Carolyn Donovan QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
Native Australian wildflowers are the inspiration for this sculpture. I love their resilience – they bloom in the harshest of conditions, bursting into spectacular colour all year around, regardless of the attention given to them. And, as with most of my work, an environmentally ethical approach to both progress and nature means it is created out of upcycled and recycled material.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
I’m a strategist so I always begin everything with a plan.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
A wild ride that has been building since the day I could hold a crayon.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
I feel like I am finally creating the things I wanted to make as a child, but maturity gives me the discipline and know-how now to finish it.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
A large open space full of natural light and fresh air.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
So many! Brett Whitely, Ben Quilty, Jeff Koons, Picasso, and every part of Australia in general.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Bright, vibrant, painterly.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
Two exhibitions were planned in the US for 2020, and then postponed to 2021, and now possibly until 2022 – so I’m still excited about that. But the danger with having art pieces hanging around the studio means my brain thinks they are never finished.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
I am passionate about the importance of public art. It inspires, speaks and directs us toward areas we may not have otherwise ventured. It opens our eyes and expands our minds in so many ways. There really are not enough words to say how grateful I am for those who labour to create art to be seen in public spaces around Australia and across the world.
Is there anything you do to continue developing as an artist? Would you describe yourself as self-taught or formally educated in your practice?
I can’t really call myself self-taught as I come from a strong family background of artists and creators. I would attribute all of my education to learning from others – both artists, non-artists and custodians of the land.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
Salt water is my happy place, but we are so blessed to be able to experience both in close proximity in Australia.
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
If it’s me in the kitchen, I would always choose a good restaurant over cooking. I can do a mean salad though.
How would you describe your taste in music?
Eclectic and mood-based.
Courtney Stephens is an emerging creative event producer based in Tweed Heads. After a successful career as a Practice Manager, her passion for the creative arts industry has led her to study a Bachelor of Business in Convention and Event Management. She hopes to balance her love for the arts, culture and nature with her strengths in communication and management to create community based events.