Emma Anna QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
Concrete poetry and wordplay.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
My process is pretty exhaustive, which must be why some of my best ideas are born after a siesta.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
Definitely a wild ride, not for the faint hearted.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
White knuckle grip, dogged persistence and a lot of hard work. Being prepared to take big risks and make sacrifices all for the pursuit of creative freedom. Approaching my career as if it was just a long game of chess has helped too!
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
Any good op shop or antiques dealer where I can rummage through ephemera and old books.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
Fluxus, especially its key members : Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono and John Cage.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Humorous, clever, colourful.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
My current work with Australian artist and musician Martin Martini exploring Australian fungi, collage, art and ecology @bellyoftheworldmushrooms and my ongoing collaboration with Colombian artist and academic Fernando Garcia Vasquez (we co-direct the independent art space La Casa Verde in Barranquilla, Colombia @lacasaverdeelprado).
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
A chance to reconnect to Australian audiences and culture after three years living full time in Colombia, riding out the worst of the pandemic.
Is there anything you do to continue developing as an artist? Would you describe yourself as self-taught or formally educated in your practice?
A bit of both. I am largely self-taught in terms of technique, but have studied various disciplines that are all combined in the thinking that informs my practice : journalism, graphic design and public art.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
What’s a ‘holiday’?
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
I love to cook and try to make it a daily ritual. I also appreciate the theatrical aspects of fine dining so have a fair dash of that mixed into my lifestyle too.
How would you describe your taste in music?
Very eclectic. I have never studied music formally, and consequently lack any discerning taste, and therefore love almost anything : from Nina Simone to AC/DC to Katy Perry.
I also like silence, especially John Cage’s 4’33″
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.