On the cover: Shark by Chloe Bennett
What can you tell us about Shark, the work that is on our cover? It feels like it could be a comment on a number of political situations…
It’s a pretty simple image to be honest. I just liked the idea of a tiny shark swimming around in my coffee with the Jaws music playing in the background. I wouldn’t label myself as a politically charged artist, but I do think it’s important to examine the world.
How do you go about creating your pieces?
A lot of my works play with connections that exist between us and the world around us. It’s a pretty playful process where I experiment with these relationships and the imagery I associate with them and see how I can connect them together.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
I don’t know if I have ever considered myself being proud of my artworks before, but there is definitely a deep sense of satisfaction I get from creating them. Especially when I am creating paintings because it is so tactile and hands-on. I always feel like I have really achieved something when I can stand back and see the finished product of something that was made with my own hands.
Before pursuing art full time you were a teacher – how was that?
I was pretty lost once I finished art school so I decided to go into teaching because it seemed like a safe option in terms of employment. I don’t really regret it, but teaching is such a full-on, serious job which meant my time left to create was limited. But there were definitely some good times, I learnt a lot and I met some cool kids along the way.
Should more be done to encourage children to experience art?
Of course! The children are going to be running this place eventually and art makes them more creative and interesting members of society. It aids their ability to see the world in new ways, and we need that.
How important a platform was Instagram for you?
Really important. When I started creating, I was living in a small-ass country town where the art scene was…limited. So for me, Instagram just opened up this whole world. It was completely unexpected, it brought so many opportunities for me and still does. Which is why I am so grateful for it – but also think it kinda sucks a bit now with the recent algorithm changes and censorship shit [in July Instagram updated its account-disabling policy and deleted multiple accounts for a range of violations including ‘objectionable content’.] It was such a great platform to just build, share and connect on and the changes have made that harder.
Is there a particular news story between July and September that resonated with you?
Ugh, there is just so much bad news at the moment. The mass shootings over in America made me so sad. Honestly, living in Australia it’s just hard to even comprehend because it’s just not even an issue I have to worry about in my day to day life. In good news, though, Greta Thunberg continued to kick ass.
You can see more of Chloe’s work and buy prints at yeahyeahchloe.com. Her Instagram account is @yeahyeahchloe
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