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Interview with Numskull - 'Bright Lights' at Backwoods

Aaron Craig

Numskull getting busy in his studio

Numskull getting busy in his studio

We caught up with Numskull to chat about his new exhibition 'Bright Lights' which opens August 1st at Backwoods Gallery in Melbourne.  www.backwoodsgallery.com

How did the title 'Bright Lights' come about?
The show is about materialism, and our bizarre obsession with the rare and sparkly things our modern world has to offer. I've been painting these abstract forms and shapes recently and they always remind me of diamonds and rare stones. When you see the work, you can see my obsession with painting these shapes and the reflection of desire it portrays.

How do you feel your new exhibition has evolved from previous exhibitions you've done in your career?
This show is the most advanced and thoughtful group of work i've ever made. I purposefully didn't have a show last year so I could think for a while. 'Bright Lights' is a show i've wanted to paint since then.

Tell us about your experiences in Austria where you recently did a residency - and has that influenced your current body of work?
The residency in Vienna had a profound effect on my art. Thanks to Perfekt World, I met some amazing people, artists, curators and generally amazing human beings that taught me a lot about their art, my art and life in general. I honestly believe travel broadens the mind. As an artist, I value this a lot.

numskull-studio3.jpg

This is your first exhibition in Melbourne in several years - what is it like for you taking your art into new cities (whether interstate or international)?
I have painted and spent time in Melbourne for many many years so it's really nice for me to be having a solo show there. Over the years i've seen the city change and evolve, and I've met and made many friendships. To show in this city is a big deal for me.Taking my work to new cities can be daunting, but that's part of the journey and a challenge I love. It makes me work even harder.

What is the most enjoyable part of your art making process?
It's impossible to choose one part of the whole process.I do enjoy taking my paintings outside and exploring spaces. For example, here in Melbourne I got the chance to explore and paint inside one of the biggest abandoned buildings i've ever seen. It's an adrenaline rush, plus I get to put my work on some of the most interesting walls and environments.

What is your least favourite part of your art making process?
Stale ideas. I can't stick to something for too long. I always need to change and evolve. Some people don't like this, but I can't help it.

Are you planning on doing any murals outside of the gallery while you're down in Melbourne?
Of course, if I can find any blank walls.

What other project do have coming up after 'Bright Lights'?
Straight after the show is finished I have a few large outdoor mural projects happening. Check out my instagram or website for the details!

- Interview by Ben Frost

numskull-studio4.jpg