“In November 2011 we were fortunate enough to receive the Matt Clark Travelling Scholarship which enabled us to spend five days in Sydney to attend and document the Outpost Project street art festival at Cockatoo Island. The event is “…the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring over 100 local and international street artists and collectives.” The festival included large-scale installations, live art creations including aerosol art, stencilling, paste-ups, sticker art, cup rocking, sculpture, murals and bill boards.
In short, it was one of the most amazing experiences we’ve ever had. To elaborate on that, we were very fortunate to have met May’s Lane Project Coordinator Wendy Murray only a month before at the Perc Tucker exhibition Decked Out. This chance encounter (thanks to Eric Nash for the introduction!) bestowed on us a remarkable opportunity when it came to going to Outpost, as May’s Lane’s touring panels were a major part of the festival.
The unbelievably generous Wendy managed to score us last minute tickets to the opening of the Outpost Project. This meant a very hastily booked and organised trip which had us arriving in Sydney on opening day. After a plane, taxi and ferry ride we were greeted with the sun setting over a massive heritage island decked with street art in every nook and cranny. To make matters better, at the opening we were introduced to a slew of well known street artists including Anthony Lister, Debs, Ears and Haha.
The opening, with its hundreds of guests, massive murals, breathtaking installations and free beer and Mexican food was only a taste of what was to come. The following three days were spent with camcorder and camera firmly in hand as Wendy showed us the well sprayed, heavily pasted and totally sticker covered best of Sydney and Cockatoo island.
On the mainland there was a trip to May’s Lane where we interviewed Wendy and founder Tugi Balog. With several artists using the lane as their canvas every month and a long history behind the project, there was lot to discuss. This was followed with a trip to Higher Ground Studio where we were privileged to get a first hand insight into the works and process of artists such as Max Berry and Beastman.
On the island there was endless shuffling in awe as we saw the exhibits such as Pastemodernism 3 (paste-up culture curated by Ben Frost), May’s: THE MAY LANE STREET ART (panels from May’s Lane), PROJECT, OI YOU! COLLECTION (George Shaw’s collection of 70 works, including 23 from Banksy), NEXT (an insight into t-shirt culture) and ARTERY (a passageway curated by aMBUSH Gallery). As if just seeing the work wasn’t enough, we got to hear the stories behind them from Mini Graff, Vexta, Heesco and Adnate + Slicer.
By the time we left Sydney we had our minds full of inspiration and our cameras filled with footage. Over the next few months that footage will be turned into a collaborative short film that will be shown locally and uploaded to the web. The hope is to provide a little snapshot of the Outpost Project, the amazing artists who were a part of it and a maybe even a slight glimpse into the active, politically charged, mysterious world of Australian street art.”
“Being awarded the Matt Clark Travelling Scholarship to work collaboratively with Aaron Ashley inspired us to continue to work together. We are currently spending a year travelling across the world documenting, blogging, photographing and filming. I am working on a short film called ‘The Journey of a Young Traveller’ in the hope to inspire other like-minded artistic explorers.”
In mid 2012, Jess Hay had photographs from her recent travels published by popular arts, craft and culture magazine Frankie.