Look Hear Newcastle! Week 3 Review: Toby Burrows, Trevor Dickinson & The Jackie Winter Group

Photo by Toby Burrows, Look Hear Newcastle

Photo courtesy of Toby Burrows, who spoke at last week's Look Hear talk

Tonight the last gathering for the 2011 Look Hear self-proclaimed “design geek out” will take place at Newcastle Region Art Gallery. If you’re thinking of going along, why not check out our review of last week’s event to get you all inspired!

Artists are historians with a creative license. They use all the tools at their disposal in order to create a tangible interpretation of their observations, capturing and revealing the essence of our times. The identity of an artist is, to some extent, defined by its art. The act of creation itself is an exercise questioning one’s relationship to the world and vice versa. Toby Burrows’ explorations of derelict buildings on the verge of demolition, Trevor Dickinson’s collections of ‘real’ Novocastrian icons and Jeremy Wortsman’s growing portrait of an elite illustratiors’ scene all speak of a need to observe, select and categorize subjects/people/talent to create a unique portrait of our times.

Toby Burrows

Toby Burrows is a photographer whose artistic flair is only rivaled by the mastery of his craft. In a search for balance between personal and commercial work, his images are contemporary yet nostalgic, elaborately composed yet brought to life in the moment. Like many photographers, Toby has a fascination for the ordinary, the overlooked, the underdogs. Whether he is shooting urban ruins, suburban teenagers at Luna Park or his neighbors around the block, Toby’s images question what is left behind in a society where many go unnoticed. What is revealed through Toby’s careful compositions, waiting for the right moment, the right light is a poetic quality where time is suspended and the line between dream and reality is as faint as the horizon on a completely still lake.

Trevor Dickinson

You would be forgiven for not knowing that Trevor Dickinson isn’t from these parts. How is it that a Londoner was able to define himself as one of the most recognizable artists Newcastle has to offer? Trevor’s small hand-drawings of bus stops, mailboxes and street signs make the ordinary shine and reveal the ability of the most banal objects to surprise, amuse and reveal a sense of identity. His most touching bodies of work is his collection of one hundred mailboxes. This labor of love which took almost a year to complete started as a benign exercise, an excuse to get out, observe, collect. The result, on the other hand, is more than the sum of its parts. Trevor’s drawings tell the story of a “real” Newcastle with the eyes of a foreigner who has learnt to care deeply for his subjects. It is with a palpable affection that the artist has come to terms with this city and his own relationship to it.

Jeremy Wortsman - Founder and Director of The Jacky Winter Group

Only few designers get into this field because they dream of handling the business side of their practice. Negotiating a paycheck, invoicing, promotion, finances all seem to require a different part of the brain to the one that can create beautiful things. Luckily for some of the best illustrators Australia has to offer, Jeremy Worstman, founder and director of The Jacky Winter Group seems to be more than happy to take care of it all. Steadily growing from relatively modest beginnings with a handful of illustrators, the agency now represents over 50 established illustrators (Beci Orpin is one of them) and has launched a number of side projects: The Hatch for emerging illustrators, Rock of Eye which represents international designers to the Australasian market, The Bowery dedicated to story-boarders, 3D renderers and the like and Lamington Drive, a real world Art Gallery showcasing the work of some of the represented artists. Collectively, The Jacky Winter Group aims to “facilitate communication between corporate clients and talented illustrators” in order to benefit us all by raising the standards of visual communications in the public and private realm. In the context of professional networking tools like LinkedIn and The Loop which have so successfully eliminated the middle man, the Jacky Winter Group is like a trophy cabinet where the best are on display. If that feels a little elitist, it’s because it is but there is one thing the Jacky Winter Group can not be accused of is of not finding a spot, or creating one for anyone who deserves it. Work hard, do your thing and you too could find yourself on Jeremy’s wall of fame.

Look Hear is a weekly series of Art and Design talks presented on every Wednesday of August at the Newcastle Regional Gallery. The final talk is on tonight, followed by the Look Hear Afterparty! Kicking off at 5:30pm, the final in the series will feature talks from creative director of design agency Boccalatte Susan Boccalatte, editor of Desktop magazine Brendan McKnight & letterpress & typography specialists The Hungry Workshop. The afterparty is at The Cambridge from 8pm, tickets are $10 if you buy them at Look Hear and $15 at the door - all welcome! For more info, check out the Look Hear website.

After studying and working as a Graduate Architect in Sydney, Laure has recently moved to Newcastle and is focusing on creating her dream job which involves lots of writing, taking her laptop to cafes and getting involved within the local creative community. In 2010, she launched Aloud., a blog dedicated to presenting the work and life of women who have taken action to live the life they want, with some risks, maybe a bit of fear but no excuses and great rewards.

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