A Harley-Davidson is the ultimate symbol of freedom.
This feeling of freedom is partly why Ryan "The Brickman" McNaught built a Harley from Lego.
The Harley features in his latest exhibition, Brickman Awesome, at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
It is Ryan's third exhibition featuring items made entirely from Lego bricks. There are 36 models on show, none of which have been seen in Newcastle before, and which took a mammoth 5000 hours to build from just under one million Lego bricks.
In addition to the Harley, the exhibition also includes a three-metre tall orca whale and a Caterpillar 797 dump truck, along with a kangaroo, koala and penguins.
There's also a full-sized Australian saltwater crocodile that weighs more than 60 kilograms and was built with more than 40,000 Lego bricks.
Ryan is a Lego designer. He is the only Australian Lego certified professional. In 2019 he joined Channel Nine television show Lego Masters Australia as the main competition judge alongside host Hamish Blake.
Lego is one of those activities that lends itself to pandemic life.
"I don't work for Lego, but their sales have gone through the roof," Ryan said. "Everybody's looking for activities they can do at home, so Lego is a pretty good one. We've got twin 12-year-old boys, so Lego is a pretty big part of what we do anyway."
Ryan's Lego activities, though, are on a much different scale to those done at home.
His Lego pieces involve a lot of thought and different processes.
"I have a fairly large team. We work on these models together," he said.
The pieces are built with teamwork, while individuals can also follow their interests and work on what they're passionate about.
"Let's say we're building the Harley-Davidson. One of my crew really loves motorbikes," he said.
The process of building big Lego pieces can get analytical because "you're trying to make an exact copy of it".
"If you're making something that's totally free and creative, which doesn't follow any rules or preconceptions, you can let it go and see where the model takes you. A good old fashioned plain Lego brick can be an aeroplane, a car, a kangaroo, it could be anything. It shows the versatility of what it can do."
Exhibitions begin with an idea and brainstorming.
"We have quite a few exhibitions touring around the world. When this one came about, we were thinking about things that people liked. One of the adjectives that people use when they see our Lego models is, 'Oh man, that's awesome'. So we sat down for a week and did a brainstorm about all of the things we think are awesome."
Hence, the name of the show.
The Brickman Awesome exhibition is being held at Newcastle Entertainment Centre in a COVID-safe way until Sunday, October 18.