• Written by Saket Dongre

Project Five pushes the boundaries of conventional street art with Volume 7

Project Five is returning this September for its annual residency as Sydney’s longest running and most vibrant live and public art activation. Their seventh installment, presented by aMBUSH Gallery and Darling Quarter as part of Art & About 2015, will run from Friday 18 September - Saturday 17 October.

Volume 7 brings back all the classic elements that have made it a favourite amongst Art & About revelers, including a three-day live art event, public art exhibition, Kid’s Urban Art Workshops and auction for charity, all of which are free public events.

Opening night, Friday 18 September, marks the beginning of the three-day live painting spectacle. Branching outside the limits of conventional graffiti and street artists this year, the Volume 7 lineup consists of artists of both international acclaim and up and coming Sydney based artistic gems seeking to redefine the limits of urban contemporary art. Banging beats will be provided by a live DJ set from local Sydney DJ’s to help get you in the groove.

Headlining the live painting will be Vans the Omega, a graffiti artist whose mastery of letterform has earned him international acclaim, along with newcomer Fintan Magee, who has already established a globally recognised signature for the way he fuses a traditional painting technique with the explosive scale of his public works.

Joining the pair will be Gemma O’Brien, one of Sydney’s most prolific and sought-after typographers and Apeseven, whose sensitivity and restraint as a dexterous studio and public painter belies the graffiti stereotype.

Throughout the duration of Project Five Volume 7, the artists’ work will be publicly displayed in aMBUSH Gallery and Darling Quarter’s outdoor exhibition space OPEN, located in Darling Quarter’s Civic Connector.

Returning to Darling Quarter just in time for the September/October school holidays, will be Kids’ Urban Art Workshops, aptly titled Project Five and a Half where budding artists can learn urban contemporary art techniques and create their own works to take home.

With an array of cafes and restaurants flanking the Village Green and Civic Connector and these creative activations occurring throughout the precinct, Darling Quarter will be the perfect place to spend Spring’s sunny days during Art & About.

To conclude the festivities, the works created at the live painting events will be sold at a public auction, with all proceeds donated to a nominated charity. The auction will again be presided over by expert art auctioneer Anne Phillips, Director of Art Market Works. To date, Project Five have raised over $80,000 for charities supporting youth outreach and creative education programs.

What: Project Five, Volume 7
Where: Darling Quarter
When: Friday 18 September – Saturday 17 October 2015
Prices: FREE

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Apeseven is a self-proclaimed Pop Surrealist based in Sydney, Australia. His emotive works are informed by a decade-long career in street art and graffiti, and his large-scale murals, which are imbued with a poetic sensitivity that belies the rough reputation of his genre, can be found to grace walls across the city. His background in skateboarding has nurtured a unique relationship with the urban environment, which he embraces in the execution of his public works. Inspired by the effect the recontextualisation has on his subject matter, Apeseven’s work is currently founded on an interest in the complex bio-feedback driven loops involving skeletal structures.
Apeseven has been featured in close to one hundred group exhibitions since 2003, and publications including Yen Magazine, Cream Magazine and art books Rah Collective Book One and Just Another Book. He has held seven solo shows since 2005.

Fintan Magee

Born in Lismore NSW, Fintan Magee moved to Brisbane as a child and began drawing shortly after. In his early teens he was exposed to Brisbane’s graffiti culture and began painting on walls.
Moving away from traditional graffiti in recent years, his large-scale murals often inhabit the isolated, abandoned and broken corners of the city. Mixing surreal and figurative imagery, his paintings are deeply integrated with the urban environment and explore themes of waste, consumption, loss and transition, and contain a sentimentality and softness influenced by children’s books.
He has traveled extensively completing projects in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Vienna, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Moscow, New York, Oslo and Dublin amongst others. His diligence, technical skill and progressive approach to painting have solidified his reputation as one of the leading figures in Australia’s Street Art and Contemporary Mural movements.

Vans the Omega

Born and based in Adelaide, South Australia, Vans The Omega is a self-taught artist who has been creating art and letterform across the globe for over two decades.  
Whilst drawing from his major artistic influences of ancient scripts, architecture, engineering and the ideas of movement and balance, his works pay homage to the natural world through his use of colour. Vans The Omega’s attention to detail and pursuit of perfection within both his work and life itself have pushed him into the spotlight and earned him worldwide recognition for his artistic endeavors in graffiti and large-scale mural works.
Being well versed in design, photography, pattern making and moving image has enabled Vans The Omega a unique approach and style. His current works mix geometric and multi-dimensional shapes with seemingly intricate hand-painted patterns within figurative works. The overwhelming desire to reinvent his work and perfect his craft is a daily meditation that has become the focus of Vans The Omega’s life practice.

Gemma O’Brien

Gemma O’Brien is an Australian artist specialising in lettering, illustration and typography. After studying a Bachelor of Design at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Gemma worked as an art director at Animal Logic, Fuel VFX, and Toby and Pete before deciding to fly solo as a commercial illustrator and artist in 2012.
Her typography work takes on a variety of forms, from small-scale calligraphic brushwork, illustrated letterforms and digital type, to large-scale hand-painted murals. She splits her time between advertising commissions, gallery shows, speaking engagements and hosting hand-lettering workshops around the world. Her clients include Adobe, Volcom, Heineken, Kirin Cider, QANTAS, Heinz, Angus and Julia Stone and The New York Times. A number of her typographic projects have been recognised by the New York Type Directors Club with Awards of Typographic Excellence.


aMBUSH Gallery

aMBUSH Gallery is the brainchild of Wiltshire + Dimas, a multidisciplinary consultancy and agency to the property industry, whose client base includes retail and commercial property owners, property management companies and government bodies. aMBUSH Gallery is much more than a physical exhibition space. It’s an innovative program of site-specific, project-based art activations stemming from a unique fusion of philanthropic and commercial impulses. This multi-award winning gallery has demonstrated history of staging highly successful activations, which not only engage and entertain new audiences, but also provide sustainable futures for emerging and established artists. In addition to Project Five, major projects have included the groundbreaking Outpost Project at Cockatoo Island, which was the biggest street art festival in the world, and the first such event to be held in Australia. or

Darling Quarter

Darling Quarter has become one of Sydney’s foremost leaders in the support and presentation of premium quality arts projects. Designed to bridge the gaps between artist, artwork and audience in an entertaining, engaging and educational way, Darling Quarter delivers visual arts, design and music at ground level in order to promote an accessible dialogue between the Australian art industry and the public. Each of Darling Quarter’s arts activations are curated and presented by aMBUSH Gallery and feature original commissioned content by some of Australia’s most influential artists. The precinct is brought to life year-round with free public exhibitions and events, including Luminous – the world’s largest interactive LED façade – and OPEN – a pop-up exhibition space that has featured the work of artists including Anthony Lister, Beastman, Shannon Crees and Twoone. OPEN was also home to 4 Stories, a photographic exhibition that comprised part of the Reportage Festival 2013 and featured as an element of Project Five Volume Five. Inspired by a vision to create a thriving cultural hub as accessible to Sydney in its entirety, Darling Quarter caters to kids as much as it does to grown-ups. The Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre, home to the Monkey Baa theatre company, presents programming throughout the year for kids and young adults, and Darling Quarter boasts Australia’s largest free CBD kids’ playground. During the summer months, Darling Quarter is turned into an outdoor cinema with Little Darlings Night Owls Film Fest offering up a whole program of free films for the whole family. Darling Quarter recognises that adults need playtime too, though, and the precinct features two free outdoor ping-pong tables and an avenue of international cafes and restaurants.

Darling Harbour Alliance

Darling Harbour was established in celebration of Australia’s bicentenary in 1988 and has since become recognised on a local, national and international scale as the entertainment center of Sydney. Managed by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, it is now one of Australia’s most popular leisure destinations, with more than 25 million visitations each year to its world-class facilities. Darling Harbour is moving towards a new era with the $1 billion investment in the International Convention Centre (ICC) ensuring it continues its place as Sydney’s most loved precinct. The Darling Harbour Alliance, comprising of key stakeholders from the precinct, has committed to a calendar of exciting and unique events and entertainment at Darling Harbour for the next two years to provide visitors to the precinct with an experience unlike anything else in Sydney. The Alliance partners – Australian National Maritime Museum, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Quarter, Harbourside, IMAX Theatre Complex, Merlin Entertainment Group (SEA LIFE, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds) and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority – welcome the development of the ICC and look forward to creating a new chapter for this iconic destination.

Anne Phillips

Anne Phillips is an art advisor, writer and accomplished auctioneer, with a decade's experience in helping art collectors develop and refine their collections. Throughout her career in the auction industry, Anne has demonstrated the ability to provide tailored, cost-effective solutions to private and corporate clients for consignments ranging from single paintings to entire collections. She also has a demonstrated history of contributing to highly successful public auction events. Prior to working in the auction industry, Anne was an academic and her skills in the areas of research, writing, editing and critical analysis are widely acknowledged. In recent years, Anne has developed a strong reputation for her active participation in community and charitable projects, as well as a passion for social media.

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