Bertie Blackman is one multi-skilled lass. We know her for her deliciously synth-y grooves, but did you know that the Sydney songstress is also a visual artist? In fact, she’s recently been hard at work crafting some massive on-stage artworks for the upcoming Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival. She put down her tools to have a little chinwag with us though, about tunes, whiskey and her creative processes.
What’s your first musical memory? Listening to “Peter and the Wolf” with my dad. To this day it’s one of my favourite pieces of music, and has influenced much of my approach to narrative and songwriting.
If you could share a drink with any musician, who would it be and what would you drink? I’d take a whiskey with Patti Smith.
What’s the last book you read? Kafka on the Shore. Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite writers.
What inspired you to start creating stage artwork? I wanted to create an inspiring and different experience for the audience. I’m also a visual artist, but making the stage banners for MMVAF is definitely a step up from the spray-painted wooden creatures I used to dangle from pub stages.
What’s the most extravagant piece you’ve created so far? The banners for MMVAF last year. Pretty amazing to see your art blown up to the size of a Roald Dahl giant.
What can folks expect to see and hear from you at the Maroochy Festival? I’ll be unveiling a new character from my upcoming art show. Her name is Mica, and she is a little girl who traverses silent moments of the world wearing a giant space suit.
What are your plans for the future? I’m working on my first solo art show, which will be opening at Lindberg Galleries in Melbourne on Tuesday September 1st. I’ve also written and illustrated a children’s book and am looking at putting it to music working with Musica Viva. And, of course, working on a bunch of new music.
Where do you feel most at home? When I’m creating and writing in my studio.
The Maroochy Music and Visual Arts Festival is happening on Sunday September 10th at the Old Horton Park Golf Couse on the Sunshine Coast. Head this-a-way for the full details, and that-a-way for more Bertie.