Leo Yip + Ellaspede
Meet Matthew Haynes, host and curator of The Design Conference. We meet at Maroochy Festival of all places, he knows a close friend of mine through a company called Work Shop. If you haven't heard of them you should check them out, they run educational workshops for practically anything. Matt and I get to chatting, I show him some of my works, before we knew it we are creating and curating an exhibition that piggybacks his event The Design Conference in May 2017.
It's one thing to decide you want to do your own exhibition, but choosing your subject matter is something else. After much deliberation we decide to team up with a local motorcycle company and curate the exhibition for motorcycle enthusiasts. We knew choosing such a niche market was risky, but it also gives us the opportunity to do something original and make it cool at the same time.
Introducing Leo Yip, founder of Ellaspede Custom Motorcycle Company, Brisbane. Turns out Leo was teaching Industrial Design the same year I started my study... we couldn't work out whether or not i'd been in his class, still cool to know how far we've come since then. In 2016, Leo and the team at Ellaspede created their unique take on a custom Suzuki DRZ400. The bike itself has a number of innovative design qualities that make it very different from anything that's been done before. By a process of elimination the bike became the focus of the exhibition, to be featured in over half a dozen of the pieces.
2017 also gave me the opportunity to immortalise a rugby league great… Sam Thaiday.
I grew up watching Sam play State of Origin. I can’t say that I’m a die hard rugby league fan, but watching the Maroons go head to head with the Blues was an annual event my friends and family did not miss!
Meeting Sam for the first time was one of those “nerve racking/play it cool kind of moments” if you catch my drift which, I’m sure you all do. I brought along one of my other artworks (France) to give Sam an idea of what my work looks like and how I planned to composition his image on the page. His wife Rachel could not part with France, now the Thaiday household is also home to two of my artworks.
Jordan Kahu + Jess Kent
Romance at its best!
A 10 year anniversary present for Jordan Kahu and Jess Kent.
Jordan reached out to me after seeing some of my work at the 2017 Broncos Champions for Charity Auction.
Months of planning went into our elaborate scheme to surprise his partner Jess. I was to arrive at their family home and take some family shots, posing as a Broncos Photographer. Our plan hinged on Jess having no idea who I was… and despite our best efforts we came undone the night before the photoshoot. I get an email from Jess, of all people. She wanted to commission a piece for Jordan for his birthday. All I could do at this point was laugh and stare blankly at my computer screen in disbelief.
The morning of the photoshoot I shake hands with Jordan on his front lawn, the first words out of my mouth were “you would not believe who emailed me last night”. Jordan stunned, gives me a wry little smile, we laugh and walk inside to surprise Jess and tell her the whole ordeal.
Troy Bayliss’ signed 2008 World Championship Ducati
Off the back of my work with Leo Yip and Ellaspede, I was invited to exhibit at the 2017 Sydney Motorcycle Show. I produced one additional piece in collaboration with Troy Bayliss for the event.
For the past two years I have had the opportunity to take part in the Broncos Annual Champions for Charity Auction.