Sam Gowing QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
My inspiration for the piece is from my love of whales and the ocean. I am part of a whale research team on the Gold Coast (Humpback and Highrises) and through this, I have learnt even more about the fabulous Humpback Whales that migrate every year passing our beautiful coastline. I wanted to share some of their behaviours that we look out for on our surveys. They still manage to fill me with joy. I never want to leave and always hang around for one last breach…
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
For this particular series I had a bit of a plan, however, with all good plans I allow some deviation and allow changes to evolve. I am very much about the process of making art, so I definitely learn new and more efficient ways to do things.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
I would definitely have to say both. There are times when I am pretty chilled out about it, and when I have a tighter deadline, I definitely go on a wild ride.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
Completely by accident – Ha ha! I had a hiatus from creating artworks for many years and, a few years ago I was helping out at a community festival and we were making large lanterns, and from there I was hooked, and could not believe that I had stopped doing something that had made me feel so good. Of course, I always had creative outlets in my life, and even during my hiatus I have worked as a Graphic Designer & Product Developer. But creating my own thing is just so very different and fulfilling.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
I think for the first time in my life I have the perfect environment, and that is living close to the ocean. And wherever I can find space to work!!!
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
I really appreciate installation artists. Some of my faves are Christo, Ai Weiwei & Yayoi Kusama. However, my real muse is nature itself – the ocean and the things that live in it.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Immersive, ethereal, constructive.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
I am also exhibiting in the Brunswick Nature Sculpture Walk where I will be doing a piece on Sea Turtles.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
It is seriously one of the most exciting things to have happened for me in 2021. I feel very privileged to be a part of this exhibition and to have so many people view my work.
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 have been formally educated, however, the works I am doing now are experimental, and about how far I can push the material.
If you were to go on a holiday, would you venture to the ocean or the mountains?
Absolutely 100% the ocean.
Gourmet restaurant or home-cooked meal?
I’m partial to a nice restaurant when the occasion arises, but cannot go past a good home-cooked meal (that I haven’t cooked)!!
How would you describe your taste in music?
Eclectic – from doof to classical and majority of the in-betweens.
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.