Swell artist profile: Tessa Bergan | Tide Lines

Tess has visited Swell for the past four years, but didn’t think she’d have a piece included quite so soon. “I had this idea and put it in – just for the experience of putting in an application. It was good experience, because I got in,” she laughs. “There’s a lot more work that I was anticipating – trying to keep up with it all with uni as well – that’s been a good learning curve.”

Tessa is studying a Bachelor of Fine Art at QCA, majoring in interdisciplinary sculpture, with minors in printmaking and art theory. Last year she was acknowledged with an Award for Academic Excellence and has already exhibited two works in the 2015 QCA First Year Showcase Exhibition. She’s also just returned from a study tour to Indonesia. Her practice explores relationships between identity, environment and place, and often incorporates found and recycled materials and this piece is no different.

“This is the first outdoor sculpture I’ve made. It’s recycled plastic bottles, which I’ve collected with help of my family and friends. I’m painting them all white and stringing them on bits of wire rope right next to each other. They’ll sit on the sand standing up and hopefully they’ll look like tide lines and reflect the GC layout and Surfers Paradise skyline,” she said.

“I’d really like people to reflect on their impact on the world, both in a consumerism sense and what they do in a creative sense,” Tess said.

I asked her about the significance of using plastic bottles and she said she’s grown up on the beach her whole life and the issue of litter and plastic rubbish on the beach is one you come face to face with every day.

“I love that environment so much I think it’s something that needs to be preserved and respected and I want people to think about that,” she said.


Tell me what’s so cool about Swell?

It’s local, they always have a really diverse selection of artworks – there’s something for everyone to engage with. And the setting – it’s such a gorgeous setting to see art in that environment.

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