Original Interview: February 2014

Art Park

We talk to the killer duo from Art Park – Craig and Paul! Ever wanted to chill in an amazing studio? Have incredible support behind your work? Look no further! Not only are Art Park a brilliant studio but they also hold residencies for artists. Soon they’ll be launching an amazing (and pretty mind-blowing) competition… Read on to see what we’re all jealous of!

How did you guys meet and what made you start Art Park?
PM: I was part of the infamous SEA surfboards and Gallery in Byron Bay. We somehow managed to score some excellent local and international artists to show there. Craig had just moved with his family to the area and was a bit suprised to see a poster around town with some of his favourite artists names on it!  He came to the shows and we became friends through a love of art. Sea cell eventually closed and Craig asked me if I wanted to join him in a new venture, Art Park was born. We have always strived to get some more art into the community and the world! That’s our mission.
CR: What he said.

Paul – you’ve worked with Mambo and a bunch of other companies – tell us your highlights and how you go to where you are now!
Well, as a young man growing up in New Zealand I saw ads in magazines for 100% Mambo clothing and they blew my mind!  I decided I wanted to work there somehow… I moved to Australia and pestered them (with love) until they gave me a job. Then I made myself look clever by cracking jokes all the time. Then I taught myself how to draw and combined the pics with the jokes… That was fun and certainly made life good for me! I also spent years hanging around bands until they let me design their posters and albums. I guess my highlights would be seeing people walk down the street in a tee I have designed and also having the privilege of standing side of stage at some absolutely amazing rock shows. Money is not a factor in the life of an artist!

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Art Park Byron Bay

Craig – you recently exhibited in Byron and have been designing for years! What have been the highlights for you?
Highlights… having an exhibition of my own art last year was super fun. This has led to 2 more shows in Australia in 2014 and an exhibition planned in Singapore also. So aside for all things Art Park I’m enjoying getting new work ready for these shows. I’m also really proud our the Art Park Artist Residencies — this year (on the accommodation side) we have partnered with Linneaus Estate, who along with our other partners are helping us establish a truly world class residency program. That brings me much satisfaction. I also need to acknowledge all our amazing Residency supporters for 2014: Scoot Airlines, Mr Simple, Stone and Wood, Sailor Jerry and of course Linneaus. Stay tuned for a great Artists Residencies competition we are about to launch with Scoot — first prize is return travel for 2 people and tickets to the amazing 2014 Art Basel Hong Kong Art Fair. I wish I could go!!!

Whats the plan for Art Park 2014?
2014 is shaping up to be a ripper. Firstly we have Rhys Lees as our 1st Artist in residence for the year and he will be having a show in our gallery. He is certainly one of our favourite artists in Australia. Next in the gallery we have a show by the incredible Fiona Lowry, followed closely by a group show by Tom Millidge, Mia Tananaka and Nicholas Chalmers. We are planning to get our first Art Park book published this year and will continue to bring out art-inspired clothing and are hoping to expand that side of things in 2014.

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Who were some of your favourite shows since you started?
PM: Hard to pick a favourite as we both love all the artists we select for the shows, but I did enjoy Thomas Campbell’s last show as we had both been so heavily involved with it.
CR: Yes, hard to pick and not wanting to offend any of our amazing artists… I really enjoyed working with German artist Stefan Marx last year. We brought him out from Hamburg for a Splendour in the Grass project and he also did a solo show with us as well. So good!!! I also should mention a show we did with Lithuanian wunderkind ‘Egyboy’ — that show was so great and odd and strange — it blew so many minds.

What advice would you give students starting out in the creative industry?
PM: Find what you like, study it really hard! And try and get involved.
CR: What he said and don’t be backwards in coming forwards — passion has a loud voice and is super hard to ignore.

theartpark.com.au

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Art Park Byron Bay