Jodesa Donley QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
“The Constellation I see in the sky” is an installation/sculptural form that I originally constructed and used in an experimented ritual performance inviting the audiences in the gallery to sit around the sculptural form to create an intimate space between myself and the audience. I am very much interested in bringing people together in a circle to share stories and finding our commonality. I think people are like stars; we connect and interrelate with one another. We are closely linked to each other in so many ways.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
I start with the idea first then draw or write it down, then I let the idea unfold during the process. Oftentimes, it changes and evolves even after it’s already done.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
I find that my artistic journey goes hand in hand with how I deal with life. I enjoy every bit of it no matter the ups and downs. I like the feeling of not knowing the outcome when making art. It’s similar to life, we never know what could happen but I love taking risks and to experience it even though it’s a wild ride.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
I’ve always been artistic like my father. I guess, I wanted to be like him and I want to make use of my God-given talents that inspire others. But I think what really pushed me is the feeling of being different when I moved and live in Australia. When I went back to University and studied art, I realised that I can voice my own experiences as a Filipino-migrant through my work and allow people to see me and resonate with my experience.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
I like early mornings. I can think a lot when I’m in a quiet place. I also work nonstop while I listen to experienced artist life stories and documentaries about art. They’re like music to my ears.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
I am ever amused by the work of Louise Bourgeois. There is a strong sense of mystery in it. Ever since I first saw her work, I felt that there is a strong force that is taking me to create something that I couldn’t grasp.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Experimental, ambiguous, poetic.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
I honestly have no forthcoming projects in particular, I always look forward every day to creating a new work and am excited from the moment I wake up. I take things as they comes and would not want to miss an opportunity.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
It means that what I once dreamt and envisioned can be put into reality. SWELL is a great opportunity for me to create a large-scale work and present it in a bigger space. It helps me prove what else I can do and inspire other artists. SWELL 2021 will also be a great event to bring people together and experience art in a relaxed, friendly setting.
Is there anything you do to continue developing as an artist? Would you describe yourself as self-taught or formally educated in your practice?
It was an advantage for me to have both. I continue discovering myself through creating more work, participating and attending art exhibitions. I always love learning new things. Being formally educated has helped me to properly articulate my work. I think it is important to have a solid foundation about the specific narratives an artist wants to traverse in their practice.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
I love the ocean. The calming feeling of cool breeze when I go fishing with my family. I find stillness while staring at the water.
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
I prefer home cooked meals because it’s healthy and when you make an effort to prepare a meal for your family, it means that you are caring for them. The food becomes a part of your family traditions, it can be instilled in our memory. Just like when my mother would cook different types of rice dishes for us. I still miss her cooking until now that I am living in Australia.
How would you describe your taste in music?
I like anything from cheesy 80’s and 90’s karaoke songs to rock and reggae music.
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.