Art styles mix, match


Joondalup Weekender - - Voice -

LO­CAL artists Trevor Bly and Pa­trick Do­herty have been work­ing to­gether for more than 10 years to bring to­gether the worlds of graf­fiti sub­cul­ture and con­tem­po­rary art.

Their lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion One Street from Hap­pi­ness fea­tures ex­per­i­men­tal prints and paint­ings that ex­plore ideas of lo­cal­ity, iden­tity, spir­i­tu­al­ity and his­tor­i­cal con­flict.

“Our at­tempts to merge dis­tinct prac­tices, styles and ap­proaches led to an ex­am­i­na­tion of home and how iden­tity is in­formed by place and space,” said Bly, who lives in Craigie.

“My prac­tice con­sid­ers the idea of lo­cal and what that means, while Pat looks more into taboo is­sues of his­tor­i­cal atroc­i­ties, ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion and hu­man tragedy.

“I think when you com­bine two in­di­vid­ual prac­tices with their own set of agen­das, the op­por­tu­nity to make re­ally en­gag­ing art hap­pens.”

This will be the pair’s first col­lab­o­ra­tive show­ing since win­ning the ac­quis­i­tive prize at the City of Joon­dalup’s In­vi­ta­tion Art Award in 2015.

The pieces are a cul­mi­na­tion of 10 years’ work us­ing print­mak­ing meth­ods com­bined with aerosol and mixed me­dia draw­ing ma­te­ri­als such as pen­cils, acrylic paints and crayons.

Bly said the two-man show would “sur­vey our com­bined prac­tice, which de­vel­oped at the for­mer Craigie High School graf­fiti walls”.

“The Craigie Walls was the most im­por­tant site for graf­fiti cul­ture north of the river,” he said. “It of­fered a place for 15 years to a sub­cul­ture and de­fined Perth writ­ing dur­ing the 1990s through to early 2000s.

“At the walls is where Pa­trick and I de­vel­oped our work­ing re­la­tion­ship.

“The site was a per­fect place to prac­tice what we wanted to paint – no lo­cal coun­cil rules dic­tat­ing aes­thet­ics, no re­stric­tions on where or when you could go and it was in my neigh­bour­hood.

“As long as you ad­hered by the un­writ­ten codes within that lo­cal paint­ing com­mu­nity, ev­ery­thing was good.

“That place served as a foun­da­tion to what my­self and Pat paint now but re­ally in­forms my sep­a­rate prac­tice which is ex­plor­ing ter­ri­to­rial iden­tity within sub­ur­bia.”

Do­herty, who grew up in JOON­DALUP Alexan­der Heights, said the artists hoped the ex­hi­bi­tion would demon­strate the “com­plex­i­ties, op­por­tu­ni­ties and suc­cesses of shared mak­ing”.

“Mix­ing two prac­tices and themes – one based in the foun­da­tion of ex­plor­ing lo­cal iden­tity and tra­di­tions while the other in­ves­ti­gat­ing the gothic qual­i­ties of the hu­man con­di­tion – has cre­ated a unique body of work,” he said.

One Street from Hap­pi­ness will show at the Fre­man­tle Arts Cen­tre from May 27 to July 16, with an open­ing night cel­e­bra­tion from 6.30pm on May 26.

Fol­low­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion, the pair will con­cen­trate on in­di­vid­ual projects with Bly ex­pand­ing his Craigie Tales graf­fiti doc­u­men­tary and Do­herty start­ing work on his next solo ex­hi­bi­tion for next year. Tyler Brown­mu­ni­ d467694

Picture: Martin Ken­nealey

Trevor Bly ex­plores what it means to be lo­cal in his art.

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