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April 11, 2024

Local director says ‘Thank You’ with music video exhibition

Conor Mercury has spent four years making music videos for the best of Adelaide’s music scene. The resulting 40 works are on display at Adelaide Arcade from tomorrow.

Conor Mercury
  • Words: Jade Woollacott
  • Graphic: Jayde Vandborg
  • Pictures: Nash Blight

After some experience working in the film industry mostly on “classic, crappy short film stuff” Conor says he fell into the music video scene post-pandemic and hasn’t looked back.


Thank You from Conor Mercury
Shop 151 Adelaide Arcade (upstairs, next to Two-Bit Villains)
April 12 – 19 10am ’til 5pm


It started three years ago when a friend connected him to Ricky Albeck & the Belair Line Band, who were looking for someone to shoot a music video for their song ‘Hands’.

A “terrified” Conor who – like most of us – had just come out of “a year of doing nothing” jumped at the chance.

“After doing [‘Hands’] I just did another one and another one and then it just kept happening, and that was it,” Conor says.

His first music video with Ricky Albeck is one of his fondest because he went “really big for no reason” with a crew of around 20 people, a size he says wasn’t really necessary.

“It was go big and then also not go home,” Conor says.

Ever since, he has worked at finding the balance between his own artistic licence and the artists’ creative vision.

“Otherwise, I just end up doing the same thing every time,” he says.

With the odd exception, Conor has almost exclusively worked with local Adelaide artists, though not necessarily on purpose.

Conor says Adelaide is a small place and “word of mouth” tends to fuel his business.

“There’s a wonderful music scene here [in Adelaide] that’s obviously been supportive of me,” he says.

While it’s hard to pick a favourite, he repeatedly finds himself working with The Empty Threats, Twine, Katie Pomery and Ricky Albeck.

Fast forward four years and Conor has 40 music videos to his name, all of which will be displayed at his upcoming exhibition in Adelaide Arcade.

Conor has wanted to display his work for some time but wasn’t actively seeking out a space until an opportunity with Renew Adelaide sparked his interest.

He says Lili Harrison’s recent ‘Skin’ exhibition – also facilitated by Renew – inspired him to do something similar.

Titled ‘Thank You’, the exhibition is a love letter to all the people who have had a hand in each of his music videos, and this is his way of affording them some well-deserved recognition.

With the help of local projection and light-based artist Miles Dunne, all 40 of Conor’s music videos will be simultaneously projected onto the walls. The idea is to make it look and feel like an art gallery but with moving images.

“All of the [music videos] are online and you can watch them anytime,” he says.

But Conor says, at the risk of sounding “cringey”, he wanted to create a space where everyone who has worked on each of the videos can physically come together to see their work.

“[The exhibition is] for all of the crew members that worked on all the film clips with me,” he says.

“Because I get all the credit when it’s on the internet, but I think in this sense it’s kind of like everybody else’s work is up for display.”

It won’t be an overwhelming 40 songs playing at the same time. One by one they will play throughout the space, and it will be up to exhibition–goers to decipher which video each song is synched to.

Conor will display the full list of credits for all of his videos on a larger projector. He says there are a lot more people behind the scenes of every shoot that are not always acknowledged and they are the inspiration for the exhibition.

“It’s a privilege to be able to work with such cool people wanting to do cool stuff and [make] cool things,” Conor says.

Conor’s exhibition opens Friday, April 12 and will be open until April 19. It is free and welcome to all, and Conor will be at the exhibition whenever it’s open to chat with musos and music lovers alike.

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