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March 26, 2023

Treasure Island brings hyper-real pop culture to Tweed Regional Gallery

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Darren Sylvester, Forever twenty one 2019, 240 x 320 cm, lightjet prints. Image courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney and Neon Parc Melbourne.

Melbourne-based artist Darren Sylvester’s new exhibition Treasure Island opens at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre in May.

Mr Sylvester’s multi-disciplinary practice involves staged studio photography, sculpture, video, installation, performance and music. Each photograph 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 new works investigate the language between perceived high and low culture, the nature of authenticity, desirability and mortality.

Darren Sylvester said, ‘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.

‘Things get reused and are often built roughly,’ he said. ‘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.’


Darren Sylvester, Balustrade stepper 2020, 180 x 120 cm, lightjet print. Image courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf Sydney and Neon Parc Melbourne.

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

Tweed Regional Gallery Director Susi Muddiman OAM said, We are delighted to bring the w’ork 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.’

Darren Sylvester was born in Sydney in 1974 and attended school in Byron Bay.

He’s exhibited his work extensively throughout Australia and internationally, with work held in 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, you can join artist Darren Sylvester for a Sunset Session where he will discuss his practice and new exhibition. 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.

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