To create in the midst of a pandemic and lock-downs is truly inspiring, Joel Veness is a Sydney based outsider artist who has done just that creating a stunning mural in Sydney’s Paddington.
1. As an artist what keeps you inspired and constantly creating?
I’ve been inspired by so many things it’s hard to pinpoint just one. I used to look at so many websites and design blogs, but now I don’t have to do that as much because there’s so much out there that I get over saturated.
At the moment I’m focused on seeing my ideas come to fruition , it’s easy to have these ideas but doing them is the hard part.
2. How did you stay motivated through Covid lock down to create art?
I was one of those people that enjoyed Covid, I enjoyed the silence.
We spent the part of the day when we were allowed outside, walking through the city looking for walls to paint.
3. Your mural piece is extremely striking and very different to what we are used to seeing on streets, what was it inspired by?
I’ve always been inspired by ancient architecture and art, I’m interested in artwork that’s timeless and lasts a long time.
This work was influenced by the head sculptures of Easter Island.
It also looks at the idea of the artist as a renegade, I chose to do the mural in black and white because I felt it wouldn’t date and would be timeless. The work also has its own plaque, to reference the plaques you see on monuments.
4. What do you hope people take away from the mural?
I feel Duchamp ruined art by saying anything is art, he destroyed the language of art. That is why most people go to galleries and say I don’t get it, or I don’t understand because currently there is no language for them.
The artist who painted on the walls of pyramids, had a visual language. That is something that I’m trying to do in my work. If people understand the work even a little, then that would make me happy.
5. Are there any plans to do more murals around Sydney?
We are pretty busy at the moment, I’m working on a book that takes on Tom Ford’s book which is titles Tom Ford. You see his book everywhere and I feel he’s the king of coffee table books, so I’m aiming to beat him. We are also designing a new online store to sell art prints.
I’m working on an art tour for regional New South Wales, I’m looking to paint the interior of small churches and people can take a custom painted bus to go see it.
Words by Arrnott Olssen