Architerior talked to artist and sculptor Clementine Maconachie, also known as The Visuals. Based in Sydney, Australia, this stylish woman creates art pieces fit for any design lover’s home.
How did you find your way into art?
I was making sculptural window installations for a fashion label. Then I did some creative consulting and learnt to weld and made furniture with a friend and artist in his own right, Orlando Norrish.
Was education in art a part of your journey to become an artist?
Not really, I did a Tafe course in art and design but I didn’t go to art school and I didn’t even do art in my HSC at school.
What techniques do you use?
I manly carve hebel stone and weld steel. I used to do some silver smithing but I’m not allowed to keep the oxy/ acetylene in my current studio.
How would you define your art style?
I feel like I am a maximalist on a journey to minimalism.
Has your style or technique changed over time?
It has probably evolved and I’m always trying new things and finding new materials to play with.
If you had to summarize your art in three words, what would they be?
Soft, Hard, Paradoxical.
Which artists or art styles have inspired you?
Matisse, Picasso, Barbra Hepworth, Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi, Margel Hinder and Joan Miró.
When other people view your work, what are their reactions and thoughts?
Well people generally only tell me when they like something. When they do it’s often the simplicity they like.
Is there something in particular that you wish to convey to the viewer through your work?
Sometimes there is but often I want them to find their own feelings or ideas about the piece.
What does your planning and creation process look like?
Sometimes I have a clear plan and will sketch something out and set about making it and other times I will just pick up the material and go… without a plan and it just happens…
What are you working on right now?
Some folded metal and brass pieces and I have have just bought some finer steel rod so some thinner one line pieces perhaps…
How has Covid-19 affected you as an artist?
It cleared the way for me to make art and really embrace making art. I was getting quite a bit of visual merchandising, event and set design work bits and pieces that all took up my time but when that all stopped due to Covid I finally had space and time to create.
Inspiration is important when creating, where do you find inspiration?
Oh everywhere, I find ideas / inspiration all the time… There are thousands of unmade sculptures in my head. I am inspired by materials, shapes, lines and architecture…
Is there any artwork that you’ve created that is extra significant to you?
I guess so, there are a few that I’m just not planning on selling..
How do you define “good” art?
Good art to me stops you in your tracks and it brings a feeling.
What are the best things about being an artist?
Getting to go to the studio and make things! It’s such a privilege and I am so grateful that I am able to do something I love.
What are the worst things about being an artist?
Smelling of steel and the frequent scratches and burns… A manicure is wasted on me ?
What does it mean to you to be able to work with art?
I find the art world slightly intimidating probably because I didn’t go to art school. I think for me to actually just do it and call myself an artist was a big leap for me and one that took me a while so now that I’m here I really appreciate it and it means a lot to me.
In ten years time, where do you see yourself and your creative work?
Hopefully still making sculptures everyday, hopefully my prices will have gone up a bit… But I never want to stop making or creating. I would like to have a few new skills and be working with some different materials.
If you could go back to the beginning of your art career, what advise would you give yourself?
Well I am pretty much at the beginning I might tell myself to have gotten here a bit faster, but then again I have learnt something from everything along the way and I am here now so I guess I would say some general advice. Take a risk, do what you love, be kind, be humble, work hard, always believe in yourself, and if you do those things you can be proud.