/ / Meet the Artists 2022


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

The piece called Scent. Loosening ones sense of smell how that experience would affect us. What do animals smell and why they  attracted to that certain scent, fear, food or something that’s really horrid to humans. 

During covid there was upsurge in buying dogs/pets I am curious as to what, I chose to join human parts to a dog as there is connection on a few levels, using human feet was a nod to exercising with the dog  during lockdown, blurring of boundaries between  dogs and humans and interdependence for some they are our best friend and therapist. Reference to what sensory surprises contained inside a bottle.

I have been studying the sensory receptors as part of a health science degree, which has inspired my current body of work “sensory pleasures”. Inspired by the Olfactory are “Petrichor” the smell after rain, freshly cut grass, coffee brewing, peeling a mandarin/citrus amongst another delicious scents.

My other piece “Sounds of Silence” is about the ear/vestibular sound and vibration and balance what we hear or choose to hear are we in balance with our environment or is it calling to us are we really listening  there will be desire to touch these ears as its a body part often underrated.



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

I’m totally thrilled to be exhibiting! Congratulations for keeping the dream a reality and maintaining the enthusiasm after 20 years, it’s a life time for some .  

Would you rather go into the past and meet your favourite artists or go into the future to see the future of art?

Perhaps the past, as there was a lot accomplished with limited resources. There are so many favourite artists that I’d love to ask about their inspiration.  

Are there any budding artists that you’re excited to see evolve?

Way too many to mention. I like increased diversity and choice materials – there is so much more reference, reflection and meaning in the new world art. I like the art that triggers emotion or environmental wake-up calls, or provokes a “why is it so “ which can link to depth of knowledge . And I like works that make me smile.

If you were a biscuit, which biscuit would you be?

Crispy savoury biscuit a ‘Lavosh’ because I can layer it with oozing french brie and baby capers and fresh dill. 

Sweet biscuit a ‘Florentine’ it’s rich, luxurious and nutty, evocative of Italy. 

Did you have any favourite artists when you were growing up?

Jan Van Dyke – particular painting of the wedding of Arnofini.

Degas – little bronze dancer the sculpture with fabric.

Sandro Botticelli – The Birth of Venus.

The Surrealists.

Any artist that I perceived to have humour.

Has your art practice changed over time?

I’ve always used similar themes of humour to explore more serious issues via animals and nature. Change would be reflected in acquired knowledge and finding new  meaning and exploring new materials my current work explores the sensory.

If we ran into you at the pub, what drink should we offer to buy you?

Irish gin distilled in County Cork ‘Method and Madness’ by company of same name. If that’s not in stock, a very cold schooner of Tooheys New Australian – a beer from Newcastle. It’s preservative free and the beer caps have  fun trivia.     

What is the trickiest part of being an artist?

The over stimulation of ideas and never having enough time to produce them.

What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a piece of artwork, you have created or experienced?

I’m inspired by absurd situations – a friends sheep didn’t sell at auction, he was so furious that he spray painted them red. I’m still stunned. 

Do you prefer to create for others or for yourself?

I have great pleasure in creating pieces for others with a similar mind set.

What did you name your Sculpture after?

 “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

This song was written 56 years ago, and I feel it’s still relevant today. Set in streets of cobble stone walked in darkness, people talking with out listening. The song writers were probably doing just that, feeling isolated and at times sensory deprived.

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