Artist Interview: David Capra

By Lisa Lerkenfeldt.

In Sydney last week I saw the Prophetic Artist David Capra keeping it unreal in a Kermit the frog print shirt. He said he carried this interview to several destinations including the home of his grandmother where he developed his responses into little drawings. Capra sings in esoteric tongues, sculpts gemstones with children, offers life advice and contemplates water births in public fountains. His practice is most generous, considerate and yet enchantingly spontaneous.

During your residency at Gaffa, Sydney you and Leahlani Johnston installed a temporary HQ from which ‘Prophetic Initiatives’ offered a complimentary advice service to the art world.  As you helped me generate a vision for 2012, a banner hung on the wall.  It read, “DO NOT CONFORM TO THE PATTERNS OF THIS WORLD”.  Can you tell me about PI and this project?




You have been creating opals and gemstones from plasticine with children at workshops.  In 2012 I saw a sculpture entitled ‘Gemstone Manifestation’ at Parramatta Artist Studios where you have a studio.  Can you tell me about your community work and its relationship to your collaborative and solo practices?


Why Gemstones?


During your performance at Firstdraft, ‘Birthing the Spirit’ (July, 2011) you dressed in white, rolled on the floor, danced with your lo-fi decorative sculptures and sung new words like, “Shaba-roe-co ro-roro-ro shunda-ra-coco” in a crazy operatic voice.  What did you feel?



Are you aware of the audience when performing?  I noticed you always wear your glasses.




What is your process of making your sculptures, installations and performances?  Are they planned or improvised?



Your work surveys the process of intercession, which can be defined as saying a prayer on behalf of another person.  Who are you praying for?



Have you experienced spiritual or literal healing through art making or otherwise?


What do you believe in?


What motivates you to make art and participate in the art world?


For ‘New Planes Public Press Issue Two: The Page as a Performance Site’ you submitted a hand-written transcription of your spoken words during ‘Birthing the spirit’.  The piece was accompanied by drawings of hands and planets.  Can you tell me about these motifs that recur through out your work?


Is it true you came into your arts career via a fantasy of illustrating for Disney?


What draws you to the role of entertainer?


What will you do next?


_____________
This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Firstdraft Emerging Writers Programme.

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