7×12 | 2022 | SERIES 3 | TREBOR

/ / Meet the Artists 2022


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

The main inspiration for my piece in Swell Sculpture Festival 2022 comes from my day-to-day surroundings in suburbia, coupled with some life experiences. 

Growing up in a rural community we had fences, but they were post-and-wire, open and barely visible. They served more as a way to control livestock rather than a way to control humans and human behaviour. 

Now living in the medium-density urban metropolis I am surrounded by fences and barriers, put up to control what I mentioned above, humans and human behaviour.

My Artist Statement sums up the inspiration pretty well.

In life, we put up barriers, walls, fences and the like. Do we put them up to keep danger out, or to lock danger away? Are they barriers for defence or are they offensive? They may give us a sense of security, but they can also give us a feeling of segregation, isolation and even incarceration. It all depends on your point of view.

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

Wow! 20 years!

I am very excited to be a part of such a long-standing iconic event/destination. It’s a privilege to be a part of the festival at any time and to be chosen as one of the select few exhibiting artists in this year’s anniversary event takes that privilege to the next level.

I am so grateful to be involved.

You went to grab your favourite mug, but have found a Genie living inside of it – what are your three wishes?

1. World Peace (LOL) … a cliche maybe, but true for me never-the-less. Harmony amongst humans – social, political and religious – is the out-take of this wish.

2. Absolute Freedom – Freedom from the constraints of our normal lives, be they social, financial or otherwise, so we can all enjoy what it is we truly want to do and pursue.

3. A Global Reset – In environmental terms. Reset the world’s resources, clean the oceans and clear the sky of pollution to achieve a new and sustainable way of life for ALL life on earth.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?

Swell Sculpture Festival 2021 was my FIRST public showing of any of my artwork/sculptures since my design school graduation exhibition in Wellington NZ back in 1984.

Do you think coriander tastes like soap?

Heck no! I love it! And it’s so good for you!

What is your favourite song to get the party started?

Eagle Rock – Daddy Cool

What is your favourite thing to do after completing a major project?

Sigh, then sit back have a beer, wine or gin and absorb the enormity of my achievement.

What are some important lessons you’ve learnt from your art career?

Not everyone is going to like what you produce. Live with that and find the people that do.

It’s not easy. If it was, anyone could do it. Having said that, it’s always good to find your niche, that for you, is easier than you might think.

Be prolific!

Price your work higher than you think. As artists, we tend to devalue our work.

What excites you about the future of art?

The growing trend toward art being a valuable commodity.Technological advances that allow artists to create in more and more disciplines.

What is your favourite ‘dad joke’?

When one door closes, another one opens.

Other than that it’s a pretty good car.

What would we find you doing when you’re not making art?

Graphic Design 



Beach days

Day trips


Where were you born, where are you living now, and how does where you live affect your art?

Born in a small rural community called Ohariu Valley, 15 minutes out of Wellington, New Zealand.

Now living on the Gold Coast in Varsity Lakes.

To be honest, I feel stifled by the small spaces where I live. I feel I am squashed into a box with no room to fling my arms around or madly wave a paintbrush, or make a lot of noise making stuff.

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