Dion Parker QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
To celebrate my 10th year exhibiting at SWELL, I chose to pay homage to a sculpture that played a part in me entering for the first time in 2011 – ‘The Sunbathing Lady’ by Frank Myles. Long after the crowds and other sculptures are gone, she sits there enjoying the sun. My character ‘Lil dusty’ is attempting to mimic her pose. While the material and pose are both very similar, the two works are also very different. Like so many artists before me, I have taken a work that has influenced me and put my own spin on it.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
For me sculpture always has to have some sort of plan, especially a work that is going to be placed outdoors at the mercy of the public and the elements.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
Hahahaha a bit of both really! There have been plenty of highs and lows, but I think a consistent drive and desire to create and share has always been there. No matter how good or bad I’m feeling.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
I’m a long way from where I was mentally and creatively when I started. I think I’m even further from where I’ll be in both regards when I finish.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
I’m almost always thinking about creating. It really just depends on what I’m doing at any particular time as to how much of my mind is devoted to an idea, work or project. I love spending time working in my studio at Mint Arthouse, but I find my best ideas come to the front of my mind when I’m doing everyday things like driving or trying to stay present in a conversation.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
Hmmmm. I’ve always been influenced and in awe of the work of Brett Whiteley. Also artists like Kaws, McBess, Dabs Myla and many more. And of course there is Nat.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
You tell me.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
I’m rather excited to be working with ten different artists who will each be customising a new sculpture of mine for a group exhibition titled “Inside Out” happening later this year.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
Personally it always feels amazing to be involved in such a great festival. This year is even more significant for me as it marks the achievement of a long term goal. When I put my first entry into SWELL 11 years ago, I told myself “If I can do this once, I’m going to do it ten times.” Since that first time I have grown a lot as an artist and person.
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 like exploring new mediums and looking at works of artists I haven’t seen before. I’m mostly self-taught.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
I’m a big fan of both.
How would you describe your taste in music?
All over the place.
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.