’t wait for it to grace William Street.

We caught up with Pete for a little chat and to find out how he came up with the concept.

Pete Long local artist Bivouac

Congratulations! You’ll soon have your artwork front and centre at Bivouac. How does it feel being selected?

It feels amazing to have been selected by Bivouac for this opportunity, I’m glad I could create something that resonated with the venue.

What made you submit your work?

I submitted a design proposal because I work close by in the community and appreciate the unique venue, it’s food, coffee and staff, and it’s silly to pass up an opportunity to do something positive through art.

We noticed your Instagram feed says you’re returning to art. We’re glad you returned! Why the break and what brought you back?

It’s a bit of a sarcastic, self-depreciatory remark, referring to how I became pretty heavily wrapped up in the hospitality world. While I was studying I took a small role as a ‘glassie’ at a little cocktail bar and within a few years I was managing the whole joint, and the time I had for my own art was next to nothing. I decided to leave management and start trying to put more time into art and other creative projects.

You work at Ezra Pound, just across the road. And said you come in for coffees and banter with the staff. Any funny/interesting/nice stories to share?

I do, it’s a great little bar and I love working there. I also love the strong community feel of our Northbridge, and especially William Street, venues. The crews from all over are quick to loan equipment, bring coffees, cop a round. There is a real sense of appreciation amongst us. My favourite interaction with Bivouac is always loaning our citrus press in exchange for the best coffee in Northbridge, it seriously saves me on Saturday morning at the beginning of my double shift!

Pete Long artist.jpg

We absolutely love your illustration – it’s so detailed and decorative, and suits Bivouac’s style so much. Can you walk us through your concept?

In bringing together this design I actually went through a few completely different starts before resetting and coming up with this concept, which is a combination of elements that come to mind for me when I think about the flavours and origins of the cuisine served up.

The proposal image that was selected was one half of the idea, of a goat semi-inspired by Mesopotamian carvings and art, adorned in pomegranate, honeycomb, dandelion, mint and octopus with a couple of bees in there. The second half will feature a lion head of similar origin and accoutrement to match and face the first, standing guard either side of the entrance.

How would you describe your other work?

I’m a sucker for overcomplicating everything, and getting really into detailed linework. The subject matter varies quite a lot and I would love to get around to completing all of the projects in my head. I am labouring away at a painting exhibition currently with some heavier themes, on a larger scale, and an aspect of dadaism performance art that hopefully causes a bit of an upset on the night!

You said if you were selected there would be an accompanying illustration to mirror the opposite window. Any ideas?

The second half will feature a lion head of similar origin, based off of Mesopotamian carvings and art, and similar accoutrement to match and face the first, standing guard either side of the entrance.

Any more plans for your art in the future?

Apart from the exhibition mentioned earlier, yes! When it’s eventually ready this will be my first solo exhibition, hopefully not the last. I am aiming to collaborate with businesses in similar opportunities to this one, I want to make merchandise and cool stuff, I’ve been building a board-game for about a decade… anything and everything if it helps support myself and lets me create art!

Follow Pete on Instagram @washedupartist.