Hi Dylan. What do you study?
Hi Susan, I’m studying a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Design and I am in my third year at the moment.
Wow that is an interesting mix! Do you find the business side of your course compliments your artistic studies?
I think the business side helps me to contextualise my art practice in a way. Kind of like understanding how to market yourself, communicate and manage people. I think they go hand in hand in a lot of different ways.
What type of artist are you? Tell us about what mediums do you work with.
I am an inter-disciplinary artist. I mainly work with mediums that are quite tactile and immediate. For example, I’ve worked with ceramics, installation, performance, video and photography but really, I’m open to exploring any medium.
When did you start creating art?
I probably started making art in high school; you know, starting out in year 7 with clay masks. And as you get through the course, you study visual arts and visual design up to HSC. So that period was good experience in creating and realising projects.
And then I developed a stronger criticality in my works when I started studying at uni.
Thank you for sharing your artistic journey, Dylan. You were recently a featured artist in ”Simon Says Touch!””, a tactile outdoor exhibition curated by artist Natalie Tso. Tell us about your work and about this tactile exhibition.
This exhibition “Simon Says Touch” was a tactile exhibition curated by our COFA local Natalie Tso – she is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Commerce - and the exhibition was at Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios, out on the terrace.
There were around 6 artists with tactile interactive works, so people could come into the space, pick up the works and touch them. That was the central point of the exhibition.
The work I exhibited was called “Touch the Earth Lightly” and it was a paper work. I made sheets of paper by blending leaves, bark, newspaper, junk mail and looked up an online tutorial by Sea Lemon to learn how to bound the pages into a book. You could flip through the book and I had a setup where timber logs were used for the stool and table so it was almost like you were reading within this natural environment.
The title ‘Touch the Earth Lightly’, refers to a quote and philosophy of Australian architect Glenn Murcutt. It is about being mindful about how you fit within greater ecologies and the impact that you have on the world around you. This was the idea that I wanted to convey in my work.
Is there a theme for your artist work; what are your sources of inspiration?
My art practice focuses on how our experiences, attitudes and thoughts can be manipulated by external sources. So I’m thinking about influencers and how their lives are interlinked with social media, to the point where you can’t even see their actual lives anymore. I’m thinking about us living in these dense urban cities and why we need to ‘escape’ from the world through immersion in nature, rather than having it integrated in our lives.
My main inspirations are my own experiences and observing other people and how they respond to the factors as well.
Tell us about some upcoming art projects and exhibitions.
I have quite a few projects coming up. For MAKE Club, we have a documentation workshop next week where you can learn about how to properly document your creative works for your portfolio. The following week, I’m running a paper-making workshop in week 10. We also have a Makers Market coming up early in Term 2.
I’m also working on a project with Vivid at the moment called ‘Celestial Pancake’. That has been one big project that I’ve been working on since July 2019. Celestial Pancake is a suspended light installation that visitors can walk under. This fibre-optic night sky ceiling is composed of a four-metre radius ‘ceiling’ with four microphones surrounding audiences to create a synesthetic experience.
I’m also working on Boba Well, which is a ceramic well filled with milk tea. I hope I can bring people together by us all bonding over this social phenomenon which has taken over Asian youth culture today.
You are currently, the president at UNSW Make Club, so in what ways does being part of Make Club helped you to grow as an artist. How does make club help students with their projects and studies and if interested, how can UNSW students get involved?
Yes, I am the president of Make Club. We are a making society that teaches creative skills and equipment to students so they can apply them in their creative projects. We’ve done workshops such as paper-making, Photoshop, 3D printing and we are doing screen-printing today.
Students can join simply by attending the weekly workshops we have or getting involved in some of the projects we have periodically throughout the term. The next big project we are working on is Makers Market and that will be early on during Term 2.
In terms of how it has helped me to grow as an artist, I think when you learn new tools (and are teaching them as well), you better damn know how to use them! So in that aspect, leading workshops through MAKE Club has diversified my tools within my toolbox.
What are three words you would describe your artistic style or design philosophy, Dylan?
I think human-centred, intuition and generosity.
Finishing off interview with a question related to the theme for Blitz week 9: the theme for Blitz this week is burgers. If you had to design a hamburger, what mediums would you use and what elements would you use to describe your art.
That is, an interesting question. I think I would make a massive burger and somehow shape it into a McDonald’s symbol. It would be made out of clay and as ceramics, it would be weighed down. If people to tried to eat or move the burger, it would just be stuck in the middle of campus.
For more of Dilly's work, check out: