Grad artist spotlight: Dean Cross

21 September 2020
Meet Bachelor of Visual Arts graduate, Dean Cross
Dean was a dancer when he arrived at the SCA. Determined to push himself creatively, he studied sculpture within his BVA. Today, he’s one of the most active visual artists in the country, working across installation, sculpture and photography.

Why did you choose to study a Bachelor of Visual Arts?

I chose to study a Bachelor of Visual Arts because I wanted a new challenge.

Previously, I'd had an extensive career as a professional dancer and choreographer. Studying and the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) and shifting my focus to new ways of thinking and seeing the world excited me.

I love art and the idea of being an artist excites me and so I thought that immersing myself in a visual art degree would be a great way I could engage with the things I love.

During my time I was in the Sculpture studio – I originally wanted to study painting, but sculpture provided me with a level of freedom I hadn’t found before.

Whats the SCA community like?

It is a great feeling – a lot of my favourite artists are SCA graduates and so it is incredible to share that with them.

Artists like Nell, Shaun Gladwell and Lauren Brincat, all of whom I have been fortunate enough to get to know personally and professionally. But also my immediate peers were a really excellent group of artists.

It was a very supportive, creative and exciting environment to be in. As a group you would share ideas and push each other’s work.
Bachelor of Visual Arts graduate, Dean Cross

You could always rely on a helping hand if someone had more knowledge in a certain area than you. It was a very open and free exchange of ideas. I couldn’t wait to get to uni every day and to get into the studio.

And the lecturers were incredible. Not only inspiring and accomplished artists, but generous and creative people.

What’s happened since graduation?

A lot has happened since graduation!

Some career highlights would be working for Tracey Moffatt as her assistant for the 57th Venice Biennale. It was such an honour to witness one of our greatest artists working thorugh the biggest exhibition of her life.

Also being included in Tarnanthi at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Tarnanthi is a city-wide festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art held biannually in Adelaide. It is incredible being involved in such a high-profile and high calibre exhibition.  And most recently my first solo-show with Yavuz Gallery who represent me in Australia and world-wide.

How does your BVA influence your work as an artist now?

I learnt how to better transform my ideas into material form – crucial for an artist.

I learnt how to trust in a process, and to not get ahead of myself.

I learnt how to listen to an artwork and allow it to speak to me and tell me what it needs and I learnt the importance of having a few key people whose opinions on art you trust.

What would you say to someone thinking of studying a BVA?

I would say go for it! The world needs artists more than ever – but it also needs people of know how to think creatively and analytically and who aren’t afraid to take risks!

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