Hypnagogic Tableau takes a look through a lucid window of space between consciousness and unconsciousness, past and present, technology and nature, and allowing you to experience all the sensory freedom that comes with that space. The show will feature plays on light, painting, installations and video work. Hypnagogocic Tableau is Lee McConnell's first solo exhibtion.
WOK & ROLL
Words by Vaughan Blakey
As a kid Lee McConnell had a dream to one day leave his home in Forster and move to the big smoke of Sydney to work in a Chinese Restaurant. And at the tender age of 18 he did just that. And like most kids who reach their dream of working in a Chinese Restaurant too early Lee soon became disenchanted with the endless frying of spring rolls, the infuriating mess left on pristine white table cloths by San Chow Boy and the overwhelming pointlessness of life in general.
Then one day whilst sitting upon a floral settee immersed in plumes of grey and blue, Lee picked up a pencil and began to draw and it was in that very moment The Happy Garden Wok House lost its most valuable employee and a new dream began to take shape. Within weeks Lee had rediscovered his lost passion for art (Did I tell you he loved to draw Batman as a three-year-old? Well… he did).
Lee was quickly hired as an illustrator at surf/art powerhouse Mambo, joining an impressive alumni of creative game changers including Reg Mombassa, Jeff Raglus, Bob Moore, Paul McNeil (to name a few). Six years later he was art director of the entire company. Such was his froth that even when he wasn’t drawing, he was still drawing, moonlighting as an album cover and gig poster designer for his buddies Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays, as well as for his home town music fezzy Grow Your Own.
It’s fair to say that in the years since leaving Mambo, Lee has gone on to become one of the most recognised rock and roll artists in Australia and he was the obvious choice to create the visual landscape for the 2019 Splendour in the Grass Music & Arts Festival. His goal? “To share the worlds from my dreams and venture into dimensions that might exist somewhere else in the universe,” he says, which might be about the most Splendour thing anybody has said ever.
Lee’s alternative realities are a digital decoupage of past and present, nature and technology, and he uses mediums both traditional and experimental. His exhibition ‘HYPNAGOGIC TABLEAU’ at Lone Goat gallery (check it out in Byron July 12 - August 6) will feature plays on light, painting, installations and video work, while for SITG his poster art and entrance tunnel will challenge his audience to leave their preconceptions at the door to allow for a mind-altering artgasm.
“This is about being in the moment with the music and the art of the festival, about being lucid in that window of space between consciousness and unconsciousness and allowing yourself to experience all the sensory freedom that comes with that space,” adds Lee, trumping his earlier most-Splendour-statement-ever.