Band of Horses drummer turning tour artwork into woodwork sculptures for first solo exhibit

The drummer for Band of Horses makes music for followers throughout the globe, however what some might not know is that he additionally makes artwork proper right here in Charleston.

Whereas on the street for weeks at a time, Creighton Barrett dedicates some free time at venues, on the tour bus and in resort rooms to creating paper collages of types: stacks of coloured cardstock sliced with an exacto knife to kind fantastical figures, shapes and concepts.

In a single, an outdated crimson pickup truck sinks right into a sludge puddle subsequent to some cacti and a graveyard below a full moon. “BRB LOL” (be proper again, chortle out loud) the tombstones learn. In one other, candlewax legs with flame torsos sit on eyeballs dripping bloody teardrops within the foreground, whereas a large cranium overlooks a surfer driving a wave below purple clouds within the backdrop.

In case you go WHAT: Creighton Barrett’s first solo artwork present feat. DJ music by Persona La Ave WHEN: 6-10 p.m. Jan. 27 WHERE: Hed Hello Studio, 654 King St. PRICE: Free MORE INFO:

“The concepts normally simply come to me whereas I am considering of one thing random,” Barrett advised The Put up and Courier. “I am obsessive about absurdity, even only for the sake of constructing it weirder. There are actually no guidelines.”

Now, these absurd concepts will probably be getting their very own exhibit, Barrett’s first ever solo artwork present, at Hed Hello Studio, 654 King St. It is going down 6-10 p.m. Jan. 27 and can characteristic DJ tunes from Persona La Ave, in addition to a number of of Barrett’s paper items become life-size woodwork replicas.

A whimsical woodshop

As soon as again from the band’s most up-to-date monthlong European tour in October and November, Barrett took to his West Ashley garage-turned-woodshop to get to reimagining his artwork.

On a January morning, as Barrett started work on his sixth piece for the artwork present, a tiny-screened classic TV performed surf and skateboard movies whereas soul music blasted from the audio system. Catty-corner from a cranium noticed and pile of Lowe’s plywood was a unicorn masks, orange payphone and cabinets of spray paint.

An workplace placard learn, “I do not work right here.”

Barrett’s 4 small canines — Boston terriers Raisin and Rosie, and Brussels griffons Diesel and Oliver — milled about, whereas his spouse Erin labored on a handwoven wall hanging for her personal artwork enterprise, Sunwoven.

The 2 creatives work in separate sunlit areas of their retro home that facilities round a mid-century dialog pit front room. Neither knew they’d be Charleston’s trendiest visible artist couple post-COVID-19, featured on the duvet of Charleston House + Design journal.

Artwork, music and Oprah

At one time, an artwork profession was a notion, if fleeting, for Barrett.

He began out in East Carolina College’s graphic design program, however flunked out in 1996, nonetheless with lingering hopes to be an illustrator.

Earlier than he might try and pursue an artwork profession, a music profession took maintain of him.

In 1997, Barrett moved to Charleston together with his youthful sister, who was attending the Faculty of Charleston, and received a job making wood-fire pizzas at a high-end downtown restaurant known as Zebo’s.

It was a Folly Seashore home get together the place Barrett first met Ben Bridwell, now lead singer of Band of Horses. The Irmo native had pushed again to his dwelling state after dropping out of highschool in Arizona, and shortly after that seaside get together, he moved right into a Charleston carriage home with Barrett and his sister.

Bridwell and Barrett began jamming collectively and fashioned a punk band known as The Stedmans, named after Oprah Winfrey’s longtime accomplice. Bridwell delivered burritos by night time and spent his day by day earnings on the $5 Wendy’s worth meal, a pack of smokes and a 40 (a bottle containing 40 fluid ounces of alcohol) earlier than his shift, throughout which he and Barrett would binge “Jerry Springer” and “Oprah.”

Barrett someway managed to suit a drum package into the tiny condo, and shortly the band had booked two home reveals on the similar house the downtown Taco Boy is now.

The duo ultimately moved throughout from a funeral dwelling, and their band apply room confronted the neighboring embalming room. Barrett remembers getting paid to hold caskets throughout the road to the African Methodist Episcopal church earlier than funeral companies.

There have been extra reveals, at a North Charleston skate park and quite a lot of bars that now not exist.

Heading out West

Then Bridwell moved out to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Seattle. He began his personal label, jammed together with his indie rock heroes, like Dinosaur Jr., and despatched Barrett combine tapes again dwelling.

Two days earlier than 9/11, Barrett lastly heeded Bridwell’s name, packed up his drum package and flew to the opposite coast to affix the music scene out West. At one level, he had two jobs and was in 5 bands. The entire aim was to maintain taking part in in hopes of touchdown excursions; the dream was a van, the open street and infinite reveals.

After a number of initiatives rose and fell, Band of Horses emerged in 2003; Barrett began taking part in drums for the group in 2004, and the band’s reputation swelled after hit single “The Funeral” took off from the primary album, launched by Sub Pop Information in 2006.

A yr later, Bridwell and Barrett made the transfer again to Charleston, lacking the climate and their faraway mother and father. At that time, they had been touring a lot {that a} dwelling base did not actually matter an excessive amount of.

In his off time, Barrett skateboarded, surfed and performed with a number of different native bands. He ultimately met his spouse, who was on the time part of the Charleston Ballet Theatre.

Doodling once more

It wasn’t till after having his second youngster, son Bowie, that Barrett settled again into the actual ardour that began his entire journey: drawing. He would doodle whereas watching Bowie and his first youngster, daughter Sunny, after which he saved the artwork kind as a way of self-discipline on the street.

As a substitute of losing time on his telephone earlier than a set or going out for drinks on a regular basis after a present, he’d make artwork. He by no means thought he was wonderful at it, he simply did it.

“It was simply utilizing my mind and making an attempt to be inventive, and I began doing much more of it,” stated Barrett. “I would not say I began taking it extra significantly, however I simply thought these little creations of mine had been sort of cool.”

In contrast to the music, during which he has a task inside the band, the artwork is fully his.

“The attention-grabbing factor in regards to the artwork is it is mine,” he stated. “I give you it, I begin it, I end it sort of factor, so it is all on me.”

Inspiration would come to him whereas on the street, from misunderstood indicators (he has one drawing with a operating determine on hearth that claims “In case you are on hearth, please use stairs”) to lacking his household again dwelling (in a single piece, there is a lady, woman and boy who resemble them, simply one among them has a wolf head).

Medieval masonic drawings, traditional Grecian kinds, sci-fi creatures and Illuminati symbolism all make their method into Barrett’s artwork. So do Lowcountry critters: snakes, alligators and dolphins.

Floating palms, ghosts and gravestones are different widespread parts.

“Everybody dies, so I really feel let’s make enjoyable of it, you already know?” supplied Barrett. “It is all in regards to the humor inside the heaviness.”

Hed Hello Studio

For the Hed-Hello present, a few of Barrett’s 8-by-11-inch paper collages are being become big 3-D framed work, together with one 6-foot tall sculpture. Barrett provides some surprises to his woodwork artwork, as nicely, together with little home windows that speak in confidence to reveal hidden drawings and knobs that flip to create secret pop-ups.

Hed Hello Studio proprietor Tim McManus truly found Barrett’s artwork by means of his Instagram algorithm, though he had met the rocker earlier than at their youngsters’ mutual surf camp.

“I began accumulating plenty of cranium artwork,” McManus stated. “As I grow old, the crushing weight of mortality influences the artwork I’m into.”

A few of Barrett’s themes, as talked about, play into that. McManus additionally has an curiosity in surf and skate artwork, Barrett’s beloved hobbies.

McManus has been ramping up studio reveals since COVID-19 after investing within the downtown house as a substitute of giving it up throughout a tough time. Whereas the constructing is primarily a photograph and video manufacturing workplace that McManus makes use of for his firm Hed Hello Productions, it is also been an experimental face for avenue artwork and up to date artwork.

That is, partly, because of its location subsequent to a Shepard Fairey mural; the internationally famend avenue artist and skateboarder is from Charleston.

“I really feel prefer it’s a extremely nice inventive stronghold in a quickly altering King Avenue hall, and I felt like a steward of the house,” stated McManus. “… If I might preserve the momentum going, I might justify retaining the house.”

Final yr, he hosted round a dozen reveals, together with artwork exhibitions, movie premieres and reside mural periods. He first approached Barrett final summer season, earlier than Band of Horses’ tour opening for The Black Keys.

They set the January date for Barrett to have sufficient time after coming back from tour to create the woodwork items.

“I am actually enthusiastic about Creighton,” stated McManus. “His work is tremendous imaginative. … I am at all times blown away by his thought course of and what should be operating by means of his mind as he creates for the present. A couple of of his items are already within the studio, and I can’t wait to see them once we mild them up.”

Barrett simply hopes the present will probably be interactive and impactful, even when he describes his personal artwork as “irreverent and irrelevant.”