7×8 | 2020 | Series 2 | Christian Newton

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Christian Newton

Christian Newton NSW – Five fathoms deep


What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

The opportunity to make intangible tangible. A thought turns into a scribble that may inspire an object.

Do you have a favourite material you like to work with?

Wood. Hands down. It comes with its own story. Take something that was once living and attempt to give it a new life. Carving keeps me humble too, sometimes wood just says “no” despite best design and efforts.

Would you rather share an Uber with Barbara Hepworth or Cornelia Parker or Antony Gormley?

Tell Barbara I called dibs on a window seat.

If you could meet any artist (from the past or present) who would it be?

Gutzon Borglum. Artist of Mt. Rushmore memorial.
The sheer size amazes me. How does Gutzon think that large?! How does he concentrate on minute detail without losing scale or focus on the over-all shape?

Also- Guyzon created his work with jackhammers and tonnes of explosives while dangling off the side of a mountain.
I’ll bet he’s got some tales to tell.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

The chance to see viewers reactions. I might bring a packed lunch to Swell and spend an hour or two keeping an eye. Too often with my creations, once sold I never get to observe if my work creates an emotion.

If you could go anywhere in the world to be inspired where would you go?

Harbin, China. There’s an annual ice sculpture festival. A frozen landscape on chainsaw carved sculpture, bridges and buildings all carved from solid ice.

A world without art would be…

Like eating dry toast.

If you could pick a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) to describe your style what would it be?

Gin & tonic. Clear, uncluttered enough to let the raw ingredients speak for themselves.

How have you grown as an artist since you started out?

My neighbours are now used to the sound of my chainsaws.

Where/how were you inspired to create your SWELL 2020 piece?

I love Aussie maritime history, I’ve always had daydreams about pearl divers of Broome. A hundred years ago this industry hit its peak and since then has slowly disappeared, I’d like to pay tribute with my piece.

How do you think SWELL Sculpture brings art and the local community together?

That little strip of Gold Coast beach holds dear to thousands. Swell serves up art to everyone that passes by those pre-dawn joggers to pram-pushing families out for a stroll, tourists, surfers, clubbies, latte ladies, day-trippers. The masses might love it, loath it, be challenged, be charmed, who know? That’s the charm of it.

What does SWELL mean to you?

I’ve got a couple of friends that have entered Swell again this year, I’m excited to see them shine. Swell is the time of year when secret projects emerge onto the beach all shiny and new, like gorgeous impossible creatures, transported from their workshop and studio chrysalis to bask in the autumn sun.

Shelby Nelson is confident but still growing as a university student. Studying Public Relations and Business she has found a strong passion for all things events, especially when it comes to the arts industry. Growing up on the Gold Coast she lives and breathes the beachside lifestyle and aims to help showcase people with amazing talents, giving the community not only a chance to appreciate them but have an amazing experience whilst doing so.

Follow her on Instagram @shelbynelson1