Laith McGregor & James Ioannou

Rhythm & Motion

17 September – 22 October 2022

Opening 5.30pm Friday 16 September 

The Sunseeker Talk: Laith McGregor As part of the Art Byron program, artist Laith McGregor and Lismore Regional Gallery Curator, Kezia Geddes will be in conversation at the The Sunseeker resort at 2pm Friday 30 September (book tickets here)

Rhythm & Motion is a collaborative project between Byron Bay locals, James Ioannou and Laith McGregor. The initial spark for this idea came to fruition through a casual conversation about skateboarding and shortly thereafter, this common passion evolved into an exciting collusion of ideas. The pair bring together the natural form of the skateboard and a custom artwork that translates concepts of isolation, solace, and patience. Together, they agreed to make a deck featuring an artwork from McGregor, that would contribute to the launch of Ioannou’s skateboard brand Brother Boards, in Australia.

From this starting point, the aim was to take the project further and launch the artist series through an ambitious exhibition that could not only show the process of custom board design, but also exhibit a series of intimate works on paper and joint installation. McGregor created large drawings that reflect, elucidate and record the artist’s meandering mind, made during the design process of the Brother Board artist series collaboration.

Brother Boards began with two friends building skateparks together in England. After realising the amount of waste that was produced during construction, they took the opportunity to utilise these excess materials and make skateboards. The boards are environmentally conscious, made from locally salvaged waste wood. Ioannou scours the timber mills and workshops around the hills of Byron Bay to hand craft boards inspired by the late 1970s era of skateboarding. With simple, solid planks of timber, the cruisers hold the essence of surfing in their shape and performance, with an aim to reconnect the consumer back to the basics of skateboarding.

Custom board designs have remained an integral development for skateboard culture. This collaborative project with visual artist Laith McGregor will be the first of many for Brother Boards. McGregor’s artistic practice continually aims to challenge the understanding of viewers and himself as an evolving practitioner. Each drawing, painting or sculpture explores intuition, allowing the subconscious to take a major role in directing the outcome of the work and the possibilities of further exploration. It is this illusory state which affirms the position of the subconscious as the major pretext for his practice and for the creation of the Brother Boards design. A one-off original board design with an edition of one hundred decks forms the core for the exhibition’s content.

Rhythm & Motion elaborates and expands on the idea of one person’s waste being another person’s treasure, aiming to open ideas of regenerative practices and counterculture, while making sense of the world through these unprecedented times.