Aaron Billings – OFF CUTS

Opening Thursday 7 Sept, 6pm

This work is about being honest, about being a working artist and trying to make something beautiful out of waste.

7 – 24th September

Off Cuts is a show of collated scraps from Billings’ commercial art practice, re-worked into an exploration of what it means to be an emerging artist in a brand-driven world.
As a subject, Billings loathes capitalism and the murderous global power structures which keep so many in the world in a suspended state of real and illusory debt. But, like everybody else, making money to survive is integral. This is achieved in part by printing merch and selling it directly. Using second-hand fabric and ethically sourced stock, trying to cause the least harm possible.

It was this ethic of minimal harm and minimal waste which first prompted the making of quilts out of the printing samples he had lying around the studio. Using a limited knowledge of sewing and whatever was available, Billings joined piece after piece together, not aiming for straight edges or clean lines. Eventually, collecting cut off materials from workshops he ran (which is another way Billings makes money as an artist) to use in the compositions. The works becoming more deliberate as they progressed.

Within these compositions are prints made to support institutions including the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and Grey Hound Rescue Victoria. Also visible are brands Billings has created; NICE and WANDWARD. NICE is an attempt to shed light on Nike’s attempt to infiltrate the Art community and gain cultural capital through insidious advertising strategies. WANDWAND is a dig at the masculine posturing of indie culture. By semantically linking the phallus to a fairy sceptre, Billings is posing a queer critique of male culture, branding and advertising.

Aaron Billings

Tinning Street is open:
Thursday – Sunday
11 – 5pm
Enter via Ilhan Lane