I caught up with Will Lynes the other day, we chatted about his upcoming show, Special Reserve, at kind of —, opening 8th November, 6pm, 80 Oxford St Darlinghurst (the old Espionage space).
Will is a humble guy, we’re really happy to be working with him and looking forward to his show. Seriously, don’t sleep on this one!
Hey man, what’s doing?
I’m trying not to draw lame pictures for Hollie’s show on Thursday. Are you finished in the studio for this evening?
Yeah… Had some fucking tax shit due, been putting it off.
Tax is bullshit. Have you seen “Zeitgeist”, that conspiracy theory movie?
Ha ha, yeah. Crazy, huh.
Yeah, but you know how they say that paying taxes in America isn’t against the law because taxes aren’t in the constitution? Should run that stuff with the ATO and see how they like that shit.
Ha ha, I wish. How is the gallery going?
It’s good – the new space is tight. Really clean, your show is going to look really good in there. Are you psyched or too nervous?
Nah, I’m all good man… Looking forward to it. But still heaps to do, so not really thinking about it, probably will be when the show is on. Hey also, meant to ask if we can get some beer for my show instead of the cider?
Not really, Magners Cider Australia is the best. We might be able to sort something out for you, just no pictures of it for the sponsors.
You’re not a fan of cider?
Ha ha, nah can’t drink it, eh. Well I can, but I hate the taste.
Ha ha, I love Magners Cider Australia, yum! I’m going to put this interview up word for word, ps.
Ha ha, we’re building up to it!
Getting some dialogue happening.
That’s right keeping it natural. Have you started your week off for strictly show work?
Yeah… Been in there (the studio) full time. Got to do a little job tomorrow but then back to the studio.
It’s going well?
Yeah, pretty stoked on it… Start on the set side of it next week, which will be cool. Got all the little letters done, they spell out ‘Special Reserve’, each one in a different finish and style.
The best part of owning a gallery is seeing the work for the first time when it comes for bump in. We’re all pretty pumped for your show. This is your first show, hey? First solo show?
Yeah, first solo show.
You’ve been around the block though, group shows and stuff, hey?
I’ve been in a couple of shows… not heaps. I was always pretty reserved about showing my stuff until recently.
What brought on the change?
I guess I’m not normally happy with my work… It’s not that I’m not happy with it, but it can always be better and more developed. It’s taken me a while to get my stuff to where I’m happy with it and in the direction I want it to go in.
It really is a killer man. I bumped into Luca (Ionescu) and Duro today. Talk of the town, your show. You want to elaborate on your installation or keep it on the down low for now?
That’s cool, man. I really respect Luca and Duro as artists, so it means a lot coming from those guys. No, the installation is staying quiet for the moment. You’ll just have to wait…
Just mentioning it is building suspense. How’s the interview going so far?
Ha ha, yeah all good, man. At least there’s no camera in my face.
For real. I find the instant messaging is a good way to do it. Gives you a chance to think about your answer, and me a chance to figure out another question.
I heard you just bought a house?
Ha, you heard wrong. It’s a small apartment, we’ve been here for two years now. A house would be good!
Ha ha, still pretty dope. Does that make you officially an adult?
On paper maybe… But I’m far from that.
Man child maybe? What’s your day job?
I work as a sign writer and decorative artist.
So your art practice is your day job, basically?
Yeah, pretty much. I prefer to work mainly on glass for my personal art, but I don’t always get to do it for work. The change keeps stuff interesting, though.
One of the lucky few, man. You could be flipping burgers or something.
How did you get onto David Smith? Did he kick off the interest in glass?
I saw a video of Smith’s on the net about a year ago. I always loved the old hand gilt signs… they just popped! I’d been doing some stuff on glass before then but his stuff just blew me away when I saw it… and (it was) even more impressive in real life!
You went over to check out his studio and what not, what did you take away from the visit?
A good mate! Even if he is a pom, the dude has some serious talent!! He’s super humble. It’s nice to meet people that are at the top of their game and so down to earth. It was a great experience… I learnt so much from him.
I know we’ve had a conversation before about humble people and how much better it is to meet and deal with them rather than some over confident sucker. You yourself are super humble. You think it’s good parenting or something?
Hmm, that’s a good question. I’m stoked to have parents that I think are super cool and look up to… They are like good mates, so I’m lucky that I had a pretty good upbringing. It’s hard to say really, but I think that it’s a combination of things – good parents can help but good humble people also come out of some bad situations. I think it’s in each individual’s nature.
Luke sent me this link the other day too.
True. Damn, looks good. What’s your link with Ironlak?
I met Luke Shirlaw a while back when Shan was in town.
You guys are pretty tight, hey? How did you guys meet?
Yeah, I’ve known him since I was about 16. He’s kind of like an older brother and mentor to me. I met him through a guy called Bill who used to make Hype Magazine.
Not a bad mentor, he’s been killing it for a pretty long time now. Again, another pretty unassuming, humble dude. Did you dabble in graffiti?
I guess that’s what Shan/Dmote is pretty well known for.
Yeah, for a while… I never put in enough work though. He’s killing it right now.
You’ve definitely put in the hours for sign writing though, hey?
Yeah man… I love it. Its hard work and some long days/night/months…but it’s fun! There’s always stuff to learn so it keeps it interesting. Having to paint most of the glass stuff in reverse is always fun. You never know what you’re going to get until you flip the glass.
You’ve been doing a pretty culturally important job to Sydney recently, right?
The Gowings building?
Yeah that’s been a good one. I used to get my hair cut there when I was a little kid. It’s cool to be working on it now. It’s been a quite a big job, but nice to be a part of something like that, where people are more interested in the craft or quality of work, rather than a deadline and making a quick buck. There’s some great work in there.
Yeah dude, Gowings is a historical name in Sydney. I remember buying plain white t-shirts there when I just got out of school. Had to have them fresh whiteys!
Ok, back to your show, what’s with “Special Reserve” as the name?
Didn’t you come up with that?
I love the old whiskey bottle and cigarette packaging of yesteryear. Especially the old advertising mirrors… There was always some catchy slogan or by line in the advert. The way they put so many different typefaces/fonts into the one composition and still make it look amazing, it kind of stems from there. Or should I say “kind of —”.
I can’t take the credit for the words! When you said it, I just thought it would be a good name. Ha ha ha, fucking gooood! That’s what the name “kind of — ” is all about!
You want to give a brief overview of your show and we’ll wrap it up? I’ll take care of all the dates and stuff, you just talk your humble show up a little bit!
It’s pretty hard to explain how I feel when I first come across an old sign… Especially a glass one that has been there for a hundred years. It makes you stop and think about who did it and what the story was behind it… My show is all about trying to evoke in other people the same feelings and interest in signs that I see and feel. Hopefully it comes across.
Nice, man. You want to add anything else?
I have to give thanks to Erin, Nate, Dmote and all the PS crew for their support! Thanks for having me, man. Looking forward to the show!
Dude, thanks for showing with us fo real. How was that? Interview-wise?
I know you weren’t looking forward to it that much.
Nah, it’s all good, man. Was fine… just hate talking on camera, so we’re all good.
Cool bro, see you Thursday night? At Hollie’s thing (“Everyday Fantasia”)?
Yeah cool, man. I’ll send ya a flick of the one for hers. Let me know what you ya think.
Rad. I’ll scope it out. See you then!
kind of — gallery
80 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Opens 8th November, 6pm
Until 18th November
Facebook event page
Images via kind of — gallery and Ironlak