Red Bull Pop Life was popping off last week!

Last week was epic. Particularly for those involved with the Red Bull Pop Life live studio at the Q Theatre on Queen St.

Every day last week there was a different artist working in a pop up studio on Auckland’s main St visible to the public. The challenge was to make ten original canvases and to paint a Red Bull fridge with a start time of 9am finishing at midnight. Just to add to the pressure various monitors were set up facing the street that showed different views of the studio so that the public could watch every stroke as it happened. Even more pressure was added by a live streaming component, the studio space was streamed live on the internet between 6 and 9pm each night. The concept was to recreate the experience of an artist in studio working towards an exhibition deadline. It worked a treat!

I had my cameo on Tuesday and was grateful I didn’t get stuck on a busier night as things can get pretty tense on Queen St in the evenings. The other featured artists were Peter Heckman, Gary Young, Nigel Roberts, Xoe Hall and Kelly Spencer.

6 artists in total completed the challenge creating a total of 66 artworks all of which were on display at the summary exhibition held at Q on the Saturday night. For those lucky enough to attend there were free cocktails named after each artist which were created using Red Bull’s new special flavours: Cranberry, blueberry and lime.

I have to say I went in pretty unprepared and came nowhere near completing the challenge but it was good fun to test myself and to really put my practice under the clock. I ended up creating all my sketches and prep images onsite which cost allot of hours but was worth it to see how long it took me from start to finish. The works I created were based around some of my favourite themes: Zombies, snakes, skeletons, desert, western, decay, cartoons, all created in a contrasting lively palette  I also got to revisit the snake girl which I first painted for La Di Da bar in Canberra last year. My fridge was designated to World Bar in Queenstown which hopefully I will get to visit as a result of this. Stay tuned on that one…

What I was prepared for was the live-feed. I invited a small crew to come in during that designated time to distract the online audience and to dress the space like an artists studio. Quite a few people also popped in unexpectedly which added to the general chaos. Thanks Joanna Galvin (who took allot of these shots), Tim D, Diva, Rhonnie, Sam Rulz, Frank Pinker, Barber Dan, Tim Tapsell and everybody else who came in to say hi and to sneak a peek. Enough writing. Here’s some pics…

If you want more you can see a cheesy pic and read a summary of my studio experience here…

Thanks Red Bull, World Bar and Ross Liew for making it happen. Definitely won’t be forgetting it anytime soon!


About Erin Forsyth

Drawing pictures. Taking care of business. Creative thought and application.

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