/ / Meet the Artists 2022


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

This sculpture Free Falling belongs to numerous unknowns of the Ocean.

Underwater unknowns,

Deep Sea babies

Unknowns so wonderful, Letting us breath 

Breathing this world, Breathing the Love 

Love that’s unknown, Unconditional and Abundant

This world is a drop 

there is a drop in the ocean

or is there an Ocean in the drop!?

Can we be resistant to this Ocean!? Can we take care of this Ocean!?

Through Free Falling, I wanted to bring Care and Awareness towards these Unknowns of the Ocean which are so important in our lives and how they feel when they are constantly caught on the commercial fishing nets? 

We need to take into consideration that commercial fishing with unlimited demand supply is a threat to all the species and the commercial fishing nets we are using break into pieces when the commercial fishing is done in a massive amounts. The attitude towards it is Let’s grab all that we can and all that’s moving !!!!!

This kind of horrible, selfish and meaningless consumerism is a core problem to a lot of environmental conditions we are facing currently. My aim is to talk about these ‘issues’ but I don’t want to or like to call them ‘issues’ because then everyone tries to fix the issue. Lets say, they are current environmental conditions, and through my art piece I am trying to bring this condition to the surface, so that we can look into it, work with it, make conscious decisions in life and give the healing to the Mother Earth that she deserves.

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

I feel deep Gratitude. Exhibiting in the 20th year of SWELL Sculpture Festival along with other amazing Artists means the World to me, Its one of the Dream! My goal is to keep exhibiting Free Falling’s iterations in all the Ocean’s coastlines, and bring this experience to all sorts of Humans and Non Humans. So bringing this to Currumbin Beach, Queensland is one step closer to my goal.

What is the coolest art tip you’ve ever received?

“Do not let the fame Go to your head”

This was told to me from really close people twice over the course of years…

One was when I was maybe 18 and one now after 10 years, a reminder from Universe I feel or maybe its the same person telling me.

I think 10 years ago My Grandad, Mohan Shedge, who was a Magical Artist (Sculptor/ Art Director / Painter) asked me what do you want to achieve in Life!? and I bluntly said – fame!! I have been obsessed with Bollywood Films and celebrities so much as I was born and brought up in the Bollywood City Bombay. Growing up I have always been involved in Art in all forms. Mainly dance in performing arts is my favourite. It gave me so much joy, stage confidence and attention. After telling my granddad I want fame, he said “Fame will come easy but it’s not something to chase in your Life.” Even then I knew if I didn’t wanted the Fame for the Sake of it if I do chase fame it has to be for clever things not something that doesn’t resonate with me but then over the years I have understood how peaceful and rewarding living your life on your terms is. As fame takes that away from you, It also changes you as a person. So, I am now very certain I don’t want it anymore. All I want to do is bring more love and joyful experiences to life through art and architecture while being regenerative towards the environment. After 10 years, the person who told me this is now a very famous architect. Famous but humble, wise, helpful, and down to earth, not many people see that, but people who understand and mean well will always value all these qualities after being in the Fame ~ Game!

Is It lonely working as an artist? If so, how do you combat that?

Haha, It can be but for me it’s not. I have made a few uncomfortable choices in my life that it helps and supports me to do art and to my art. It brings the ‘Time’ that I need to create art and I meet a lot of people who are interested in art and there to support. And if I feel they really care, I involve them in the process. Saying that, I have also lost a few people because they are just not into it, or aren’t even conscious about life in that sense.

I think more than lonely, I feel so content working on Art. Its one of the things that I can do with my whole presence, nothing distracts me – if I have a deadline I will fulfil it (but just on time its due). I feel more occupied with my day, and I love producing as its a creative living I do it for. The whole process becomes part of your life and then other parts of your life becomes your part of your Art process. You start making choices on how to spend your time, what experiences to go for, what kind of company you want/ need because all these things feed into your art, and then you understand all these things are adding to your life too to make it more meaningful. There is a lot of awareness I have gained in my life in past few years, It was fast paced. Life has become simpler but also radical, and full of love too. I think now I look at alone time as a time to rest, to recharge, to reflect and to play. 

What does your dream collaboration look like, and which artist/s would you chose?

Oooh! I don’t know there is a massive amount of creative heads around me and on the Earth that I would like to create with. Firstly, I have few friends I am desperately wanting to collaborate with because we will create Magic together I can feel it, I know it. Some of them friends are: Anjul, Jamie, Angus, Ryan, and Peter.

And then, I would say: I would love to collaborate with Aboriginal Artists specially Tangentyere Artists and Jimmy Yanyatjari Donegan, Olafur Eliasson, Daan Roosegaarde, Jack Self, Katie Rodgers, Theo Jansen, David Shrigley, Iris van Herpen, Alexander McQueen, Halsey, NGV – Melbourne, Cigarettes after Sex The band, some of the clever magical movie /music makers will be great to collaborate with.

What is your favourite art supply store of all time?

I Love all the art/stationary stores in South Bombay!!!!! Ughhhh No comparison you get anything and everything related to all sorts of art there!!!!!

My unconditional lovers / parents sent me art supplies, when I first came here maybe few times and a lot of it!! My god, it can get so expensive that way but hey! You gotta choose the quality if you want to create what you want to create. I can not wait to go back to these local shops!!

If you could have lunch with any artist from any era, who would it be?

Ummm I don’t think I have any particular obsession over any old artists that I want to go to lunch with. Is that sad and boring?

But saying that actually, I think I love brilliant Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, I got to know about his acting like maybe 2 years ago. And If I could, for sure I would have loved to meet him and lunch would have been Awesome. Any stolen time with my Grandad with Grandma is a win WIN!!

I would choose one from the present list that I want to collaborate with if not from the past that is anyone from Olafur Eliasson, Daan Roosegaarde, Katie Rodgers, Theo Jansen, Iris van Herpen, Alexander McQueen!!!!!

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

I EXPRESS GRATITUDE towards the Universe that its all done!! Happy that everything went awesome, mistakes can be improved next time, its a work in progress, let it be and I am serious…These expectations and exhibitions cause nervousness and its a relief to get things done on time and the way you wanted. I love to see all the stress and anxiety leaving my body. And then definitely CELEBRATE WITH CLOSE FRIENDS, GO DANCING!!!!!

What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a piece of your work, or practice?

CONVENIENCE! The CONVENIENT PLASTIC that is clinging onto us, which is present in our daily lives for eg: Plastic Spoon, Plastic Wrappers, Takeaway containers/bottles and much more.

If you had to pick one artist to create the story of your life through art, who would you pick and why?

I think First Nations people are the best story tellers so I would say Aboriginal Artists, including Tangentyere Artists, Jimmy Yanyatjari Donegan, that will be my privilege.

Do you have an artist power outfit that you wear while creating?

That’s funny. No I don’t have that outfit. I decide my outfits every day over my mood as each day is different and you feel different, but I do have an earthy colour apron that I use while doing Sun Prints. That apron was from my first ever hospitality job during my masters. It was an Italian Restaurant here in Mulubinba/Newcastle. They indirectly fired me so I never returned the apron and its a simple looking thick textured fabric apron, but now bit messy with blue patches all over it.

Do you believe pineapple belongs on pizza?

Okay, The Real Question!!!!! For me, for 25 years Pineapple didn’t belong on Pizza – but when I moved here, something shifted haha. The Dominos next door had this veggie pizza that I didn’t mind. It was a short phase, I do not eat dominos anymore, its been 2.5 years since I have touched Dominos. I don’t really enjoy eating pineapple as a fruit so its not my go to topping that I will choose for my pizza or when I buy fruits, but It is definitely essential for the Pina coladas by the beach, for sure!!!!

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