• Credits:
    • Directed by: Trevor King and Tony Prescott    |
    • Produced by:    |
    • Screenplay by:
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The Dion Effect

Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Dion Horstmans.

You know him?


I beg to differ.

You know him.

I didn’t know I knew him, but I know him.

He didn’t know me, or know I knew him.

You will know him, or know him without really knowing him.

Know what I mean?

Dion Horstmans is a permanent fixture on Bondi Beach and I think many will agree he barely needs an introduction.

You’ll find Dion all year round on the golden sands of Sydney’s most beloved city beach, and he can thank his Polynesian ancestry for the permanent tan that compliments his warrior physique. Weathering any storm, he can be found on the beach, shirts off, shorts on 365 days of the year. It’s here that he is rarely found sitting or standing still. He runs, swims, bends, stretches, and lifts heavy things  – including himself.

Anyone would think we had a little utopia down here in ‘the valley’, considering he has lived here for over 24 years (even a sabbatical to Dorrigo for 18 months couldn’t keep him away). Originally hailing from land of the long white cloud, Bondi Beach Australia is home for Dion.

I’d take bets from any hipster around this town to challenge him in Bondi’s best beard contest and I surmise that his kids are bookies favorite to win Bondi’s hippest little people.

Old school locals will be familiar with Dion from his frequent appearances at Icebergs pool and gym and grabbing some grub at Gelbisons. In more recent times, Dion groupies spy him wrapping his mouth around a rice paper roll at Miss Chu’s or chowing down a mouth-watering calzone from La Piadina.

For those not so local, don’t despair, the odds are high you’ll know him too. Perhaps you subscribe to Uge’s daily email – Aquabumps? I’d put all my money on black that Dion wins gold as ‘most featured local’ over the years.

Where does this guy get the time for beauty sleep? Let alone - what a lot of you don’t know – running a thriving creative studio.

In a discreet part of Lamrock Avenue there is a double garage converted into one of Bondi’s most happening spaces. This is the engine room behind Dion’s heart and soul - his art practice. 

Dion is the kind of guy that thinks ‘rest’ is a waste of time. He doesn’t own a TV, so if he isn’t on the beach chances are, you will find him working away in his garage – absorbing the inspiring images that layer the walls while combating an atmosphere of metal and dust filings.

Although his art practice has developed over countless years, it was only six years ago that he took the plunge and gave up a rewarding career in the film industry to set up and run his own studio.

Probably best known amongst his creative peers for his abstract geometrical sculptures that explore line and shadow, Dion’s vast practice also boasts work that looks at the juxtaposition between primitive and future cultures, as well as the female form – a beautiful yet strong contrast to the sharpness of his geometric pieces.

Dion’s work has featured in prominent window displays of Australia’s own powerhouse fashion label Gorman, during Fashion Week in Melbourne, and is also represented by one of the cities tre cool galleries - Flinders Lane Gallery (make sure to add it to your ‘When in Melbourne’ checklist).

He wouldn’t be a true local or a celebrated sculptor without featuring in our very own Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, right? Tick.

Just like his art practice, I’m sure you’re getting the picture that Dion is a multi dimensional character. With that kind of dynamism under your wings, I can’t imagine two days ever being the same, or letting time just pass you by. With no time for laziness and an appetite for triumph the size of a small country I think the people of ‘the valley’ should rally - Dion Horstmans for Mayor!

Dion is currently working double time producing new works for a series of upcoming solo and group shows. You’ll have to leave ‘the valley’, but I guarantee it will be worth it. From August 1, visit ‘He Made She Madegallery on Oxford Street – it’s on the 333 route so you wont need your passport ;) Keep up to date with Dion’s blog for more details on his solo exhibitions coming soon.

Check out this compelling video (above) of Dion that reveals more about his practice and what we don’t see on the Bondi Hip Parade – but uncovers the true grit of one of our best-loved locals.


Directors: Trevor King and Tony Prescott

Words: Annalyse Mcleod


Annalyse McLeod holds a Bachelor Degree in Visual Arts, majoring in Jewellery and Object Design. Having spent the past 7 years working for arts organisations in Sydney, Annalyse is now the Head of Strategy and Engagement at Sydney's Object: Australian Design Centre. She tells a good story and moonlights as a writer of cultural pop. When not making, writing or working you can find Annalyse in the ocean.


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