EMERGING MELBOURNE artist GT Sewell presented his work at Decor + Design for the first time this year. With a background in the construction industry and a love of travel, it was during a five-year international holiday sabbatical that he decided to focus on making his art practice a priority.
On his return to Australia in 2010, itchy feet and work took him to the remote far north Western Australian town of Kununurra near the Northern Territory border. Here, he won the Kimberley Art Prize for photography in 2011. This success stirred his aspirations further and he returned to Melbourne to pursue his artistic passions and embed himself in the local art scene. Sewell’s art practice now takes many forms but large and small scale sculpture and street art are his first love.
“I got one of my pieces in the Sculptures of Melbourne book (by Mark. Holsworth), which was released a month or two ago,” he says. “To be in that book is awesome but I have also been in a couple of other books, The Land of Sunshine and other bits and pieces.” The Land of Sunshine by Dean Sunshine focuses on street art.
Sewell’s street art includes a 4m high Serpent Clown installed in Blender Laneway for Blender Studios in Franklin Street, Melbourne. He has had success with smaller sculptures too with his Big Melbourne piece, a sculpture of nine Big M milk cartons completed in 2012, winning the People’s Choice Award in a group exhibition held at the World Trade Centre in Melbourne last year. His award is a solo exhibition at the World Trade Centre in Melbourne to be held later this year.
Recently he has focused on a smaller range of pieces with a limited edition of 100 cast spray cans and abstract sculptures.
This art range is cast out of resin which Sewell then sculpts to create forms such as the instantly recognisable Luna Park. Each sculpted can takes two to three days depending on the level of detail.
“I do photography, printing and painting, but I do love my sculpture. It’s very hands on and tactile,” he explains. “It’s almost like catching a wave because you can zone out and nothing else really matters.
“Sometimes I might not be in the mood to be sculpting so I’ll grab my camera and go out and do some photography because I want some alone time. And sometimes sculpting can get me very angry especially if I am two weeks in to a sculpture and I drop it on the floor which I recently did.”
From his home studio in Gisborne, north-west of Melbourne, Sewell works from two rooms with expansive windows that provide an uninhibited 180 degree view of the “beautiful town.”
“We are up on a hill and there is nothing behind us,” he says of the evergreen tree-lined hills. “I look over that the whole time I’m sculpting. It’s nice and calming and quite relaxing.”
Sewell hopes to create a greater awareness of his abilities and diverse range of skills. His ultimate aim is to develop his art practice into a full-time bespoke interiors and decor business with a focus on commercial art installations.
Visit GT Sewell at DESIGN:Bazaar at booth DB10.