7×12 | 2022 | SERIES 1 | BENNY GORELL

/ / Meet the Artists 2022


What was the inspiration behind your piece for SWELL Sculpture Festival 2022?

I moved from Victoria to the Gold Coast last year and heard about Swell through a friend so thought I’d check it out. As soon as I arrived i loved the vibe and said straight up, I’m going to be in this next year! 

What does exhibiting in the 20th year of SWELL Sculpture Festival mean to you?

It means a lot, as an upcoming artist I believe Swell is going to be great for showcasing my work and getting my name out there. It’s an incredible opportunity and amazing location so I’m very grateful.

What are the three art mediums you couldn’t live without?

I’m sure I could live without, but being a fabricator by trade I need a bunch of steel, a welder and a grinder! 

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received? 

You can do anything if you put your mind to it.

 If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another artist, who would you pick and what would you do?

I’m not a big believer in walking in anyone else’s shoes. I guess there’s certain people I’d like to meet, but I’d never want trade places with another human. If anything, I would love to wake up in the life of the “future me” to see what cool stuff I am getting up to! 

What is the best compliment for an artist to receive?

Just pure and raw appreciation. People don’t often realise how much work goes into something when looking at the final product. I don’t really care if somebody likes my work or not, but if they appreciate it, and understand the depth and effort that was put into it, I feel humbled and happy.

Do you believe in ghosts or have any good unexplainable stories?

100 percent believe in spirits, especially after sitting with plant medicines in the Amazonian rainforest! 

One night I woke to my name being whispered. “Benny, Benny,” and I as I opened my eyes someone started running up the bed from base near my feet. 

I had footsteps shuffling on the bed either side of my body in an excited fashion, which come all the way up to head then dropped on me and I had a wave of cold come over me. 

Needless to say I squealed like Ned Flanders, but I do believe it was a beautiful late loved one saying hello. 

If you had to get a tattoo of a famous artwork, what would it be?

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.

Do you believe pineapple belongs on a pizza?

Yes, EVERYTHING belongs on pizza I’m a foody who will eat anything haha 

Do you have a power outfit that you wear while creating?

All black, Black on black PPE. I need long pants and sleeves to keep me safe but black because it’s cool af. 

If you could travel back to any point in time, when and where would you go and why?

Rome or Egypt 2000 years ago would be epic! 

Is a connection to place important for you and your work?

Yes it’s vital, I feel so inspired and alive living on the Gold Coast. More so than I have anywhere else. It’s crucial for me to feel connected and alive to the energy of the place.

The Author

Joss Smith is an emerging graphic designer based in Tweed Heads, loving everything visual and immersive. Her passion for the creative arts has led her to study a Bachelor of Visual Communication and Graphics. She hopes to balance her love for the arts, culture and nature with her strengths in communication and management to create wicked designs with wicked people. 

Follow her on Instagram @joss.joss.joss