Creative Spotlight | Lachlan Bell

Published on 01 February 2022



Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make
I’m a 24 year-old professional amateur - currently working across photography, experimental textiles, branding, graphic design and film. I’m currently completing a Bachelor of Design and Media, however, through lockdown my art practice has slowly seeped its way more prominently into my daily life. At the moment a lot of my work incorporates both analogue and digital techniques and often my process focuses on the tension that lies at the intersection of opposing ideas and fields. I often pursue tangential interests across archiving, digital relics, pagan folklore and local history and incorporate my Estonian ancestry through collaborative works that engage with my own community here in Sydney.

Lachlan-Bell-2.png Whereabouts do you look for creative ideas? Who or what inspires you?
Primarily I look to my friends, family and Estonian-Australian community for advice and inspiration. Living with my Vanamamma at home has taught me so much about my family, our culture as well as how to sew which has become integral to my practice.

At the same time I find inspiration from broader historical periods as a way of looking back to move forward. I see art as a historically and contextually loaded object, as a fragment in time reflecting the zeitgeist of a generation and through my work in digitisation and research I often find the strangest and most wonderful sources of inspiration. The process of rummaging through dimly-lit library shelves, walking down overgrown paths to abandoned buildings, rummaging through musty vintage stores or scrolling through archival Web 2.0 blogs gives me as much joy as making the final work itself. I often enjoy making works in tandem to one another and share references between disparate series.

Lachlan-Bell-6.png How does your personal history, culture or experience inform your creative work?
Growing up in our Estonian-Australian community and coming to terms with what that identity really means for the new wave of third generation Estonians has led me down many paths of inquiry, particularly looking into memory loss, mistranslation and storytelling through cloth as embodiments of generational crises. In remixing, re-contextualising, and rewriting familial and communal histories, I like to challenge the idea of homogenous, accurate or “authentic” representations of identity and embrace the para-fictional nature of my work that constantly blurs lines between fact and fiction.

Lachlan-Bell-7.png What creative project are you working on at the moment?
I am currently expanding on a previous 2021 project that explores floriography, tussie-mussies and traditional Estonian Lihula embroidered blankets as part of a mural I have been commissioned for. Recently following  lockdown I often escaped to my local parks and nature reserves for respite during uncertain times and discovered a love of plants that I haven’t looked back on. Beyond this I am planning on a shooting photographic series down in Jindabyne inspired by the film “La Jetée”. If this doesn’t eventuate, I have a never-ending list of ideas tucked away into the Notes app on my phone.

Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?


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