It's Beautiful Here
With Dominique Sutton.
Dom and I met through a mutual friend shortly after I moved to Byron. I loved this woman instantly for her warmth and realness (and amazing sense of humour). I quickly signed up for one of Dom's painting classes. With not a painting bone in my body, I knew it would be a struggle for me but Dom was the best teacher - very patient with a novice like me - as were the other students (all of whom seemed be absolute pros in my mind). We did an 'en plein' painting session one day by the Ti Tree Lake which was a definite highlight for me - out in nature, sketching what we saw, I loved it. Dom is such an inspiration with her art and the way she creates - not just painting but sculpture as well. Her work can be found all over the world, and more locally, at The Farm in Byron where she did a commission piece for the then owners, Emma and Tom Lane. Dom also hosts a series of art retreats around the world. "The Wandering Artist" retreats this year will be kicking off in the Australian Outback in April, and then on to New Mexico in May, back to the South of France in July, and then Morocco in September 2022. You can find more details here.
Dom is such an incredible talent and so much fun to be around. It is such an honour to feature Dom here on these pages and share her local insights into the place she calls home - Bangalow.
Introducing Dominique Sutton...
Name: Dominique Sutton
Star Sign: Scorpio
Where do you live now? Bangalow
And what brought you here?
Space for a studio and a freer life.
Describe yourself in 3 words or less…
Passionate, straight-forward, and a little bit eccentric.
Describe the Northern Rivers in 3 words or less…
What inspires you here?
The feeling of joy I get from living in nature.
Tell us a bit about your work… I am a public sculptor and educator… I do large scale pieces for parks and town squares. But… I also teach painting, and that’s a passion.
And your retreats! They sound AMAZING. Do you have any upcoming retreats you can tell us about? I have two retreats coming up in April/May this year to the West MacDonnell Ranges - The Painted Desert. It’s a fully immersive retreat with great food, company and of course, painting that landscape…
What does a normal day look like for you?
I will spare you the domestic kid bits - Up for an early beach walk and swim, then into the studio for 9.30 - 2. Then usually have a few mentoring session in the afternoon until 5, when I have a whisky to mark the end of the day….
What is the best bit about living in beautiful Bangalow?
The village community tbh.
Favourite places for:
- best coffee : Sparrow
- delicious food: Ciao Mate
- arvo drink: Harvest
- best sunset spot: Top of Broken head hill.
- art/culture: BSA, Tweed Regional Gallery, MoMAB
- painting “en plein”: Little Wategos Point
- somewhere to shop: The Corner Store
- best hiking spot: Broken Head to Whites Beach
- waterfalls: Whian Whian
- for fresh produce: Bangalow Farmers Market (Saturdays)
- taking out-of-towners: Light Years for a lychee martini
- best place to catch the sunrise: Suffolk beach
Any other Northern Rivers secrets you can share??!! Tweed Regional Gallery followed by lunch at Mavis’s Kitchen.
Are there any other local creatives here who inspire you, and who? Too many to name but Zani from Clay Barn does amazing ceramics… and of course Alex Polo, my one-man team who helps build my sculptures.
What travel destination have you been missing the most? The whole of Europe!
Window or aisle seat? Window
What 3 things are always in your suitcase?
Sketchbook, camera and whisky
Are you more a hotel or an Airbnb kind of girl?
What are your 3 favourite hotels in the world?
The Calile, Brisbane
Hôtel Costes, Paris
Soho, London (I’m old school)
Who or what is inspiring you right now?
Maggi Hambling - a controversial British artist (me in 10 years!).
What is on your stereo?
Annie Burnell, a beautiful contemporary French singer.
Words you live by…