[Stuart Bailey with his custom silk-screened Bon Scott Posters…]
Before I left Sydney, I got to hang out with Stuart Bailey, one of the artists whose work will be featured in the upcoming Bon Scott Project exhibition. His studio is a kooky set of fibro rooms above a defunct shop on Parramatta Road. I went along with Jennifer, a photographer who was planning to taking some shots of Stuart.
As an artist, Stuart has long been interested in the subcultures of rock and punk. In a recent performance, he and some friends did a version of Straight Edge by Seminal New York hardcore band Minor Threat. With Lagerphones. (If you don’t know what a lagerphone is, you’re probably not an Aussie reader. Never mind. You can catch up here.)
For the Bon Scott show, Stuart’s been working on a set of “fake” Bon merchandise – stickers, t-shirts, and posters. His installation will probably end up looking like the kind of bootleg stall you sometimes see outside of concerts:
[Stuart’s mock up installation, photo by Jennifer…]
“My scenario is kinda like this,” he said, “all this merch has been lovingly but amateurishly created on someone’s home PC. The bootleg vendor has dragged a milkcrate here to the street corner outside the concert. He’s ready to make a killing when the doors open and all the fans spill out.”
I wondered whether Stuart was planning to really sell his fake merch. It’s nice stuff, hand-silkscreened. Having only recently visited a mad collector like Stevo, it occurred to me that fans would probably jump at the chance to snap up Stuart’s custom collectables.
(And if he doesn’t sell em, I wonder how long before they get nicked!? He he…)
Jennifer thought it’d be good to take a photo of the Stuart’s poster out in the street, rather than just in the studio. So we trooped outside into the drizzly night.
But for the purposes of Jennifer’s photoshoot, hell was just fine. Stuart stickytaped a poster around a pole and Jennifer snapped away.
Here’s a shot I took of Jennifer at work:
and here’s her resulting image:
While this was going on, I wandered around and looked in some nearby shop windows. Retail outlets on Parramatta Road seem to come and go. But this little section in Camperdown, coincidentally, plays host to a number of musical instrument places. Peering through the window of one guitar store, I spied this:
Can you see what I see?