Hello, what is your name?
You have recently-ish moved back to Coonamble after a long stint away, and are now a member of the famous Ceramics Collective…tell us about that!
After living overseas for 20 years and moving back to Coonamble, coming across the Ceramics Collective was a brilliant stroke of luck. I was formerly a florist so the Collective was a wonderful vehicle to continue my creativity. My floral and rural background has really influenced my work.
You have just opened your first major exhibition ‘Birds of a Feather’ at Studio MV in Sydney…congrats! How did you approach it?
It’s very seductive for someone to say ‘do you want an exhibition?’ So you get really excited and then you just bite off more you than you can chew and chew like hell. Studio MV have been fantastic. The opening for ‘Birds of a Feather’ was great. Great energy, lovely people and the nicest thing was the lovely feedback. It was interesting to see people really appreciated my work, with lots of my whimsical bird sculptures selling. I do sometimes think that because my work is so out there, I give permission for other people to be out there. Because if someone else has stepped over the line, it gives room for other people to follow.
Your past life as a florist heavily influences your work. What other influences do you draw on?
Being Australian and from the land. I am also influenced by Mexican and Indian arts, stuff that is really rich and that has a strong spiritual base to them. Cultures with really sacred art. The ones who carry out the scared ness of every day and which every act is a sacred one. Respecting the planet, earth and its fruits. It’s important to incorporate everyday as a spiritual practice. This connects us with everyone and everything. We are all one and once something has been damaged, a part of us all has been damaged.
What is your creative process when coming up with new pieces?
Nature is a big one. I just walk around looking at trees, as a whole. There are some great trees on the drive between here and Coonabarabran. I look at spider webs. I love finding flowers. I spend so much time driving places, which gives me so much time to think. And plan. And I do spend a lot of time looking at other artists work. I go in to the studio thinking I’m going to make this, I put the clay out and all of a sudden I’m making that. All of a sudden I’m channelling something different. I just love living out here, it gets you in tune with all that and it keeps me sane. Especially with Donald Trump.
What else have you been up to?
Inoculating cows, travelling to Sydney and back for my exhibition. I’m starting on some new ceramics – I’m going to be making chickens!
Why do you think it’s important to provide creative outlets and opportunities for people, especially in regional areas which may be facing social and environmental issues?
To save their minds. To preserve their psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual being. To have a creative space when all else is decaying around you, through drought or if you’re experiencing a loss.
What other artistic developments would you like to see occur in our region?
A drumming circle. Music. And more dance.
What would you be doing if you weren’t potting?
I can’t bear to think about it.
Where can we see more of your stuff?
Instagram and Facebook @ Prue Cullen. The Collective also have an upcoming exhibition in Gilgandra in September. If you need anymore information or to see some of my works, get in contact with Outback Arts.
Lastly, Beatles or the Stones?