7×8 | 2020 | Series 7 | Robert Guenther

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Robert Guenther NSW – Ragnar V Moby


What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

I like the fact you are forever bringing it back to the art. Someone loves it-someone hates it. It does not matter.
But then unless you want to exist in a bubble, its great to get feedback and evolve your piece.
So this balance is both my favourite and least favourite part.

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

I have only ever known wood. It is my partner in creativity. To use another medium would feel like a betrayal of sorts. It is perfect-imperfect, forgiving-unforgiving, strong-weak.
It is steeped in story.
Rich in history.

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

Seeing that I needed to google all of them, maybe I should jump in with all three, so as to fast track my sculptural exposure.

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

A documentary about ‘The Running Fence’ by Christo and Jeanne Claude has always remained with me. The sheer scale of their undertaking. And the belief in their art when confronted by such negativity from others.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

I have been saying for about 15 years that I would like to be part of Swell. I never had anything in mind, just thought it would be cool. But it had become just another thing to cross off the bucket list.
Until now, so I am absolutely elated to be part of it.

A world without art would be…

Hard to fathom. I think I would be signing up for the next Mars mission.
I guess we are getting a taste of what it would be like with our current situation.

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

Without doubt, a straight up Whisky.
An acquired taste.
For contemplation.
The more you have, the more you see.

Beach goer or city slicker or outback lover?

Shed dweller in any of the above destinations.

Do you find making art a therapeutic or chaotic process?

My work space is chaotic.
My work is therapeutic.
Even when the timber wants to fight and not play, I eventually find it calming.

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

I had a vision in a dream. A giant ellipse rising from the sand. As I circled, it morphed into the ribs of a boat, a viking vessel. Further around it merged to the rib bones of a whale.
I knew what it was
and then I did not.
I could not conceptualise it as a whole,
only as a part.
Whenever, I have wanted to evolve the sculpture, I try and return to this vision that so perplexed me.

What do you want the public to see through your current artwork?

Like the ancient Indian parable of the three blind men and the elephant, we make so many decisions using information we are given. It may be biased, agenda laden or plain false. Or it may be true and we have not been exposed to this truth.
A snapshot does not always give the full picture.

Was the location of SWELL a contributing factor towards the inspiration of your piece?

Not so much for the inspiration, but I can think of no better place for its installation.

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