Child’s play for printmaker
FOR printmaker, Darren Bryant, getting together his latest exhibition, Boy's Own - the Hoon Series, has been child's play.
The new works consist of brightly coloured silk screen prints of 1970s cars based on images from Mr Bryant's own collection of breakfast cereal swap cards and petrol station collectors' cards from his childhood.
The exhibition was one of three, including The New Charge - Australian Women Modernists and The Red Heart by Margaret E. Brown that opened last night at the Lismore Regional Gallery.
"Over the last five years I have been creating a body of work that is investigating child's play," Mr Bryant said.
"I have always been interested in how child's play is the starting point for how we view things in later life.
"The work is connected with gender issues about how boys play with certain toys and girls play with certain other toys."
With titles such as "Rev Head" and "Pedal to the Metal" Mr Bryant said his work reflects on how young boys' preoccupation with cars often embeds car culture into their psyche which may carry on into dangerous behaviour later in life.
"It brings up questions about the way we educate boys in that we may be setting them up for a great fall later in life within our culture and society," he said.
Mr Bryant is a highly regarded Northern Rivers printmaker with a long association with Southern Cross University.
He has recently taken up a position there as printmaking lecturer.
His enthusiasm for printmaking is fuelled by a passion to use the various printmaking technologies to forge challenging new work.
"Printmakers have always followed and capitalised on invention and technological advancement," he said.
"I am attracted to the traditions of printmaking and have been investigating the hand-made and also the digital and bringing these two methods together with interesting and challenging ideas," he said.Mr Bryant and his partner Joanna Kambourian also manage and facilitate the Lismore Art Space in Norris St, Lismore.The Lismore Art Space Studios is a renovated warehouse that offers individual studios for hire to artists.
They also offers classes and workshops from a range of tutors and artists in a variety of mediums including printmaking together with studio sales, residency opportunities, exhibition and installation space, professional practice development and networking opportunities.
"The space is set up as an arts hub offering access to expertise and equipment," Mr Bryant said.
The space is also home to the couple's print making studio, Ms Brown's Lounge.
But even with his own well equipped studio space, Mr Bryant revels in the atmosphere of a bustling print studio.
"Having your own space is wonderful but for me I have always enjoyed working in and around other people and artists," he said.
"It's very communal in terms of the conversations we have on the floor.
"I find that if you have that ongoing dialogue your work benefits and you can also put back into other people's work.
"Artists really do need to share their ideas, and thinking your ideas out in a communal art spaces is very positive."