Describe your art practice.
When I can, I get the best quality paper I can afford and I take a breath and then I draw on it. I can draw things so they look like the object in front of you but I am more interested in drawing a little to the left of that. Sometimes I will experience something and it will get me outraged and I will draw about that. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes touched. Sometimes excited. Then I will look at my drawings and I go – ohhh, I see what I was trying to do there. Then I have to write proposals for exhibitions and try and articulate the ideas and process and make it appealing and sensible. So my art practice skids between wrestling it to the ground and chucking it up in the air.
When, how and why did you get into it?
It was inevitable. I first got into art when I was four and I made Christmas presents for my family. I remember I sewed three buttons onto a piece of shiny yellow satin for my sister and in that moment I realised I was having a great time. I grew up in a small country town on a little farm so I had to do something? So I made things – my best friend and I used to make satirical magazines and record the top 40 and then re-record it with us as DJs. Then I was a teenager and that was pretty bad. Then I went overseas and that was pretty good. Then I came to art school in Canberra. I worked really hard because I loved it. It was like sewing buttons onto shiny fabric but, everyday!
What ideas do you explore through your art?
I explore the idea that art is important. I try to look at the world around me and reflect my experiences. I try to make art that is about my thoughts and feelings, not expectation. I try to make art that challenges hypocrisy including my own and I try to make art that is a bit funny. Because really it is both funny and hypocritical to think that art is important? But it is important. Really!
Who/what influences you as an artist?
Every single thing in the whole wide world and time and space. But some specific artists who I really love are Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s performances. Jockum Nordstrum’s collages. I really like Tony Albert’s assemblages, Glenn Barkley’s ceramics, Charlie Sofo’s videos, Kenny Pittock’s everythings, Noel McKenna’s paintings, Ali Jane Smith’s poetry, Oliver Smith’s silver smithing. I love Cathy Petocz and Patrick Larmours’ daring exploits and I also enjoy Katy B Plummer and Kuba Dorabialskis’ brave new worlds. There are lots more … I also really like old clothes. Especially jackets?
Of what are you proudest so far?
I am proud to still be making art. I am proud to be able to share ideas with people and talk about creativity and how important it is. This year I have had three shows and with each one I feel more pride. It’s gradual.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to get a day job that pays me enough to provide safety and security for my family while also allowing me time to make art while listening to records. I have a few projects on the simmer that will potentially marry my love of day jobs and records, so watch out. Yes, I’m starting an art band.
What about the local scene would you change?
I would give everyone amnesia so we could start again.
I think we are doing okay. I think people with initiative will always find ways to operate and create interesting things. I think we should have free parking and everyone should have a safe place to live, healthcare and employment. Once you have that stuff sorted out you can have more energy to show initiative?
What are your upcoming performances/exhibitions?
I have been selected by The Curators Department and the University of Queensland Museum and Gallery to make a work for The National Artist Self Portrait Prize. I’m making a time machine so my children can meet their great grandparents. I’m also in a group show with local and interstate artists and writers exploring the idea of Confabulation through looking at old slides and the technology that supports them. This show will be exhibited in Feb 2018 at ANCA with a view to tour the works to Indonesia. Tributary Projects is also a great place where I have my studio, so I perform there most days. And the art band with Katy B Plummer is going to happen. Or maybe we will write a rock opera where the performers will wear shiny yellow button covered jackets. Full circle.