7×8 | 2020 | Series 5 | Jan Cleverigna

/ / Artists 2020

Jan Cleveringa NSW – Going in Circles


What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

My favourite aspect of being an artist is the freedom and opportunity to invent, express and share new ideas in culture in the hope of encouraging interest, hope, shock, love and beauty in others in some way. I love the chance to impact and shape our culture positively. It’s a privilege, and tough-ly earned career.

I’m lucky as a multidisciplinary artist not to feel bound by self imposed restrictions modelled in the arts industry or by boundaries created by others in terms of style, form or medium. Nothing is stronger than an idea.

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

At SWELL my art installation is made from a 1000 discarded fluorescent light globes utilising the contrast of the beautiful, rich natural sand. I love using the tubes as a signal of industry waste as they can contain multiple meanings in different environments. They are one of my favourites but, I also love video, oil paint and toilet rolls too. lol.

But …an artwork is made by many things and not just raw materials so ultimately I’d say my favourite materials are the viewers, critics and curators who are indirectly all part of the work when viewing them.

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

Whomever could tell me the best joke and make me laugh. Or who might sit down for a quiet coffee or beer later.

But…. Obviously, I’d be trying to swap or buy a Hepworth piece direct from the source. Love her timeless style.

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

I’d love to have met Warhol and his crowd and be part of The Factory and maybe see the Velvet Underground play a gig.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

I’m excited to tell a story and share the SWELL ‘love’.

I remember last time I was there and talking to so many visitors who said that they put it in their calendars each year because they love it. The visitors and volunteers were so fantastic.

I can’t wait to be part of that beautiful white sandy beach and test the surf.

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?

Creativity ‘wells’ inside of me with everything I do. Ideas just come. I have no method except to continually learn new things. Then I love the problem solving and the engineering I need to think about and learn, in order to make it.

I love that mix of fear and challenge particularly when I’ve never done that idea before. It’s what make me tick.

It sounds a little grandiose and cliche but ask my wife as it drives her crazy.

I’d love a factory team to fulfill all these ideas.

I’m passionate about waste, recycling and sustainability and our future.

Are you most productive on a beautiful sunny day or rainy gloomy day?

I love a sunny day but I get more done on a cloudy day when installing. It all depends on which art form I’m making.

I’m hoping when I install “Going in Circles” at SWELL that it’s spitting ‘a very light sunshower’.

Beach goer or city slicker or outback lover?

Oh Gee…. How do you choose? I’m all the above but if I had to choose, I’d say, “Teach the Beach!!!”

There’s nothing better than the feeling of having been at the beach at the end of the day. It’s reinvigorating.

Is there something you aim to achieve during your career as an artist?

I’d like to be able to leave behind artworks that influence culture and that mean something for the long term. I’d like my artworks to perhaps grow in momentum over the years whilst aiming at combining intelligent thought, a time in history, beauty, and a sense of styles, humour and seriousness rolled into one. I want my work to have many levels of understanding so that they keep a mystery to them.

Sorry, I’ve just got way to serious…!

I see Australian art as global.

Red, blue or yellow?

Purple of course.

How do you think SWELL Sculpture brings art and the local community together?


The community are so valued as part of the exhibition and so many people volunteer, it’s amazing.

Behind the scenes there is so much effort and labours of love and all that goes with it. The show is definitely for the community, far and wide, both during the day and night.

I’ve felt the truth, the beauty, the hardship and sense of satisfaction of the exhibition and know it to be true.

How many SWELL Sculpture Festivals have you been too?

I’ve been in one so far, but what a feeling and it’s kept me coming back because I fell in love with all of it. And I guess because of it’s geniuses.

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