Q&A Monday: Tai Snaith 0 Comments

Q&A Monday: Tai Snaith

Tai Snaith. Female. Melbourne-based artist. Former Voiceworks EdCommer. Exhibits and performs around the world. Works with a diverse variety of media and has performed in all sorts of spaces. Known in the arts community for organising collaborative works. Has a regular spot on Melbourne radio station Triple R’s Smart Arts program. Is also a curator, teacher, lecturer and volunteer.

Art: necessity or luxury?

I would have to say it is a luxury. We are pretty privileged to be able to live the way we do, making art in these bourgie first world conditions. But then again, if I couldn’t make art I would probably go mad, or be very, very angry, so for me it’s also a necessity.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m actually about to go on a huge trip around Western Australia, drawing and collecting inspiration (and hopefully a tumbleweed). Swimming with the whale sharks in Ningaloo and then driving from Broome to Darwin through the desert. Then when I get back I will have a couple of new projects on the go.

From two-dimensional works of drawing, collage and graffiti to sculptures and installations, plus various performance pieces, you’re a veritable mixed bag o’ lollies with your creative pursuits. Why is this?

I guess it’s because I am interested in ideas rather than process. I am also really interested in collaboration and curation as a practice method and this allows a myriad of different outcomes in terms of process, depending on who you are working with. I am also a very excitable person and I rarely say no to anything, so I end up doing everything!

What’s it like being an artist in today’s world?

It’s great. I can’t really imagine being anything else. It’s very lucky I live in a country where I can express my opinion and my ideas freely, otherwise I would most likely be in jail or dead by now. I actually think it’s not so much about being an ‘artist’ but about being an individual who thinks and applies themselves creatively; anyone can do it, but not everyone does.

If you could rifle through anyone’s journal/folio or raid anyone’s hard drive, whose would it be?

Oooh, good question. In terms of crazy journals and stashes, there is an artist called Henry Darger, who was relatively undiscovered for most of his life (he died in the early 70s I think), but he had an amazingly rich personal narrative and masses of secret drawings, I would love to see them all. I would also love to see the journal of someone like Marcel Duchamp or the notes of Yayoi Kusama- I am always intrigued in artists that live their work and are teetering on the edge of madness.

The internet: friend or foe? Discuss.

Friend. I am lucky to be a relatively honest and open person with a highly unusual name. For example, when you google my name only things about me come up for pages. This is very handy in terms of people learning the truth about me; there is no confusion. And because I live my life quite publicly I am not really afraid of what might come up.

You can punch one person in the schnoz and get away scot free. Who do you clobber?

I really dislike that fat guy on Masterchef who looks like Jabba the Hut wearing a cravat…. but I don’t think I want to punch him. Oh, I know – Andrew Bolt, for sure.

You’re an exile, banished to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. You are allowed one book and one album of music (in a solar powered iPod) to last the rest of your days. Any preferences?

Geez, that’s a bit mean. Do all the separate volumes of Proust’s ‘In search of Lost Time’ count as one? Because I am never going to have the time or patience to read them otherwise, so I guess that would be a good one for the book. As for music, I would have to say something classic and soothing like the best of Billie Holiday or Mulatu Astatke, otherwise maybe the smart answer would be a (hypothetical) album of the performance of John Cage’s ‘As Slow As Possible’ which started in 2001 and is evidently expected to finish in 2640.

Have you ever hit a cane toad with a golf club? Could you?

No, never. I would have nightmares for weeks.

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Check out Tai’s website for more images, video and info about her work.

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(all images below are by Tai Snaith, and cannot be reproduced without permission of the artist)

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