At the beginning of November our little family unit set off for an adventure across the waves — well across the harbour really — to the Outpost project on Cockatoo Island. Set amongst the remnants of old ship building yards, on an island in the centre of Sydney harbour, Outpost showcased street art from a (less than exciting) exhibition of Banksy prints, to grand scale installations (life sized house reconstructed in a factory, anyone?). Huge pieces were painted on the side of old buildings, canvas pieces were exhibited in subterranean tunnels, and t-shirts hung like a rainbow. Sounds fascinating and wonderful!
Well the truth is, it was a little ho-hum. Not to sound ‘old skool’ but street art has really gone mainstream as demonstrated by the assortment of punters included golden oldies, who would tsk and tut-tut any of this work were they to see it on their streets.
While just a young thing in design school, I got interested in graffiti. It was exciting, smelly and creatively challenging – and gave me a taste for street art. The interest in which continued once SNH and I got together (the following year in design school). Those were the days when we ran around Melbourne delighting in finding Banksy’s rats, photographing stencils and SNH almost fainted when Shepard Fairey walked into the Bunnings he worked at (he was installing an exhibition down the road for the first Semi Permanent in 2003. On a side note I have an original Banksy photocopy print from that awesome exhibition laying around here somewhere.) Anyway, blah blah blah, we liked it before it was cool, yadda yadda yadda, we’re a little bit over it now.
So for us, the star of the day was Cockatoo Island it self. Wandering around such an amazing island with a long and varied history was great!
It was lovely to get out and about and start exposing young Archie to a bit of culture — plus his first ferry ride!
Having said all that, hats off to the organisers. It was a monumental effort!