Musicians who are also artists bring together the best combo since peanut butter and chocolates, and here are our favourites.
The interlinked worlds of music and art are two of our favourites, no doubt. For every Australian musician trying to make it at their first gig, or recording their early demos, there’s a new artist trying to break the scene with something new.
While the pair often, if not always, work hand in hand, it’s surprisingly rare to see one creative soul attack both pursuits. Here are five of our favourite musicians and artists that walk both ways at once.
If you’re looking for perverse, controversial surf culture inspired illustration and sound, then look no further than Ozzie Wright. The Northern Beaches local is a musician and visual artist, frontman of Goons of Doom and partnership project with Mylee Grace.
Responsible for the band’s album art and a truly captivating and humorous social media presence, Wright toys with a colourful and engaging narrative of being free, of nature and of the absurdity of his own music.
Adorning shirts, CD’s, web outlets and posters, it seems that to Wright his music and art are not mutually exclusive but rather interweave, articulating the narrative of his journey as a friend, musician, partner and father. An eccentric and important voice for the surf sub culture, Ozzy Wright is one whose creative mind we should celebrate. Wright has recently released new music, available on Spotify and iTunes.
Little May’s Annie Hamilton extends herself beyond the music for which we know her best to an equally engaging project of her own. Her most recent project Art for the Company, an exhibition held at Sydney’s Goodspace Gallery in 2015, was a collection of pieces curated in order to celebrate the release of Little May’s debut album For the Company.
But Hamilton’s art traverses further than curation and music into her own solo work. Her intricate drawings of the natural world are poetic and expressive of her keen eye for detail and appreciation for simplicity in environment.
If you’ve been lucky enough to see Little May’s accompanying music videos, it’s apparent that even in her music Hamilton aligns her sound with an expansive visual landscape. Her website is filled with examples of her almost scientific horticultural masterpieces, with huge focus on symmetry and in an oxymoronic way.
Beyond ornate simplicity we uncover a mind with the scope far beyond the first glance. Her drawings progress further than the page however; with examples of her work being used for fashion, jewellery, poster art and album covers.
Oliver Hahn is currently residing in Berlin, but this Sydney native has been treading around his primary focus as a maths genius into the territory of sound and light design. A contributor to Sydney’s acclaimed Vivid Festival, Hahn is a visionary, exploring the relationship between science and music; what it means to our cultural landscape and how the two are entirely mutually exclusive.
Currently tracking a few different projects, I managed to get Oliver on the line for a chat.
“I was working on some projections like part of Vivid but also interactive installations and things like that. I did a couple of installations there but they were mainly generative sound based works andI’m working on more digital art in the context of virtual reality now.”
“My main focus at the moment is to create an installation room in VR, which is something you can set up with the oculus rift with multiple sensors to not only look around in the virtual space but to move around in a whole room.”
“The interaction in that context is what really fascinates me; people don’t just look at your artwork and also don’t just interact with it but are really a part of it. I’m trying to create different textures in the space with granulation style sounds using particle systems, so you feel like you’re stuck in some sort of thick liquid [and] I have a couple of examples on my website of me experimenting with some binaural audio.”
Robin Fox is an audiovisual sicko. Testing the boundary between sound and shape, Fox transmits sound through oscilloscopes in order to physically view music being made. It’s both beautiful and terrifying, capturing the very image of the sound that has power to change us.
His shows have been aptly likened to being abducted by aliens. His work has been included in public art projects including RoslynOxley9 (Sydney), Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane) and Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart).
Fox’s work spans across live performance, exhibition, public art and design for contemporary dance. His practice is beyond the conventional and challenges how we see art and sound, not solo as aesthetic but experiential and scientific.
For those don’t know, HTMLFlowers is a visual and musical renegade. In the business of fun and childish realism, HTML Flowers’s work is one of narrative and practicality, a crisscross of comic strips and coffee mugs.
Adorning ashtrays and making their way onto people’s skin, these designs are versatile and have a subtle political undertone.
Prolific and accessible, HTML’s art bends into his musical projects filled with distinct beat, spoken word and killer collaborations including Tennis Boys and Felicity Yang. HTML Flowers is sexy, dirty and fun… what more could you want?
Find all of his products here.