Artist in residence: Brooklyn Whelan

Artist in residence: Brooklyn Whelan

A talent to watch

Text: Yeong Sassall

Image: Brooklyn Whelan

We profile one of our favourite contemporary artists, Sydney-based Brooklyn Whelan

What's your career history?
I’ve always painted and made drawings since I was a little kid. Professionally, I started out as a graphic designer in the publishing industry and quickly moved into an art director role [at Tracks magazine], where I stayed for a number of years. Now, I’m pretty much 100 per cent focused on my painting career.

What inspires your work?
Growing up, I was really involved in skateboarding, graffiti and the whole '80s sci-fi buzz, but now a lot of my inspiration comes from weather patterns. I’ve always been the kid that runs out into a storm and just stares! It's a forever changing landscape that still gets my attention and it has a certain energy like nothing else.

What do you love about being an artist?
The freedom and opportunitiy to share [my work] with others. I also love the challenge. It’s a tough industry, but that’s what excites me and keeps me moving.

What would you consider to be a career milestone?
There have been plenty, but definitely my first solo show because it was a sell out.

How has your work evolved over the years?
My work has matured, for sure – from using aerosol to brush, and going from walls to canvas, plus, the subjects and style has evolved. It's always going to be a work in progress, which is a great feeling. I'm constantly learning.

What are you working on at the moment?
A few things are happening here and overseas, but the biggest is probably painting for a big solo show later in the year, and a bunch of commissioned work at the moment. 

What does your future look like?
A big home studio with a great horizon to stare at, more gallery shows both [locally] and internationally. And just a heap of health, good times and stoke!


Instagram: @brooklynwhelan