Hyper-real works bring pop culture to Gallery

Treasure Island by artist Darren Sylvester opens in May

Friday 23 April, 2021

Melbourne-based artist Darren Sylvester's new exhibition Treasure Island opens at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre from next month. 

Slyvester's multi-disciplinary practice involves staged studio photography, sculpture, video, installation, performance and music.

Each photograph that Sylvester creates is the result of a detailed process of planning and research, with handmade sets, props and a wide range of pop culture moments and artefacts photographed in his Melbourne studio. 

The works investigate the language between perceived high and low culture, the nature of authenticity, desirability and mortality.

"I'm trying to create a look that doesn't exist here, but perhaps could in Hollywood or on TV — one where you'd have to build a set," Sylvester said.

"Things get reused and are often built roughly. But two things that are important: one, I don't use flash. I only use constant lights with gels, and that gives it a bit of a 'TV look'. And the second, is that I'm always shooting in a studio, or in a room — rarely outside."

The sets and props are then photographed with large-format film, resulting in a hyper-real saturated effect that is direct and to the point, however with inherent levels of great detail and complexity. 

 "We are delighted to bring the work of Darren Sylvester to the Gallery. Darren is one of the most exciting contemporary artists today and has carved out for himself a unique practice that comfortably sits between high art and pop culture," Tweed Regional Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said.

Darren Sylvester was born in Sydney in 1974 and attended school in Byron Bay. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout Australia and internationally. His work is held in a range of public art collections include the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Charles Sturt University and the Sir Elton John Collection. 

On Friday 4 June from 5.30-7pm, join artist Darren Sylvester for a Sunset Session where he will discuss his practice and new exhibition Treasure Island. Tickets cost $20 and bookings are essential: http://darrensylvester.eventbrite.com.au/ 

Treasure Island by Darren Sylvester is on display at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre from Friday 14 May until Sunday 31 October 2021.