7×12 | 2022 | SERIES 7 | PHIL DARNTON

/ / Meet the Artists 2022


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

My inspirations typically come from a diverse range of instances. A lot of my ideas come from dreams or passing ideas that can be triggered by something as simple as a set of words. Gradually my artistic practice has dived into a discourse between art and architecture, a crossover I have found to be very rich physically and philosophically. It is an appropriate pathway for my art because its very nature is based purely on the experience of the individual, to be both sensory and evocative in thought. 

Back to the question, the architectural work of Bjarke Ingles, Sigurd Lewerentz, Peter Zumthor, in accordance with the concept of repetition of an object which appears several of Clayton Blake’s artworks. I really admire the ability to construct a structure with just one object repeated over and over again, achieving form, scale and functional space. 

In its most basic sense, this idea formed out of the act of sitting on a milk crate, and we have all done it at some point in our lives. Failing that you have probably zip-tied one to your bicycle as a basket. 

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

Everything. It means everything, this is my fourth piece to be exhibited and I have stepped things up scale wise and continued to be ambitious overall. It is such a milestone and represents a vast movement of art over the years, in the most notable surroundings and picturesque setting of Currumbin Beach. 

Do you think coriander tastes like soap?

It depends how you wash it.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?

I am a skateboarder (unsurprising if you know me).

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

I do not like anything pretentious or too obvious.

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

  1. An end to Russia’s madness in Ukraine.
  2. A winning lottery ticket.
  3. More wishes (it doesn’t work like that).

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

I think it would be insulting to refer to them as budding artists as in my eyes they are all renowned in my eyes but I will mention them nevertheless and in no particular order; John Anthony Forno, Christian Newton, Aaron Chapman and others. Willem Scheepers and Nelson Michaels are both people I have collaborated with on various projects, so obviously I am excited to see what they do next and always keen to see them evolve and continue to inspire me. 

In fact I could name every SWELL artist, as I truly believe the level of art is outstanding here and is continually inspiring and thought provoking year after year. 

What is the strangest food combo that you love?

Okay here goes, I was not ready for this to become public knowledge. 

Cheese, peanut butter and kewpie mayo toasties. (Not for the faint hearted).

If you have one, what is your spirit animal?

Dachshund (sausage dog).

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

“If your art sucks, your art sucks” – Jason Dill

What is your favourite snack when working on big projects?

Chicken wings and a beer or a nice bush pepper pie.

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

Definitely. I like a real range of music, right from classical through to techno and everything in between. No I do not have Spotify but if I did I would have some cracking playlists to share.

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