Not far away from Redfern’s well known Block, there is a small garage, which transformed into an artist workplace and is called the Duckrabbit Gallery. It is a space run by artists, which also offers room for young emerging artists to exhibit their work and make their way into Sydney’s art world.
Jarrod Burgess is one of them. Just last Friday, he opened his first solo exhibition ever, called‚ ‘Radical Redfern’. His art is loud, colourful and provoking. It makes people think, smile and happy. Jarrod is a young artist and with only 19 years of age, way ahead of the game. He himself never thought he would already have an exhibition this early on in his career. He is still a student, studying an advanced diploma in illustration at the Enmore Design Centre.
To call his exhibition‚ ‘Radical Redfern’ was more a coincidence than an intention, he admits.
“I just really like the word‚ ‘radical’ and I use it a lot as you can tell, and the gallery space is in Redfern and I just combined these two words”.
Himself not being from Redfern, but from Castle Hill, he experiences Redfern as an extremely inspiring place. Especially the mass of street art has impressed him and might inspire him to new art projects as well. But that is not all, what comes to his mind when he thinks of Redfern, he explains.
“Redfern is just such a diverse place and anyone can fit in here. There wouldn’t be anything like this in my area and I feel like I fit in here. Anyone can fit in here.”
The art works featured in the Radical Redfern exhibition are crass and have a voice. Each one of them is unique and means something different to everyone. Asking what the message of his art is, Jarrod doesn’t have a clear answer. He just wants to bring happiness to people with his art. He doesn’t think there is a need to have a certain message, just happiness.
“I came from an angry place in high school and art made me happy.Just sitting down and drawing. People nowadays are too worried and I want to make people happy with my art.”
Even though Jarrod is not originally from Redfern, he finds it a very interesting place, because it is such a mix of different cultures. The topic of the gentrification of the suburb is also compelling to him and he decided to base his new work, an animated book, on the gentrification in Redfern.
For anyone, who is interested in the young artist and wants to check out his work, come on by to the duckrabbit gallery. The artist will be there every day from 11 – 6pm and will happily chat to you about his works and his inspirations. The exhibition will run until this Thursday, April 14.