INTERVIEW / COURTNEY BRIMS / BUSH FABLES

The Culprit Club is proud to announce, BUSH FABLES – a solo exhibition of new works by Brisbane-based artist and illustrator, Courtney Brims launching Friday 09 June, 6pm in Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley. 

Inspired by the beauty of the Australian landscape, Courtney Brim's incredible new series of work, promotes appreciation and awareness of our unique biodiversity, while exploring ideas of destruction, displacement, rebirth, and the delicate connectedness of nature.

We catch up with the lovely lady herself to talk through the concepts and ideas of the show, and well as her inspirations and experiences as an artist. 

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How would you describe your style in one sentence?

CB: Loaded with tiny details and always a touch of macabre.

What’s the premise behind the Bush Fables show?

CB: The whole idea behind this collection of work was to bring attention to our beautiful endangered wildlife and plant species.

How do Australian fairytales and Picnic at Hanging Rock come together in contrast in your work?

CB: I wanted to mesh together the sweetness of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with the surrealism of The Magic Pudding and the eeriness of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I feel like the Australian bush has all three of those qualities.

It's the idea of nature being this beautiful, cruel beast that's mysterious and dangerous yet vulnerable and fragile. There's this line from The Witches of Eastwick that says 'nature absorbs all', which kind of sums up my this collection perfectly.

With Picnic at Hanging Rock, I guess, in a slightly disturbing way, I've always liked the idea of these three ethereal girls walking off into the bush and vanishing, like the wilderness just gobbled them up.

In my narratives I'm not necessarily representing humans as the baddie. We're definitely not blameless for the state these species find themselves in and a lot of my pieces touch on the issues of feral predators and land clearing, but I wanted to focus the attention on how wonderful and unique our species are, rather than focusing on the blame.

Whether the bone fragments are humans that have perished because of how they treated the earth, or whether like Miranda and co, they have been absorbed into the bush, I like to keep it fairly open for interpretation.

The vibe of the show really remind us of Fern Gully! It’s like you’re whispering Magi’s words of wisdom! What do you want audiences to take away from seeing the show?

CB: To go home and watch Fern Gully!! Not to take what we have for granted, be a responsible pet owner and familiarise yourself with the awesome work of conservation groups like Bush Heritage, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Arid Recovery.

How much time do you spend creating each piece?

CB: Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

What materials do you use to create them?

CB: I use of combo of Polychromos and Prismacolour pencils on paper.

What's you favourite thing about Australia’s native species and why?

CB: The diversity! Mountains, deserts, beaches, woodlands, reefs, rainforests. It gives us the most amazing biodiversity.

If we were to rummage through your backpack, what would we find?

CB: Crackers. I rarely leave the house without snacks.

What would you be lost without in the world?

CB: I guess it would be really inconvenient if I lost my right hand.

If you could be any native creature / critter, what would you be and why?

CB: A quokka! They seem so damn happy with life!

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courtney brims bush fables brisbane the culprit club