Joshua Maxwell de Hoog is no stranger to the Courthouse Youth Arts space, having exhibited numerous times in our gallery.

However, with each time he has an exhibition it’s as if a completely new artist has entered the space, as Joshua continually pushing the boundaries of what he’s creating.

We spoke with Joshua about his newest exhibition ‘eardrummi’, which was inspired by jazz music.

You’re no stranger to exhibiting at CHYA, how was your newest exhibition ‘eardrummi’?

Eardrummi was fun! Thanks for asking!

This series of works is a culmination of art, music and words, how did you come up with the concept for it?

Correct, I’d been listening to jazz pretty intently for quite a long time, and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure where my obsessive fascination with the genre was coming from. I thought painting about it might help me understand that.

How did you find the writers and what was the process like of them writing a response?

The writing element was great, the responses were varied, yet all interesting and engaging, and I think we captured the wide variance in what jazz can evoke. The body of work itself is disconnected yet somehow seems to make sense when all together, and I feel the writing plays true to that also.

Were there any written pieces that you found particularly interesting in comparison to your art?

The paintings were done over a much longer period than the written sessions, which in some cases made the writing reflect the earlier stages of the painting as opposed to the finished product. It’s good to have documentation of various stages of an artistic journey, and I liked leaving the responsibility in the writers’ hands to mark that portion of the process.

What sort of impact has music had on your art and vice versa?

I don’t know if I’d be making art without music. It’s existence is integral to my productivity.

You seem to be constantly creating, are there many works you’re creating that don’t get shown in a public viewing like an exhibition? What happens to them?

I like making things, and a show means an excuse to gather with like minded artists, no matter how successful the show is, I always have a lot of fun! Yes, tonnes, although I am lucky to have so many different platforms to show my art, much of it goes unseen.

How do you think your art style has formed and evolved over time?

I’m not huge on having a style, I’m just trying to have fun and make works that show that. My paintings change drastically show to show. As soon as that stops, I’ll probably stop painting, which I hope will be never.

Do you see music playing a bigger role in your art in the future?

Totally, if it’s going to be fun, I’m down! Our new band finalfinal is another avenue to showcase art, not just my own but also my fellow band members, Elijah Bik, Riley McDonald, and Cam Jerabek who are visual artists alongside musicians.

This exhibition also coincided with a book release, is it important for you to support the print world and keep contributing to that space?

I love physical items. Printing allows me to remember past shows. I don’t back up my computer, I make books instead of keeping files. Printing is a good way for me to put some of my money back to other creatives in Geelong too, all of my books being designed and printed in Geelong. I’m working on other physical ideas for my next show, when I will release my first set of trading cards, as well as my first board game in production at the moment.

The same can be said for the importance of supporting live music, how do you find the music scene in comparison to the arts scene in Geelong?

I feel I’m more integrated with the arts scene here, but I want to get more involved in the music scene and I am hoping finalfinal can be a good way to do so. There are so many cool creatives in different fields within Geelong, it would be great to be actively connecting those two scenes. I think we need to be actively getting out and seeing as much as we can. Support can keep artists alive and bands together.

Thanks again for chatting with us, anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for having me! Thanks again to courthouse for having my works, to Amber Smith for curating, all the writers who made Eardrummi possible and all my friends who continue to support my practice – as erratic and changing as it may be. I want to encourage Geelong artists to reach out to me, or the people at Courthouse. Getting your work seen is a scary and daunting process, but it doesn’t need to be. And thanks to you, for the interview!

Eardrummi is currently on show at Courthouse Youth Arts, stop by during business hours to see the exhibition. You can find Joshua on Instagram or via his website

Images by Patrick Callow.