CONFRONTING: Daniel Clemmetts with his artwork entitled 'Jobs, Growth, and the Anthropocene'.
CONFRONTING: Daniel Clemmetts with his artwork entitled 'Jobs, Growth, and the Anthropocene'. Marc Stapelberg

'Crazy artist' forges art from old cars

A giant skull peers out at the road, menacing, silent and passive - a brooding omen of impending doom at the hands of the Lizard King.

It is one of Daniel Clemmett's artworks entitled 'Jobs, Growth, and the Anthropocene' and the Clunes sculptor is hard at work conceptualising his next piece for the year which will remain a secret until its completion.

But it is not just locals who have noticed the sculptures along Bangalow Road.

Mr Clemmett said he had been overseas where people would be describing his artworks to him without realising he was the artist.

"They would say 'Have you seen this crazy artist who makes art out of car panels?' and a lot of the time they don't believe that it is me until I whip out my phone," he said.

Mr Clemmett attributes his infamy to the tourists that often travel between Byron Bay and Nimbin.

But there is a distinctly worldly slant to this local artist who has travelled to England on residences to create the art pieces there as they are too big to transport on a plane.

Indeed, transporting the piece's thousands of miles to Melbourne or Perth is when Mr Clemmett has received the biggest reactions.

He silently mouths "What the f**k is that?".

He said that is how most people react when they see the giant artwork pull up to a service station on the back of his ute.

About 40 bonnets go into the making of each art piece which range from giant AK47's, named Keeping Up With The Kalashnikovs, a bull with wheels, a giant Ned Kelly helmet called 'Death Cult', and a portrait of local identity AJ Magnay.

Growing up at a panel beater meant he was drawn to cars as an artistic material.

Daniel is looking to enter the Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast again this year which runs from September 8-17.

The event, which features 60 other sculptures on the beach, is expected to attract up to 250,000 people for its duration and includes free live entertainment, workshops, kid's activities, performance art, night lighting, artist talks, fire shows and more.


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