A blog series with stories from the artists, designers & illustrators involved in the contemporary pop up gallery in the Aztecs exhibition.

For anyone that's ever been to my house, one of the first things you'll notice is my unhealthy obsession with skulls. So when we were approached by the Australian Museum to partake in the exhibition, my inner-goth was pretty excited. I often gravitate towards works that use them as a motif. What really interests me is their brittle forms and individual cracks, and how they remind us of our mortality.

When working on initial ideas, I had been recently re-watching the strange films of Alejandro Jodorowsky. In particular, The Holy Mountain, which has an incredible scene that depicts a re-enactment of the Mexican colonial wars with lizards as Aztecs, and toads dressed as Spanish conquistadors. The surreal nature of this film was a big influence when creating my work for the popup show.

A limited edition of 30 pieces were hand letterpress printed on 100% cotton paper. Letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printing, and creates a beautiful, tactile impression into the artwork.

The desert scene was composed with a combination of collage and illustrated elements, before being recreated as two separate printing plates. Each print was subsequently hand pulled through a Korrex proofing press, with two passes of hand mixed ink.

As a close neighbour to The Australian Museum, the Popup Gallery is a great initiative that brings local creatives to a wider audience. It allows a connection to be made between past and present, and I can't wait to see what's next in stall.

Daryl Prondoso, is Creative Director at The Distillery

Head to www.the-distillery.com.au/ or www.instagram.com/thedistillery/ And more of Daryl’s work can be found on http://daryl.is/