Liquid Dreamers is a new exhibition of collaborative work by Australian artists Ashleigh Darq and Amanda Hayes. Three years in the making, the original concept arose when Ashleigh was visiting Amanda out in the sticks somewhere near Byron Bay. After many past fleeting discussions, it wasn’t until then and there that the two jumped into Amanda's old Toyota Rav4 and careened into town to buy the first wood panel that went on to become 'Liquid Dreamer’.
"We were so excited by the thought of trying to marry our two styles - Amanda's bold use of colour with my ethereal imagery that verges on the spiritual" says Ashleigh, “We wanted to see how far we could push our own work by combining forces, being close friends meant we were happy to put our trust in each other to nail it.” added Amanda. Although neither had collaborated with another artist before, their first realised piece had an unquestionable - almost magical - combination of their respective styles.
Thus the journey began.
Drawing on such diverse inspiration as the softness of artists like Audrey Kawasaki and Camille d’Errico with the strident boldness of Melbourne street artists such as Beastman & Phibs, Amanda and Ashleigh sought to create a harmonic union of vibrant psychedelia and quiet poignancy. This resulted in works that possess a delicate balance of chaotic color with subtle skin tones; bright fearlessness with delicate melancholy.
Each painting strives to offer its own poetic story for each to interpret on their own, luring the viewer into a dreamy realm where colours melt, souls stream, ribbons glide and rays of lights burst across the canvas.
Growing up my family had a small farm out on the Mornington Peninsula. Dad built the transmissions for the latest Mad Max film (Fury Road), and Mum breeds tiny, impractical horses. I drew from a young age, but becoming an artist was never on the agenda.
An important moment was the recognition that all the doodling I’d done over the course of my life meant something to me. I realised I am unhappy when I don’t create.
In 2011 I completed my Diploma of Visual Art (Painting) at Chisholm Institute. Since then I’ve put on two solo exhibitions, been a part of numerous group shows and had stuff commissioned in NYC, Italy and Mexico.
I remind myself ceaselessly that we will all revert back to the void someday, and use that as inspiration to create and understand my own mythology.
I grew up in Northern NSW around small beach towns. After many years by the sea, in 2001 my husband and I decided to take a chance and move to the city.
It was the graff adorned laneways and gritty subculture scenes of Melbourne that really changed my experience of the world. It was where I found the most inspiration for all my creative ventures since.
In 2007 I finished my Diploma of Make Up from Swinburne Tafe. I’ve been apart of many exhibitions, designed murals and decor for Rainbow Serpent Festival in 2010. I’ve also worked on many film and TV produtions for Make up and special effects .
I use bright bold colour to communicate my interpretations of reality. I aspire to create joyful psychedelic worlds for the viewer to become lost in.