Fraser Coast artist and CQ Shopfront participant Elizabeth Hersey produces remarkable bronze sculptures from her home studio. Her sculptures are her passion and to build her business, she is exploring restarting a jewellery range as her "merchandise". I for one want one of those bees on something I can wear!
How did you get started in your art practice?
Coming from an artistic family I found creativity something that came naturally. But a defining moment was discovering polymer clay (Fimo) at age 15. I worked in this medium for the next 25 years, making and selling Australiana jewellery (wildlife brooches and earrings) before deciding to focus full time on my current line, bronze wildlife sculptures, which are sold through galleries.
What are the key inspirations behind your work?
Art is very much a reflection of the artists journey in life.
Growing up in country Victoria and Papua New Guinea has given me a deep love of the natural world. I was blessed with adventurous parents and their love of life has helped shape the person and artist I am today. I have the most wonderful memories of unbroken bushlands, open pastures, and secluded rainforests. Earthy smells, crisp air, and the sound of animals unique to specific regions. It is all captured in my wildlife work, creating pieces that have a sense of calm, beauty, and solace, those I have found synonymous with nature.
I also find form extremely beautiful, which explains why I am drawn to sculpture. It is all about shapes, how one flows seamlessly into another creating the beauty of life as we know it. Another key influence and something that is reflected in my practice is a love of anatomy (skeletons). I find all those bits we do not see incredibly fascinating.
What is the business model and products that you are aiming to develop through participating in the CQ Shopfront project?
I feel in some way life has come full circle. I plan to release a new jewellery line. Produced as a more price accessible, income generating product to support my ongoing arts practice as a bronze sculptor. It will be a supplementary line designed with the purpose of promoting and adding value to my business, and to further my reach. This wearable art will be in the same vain as my current work, inspired by my love of wildlife. But unlike my previous jewellery, it won’t be produced in polymer clay. At present I am trialling different mediums to find the right fit.
What dreams do you have for the future of your practice?
Making the shift from jewellery to bronze sculptures was a huge undertaking, and I have fulfilled many of the dreams I had for my arts practice. Going forward now, I feel it is more important than ever to diversify within your practice (different revenue streams). This current climate (covid) has definitely demonstrated that. I would like this new jewellery line to be well received and profitable, and ultimately a successful boutique brand. I have conducted workshops in the past, so I would like to explore that avenue again. And beyond that, one day my goal is to have a detached studio space, purposely build, where I can go about uninterrupted, dreaming my days away.