Gold Coast local and multidisciplinary artist, Dion Parker will be joining Beyond the Sand in 2021 to create more humourous and cheeky art. We sat down with Dion earlier in the month and asked him some questions to get to know him a little better.
‘Dion, you are a multi-disciplinary visual artist who uses an array of materials such as timber, steel, and recycled materials. What is your favourite material to work with?’
‘My favourite finish is bronze. I love the permanence, weight and history of it. I have recently started experimenting with ceramics a love getting my hands dirty. Both of these mediums require patience with the process. Something that I have found to be valuable lesson and quality.’
‘What is your artistic background?’
‘I’ve been a practicing, self-taught artist for over ten years. But, before I followed my dream to be a professional artist, I was a boatbuilder. While I didn’t really enjoy it, I have found the skills I learned while doing my trade were very practical and valuable when it comes to creating sculptures.’
‘Where is your creative space, what gets you in the zone?’
‘I’m almost always thinking about creating in some form or another. I find it very hard to switch off and get a bit antsy if I don’t create anything for a while. I have a studio in Burleigh where I can be found working most days.’
‘What inspired you to create your signature character Lil dusty?’
‘Lil dusty has evolved over time. The first Lil dusty was made from playing with polymer clay while waiting for my partner at the time to get ready. I liked it so much I began molding and reproducing it using casting resin. I then began designing packaging to go with the little sculptures which then also turned into drawing comics and painting the character as well. Since then Lil Dusty has evolved into a kind of obscure self-portrait and appears in many different mediums throughout my work.
‘What does Lil dusty mean to you?’
‘For me Lil dusty is a fun way to express a variety of emotions I feel or situations I find myself in. He is genuinely fun, light-hearted and a lil cheeky, a bit like me.’
‘What is the most memorable moment in your creative career?’
‘Definitely, winning Swell Sculpture Festival in 2018 for my collaboration with Andrew Cullen titled “prickles the Unhuggable bear.” A four-meter tall, barbed wire teddy bear that we spent over two months building.’
‘Finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give to an inspiring artist?’
‘I would say always try to enjoy what you do. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Don’t be afraid to try new things and create from an honest place inside yourself.’
Dion is a feature artist at Beyond the Sand, March 13-21. Save the date and don’t miss out on seeing what quirky and humorous piece he has created this year.