Suzi Lucas QLD
What was the inspiration behind the piece that is a part of the SWELL Sculpture Festival 2021?
I have always loved trees and the animals that live in them. I’d like to inspire others to see them in a similar way and to think deeply before they cut them down. “In this universe everything is connected”.
Do you follow a process or plan for each new piece or do you ‘wing it’?
Each piece of work has a standard formula.
Concept, research, material selection and testing, construction, delivery. Almost the same process as building a house.
When I’m experimenting at the research stage and making works for myself that’s when I wing it. That is usually the time that I learn the new, exciting stuff.
Would you describe your artistic journey as a slow burn or a wild ride?
A slow burn since the day I was born and it won’t end until the day that I die.
The journey so far has included some pretty hectic times.
Can you tell us a little bit more about how you became the artist that you are today?
I think that I’ve just collected information and knowledge along the way. I’ve had a pretty interesting life, travelled and worked a lot of different jobs. Experiences and images stored in my memory or sub conscience are the things that seem to manifest in my art today.
I’m a very determined person and I never give up. I guess I just truly believe that art is my life.
Describe your ideal environment where your creative juices flow?
I have three happy places, ocean, the bush and my garden.
When I’m there I’m one with my surroundings and I can be in nature, take a breath and be free to imagine.
Is there an artist or body of work that you would consider your muse?
Several artists come to mind but my five favourites would be:
Andy Goldsworthy, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Niki DE Saint Phalle and Pipilotti Rist.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your artistic style, what would they be?
Curious, innovative, exciting.
Beyond SWELL 2021, is there a forthcoming project you are most excited about?
There’s always a project in the pipeline. The most exciting one for me is developing a series of mindful environmental art workshops. I can share them with curious minded people who want to slow their brains down for a day and just be immersed in some simple friendly creativity.
What does exhibiting in SWELL 2021 mean to you?
Making a work for SWELL is always a huge undertaking. It means I often sacrifice precious time with my family and friends. It can be pretty stressful finding funding and spaces to make the work.
The other side of the story is that I get to realise a dream by putting a work that I have conceived and made, on a beautiful beach, with a huge diverse audience. SWELL is a big family of talented creatives, curators, organisers, volunteers and artists. I feel that I’m part of the family and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
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 was formally educated as a graphic designer in New Zealand. Every day is a day of learning for me because my life and art are combined. I do take part in a lot of workshops, art, garden, bush regeneration, grant writing, bird watching and so it goes on. I also watch a lot of documentaries about artists, musicians and gardeners. My favourite and most inspirational thing to do is to travel with my family.
What food would you consider your guilty pleasure?
‘Home grown produce’ – but not so guilty!!!!
What skill or talent have you always wished you could master?
If you possessed a superpower, what would it be?
To end war and violence.
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.