The Huxleys – Will and Garrett

Interview by Becca Gilmartin

I was first introduced to the work of Will and Garrett Huxley recently watching the ABC special ‘Creative Couples’ ( http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/creative-couples/AC1621V001S00 ). The cockles of my heart were warmed listening to their story about finding love in a fellow creative and what that meant for each of them in their lives. I identified with being a creative surrounded by people who didn’t quite understand what that meant or how to support that. I was also blown away by what these two creatives create together incorporating costume, makeup and mixed media creating distorted shapes and a delightful parallel world. In this Issue #7 of LAUD Magazine, the theme is ‘Distorted’ and features both Will and Garrett in our ‘Feed your Scroll’ feature, but that wasn’t enough of the Huxleys for Laud. To celebrate the launch of Issue #7, we had a chance to chat to the deliciously sparkly pair about their work.

Call Me

Putting on the Glitz

Flower x2

What advice would you both have for any creative who isn’t surrounded by supportive people yet still yearns to pursue their art?
Our advice is to pursue your art and be as creative as possible. Be yourself and create what makes you happy or makes you laugh. We decided to not wait around to be discovered or appreciated by others we just went out there and made work and then you just wait for the world to catch up with you. By that point hopefully you are well on your journey. Garrett and I are just lucky we share a love and understanding of similar aesthetics but even without each other we would be making art. It’s just a bonus!

These days as a creative it is becoming increasingly hard to compartmentalise what we do with words to enable others to understand what we do, how do you navigate that? Do you have an ‘elevator pitch’ of who you are as creatives?  
We are not the best at promoting ourselves! We have the attitude that you either like or you don’t! Our pitch is really a visual one. We like to create a whole world of visuals, video, costume, photographic. It’s about finding the glamour and magic in the world and creating a fantasy for ourselves. We try to bring our extreme concept to everything we undertake, we think it is important to be yourselves in whatever environment you end up in.

The theme for this issue of LAUD is ‘Distorted’. Would you say your work distorts ideals of beauty and self-image?
Beauty is a very strange concept and for us there is definitely no one image that represents this. We find beauty in things that are unique and different from the norm. We believe confidence is key to portraying beauty. If you believe it others will. Looking good is often the normal route. Looking bad is more fun for us. Or shocking people. Giving them a different shape, a different look. Taking away what is considered normal or safe. We like to blur the boundaries of gender and body types. There is so much freedom when you stop worrying about those things. A non-binary world is a lot more fun.  Our hero filmmaker John Waters famously said ‘take what society tells you is wrong with you and make it your style. Amplify it and celebrate it, you will win in the end’. We love that idea of making what is unique about you a thing to celebrate.

You recently performed for the opening of the DIOR exhibition for the National Gallery of Victoria. What was your inspiration for this piece? Where do you even start when coming up with performance/costume design ideas?
We always start with drawings, they are pretty basic. And we are not the best at drawing but we sketch it out and often make each other laugh with how ridiculous they are. Impractical costumes are a speciality. The Dior costumes were actually inspired by the colour and patterns of artist and architect Hundertwasser. His work was full of beautiful shapes and colours, surreal and otherworldly, He loved gold too! We often look to art for inspiration. It can be musicians, designers, visual artists. We are always absorbing as much culture as possible. Our designs are often trial and error too, we just try out stuff and sometimes it works and sometimes not. You have to accept failure as well. Not everything turns out great!

Tell us about your ‘Discordia’ project I’ve seen so much about on your socials!
Discordia is a project we are involved in with our dear friends and artistic family. A bunch of artists and performers who all inspire us. Benjamin Hancock, Gabi Barton, Simone Page Jones, James Andrews, Holly Durant and SuppleFox.  Discordia was a parody religion started in the 1960’s it’s about embracing chaos and celebrating the absurdity of life. Realising that nothing you do has to make sense. There are no rules and celebrating the fact that everything happens for no reason. There is a great freedom to it. We want to make it real for us and have made a work which introduces people to these concepts. Trying to capture extreme hopefulness in what we see are dark times. We’ve used our shared art practice in making costumes, performance, music, dance and spectacle and sharing it with live audiences as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It is more of an experience then a theatre show even though it was on at the Arts centre in Melbourne. We see this as just the beginning for Discordia there is so many more avenues we want to explore across many art forms. The incredible electronic music artists the KLF were big into Discordia too and we would love to collaborate with them one day!

Will, as a photographer who also understands so many aspects of this industry, are there any aspect of the creative industry that you think are distorted and if so what would you like to see change?
I find the obsession with perfection to be distorted, the way images of people faces are fixed to make them more ‘perfect’ and to look thinner, younger, whiter. It disturbs me. I think it puts out an image, which is unattainable and unhealthy. It is also not representative of the real world.  I love people who celebrate being different and unique and I look for that in fashion and in magazines. We don’t want to look normal.  Let’s make our vision of the world much more dynamic and extreme. I understand that magazines and fashion are often an escape from reality but why not make that much more theatrical and outrageous. I love the way the artist and photographer Cindy Sherman uses distortion to make herself look stranger, more ridiculous and more abstract. She must have so much fun! I love her work and always have.

Being a beauty/hair focused magazine… I HAVE to ask you about your makeup looks that you have incorporated into your works.

  • What’s been your favourite makeup product discovery?  
    We love finding vibrant face paint colours, Kryolan has some great metallic paints. And cosmetic glitter is also fantastic.
  • What do you use to adhere glitter to your skin?
    We use latex, which dries clear. It’s the same stuff you use on fake eyelashes. Or if we don’t have any latex, hairspray! It doesn’t feel  the best, but it works.

What makeup product do you wish existed but doesn’t already?
We wish there was a spray on Glitter that had great coverage and sparkle.

What’s on the horizon for the Huxleys?  
We are always working on new artworks and performances. We want to release an album for our fictitious glam rock band ‘Style Over Substance’.

Finally, what change would you like to see in the world and what are you going to do about it?
There are too many things we would like to see changed! But I think Equality is big for us. Any kind of hatred based on your sexuality, gender or race is unacceptable. We want to share the message of acceptance and embracing difference in people. For us being as expressive and outspoken about being gay and in love is vital and we will always do that.

 

 

 See more of Will & Garrett Huxley work: @willhuxley    @garretthuxley

 

What advice would you both have for any creative who isn’t surrounded by supportive people yet still yearns to pursue their art?
Our advice is to pursue your art and be as creative as possible. Be yourself and create what makes you happy or makes you laugh. We decided to not wait around to be discovered or appreciated by others we just went out there and made work and then you just wait for the world to catch up with you. By that point hopefully you are well on your journey. Garrett and I are just lucky we share a love and understanding of similar aesthetics but even without each other we would be making art. It’s just a bonus!

These days as a creative it is becoming increasingly hard to compartmentalise what we do with words to enable others to understand what we do, how do you navigate that? Do you have an ‘elevator pitch’ of who you are as creatives?  
We are not the best at promoting ourselves! We have the attitude that you either like or you don’t! Our pitch is really a visual one. We like to create a whole world of visuals, video, costume, photographic. It’s about finding the glamour and magic in the world and creating a fantasy for ourselves. We try to bring our extreme concept to everything we undertake, we think it is important to be yourselves in whatever environment you end up in.

The theme for this issue of LAUD is ‘Distorted’. Would you say your work distorts ideals of beauty and self-image?
Beauty is a very strange concept and for us there is definitely no one image that represents this. We find beauty in things that are unique and different from the norm. We believe confidence is key to portraying beauty. If you believe it others will. Looking good is often the normal route. Looking bad is more fun for us. Or shocking people. Giving them a different shape, a different look. Taking away what is considered normal or safe. We like to blur the boundaries of gender and body types. There is so much freedom when you stop worrying about those things. A non-binary world is a lot more fun.  Our hero filmmaker John Waters famously said ‘take what society tells you is wrong with you and make it your style. Amplify it and celebrate it, you will win in the end’. We love that idea of making what is unique about you a thing to celebrate.

You recently performed for the opening of the DIOR exhibition for the National Gallery of Victoria. What was your inspiration for this piece? Where do you even start when coming up with performance/costume design ideas?
We always start with drawings, they are pretty basic. And we are not the best at drawing but we sketch it out and often make each other laugh with how ridiculous they are. Impractical costumes are a speciality. The Dior costumes were actually inspired by the colour and patterns of artist and architect Hundertwasser. His work was full of beautiful shapes and colours, surreal and otherworldly, He loved gold too! We often look to art for inspiration. It can be musicians, designers, visual artists. We are always absorbing as much culture as possible. Our designs are often trial and error too, we just try out stuff and sometimes it works and sometimes not. You have to accept failure as well. Not everything turns out great!

Tell us about your ‘Discordia’ project I’ve seen so much about on your socials!
Discordia is a project we are involved in with our dear friends and artistic family. A bunch of artists and performers who all inspire us. Benjamin Hancock, Gabi Barton, Simone Page Jones, James Andrews, Holly Durant and SuppleFox.  Discordia was a parody religion started in the 1960’s it’s about embracing chaos and celebrating the absurdity of life. Realising that nothing you do has to make sense. There are no rules and celebrating the fact that everything happens for no reason. There is a great freedom to it. We want to make it real for us and have made a work which introduces people to these concepts. Trying to capture extreme hopefulness in what we see are dark times. We’ve used our shared art practice in making costumes, performance, music, dance and spectacle and sharing it with live audiences as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It is more of an experience then a theatre show even though it was on at the Arts centre in Melbourne. We see this as just the beginning for Discordia there is so many more avenues we want to explore across many art forms. The incredible electronic music artists the KLF were big into Discordia too and we would love to collaborate with them one day!

Will, as a photographer who also understands so many aspects of this industry, are there any aspect of the creative industry that you think are distorted and if so what would you like to see change?
I find the obsession with perfection to be distorted, the way images of people faces are fixed to make them more ‘perfect’ and to look thinner, younger, whiter. It disturbs me. I think it puts out an image, which is unattainable and unhealthy. It is also not representative of the real world.  I love people who celebrate being different and unique and I look for that in fashion and in magazines. We don’t want to look normal.  Let’s make our vision of the world much more dynamic and extreme. I understand that magazines and fashion are often an escape from reality but why not make that much more theatrical and outrageous. I love the way the artist and photographer Cindy Sherman uses distortion to make herself look stranger, more ridiculous and more abstract. She must have so much fun! I love her work and always have.

Being a beauty/hair focused magazine… I HAVE to ask you about your makeup looks that you have incorporated into your works.

  • What’s been your favourite makeup product discovery?  
    We love finding vibrant face paint colours, Kryolan has some great metallic paints. And cosmetic glitter is also fantastic.
  • What do you use to adhere glitter to your skin?
    We use latex, which dries clear. It’s the same stuff you use on fake eyelashes. Or if we don’t have any latex, hairspray! It doesn’t feel  the best, but it works.

What makeup product do you wish existed but doesn’t already?
We wish there was a spray on Glitter that had great coverage and sparkle.

What’s on the horizon for the Huxleys?  
We are always working on new artworks and performances. We want to release an album for our fictitious glam rock band ‘Style Over Substance’.

Finally, what change would you like to see in the world and what are you going to do about it?
There are too many things we would like to see changed! But I think Equality is big for us. Any kind of hatred based on your sexuality, gender or race is unacceptable. We want to share the message of acceptance and embracing difference in people. For us being as expressive and outspoken about being gay and in love is vital and we will always do that.

 

 

 See more of Will & Garrett Huxley work: @willhuxley    @garretthuxley

 

Call Me

Putting on the Glitz

Flower x2