Posted by KB on August 16, 2010
You may know Biddy Maroney and Sonny Day of design duo WeBuyYourKids from the screen-printed Popfrenzy posters that painted the town red some four years ago. Or perhaps you know them for the artwork they’ve produced for bands like Deerhunter, Blonde Redhead and Les Savy Fav. Maybe you’ve been spooked by their renderings of witches, snakes and black cats at one of their exhibitions at gallery haunts like Monster Children and China Heights. If you’re not familiar with their work, this is your chance to become acquainted. Presented by Cockle Bay Wharf and curated by aMBUSH Gallery, Project 5 is an urban arts initiative aimed at supporting the arts through pop-up painting, music and auction events. WeBuyYourKids chat to Kluster about their involvement, which may or may not involve a dog, a knife and a whole lot of black paint.
Covered: Phat Space, Washington, old horror movies and skateboard graphics.
Joanna Lowry: What is Project 5?
Sonny Day: It's a live art event designed to raise money for charity and a good excuse to have a beer afterwards.
JL: How did you get involved with Project 5?
SD: It was the terms of my parole. We've been involved with Bill Dimas and John Wiltshire from Ambush Gallery in one way or another for the last few years. They asked and we said yes.
JL: What are you going to be doing as part of Project 5?
SD: That's a great question, I'm not sure yet. But most likely it'll involve a dog, a knife and a whole lot of black paint.
JL: You both come from artistic backgrounds, Sonny as curator/artist and Biddy as designer/artist. What do you each bring to the collaborative project that is WeBuyYourKids?
SD: We both handle the ideas side, but I mainly focus on initial ideas and composition. Biddy takes care of a lot of the execution and rendering as most of our work is digital. I take care of screen-printing etc. But we both kind of bounce something back and forth off each other. It's hard to pull it apart into the two different sides.
JL: What have you learned from each other, in terms of work practices and styles?
SD: Coming from a fine arts background and not a design/illustration field (which is what we mostly work in), Biddy has taught me heaps about basic design rules etc. But I really don’t think I've taught Biddy anything.
JL: Tell us about the first piece you created you together?
SD: The first thing we made together was a drawing for a couples show at a gallery called Phat Space in Sydney like a million years ago. We can’t remember exactly what it looked like and didn't take any photos.
JL: Tell us about a favourite piece you've created together?
SD: Well mine (and this is tricky 'cause we've made so much stuff together), would be the work we made for our show at Monster Children last year called Trials. Biddy likes the stuff we've done that's been animated - like the 'Clementine' music video for Washington.
JL: I’ve noticed a few recurring themes in your work: snakes, symmetry, wavy lines and witches. Where does the imagery come from?
SD: Old horror movies, comics, skateboard graphics. I think that it’s the result of all our combined influences from when we were growing up finally coming together to create what WeBuyYourKids is.
JL: You’ve done a lot of posters for bands, record labels and festivals. How does music influence your work?
SD: Music is a really important thing for both of us and plays a big part of how we work. I can’t work with out music, I need it to get ideas flowing. We are very lucky that our job mainly revolves around getting to draw shit for bands.
JL: What tunes have been pleasuring your ears of late?
SD: Well the Best Coast album is killing it at the moment otherwise there's, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Beach Fossils, High On Fire, Beach House, Tame Impala, Liars and it goes on and on.
JL: How do you feel about Sydney’s street art scene?
SD: I don’t think I can really comment on that to be honest. We don’t work in that world but we totally dig what Ben Frost, Beast, Lister and the rest do. Biddy is a big fan of Jumbo and Zap and Alaska.
JL: Your pick of up-and-coming street artists to watch?
SD: Jumbo and Zap again. They are already established, so don't fit the "up and coming" tag, but we really like seeing their new stuff coming out. Again not so sure about "Street Art" per se but we like the work of artist folks like Mark Alsweiler, James Jirat Patradoon...
Project 5 takes place on Friday 20 August 6-9pm, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August 12-3pm at Promenade Level, Cockle Bay Wharf