John Nesirky QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
I wanted to reclaim the word ‘wave’ for its powerful, timeless beauty in connection to the sea. The world has changed rapidly during the pandemic and we have had to learn new ways of living, also a changed vocabulary. Reference to COVID infection in 1st and 2nd waves and so on become normal association. I hope to bring a sense of timeless optimism back in a powerful form.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
As a boatbuilder I have learned to think ahead and consider my next moves before action. My work has critical consequences if not completed to the applied standards. I have a logical approach to my creative plans. This doesn’t mean I am inflexible, the joy being the freedom to explore forms knowing the physical groundwork is sound.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
Things get progressively more wild as I near the deadline!
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
After high school I went firstly to an art foundation year, then to fine art Sculpture at Polytechnic. I always had strong visual concepts but lacked the practical skills to fulfill them. My years of working with wood in carpentry, cabinet making, and traditional shipwrighting eventually enabled me to bring my creative concepts off the page and into the world.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
I like to be surrounded by the materials and tools I require, a dusty bench with notes written on scrap timber and the background song of cicadas.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
There are many artists that inspire me. I am always fascinated by kinetic works, interactive pieces and awesome scale. I had the pleasure of seeing Leonardo da Vinci sketchbooks/journals on display at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford. I think he would be my muse in the extreme range of his abilities he possessed.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Complex, old, quirky.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
I will be a resident artist at Sculptors Queensland in Brisbane from November. I am super excited!
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
This will be my third year. I have met a lot of wonderful people through this fantastic event. I enjoy being able to talk with visitors to the festival and get an insight into to their observations of not only my work but the whole experience.
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 did have a formal training, in particular to drawing. It is difficult to know how much is mine in my current work! Of course the concepts swim up through my thoughts but I have had the good fortune to have been taught while working alongside some extremely talented tradesmen.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
My childhood holidays in the UK where I was born were predominantly in the mountains of Snowdonia. My parents were keen hikers, the rugged pebbled beaches were great for exploring but the chill sea not so inviting! I still feel drawn to the mountains in nostalgia.
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
A restaurant meal that offers the chance to try food I wouldn’t/couldn’t replicate at home.
How would you describe your taste in music?
Eclectic. I write a lot of music myself and am influenced widely.
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.