7×8 | 2020 | Series 1 | Andrew Cullen

/ / Artists 2020

Andrew Cullen NSW – Diligent

What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

Having worked predominantly on large scale sculptures and public art pieces for the past 10 years I find the ‘buzz’ comes from when I challenge myself and struggle toward actualisation. Because installations are always so hot and hectic it’s rarely the day I take my first satisfied breath, but the very next morning you can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Do you have a favourite material you like to work with?

After transferring from painting to sculpture I spent a few years experimenting with various materials before finding my happy place. Small wire work lead to large steel structures with a transparent nature and incredible light and shadow play. Most recently I have delved into using waste building timbers, again with a view to lighting opportunities.

Would you rather share an Uber with Barbara Hepworth or Cornelia Parker or Antony Gormley?

In these times of Corona Virus it would be a challenge to get me in an Uber with anyone but I could be tempted into a chat with Antony Gormley in an open space. After I’d picked his brain for ideas on my personal goals I’d probably ask him for his opinion on Hepworth and Parker.

If you could meet any artist (from the past or present) who would it be?

Without a doubt I’d love to meet Andy Warhol. From the moment I first saw Pop Art images I felt that I could find a place for my thoughts within the art world.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

Having done Swell a few times now I look forward to catching up with the friends I’ve made. These are ‘my people’. They live in diverse places and often spend a lot of their time toiling in isolation so come Swell time I love to be amongst them when they get to shine.

Is there a creative process or method you go through to think of your next piece or do ideas strike you when you don’t expect it?

I’ve always gravitated to the idea that artists have a responsibility to represent their place and time in human history. For me every piece I create has to make a comment on where we are in time and space. Although I tend to respond to issues of negative human impact, I try to emphasis my belief in our ability to overcome.

When did you first realise you loved creating art?

It was a Friday afternoon while I was in year 7 of primary school. My art nemesis at the time had managed to attract a group of the prettiest girls by copying images of Casper the friendly ghost. The ‘oohs and ahhs’ got too much for me and I began sketching some Mexican bandits I’d been working on for a while. I just took one girls eyes to stray my way and sweet victory was mine.

What job did you do before becoming an artist/ or what do you do on top of being an artist?

Teaching has always been my plan B. It’s allowed me to live in many varied countries and these experiences have given fuel to my ideas and inspirations. I’ve taken the long route toward personal maturity so working in an environment where I’m surrounded by effervescent spirits gives me a place to live.

Beach goer or city slicker or outback lover?

Love a city, I find solace in the bush, but try and make me live away from the ocean and you’ll be dealing with a bear with tooth ache.

Red, blue or yellow?


What do you want the public to see through your current artwork?

Originality. I don’t strive to be different but I rarely look for inspiration in the work of others. Through my current and most recent work I hope that people don’t swiftly try to associate my style with someone else.

What drew you to applying for SWELL?

Swell succeeds every year to create a feel good fortnight for the Gold Coast. Its wholesome yet intellectually challenging and can be enjoyed quite literally by every age. Swell is one of the few occasions where masses of humans group together celebrate human achievement.

Shelby Nelson is confident but still growing as a university student. Studying Public Relations and Business she has found a strong passion for all things events, especially when it comes to the arts industry. Growing up on the Gold Coast she lives and breathes the beachside lifestyle and aims to help showcase people with amazing talents, giving the community not only a chance to appreciate them but have an amazing experience whilst doing so.

Follow her on Instagram @shelbynelson1