At 24, Joshua Maxwell de Hoog is already a prolific artist and business owner in Geelong. He has been creating and presenting his artwork and photography for six years, and since then has branched his artistic wings to any medium he can find, including sculpture. Joshua’s inspiration is drawn from growing up around highly compassionate people, he says. His father was a pastor, and his mother volunteered in the community. “Being generous creates and gives back.”
With an undoubtable passion for the arts in Geelong, Joshua encourages budding artists to get out there. When asked what advice he would give to emerging artists in Geelong, he replied that “The most important thing is that you don’t work for a sale – produce work for the sake of making work. The world has plenty of commercial art, but the world doesn’t yet have you.”
Joshua was recently honoured at the Geelong Youth Awards when he won the award for Arts and Culture and received nominations for the Community Citizenship and Leadership categories. “It was lovely to receive recognition. It is good to have events that bring together other proactive young people in Geelong.”
The prize money from his award will be used to fund an upcoming arts project that aims to bring together artists and poets from across the Geelong region. The project will involve the creation of two chairs, the ‘poet’s chair’ and the ‘artist’s chair’, which will feature in several locations overall across Geelong including the fOrT. Creatives are invited to sit in the chairs and feel inspired. The artwork and poetry produced will be collated into a book. Proceeds from the book will be channelled back into a Geelong-based charity. The project has an anonymous option. For Joshua, the aim is to present how Geelong residents, both young and old, are responding to the creative space.
Joshua owns the café-slash-film-lab Analogue Academy, tucked away in Cuzens Place. Analogue Academy is a hub of local arts and culture, from curating art shows to concerts and is the original home of Geelong spoken word group Lowercase Poetry. The monthly poetry event was so popular it transferred to The Worker’s Club. “The power of words is important. So, we had to allow it to spread.”
Joshua was inspired to create Analogue Academy due to the lack of artist-run spaces in Geelong, causing many artists to depart for Melbourne. Art events at Analogue Academy have been an immense success, including the recent exhibition Feline, with paintings from 48 artists across Geelong. Feline is the second of Analogue Academy’s charity shows, this one raising $500 for Geelong Animal and Welfare Society.
It can be difficult sometimes to find a foothold in the arts industry but having a supportive and growing community of artists makes it seem much less intimidating. With creatives like Joshua creating spaces like Analogue Academy, Geelong continues growing as an arts city and a clever and creative city. We at the Humans in Geelong team congratulate Joshua for his recent award and we look forward to seeing what he does next.
Joshua will be running a Lowercase Poetry session at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 7th of October at Deakin Waterfront. Once the program for the day is confirmed it will be on our website.
Story: Stephanie Downing. Photo: Phil Hines Photography