DIPPING HER TOE IN
It’s the art of living a balanced life that drives Adrienne Kenafake.
The health food store employee and aspiring yoga teacher has no plans to be a full-time artist, but she knows that doesn’t mean she can’t create something great.
Adrienne won a National Gallery of Australia scholarship and her work has been exhibited at the Tweed River Gallery and as part of the Queensland Regional Art Awards travelling exhibition. But Swell is a new horizon. The 21-year-old former Southport High student used to attend the festival as a child with her parents Desiree and Greg, and brother Daniel in tow.
A 10m-long woven wire tunnel takes a certain skill to manoeuvre, so this year they’re coming back once again as her support crew.
“When I was little I’d come to Swell and say, ‘Mum I want to do a sculpture too’,” Adrienne says. “The family will be there again this year – I need help loading it all on to the trailer.”
Adrienne’s pieces, which have been on display since her teens at the Anthea Polson gallery in Main Beach, are normally much more modest in size.
There’s the flying fox made of hand-dyed silk, vintage thread, wallaby bones and glass beads and the creature in a sitting pose adorned with rat vertebrae and Heron Island coral.
But the inspiration behind Adrienne’s enormous Aboriginal dilly bag and Nordic knot-inspired weave tunnel hit her one day like a face full of salt water.
“I was wading out into the water as the sun was rising and there were six to eight other people there and we were all looking out and facing the same thing,” Adrienne says.
“It made me realise we’re all facing the same things in life. The challenges and the beautiful parts as well. With the tunnel I just want to make people stop and look at the ocean.
“It’s the same view our ancestors would have seen for thousands or even millions of years.”
The tunnel, which takes its shape from the sand pumping jetty at Main Beach, is Adrienne’s first entry into Swell. While she’s excited about the exposure it will give to her work, she’s still eager to ensure she maintains the balance between art and the rest of her life.
“I think it’s important I have other interests as well because I find the two feed one another,” Adrienne says.
“I love the people I meet as part of my job because they fuel my creativity ... and I’m able to be an inspiring person at work as well.”
Swell Sculpture Festival is a free event on the Currumbin beach foreshore from September 11 to 20.