Monte Lupo Arts QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
We have been very inspired by our native flora and fauna this year and has featured heavily across our designs for 2021. This year for SWELL, we decided to focus on those native animals that we don’t always see – the night dwellers! We wanted to design sculptures that celebrated our nocturnal friends but also experiment with how these animals and forms could also function as garden lights for an extra dimension.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
We generally think of a theme for the year to help guide all the things we make in the studio (with plenty of room to be flexible and change). This helps us with production and keeping a consistent quality and feel for the year! It has not always been this way, we have been making sculptures and ceramics for thirty years now so there is always new learnings and ways of doing things.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
We would say wild ride! Here at Monte Lupo we go forth boldly into every new challenge we can find which has enabled us to be the arts organisation we are today.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
For 30 years, Monte Lupo has been a beloved and recognised member of the Brisbane and Queensland arts scene, producing beautiful ceramic and textile homewares and artwork. The studio is renowned for its vibrant, joyful and whimsical style, particularly garden planters and sculptures. The Monte Lupo brand has expanded over the years to now encompass a gallery café, coffee carts, an online shop and ceramic workshops where members of the public can create their own unique masterpiece. Established by disability support provider Multicap, Monte Lupo employs artists with disability who each play a part in creating every piece.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
A lot of our artists are inspired by the natural world, so we find a lot of our inspiration out in nature!
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
Too many to count! Robert Burton, Peter Pinkus, Charles Blackburn, Jeffrey Smart, David Bromley & Del Kathryn Barton top name a few!
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Bold. Whimsical. Colourful.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
SWELL has always been one of our biggest events of the year! Right now we are trying to explore and strengthen our capacity to make more work so we can reach more galleries and locations within Australia. Whilst it does not sound very whimsical or exciting, it is a really important and big task nonetheless!
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
Exhibiting in SWELL means a great deal to us. For us, it means we get to show to the public all the incredible work and talent of our artists. It also means we get to see how others respond, interact and resonate with the work that we do.
Is there anything you do to continue developing as an artist? Would you describe yourself as self-taught or formally educated in your practice?
Our team of artists come from many different backgrounds but what ties us all together is our desire for expression through creative means. Some of us are formally educated, some self taught and for some, learning on the job!
How do you stay connected in the art world?
Reading, watching, listening, visiting galleries, participating in shows and public art projects. Seeking opportunities whenever and wherever we can.
How do you spend your free time when you’re not creating?
Explore the outdoors, hiking, walking, knitting, embroidery, hang out, watch the UFC, Netflix and many more to count!
Who is your biggest supporter?
You! Community! For thirty years we have told the world our Monte Lupo story and for thirty years, our story has been championed and carried on through every purchase, kind message, award, invitation to exhibit and more.
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.