7×8 | 2020 | Series 6 | Mari Hirata

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Mari Hirata QLD – Sentinels


What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

I love the feeling when I’m in the state of ‘Flow’. It’s like a very focussed, intentional phenomenon. It’s out of this world. I also love the fact that as long as I have a space and the means to create, I will never, ever be bored.

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

You mean at the moment?!
…I don’t have a specific material, because as an interdisciplinary artist I use a variety of mediums and methods for different projects. My obsession with a certain material or an art form inevitably tends to have a lot of detours and continues to change throughout my art practice. I do however seem to have a penchant for working with patterns / multiples of the same object.

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

It would be Cornelia Parker followed closely by Anthony Gormley. They’re both absolute masters of patterns, arrangement and composition… Is split fares an option?

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

I’ve always admired the work of Korean visual and installation artist Do Ho Suh.
I’d also love to have a cuppa & studio visit with Australian artist Fiona Hall.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

After living on the Gold Coast for so long and having been to every single Swell from year one – I get to be a Swell artist!

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

Anywhere I can immerse myself in nature.

What job did you do before becoming an artist/ or what do you do on top of being an artist?

Always have been, always will be an artist.
As for what else – It’s a continuous hustle. At the moment I play Tetris between working as an arts worker for the Young People & Families team and also for the Collection Access team at the State Library of Queensland, as well as other freelance jobs and workshops.

Are you a night owl or early bird?

Definitely a hoot hoot (who sometimes thinks she could be a cock-a-doodle-doo)

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

That’s too big a question to answer in 100 words. I also feel growth, whether in regards to an art practice or life in general (same thing if you’re an artist) is a continuous thing that can often expand and contract, and keeps changing and challenging you.

What’s the WOW factor of your piece?

I guess the immediate eye catching factor would be the surface effects of the pieces – its bright, shiny tones of green, with familiar yet alien like features and textures. Though for the me the true wow factor is just how much time, thought, and effort went into the process of creating the sculptures… all the behind the scenes stuff that people don’t see – which is so often the case with a lot of works of art.

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

I think Swell works on multiple levels – it offers a vast variety in theme, medium and scale, with artists that range from dedicated regulars to up and coming / internationals, and the opportunity for audience participation, additional events & workshops. Plus the artworks are displayed in an incredibly beautiful natural outdoor gallery, it can be enjoyed by all ages, and it’s free.

How many SWELL Sculpture Festivals have you been too?

All of them.

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