/ / Meet the Artists 2022


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

Septum Oceanus Despoiled is about our oceans. The shapes are based on the shape of sections of a brain coral Favia speciosa, which is threatened by ocean acidification and sea temperature rise. The lines of text are a list of plastic collected from 3 beaches on Lord Howe Island, this list shows the quantity, size and colour of what was collected. I have used different sizes in the font to give the viewer a sense of the size difference between the plastic we see on the beach and the microplastics that are almost invisible to the eye.

I have used 7 shapes to reflect the 7 seas and have written the title in Latin so that it creates questions about the origin and connects you to the history of civilization and the impact humans have on our planet no matter what time you are viewing it from.

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

I am honoured to be part of this 20th year of SWELL, the way that SWELL has transformed peoples understanding our the ocean environment and engaged the community is so important. This sculpture festival has created such engagement that people are now changing the way they interact with our oceans. SWELL has given the public an opportunity to better understand sculpture and public art.

Do you think coriander tastes like soap?

No, I like the flavour of coriander.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?

That I spent 13 years working in the oil industry for Shell Australia as a petroleum plant operator that gives me a unique perspective and understanding on petroleum based products and their environmental impact.


That I have 2 Master degrees but no undergraduate degree.

Do you have any artist pet peeves? What are they?

That many people think that art must be functional or it has no purpose.

That many people also think that artists don’t work that they are just swanning about collecting unemployment benefits.

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

  1. ‘World Peace!’, I sound like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality but really… !
  2. To stop the harvesting of Krill and Sharks…
  3. A global end to financial over environment decisions by governments and individuals

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

Cybele Cox

Kaarina Allen

Verena Heirich

What is the strangest food combo that you love?

Banana and Tasmanian scallops with garlic and Galiano 

If you have one, what is your spirit animal?

I am a cat but now I have a bear (the spirit of my late husband) looking out for me too.

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra that you live by?

Marcel Proust… ‘The real voyage of discovery is not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes…’

What is your favourite snack when working on big projects?

Boulder (brand) potato chips in Avocado oil.

Does music impact your art? What kind of music do you create to? 

I love ‘Hearts of Space’ their logo is… 


Welcome to the world’s most lovingly curated collection of Ambient, Space, and Contemplative music from around the world and across the centuries – a resource for calm, concentration and deep listening since 1983.


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