IF YOU were at Splendour in the Grass and witnessed the gnarly, cheese inspired backdrop for Dune Rats, then you have experienced the stage design of local artist Lee McConnell.

McConnell has increasingly found a dynamic space in the link between music and art and the sometimes wacky world of our brains.

His highly recognisable aesthetic draws on a surreal, psychedelic dreamscapes and splashes it on the canvas in bright technicolour.

The ARIA nominated visual artist, director and animator, nationally known for his work with Dune Rats, Jack River and Mambo, is launching an exhibition tonight as part of his artist residency with Splendour In The Grass.

He said there would be paintings, digital collage work and art installation pieces as well as album and poster artwork on display.

ARIA nominated visual artist, director and animator, Lee McConnell is nationally known for his work with Dune Rats, Jack River and Mambo and is launching an exhibition this Friday.
ARIA nominated visual artist, director and animator, Lee McConnell is nationally known for his work with Dune Rats, Jack River and Mambo and is launching an exhibition this Friday. Marc Stapelberg

McConnell describes his work as a bit loose, surreal, but mostly colourful.

"I love colour, and I love combining colour and I think there are colours that marry themselves together quiet well and complement each other," he said.

"I do use similar colour palates all the time like pinks and blues.

"The title of exhibition is called Hypnagogic Tableau.

"I came across that word a couple of years ago when I was working at Mambo.

"I was trying to design a logo encompassing imagination, the mind and the thoughts - essentially it is a state of mind between a state of consciousness and sleep where a lot of dreaming happens, I guess lucid dreaming, and you can kind of control that.

"It is a general space where you can explore imagination and a lot of the works in the show are inspired by that state of mind."

McConnell said there was inspiration from growing up and the cartoons he used to watch.

"There might be some grim content but I try to make it still happy with bold colours and in this show there is a bit of a take on technology and nature and how destructive technology can be, but also how technology and nature can work together."

Moving to Sydney to study graphic design and pursue acting as a way of chasing an income in a creative field, McConnell was alerted to the opportunity to work with Mambo, and, as they say, the rest was history.

Now freelancing in Byron Bay, McConnellhas worked with festivals such as Splendour In The Grass, Sydney City Limits, Big Pineapple and Electric Lady.

Amongst his work with national exhibits and freelancing work, McConnell is also the Creative Director of Grow Your Own Festival.

See the Hypnagogic Tableau tonight at Loan Goat Gallery at 6pm.



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