Artist Interviews 2023 | Kahli Heit

/ / Artist Interviews 2023

We Asked Kahli Heit 12 Interesting Questions About Herself.

What was the inspiration behind your piece for SWELL Sculpture Festival 2023?

The amazing and underrated animal found in Australia and New Zealand. The Pipi Shell (Paphies Australis), also known as Yugarie or Ugarie in Yugambeh and Ugarapal languages. The shell is usually found on the coastline of Australia’s beaches and is commonly collected for food, fishing bait or even just for it’s beautiful colours.

SWELL is all about connecting people, art and place, how does your work help connect people, art and place?

Many people around Australia and New Zealand have been collecting Pipi shells for generations. This art piece is all about respecting our ancestors and commemorating them. It is also about the many people who presently collect shells and admire their beauty. Lastly this piece is made for future generations to learn and create their own memories of being close to the shoreline and enjoying their times collecting the shells that we are lucky enough to have naturally occurring.

You walk into a bar… what’s the first drink you order?

Well… I do not drink often! If I were to order a drink, it would be a CC dry or a sunrise! Oh so delicious and the drink has colours that captivate the eyes! (orange, pink and red.)

What is your favourite meal to cook when trying to impress someone?

My mum’s secret recipe of the classic chicken soup. This soup is not only wholesome and healthy, it is also amazingly easy to make. I love the idea of impressing someone with a recipe that tastes oh so great and helps warm the soul.

What advice do you have for emerging artists?

Keep doing what you love because you will never feel like you truly have to work. If you enjoy doing it why not make a profession out of it? You are your own encouraging friend and you can be your own worst enemy. It is up to you how you treat yourself. So why not be kind to yourself. After all we are all special with our own unique talents and personalities.

What was your first artwork? How did it inspire you to grow?

I have been doing art since before I could write, walk or talk. My mum has kept all of my original pieces, I think the one that inspired me most was the one I did on my own with only self guidance. Usually drawing/painting/building flowers, trees, rivers or animals. I remember doing art pieces through school and I always felt proud of each one. My earliest memory is drawing cats, creating tunnels for them and also trying to create mazes for my family and friends.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during the creation of your artwork?

My biggest challenge was trying to make an amazing art piece for my audience and at the same time, trusting my creative ability to make something everyone (including myself) loves. Listening to the advice people give and also trusting my gut feeling in knowing what can be created on my own.

If animals could talk, which one would you want to talk to?

Well, I believe animals can already talk! We just do not know their language. But if I could have a conversation with one animal it would have to be the Kookaburra. They seem so wise and yet I am sure we could have a good laugh at the same time!

In your opinion, how can artists support each other?

Words of encouragement, to me, are the best ways you can show your support. Another way artists can support each other is by acknowledging who they were inspired by and sharing their work for others to see.

If you were stranded on a desert island, but food, water and shelter weren’t an issue, what are the 3 things you would take with you and why?

I would definitely need an extensive wardrobe, some books (like the Harry Potter series) and I would need to bring my family/friends. Company is important!

If you weren’t an artist, what would your profession be?

A teacher. I think it is important to pass our knowledge to the next generations as our wisdom will help them grow and change for the better. It is important for our communities to have great teachers.

Do you have a favourite song you like to play when working on your art?

Yes! My favourite song to play while working on art is Live Well by Palaces and Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd.