The Sunshine Coast's Horizon Festival: Beastman And His Street Art

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As part of the Sunshine Coast's Horizon Festival, street art will liven up Ocean Street in Maroochydore.

One of Australia's most distinctive contemporary artists, Beastman (Bradley Eastman) is gearing up to paint a permanent mural work for the festival alongside multidisciplinary artist MIMI.

Here, he answers some questions about street art and his involvement with Horizon.

Your artist name Beastman is a mixture of your first and last name. Why did you decide to do this?
Yes it's quite convenient, when I first started exhibiting my artwork any years ago I thought it was fitting to apply this name to it all instead of my full name. The Beastman name also really suited the character-based works I was making at that time. It's not as relevant to my artwork now, but it's still my name, so I keep using it.

You're influenced by some very interesting things with your art. Could you tell us a bit about that?
The two things that mainly influence my artwork are design and nature. I try and combine my love of design with the constant inspiration found in nature to develop my work. Over many years the work has evolved into what it is now. My current works are explorations and experiments in portraying the future of nature, potential new life forms and the human interaction with the natural world. I am interested in creating unique imagery unlike anything else, so I try not to be influenced much by other artists, but more try to push my work into new areas and hope it continues to transform and evolve into the future.

What does it mean to be a part of Horizon Festival?
I love creating public mural works in smaller towns and regional areas, my work is actually often more relevant in these surroundings. I also can achieve more interaction with local community and the artwork can have a stronger impact as there is generally less public art in these places compared to bigger cities.

What will you be bringing to the festival in Stand By Me?
I will be painting a new permanent mural work in Maroochydore for the festival.

Why do you do what you do?
This is just what I do! I was always interested in art and design from a young age and I simply continued to do it as a hobby for fun. Then over the last 20 years years it has evolved into being everything I do. My artwork comes out of me in an organic and almost mindless way now, my style is truly embedded in my thought process and the mediums I use have become second nature to me. As I get older and create more and more work and get better opportunities to showcase my work, it's becoming more and more challenging to make new images and also gives me more responsibility and reason to communicate relevant and current themes and ideas and try to alter people’s perceptions through images.

You've curated and organised lots of different exhibitions and projects. What does that entail on your behalf?
In this sense I have always been a leader, not a follower. I am one of those people that just decides to make things happen, rather than wait around for someone else to do it. I also enjoy bringing people together and creating community, this was the main reason that drove me to organising a lot of art exhibitions and events over the years. I haven't been doing much of this lately, my time is limited now I have kids, so I tend to really focus on my own artwork and also East Editions, a project I do with my wife Kelly.

On this, you'll be working alongside multidisciplinary artist MIMI. What are you hoping you'll get out of working with her?
I have known Mimi for about a year now, I'm looking forward to working alongside her, I love her artwork. Once we get there on site and properly view the canvas we have to work with, I'm sure we will be keen to collaborate and tie our works together somehow. Collaborating with other artists is something I always enjoy doing, it tends to give me new ideas and encourages me to alter my artwork and try new things.

What would you tell others who are looking to pursue the same career as you but aren't sure where to start?
I don't know, for me my career was generated from it being a hobby and something I did for fun. I never set out to become an artist and have it be the way it is now, it just slowly became to be this over the last 20 years. It's all about the artwork, it's about trying to generate new imagery, if you can make quality work that communicates in a new way then it will take you where it wants to. You can't set out thinking of it as a potential career, you need to just make things and continue to evolve these things because you enjoy the process and and are interested in the journey.

What do you like about Horizon?
I think these creative festivals are really important in bringing people together and providing inspiration to the local community. Events like Horizon are only full of positive energy, which is awesome!

Stand By Me takes place at Alleyway 7 in Ocean Street Maroochydore from 28-30 August.



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