Here Come the Artists! (Part 2)

stuart bailey
[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 bailey installation shot
[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.

If you know Sydney, I don’t need to tell you that Parramatta Road is our very own Highway to Hell. (Or rather, in this case, the highway itself is Hell. Just try crossing it as a pedestrian.)

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:

jennifer photographing

and here’s her resulting image:

stuart bailey artwork

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:

mag in window

Can you see what I see?

7 thoughts on “Here Come the Artists! (Part 2)”

  1. Parramatta Rd hides all sorts of things. People making Minor Threat lagerphones? Not even I could make up something like that, when on the bus, looking at the lights in the above-shop apartments.

  2. Those guys at PICA really know how to bang a masonry nail in! Haha!
    I love that you’ve gone from straight edge to Bon, from no sex, drugs and rock n roll to a guy that died by misadventure. That’s bringing breadth to a practice ladies and gentlemen.

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