Homegrown talent on show at YAM

Having wandered the globe, a local artist returns for his first exhibition at the City of Coffs Harbour’s Yarrila Arts and Museum (YAM), with a unique take on the big city lights.

When In Rome, which opens to the public on 2 November, presents Gareth Budge’s photography series capturing the ever-changing form of urban wildposting in Rome. Wildposting is urban street movement of mass installation of posters (often illegal).

Gareth has travelled the world through his other passion, surfing. Camera in hand, he has moved through various capital cities to capture untraceable layers and their chance formations, revealing and obscuring the undertones of place.

He believes his fascination with wildposting comes from his beginnings in a regional town.

“I guess you naturally tend to appreciate the smaller things that are often overlooked by people occupying these fast-paced lively cities,” Gareth said.

“After experiencing what the world has to offer it’s clear how much my hometown has shaped who I am today as an artist and an individual.”

In the lead up to the exhibition, YAM hosted a workshop with young people who created a large-scale installation that is on show as part of the exhibition.

Young creatives were invited to the YAM Digital Studio during the school holidays to create a digital poster responding to the question “What event would you like to see or experience in Coffs Harbour?”.

Participants were encouraged to think about place, reflecting on the culture that makes a place.

The City’s acting Director City Planning and Communities, Ian Fitzgibbon, said he was delighted to see another world-class exhibition open at the City’s new, state-of-the-art facility, YAM.

“The added bonus here is that we’re showcasing an artist who grew up in Coffs Harbour,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“And now he is empowering and inspiring our City’s young creatives. Its’ a great example of YAM fulfilling its vision to illuminate knowledge, arts, heritage, and community creativity.”

The exhibition runs until 10 December 2023. Entry is free.

Artist Gareth Budge