Shiloh Perry QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
During the start of COVID my event business took a turn for the worst and during this quiet time I started reconnecting with my creative side. Ever since I was 8 years old I’ve had an obsession with origami and wanted to fold 1000 cranes to be granted a wish. This last year has been a great reflection on balance and bringing art back into my life. Folding the 1000 cranes has become more about the process of stopping to focus on a simple moment. I feel the installation as a whole will be the same, a simple moment ‘Sway’.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
I generally follow a process when I work in 3D as I already have the creation pictured in my mind. Trying to figure out how to create, build, sculpt my thoughts is the exciting part. Sometimes the process doesn’t quiet work out and that can also be amazing.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
Potentially both, sometimes it starts off as a slow burn and then I mentally decide to do more and it becomes a wild ride.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
Tough question, I don’t know if I feel I have become an artist yet. Art has always been a part of my life and has also been a great escape for me. Growing up my imagination always had the better of me, I was definitely the daydreamer in class. When I graduated High School I was lucky enough to be accepted into art school which was an amazing place to learn. Being inspired and guided by lecturers who were also practicing artists gave me the best skill set to move forward as an artist.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
Ideas and inspiration can come from anywhere, I try to use my visual diary to keep a record for the potential art future. For me, it’s not necessarily an ideal environment to work, in it’s more about making time to create. Once I mentally make time for myself to work, that then becomes the perfect environment for me, along with some music.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
I draw a lot of inspiration from suburbia and architecture. Brutalist Architecture is my absolute fav! When I was studying I discovered Gordon Matta-Clark, Richard Serra, Rachel Whiteread, Todashi Kawamata, Louis Kahn, Le corbusier, Bernard Tschumi and so many more. A combination of all of the above are super inspiring.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Simple, relative, accessible.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
Currently I am focusing on finishing my piece for this exhibition, beyond SWELL I’m hoping to continue with my art practice. Ideally I would love to have an exhibition however committing time is the challenge.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
SWELL is the main driver for me to start creating again. Being able to work towards an end product is a big inspiration. After not exhibiting after some time it is intimidating to exhibit on such a large platform (SWELL an outdoor exhibition) where the public will be experiencing my work but it’s also super exciting.
Is there anything you do to continue developing as an artist? Would you describe yourself as self-taught or formally educated in your artistic practice?
I would say I was formally educated in art, studying art for me is learning the tools of the trade. I majored in sculpture and printmaking, I always changed up my minor subjects, I felt acquiring all these are skills were the best options for me. I wanted to know how to do everything. I think my main passion is mould making, I love working with concrete.
What food would you consider your guilty pleasure?
100% guilty pleasure cheese and wine!
What skill or talent have you always wished you could master?
Drummer! I was given an electric drum kit for Christmas, I just wish I could bang out a tune. Anything from Rage Against the Machine would be amazing!
If you possessed a superpower, what would it be?
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.