I try to put a bit of myself in every installation I do so it keeps it relevant and challenging for me and allows a deeper connection with my work. I’ve always had this fascination (or struggle) with the balance between structure and freedom, which is a theme that continually reoccurs with my work. This can be looking at the balance between development and nature, or tighter and looser forms but that contrast and balance is always there for me and it’s an interesting ongoing conversation.
Something not a lot of people know about me is that I’ve had many unique jobs. I was a fishmonger once and I was a tour guide for a long time, drove a party bus for a bit as well as tearing it up as a wedding DJ and MC. I’ve got some classic stories about all them meeting some really interesting crew.
Balance or contrast between structure and freedom is always present in my work. I think there’s a real west coast influence in what I do too. I love the coast, east or west but there’s something about the west that draws me and I feel the same when I’m in the states or overseas anywhere - maybe it’s something to do with a bit more space over here or the sun setting over the ocean, but I think it definitely drives a consistent tone in my work. I’m really influenced by the coast and the outdoors and anything hand crafted so I’m always chasing this authentic nostalgic feeling in my work which I think comes back to west coast summers, warmth and surf.
Why do you think art in public space is important to a community?
Art in public space has massive potential as an artform to comment on and transform a community. Above everything, it opens a conversation and can often put everyone on a level playing field as every opinion or response is valid. I always encourage that dialogue when I’m installing, to get a sense of the community and see what people think - good or bad. If it’s bad, at least we’re now having a conversation about art and I always ask them to explain why they do or don’t like it to go a bit deeper. It’s also just fun to see art in unexpected places and on a large scale, which can really uplift a space.
I’m working on a few major installs over here, integrating a lot more sculptural work and animated lighting - searching for new mediums to create engaging works. I’m working on a large install for a new stadium here that’s the biggest install to date combining painted surfaces with sound and lighting treatments which will be really interesting when it’s installed later this year. I’m always up for projects that push me creatively and take me out of my comfort zone and currently that means trying out new media and collaborating with other artists to boost the outcome. I’ve been working on a few office fitouts which has been great, collaborating with furniture designers and lighting suppliers to create overall schemes to transform a space. I also really enjoy working on hospitality fit-outs - bringing a bar or cafe to life with a few touches or a feature piece. The passion at the ground level of a launch for a bar or cafe is really nice to be a part of.
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