Artist Interviews 2023 | Sam Gowing

/ / Artist Interviews 2023

We Asked Sam Gowing 12 Interesting Questions About Herself.

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

My inspiration is to take from my local surroundings, animals that are native to South East Queensland (SEQ), mainly creatures that I’m in awe of and make me go Wow!! because of their majestic size or their prehistoric ancestry. I want to be part of making sure that we respect their habitat and we do what we can to conserve the numbers. This year my focus has been the Eastern Water Dragons that live on Jellurgal (Burleigh Hill) as well as Elephant Rock (Currumbin).

My first day living on the gold coast I walked up to the top of the Jellurgal hill and was admiring the view, I felt something on my toe and looked down to see an Eastern Water Dragon checking out my toes : ) (I will admit I jumped out of my skin haha).

Do you have a party trick or impressive icebreaker talent?

It used to be arm wrestles – but it got to the point I couldn’t move my arm for a week after a party haha!

Who is an artist that inspires you to create?

There are so many artists I take inspiration from but to name a few I love – Ai Wei Wei – his integration of activism in his artwork is inspiring, then Yayoi Kusama – I have a love for colour and pop art and she was at the forefront of this movement. Also Chiharu Shiota is an absolute inspiration, her works hurt my head a little as they are such incredible installation feats, oh and she has a studio to die for in Berlin…


If you could choose any, what superpower would you want?

My superpower would be Extreme Luck : )

What is your easy-to-watch movie?

Ghost Dog (it’s an oldy but a goody) – favourite scenes are the 2 best friends who don’t speak the same language, but know what the other is saying!

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

Astrophysicist – sadly the sciences were never my forte : )

What’s one quote or saying that you live by?

Treat people like you like to be treated!

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

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

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

I like to think that my artwork

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Either professionally or socially?

Value your worth at what you are happy with, not what other people say you should or shouldn’t be.

If you could travel back in time and do one thing, when would it be and what would you do?

I would step back to 1788 and would like to change the way Australia was invaded. Too heavy?

or on a lighter note:
I would travel back to last Sunday at the Pav where I should have ordered the falafel salad instead of the pizza : )

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

Salad, I know the saying is “You don’t make friends with salad” but I make good salads : )