It’s not everyday international artists make their way to ours shores, especially to Sydney. So when we heard VHILS was having his first ever Australian solo show in our home town, we got pretty excited. Skalitzers Contemporary is hosting his debut Sydney show down at The Rocks, from this Thursday 21st March…
In between setting up for the show and planning various wall installations around Sydney (which are now in progress!), we got the chance to have a few words with the man himself. Have a read below. See more about the show here, and more info VHILS here.
Hi Alexander, thanks for your time. We’re super excited that you’re bringing your work to Australia. Especially our home town of Sydney! For our readers, can you tell us how this show came about?
I was approached by Skalitzers who invited me to have a solo show here in Sydney and to bring the “Scratching the Surface” project I’ve been working on in several cities around the world which offers a reflection on the way we’re affected by this globalised model of development – how it brings us closer together but at the same time destroys cultural differences and is leading us towards an increasingly uniform world.
You obviously spend a lot of your time working on large scale outdoor works on buildings and various surfaces. How do you transfer the same energy of the outdoor work inside to the gallery?
Different settings require different approaches, but I manage to establish a connection between them through the theme, the materials and colours, which are all provided by the city – walls, wooden doors, billboards, etc. – which is where the energy comes from, the chaos and waste the city gives us.
It seems you use a variety of different techniques for your gallery pieces. Can you tell us about some of these techniques and how each one affects a different body of work?
The concept behind the body of work is essentially the same but applied to different media which creates different results. It consists on creating images on objects which are taken from the city, achieving contrast through the removal of layers. It’s mainly stencil-based but used in a reverse form though destructive or abrasive means: wood pieces are carved with a chisel or with a Dremel rotary tool; the billboards are done with a cutting knife; the metal plates are done with acid, which eats into them, and are then exposed to the city’s climate to blur the image, etc.
Do you use the same techniques on your outside work, that are used in your gallery work?
Both the concept and the techniques are essentially the same, but the tools are different as they are applied to different media.
What can we expect from this exhibition?
It’s an exhibition that draws inspiration from the city. I’ve been working, gathering impressions and information, and working on sketches since I arrived, so it essentially reflects the city within the framework of the concepts I’ve been working on, related with the impact of the global model of development and its increasingly uniform impact on the world and the way in which this shaped the city.
Are there any plans to hack away at some of our buildings while you’re here?
Yes, we’re still working on the details, but the plan is to work on two walls in Sydney. I’ve also been invited to work on a wall in Fremantle, so will be heading there next.
“DISSOLVE” opens this Thursday night at 140 George St, The Rocks. More info here.