Stage

Thought Bubble: Dale Ferguson

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What inspires an artist? Which celebrated work do they wish they had made? And how would they make the high-brow, low-brow? We ask Thought Bubble guest, set designer Dale Ferguson. 
Dale FergusonIf a single work of art had to represent Australia to alien life-forms, what would you choose?
The Sydney Opera House.
If you could have created any work of art by another artist in any form, what would it be?
The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.
If art had to ask a single question, which question should it ask?
Look deeper.  I am not what I seem. Are you curious?
Does beauty matter in art?
No, but so much of it has it.
Is mystery essential to art and why?
Yes, because mystery means it has ambiguity and if it has ambiguity then it can mean as many different things as the number of people who see it or experience it.
Edgar Degas said “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Is your success determined by what you make or how it is received?
My success is determined by how it is received but my peace is determined by what I make.
What high-brow-low brow confluence would you most like to see?
Neil Armfield orchestrating a Sunday school nativity pageant, even though I think I already know what it would be like. Beautiful.
What single venue is your cultural Mecca?
The Art Institute of Chicago.
Has any single work of art profoundly altered you on immediate impact and what was it?
Yes, El Greco’s Vision of Saint John at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Picasso said: “Everything you can imagine is real.” Can and should art be more real to us than life?
I don’t think so.
[box] Dale Ferguson is a set designer who has worked with most Australian theatre and opera companies and numerous companies around the world. His design for Neil Armfield’s production of ‘Exit The King’ earned him two Tony award nominations for set and costumes for its Broadway season in 2009. [/box]

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