ART SPACE: Dave Hickson in his studio at his Ocean Shores home.
ART SPACE: Dave Hickson in his studio at his Ocean Shores home.

Magical dawn inspires art

THE starting point for Dave Hickson's new exhibition, Barcelona, was the photographs he took of local towns in the magical dawn light.

Featuring 34 works encompassing photographs, drawings and 3D works, the show opened last night at the Tweed River Art Gallery.

Mr Hickson's original photos were part of a project called Endless Sunrise, a Northern Rivers-based photographic project aimed at raising money for Positive Change for Marine Life and The Jonno Howell Photographic Scholarship.

"I was taking photos at sunrise and discovered how magical that time of day was," Mr Hickson said.

He usually does 3D work and the leap into photography came after he bought a digital SLR camera eight years ago.

His focus on photography continued when he and his partner travelled overseas to Spain, the US and Singapore.

The exhibition came about through the gallery's Community Access Exhibition Project, where artists are able to submit an exhibition proposal directly to the gallery.

"It's a great way for emerging artists to get a show at a major regional gallery," Mr Hickson said.

He was working towards an exhibition of entirely 2D work before exhibitions curator Gail McDermott saw the sculpture he had entered in the recent Border Art Prize.

"The work was called Sauspepolero and Gail suggested I include 3D work in the upcoming exhibition," Mr Hickson said. "She has been very supportive through this whole process."

Mr Hickson has his studio in the double garage in his neat canal-side home in Ocean Shores.

"I do need to keep the studio tidy and keep the pieces at a workable size," he said. "I play with the photographs. It's about essentialising forms and images and playing with scale and colour so that they take on their own life and personality."

For his 3D work, Mr Hickson uses timber offcuts he sources from a local furniture maker and a timber salvage business.

"I incorporate the happy accidents that occur when you use a material that is not appropriate for making a picture - it's a way of letting the work itself take over," he said.

Mr Hickson studied sculpture at the National Art School in Sydney, graduating in 2003. He moved to the Northern Rivers five years ago and has worked as a casual sculpture lecturer at TAFE.

"We have been here for five years now and I feel like I have been building momentum," he said. "I feel I am now in a position to exhibit regularly in Sydney."

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