Ross Liew

What has changed in your perspective towards your work?

I've been transitioning from Cultivator to Creator for about a year now, and it has happened enough in the past to now see a pattern emerging. Every 5 or so years I move between focusing on cultivating the creative ecology around me through coordination, project management, advocacy, curation, programming and general facilitation, to focusing on my own making. I have had reservations when deep in a Cultivation cycle about finding my way back to a place where I am properly engaged in my own making practice and I now realise that it is always there waiting for me, I just need to be prepared to suck at it for a while when I pick it back up. Also I now realise that these two things exist simultaneously no matter how hard I try to be singular in my focus.

How did you keep in touch with your peers during isolation?

Hmm I didn't really. The nature of my work has me in touch with a large group of revolving people, so it's social in that regard but I also enjoy being left alone. Throw in the kids and I'm good. Though I am looking forward to IRL when it arrives!

Is there a particular moment this year that you remember?

It is all hazy. It feels similar to having a newborn in the house... just a weird hazy time but without the intensity. I have trouble placing things in a timeline, I don't know if they happened this year or last. I usually struggle with linear recall of things in terms of dates and now I have no hope. Recency bias - had my first swim of the season last weekend.

Like the stranded island scenario, if you knew you were going to be in isolation, what are 3 things you would have planned to have with you?

2 weeks? That's a retreat. If longer then I'd need my studio, my girlfriend and a treadmill.

Photo Credit: Ankita Singh

What kind of art have you turned to in this past year?

My own. I have spent the last 6 years focussed on other peoples art which is authentically fulfilling for me. However, as mentioned above I've pivoted (to use the current vernacular) and am all about rejuvenating my own art making. This means I’m typically not looking elsewhere in terms of art, especially visual art. Dominic Hoey's poetry is just about all the other art I look for. Dom, you make art lol.

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