Play of light and shade with Sydney sculptor Dion Horstmans

Dion Horstmans’ strong, dynamic works embody his infinite energy. In his journey to become a full time artist, Horstmans’ spent over a decade in the film industry, constructing props and models for movie sets – a period that sparked his curiosity for large scale works made with industrial materials. A true challenge chaser, Horstmans’ strives to depict fluid movement through his static structures; strong lines join to create forceful, multi-dimensional works.

The play of light and shade is the overarching theme in Horstmans’ practice. Graphic works are transformed as light is captured and reflected. Shifting shadows become part of each work as Horstmans’ endeavours to freeze time with tangible shadows.

Exhibiting professionally since 1995, Horstmans’ is a busy and prolific artist. Backed by an impressive list of group and solo shows, Horstmans’ has completed numerous major commercial commissions and a swathe of public art works. His intuitive understanding of form ensures there is a unity and dynamism between his works and their surroundings.


Ever since I could hold a pencil all I wanted to do was draw. Then I started making stuff, ripping down matchbox cars and reassembling them, making houses for my Action Man or Star Wars figurines. I worked out pretty young that I wanted to spend my life making stuff. Fast forward, I’m doing it, I think and breath it. I work hard at. I’m constantly second guessing myself. I don’t think of it as a career or work. It’s my life, it’s a life choice.



Where do you draw your inspiration from?

It’s a never-ending thing, ideas are born from realising an idea. It’s a forever spinning cycle. The only thing holding me back is me… and time.

How do you go about conceptualising a sculpture?

The reality of creating is that you’re realising a nanosecond’s worth of an idea. While creating a piece I’m constantly thinking about the ‘what ifs’.  


What is your process for making a new sculpture?

I start with a coffee. Then it’s head down and sparks fly.


What type of commercial commissions have you worked on?

From foyers in city buildings to massive structures connecting buildings.

How do you approach a new client brief?

Gung ho. “Yep, I can do that.” Then I’ll go away and work out how to do it. 

Can you tell us about your collaboration with photographer Tim Jones?

We’re having a show at M2 Gallery called ‘Kaleidoscope Series 1.’ It’ll be a knock out show. Images of reflected chopped up sculptures spun 180 degrees and set in a black void. I’m pretty excited about it. Tim’s a great guy and a very good photographer.


Do you receive many opportunities for collaboration or commission via your online profiles?

Online / social media platforms are very much a part of every day life. I use Instagram everyday, I’m out there on the ‘Interweb’. I really like the idea of collaborating with other artists.

What is your favourite sculpture you ever made?

Do my two daughters count? If not, I don’t have a favourite. I’m constantly creating, which to be honest, is the best part. The creating part, the making.

To see more of Dion’s work check out or Instagram.

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