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DAMARIS ATHENE | FR ANCESCA BADEA | K A BIRD | JAMES BLAMIRES ANTHONY D KELLY | JULIE DE ABREU | DAVID DUNNE | JESSICA GOODWIN JESSICA GR ADY | DAVID F. HEAT WOLE | CATHERINE HELLSTEN & JON REES SIMONA LEDL | JAWBONE JAWBONE | TAHIR A NOREEN | JAMES PADDOCK SZILVIA PONYICZKI | EMMA WALKER

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LITTLE THINGS (RE-THINK, RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE) by Francesca Busca


FEATURED ARTIST: EMMA WALKER 3 LITTLE THINGS BY FRANCESCA BUSCA 4 DAMARIS ATHENE 6 FRANCESCA BADEA 12 KA BIRD 18 JAMES BLAMIRES 24 ANTHONY D KELLY 30 JULIE DE ABREU 36 DAVID DUNNE 42 JESSICA GOODWIN 48 JESSICA GRADY 54

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DAVID F. HEATWOLE 60 CATHERINE HELLSTEN & JON REES 66 SIMONA LEDL 72 JAWBONE JAWBONE 78 TAHIRA NOREEN 84 JAMES PADDOCK 90 SZILVIA PONYICZKI 96 EMMA WALKER 102


FEATURED

ARTIST EMMA WALKER

More at pages: 102-107 I live in Liverpool, the art scene is unique, supportive, with a incredible sense of community. Art is celebrated , Liverpool has always been a creative city. It brings communities together through different mediums. Liverpool is open minded and art is a characteristic that many of us have in common.

On the cover photography by Emma Walker.


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Art Reveal Magazine

LITTLE THINGS

(RE-THINK, RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE)

By Francesca Busca

Contemporary living is based upon the idea that whatever we need, we buy; everything is made with one very specific purpose, and is discarded once its purpose is fulfilled (even for a one-off use) or at the first sign of wear and tear. Unfortunately, this is no longer sustainable. Disposable Living is a luxury we can no longer afford. We are filling the world with rubbish, often made of artificial materials which take an eternity to dissolve. Made to help us live better, they will survive us – and kill us in the process. How? Plastic ends up on land and in rivers and oceans, where animals and vegetables assimilate some of it which then enters into our bodies through ingestion. It suffocates vegetation and animals, slowly but steadily destroying our eco-system. We cannot burn it, as it would quickly and heavily pollute the air. If we keep going at this rate, we will ALL be overtaken by our own rubbish. Am I exaggerating? I truly hope so.  It would likely be the case if we found suitable, sustainable alternatives. In the meantime, how about we RE-THINK our style of life? We are ALL part of ONE ecosystem. How about we RE-USE? Apparently, we are the most intelligent creatures on the Planet. Let us put that brainpower to good use! Let us appreciate what we have, treat things with the respect they deserve, and use them and RE-USE them creatively, until they really have fully served their purpose. And even then, let us RE-PURPOSE them! Where and when did we lose the capacity to think with our own minds, and cease to enjoy exploiting our brilliant creativity in everyday life? This is what this little exhibition is about: stimulating our minds, provoking thoughts, encouraging us to look beyond our individual needs and stretch our vision to the big picture. To understand that every Little Thing helps. If we want to make the world a better place, WE CAN DO IT. Each and every single one of us, together. With Little Things. P.S.: I am accepting Little Things as a “Payment in Kind(ness)” towards any of 10 of my artworks on sale for an equivalent of £1-£20 each towards the price of the artwork. Just take a picture of your Little Thing, tag me on IG, FB or LinkedIn, identify it as #littlethings #paymentinkindness and its number, and I will keep track! Please refer to my website for a list of rewarding Little Things you can do...and why not start by bringing your own glass to fill at the PV on 10th May?


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Her goal? To provoke! To Francesca, art has the same importance as philosophy: its ultimate purpose is to provoke something in the viewer. She feels a compelling urge to convey a message, as strongly as her technical and creative capabilities will allow. Torn between optimism and surrender, Francesca is haunted by the idea of mankind’s imminent self-destruction. Yet, she believes in a future for humanity of resourceful innovation through reusing, recycling and upcycling. She is fascinated by colours and textures of both artificial and natural elements, which she hunts for in everyday life and plays with in new combinations, pairing and contrasting noble material with rubbish. Her aim is to prove how rubbish is a relative definition and how it can be turned into something useful, fun and even beautiful. This shows particularly in her installations, which are created entirely from “found” material. She thoroughly enjoys working within both the ethical and the material limitations which this choice entails. She has a true passion for mosaic, as it allows the use of a broad range of materials: she strives to show the beauty and significance of each material used, in each tiny piece. She never stops learning and experimenting, eagerly crisscrossing the boundary between Mosaic and Mixed Media. She is on a mission to show the incredible - yet still lesser known and appreciated - potential of modern mosaic, as a fine art in its own right. She has now taken permanent residency at the London School of Mosaic, where she holds a shared studio and teaches short courses on the innovative subject of “Mosaic as Mixed Media”. She is a member of the Governing Body of the London School of Mosaic, Exhibition Officer for the British Association for Modern Mosaic (BAMM), a member of The Artists’ Pool, and she is in the process of joining a collective with the fellow artists in residence from the Canary Wharf New District 2017 Residency.  She has participated in over 60 art exhibitions, both online and in art galleries internationally in the last 2 years alone. She has received over 30 awards and appeared on a dozen publications. You can find most of it here:

www.francescabusca.com IG: @francesca_busca FB: @rocksrevamped


Damaris Athene Cambridge, UK

My transdisciplinary work explores the corporeal and abstraction of the human form and currently focuses on painting. I am especially interested in biology and how we view our own bodies. I am fascinated by Julia Kristeva’s notion of the abject and explore it in my practice, playing with the push and pull of seduction and disgust, and confronting the notion of our bodies as pure matter and our shared mortality. In my work the body becomes unrecognisable, sometimes re-appropriating images from the medical field, vastly changing scale or digitally manipulating body parts. Scientific imagery is imbued with emotional value and some work provokes conversations about taboo subjects and dialogues about death. Hopefully breaking down barriers to discussion. Some of my recent work is inspired by radiology scans, and bruises on human flesh. The ‘Trauma’ series depicts bruises; delicately painted and softly rendered, they appear as strange cloud like formations. Their softness contradicts their forceful and painful creation. The ‘Lovely in Her Bones’ series portrays scans of various cancers in black and white oil paint. I am intrigued by the incongruence of the image you see of the disease inside you and the experience you’re having, and the inability to reconcile those two things. These ethereal black and white images further detach us from our own bodies and remove us from our reality. The use of medical imagery in a different context forces these normally functional and diagnostic images to be perceived in a different way. In both series, the beauty in these apparently abstract images seems at odds with their subject matter, creating a dichotomy that fascinates me. The paintings become abject when the subject matter is realised. ‘The Pieces of my Spirit Strewn’ series pictures the body as other and as abject. Strange fleshy forms are conveyed in artificial sickly pink and heavy impasto. The computer generated kaleidoscope formation of the paintings nods to the digital age we live in, mirroring our bodies back to us and altering our perception of them. I want to induce a visceral reaction in the viewer as well as capturing their curiosity: to be enticing yet disgusting, beautiful but grotesque. Paint becomes flesh, repulsive in it’s tactility.


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When, how and why started your art practice? When I was younger I wanted to be a doctor but realised I didn’t want my life to be all mapped out – for example studying for 7 years and then going on to be a junior doctor. I started to get more into art when I was 14 and as I did more I fell more in love with it! I did my foundation at Falmouth University and then went on to do my BA at Camberwell College of Arts. I originally started on the photography course, as that had been my focus during my foundation, but I changed over to painting after the first term. It was the right decision and I felt so much freer. Over my degree I realised that my practice was about the body and exploring abstraction of the human form, but I feel that now I’m far more focused. I did an Erasmus exchange in Brussels at the beginning of my second year. I became depressed and didn’t make much work. When I came back to London things were much better but I think it slowed down my artistic development. In the first few years of my degree I wasn’t sold on the idea of being an artist as I like being around people and the thought of working alone in a studio didn’t sound very appealing. That all changed in my final year when I was working in the studio a lot more and I realised that I truly did want to be an artist. I can’t imagine doing anything else now and I get my fix of social interaction from doing various forms of teaching. It was only after leaving University that I reignited my love of oil paint. Now I can’t get enough of it!

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

Definitely having money to a) make work, b) afford a studio, and c) work enough so you can pay the rent but not too much that you don’t have any time for your practice. It’s also hard to get used to the constant rejection – you apply for so many things and get so few. You have to constantly pick yourself up from defeat and not take it too personally. It takes a lot of getting used to and I think I’m slowly getting better at it. I find it difficult to not get caught up imagining being shortlisted for a prize. The rejection is easier if you hold the outcome lightly but that’s easier said than done!

Almost everyone I’ve met so far has been lovely but I’m sure it’s not the case everywhere. I’ve recently started a blog where I interview different female artists and I’ve met so many amazing people through that. It’s been a truly wonderful experience and a great way to meet people that I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise. It doesn’t seem fair to me that the artists, who the whole ecosystem is built upon, get the raw deal most of the time. There are many galleries and prizes out there that exploit artists and make them pay extortionate fees to exhibit. With the rise of artists representing themselves and selling their work online that’s starting


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to change, but that also means that now you have to be a jack of all trades – business, social media, marketing, sales, production, concept, etc…!

art things can happen on the cheap. I do miss living in London sometimes but it’s only 45mins away on the train and I definitely don’t miss the overcrowding!

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?

Here in Cambridge it’s very small! To be honest it’s not the best, but there are some great people who I’ve recently made friends with and I’m about to move to a new studio where there will be artists with a critical practice – something I don’t have at the moment. There are a lot of retired people who are coming to art later in life and there aren’t many young people trying to make a career out of being an artist. Studio rent is expensive and there aren’t many spaces where exciting

It would probably be to keep going. It’s perseverance that counts. Most people don’t get spotted at a young age, just think of Louise Bourgeois! She was in the later stages of her life when she started to get real recognition. It wasn’t until she was 89 that she showed at the Tate! What are your future plans as an artist? I want to do a Masters but I’m not in any particular rush. I think I’ll apply either

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next year or the year after. I want to create as much as I possibly can - I have so many ideas that I want to put into action! There are many more avenues to explore and many new materials to discover. I’ve got a few different projects that are about to start coming into fruition – watch this space! I’ve really enjoyed meeting artists through my blog and want to carry on meeting new people. It would be great to expand it to interviewing artists from other countries. I hope to have time in the future to start using my living room as an exhibition space. I’ve wanted to do it for a while but my current work load is too high. I think it would be a great way to make new connections and to have an exciting new temporary art space in Cambridge - something that we’re in need of!


damarisathene.co.uk


Francesca Badea Bucharest, Romania

My art deals mainly with escapism. Whether I am creating disconnected psychological worlds, disturbing monsters or dealing with alter egos, the main concern is evading reality. The owl series consists of abstractions derived from the image of an owl, making reference to an older series, ”The Mechanisms of the Dissociative Mind”. This older series deals with the capacity of the human mind to dissociate within the dissociative identity disorder. Thus, the owls’ images seem disconnected from reality, alluding to an altered state of consciousness. I choose the digital prints technique because I am searching for a mechanical gesture that characterizes the dissociative/mechanic worlds I am creating. The assumption of different personalities is another way of breaking out. There is a constant change in my self-image which gets transformed as in the video “Without You I’m Nothing ”. The video’s images create the ultimate androgynous icon and the narrative is exploring identity issues and the emotional inner state. Thus my art is powered by painful imagery and is constantly trying to evade from it.


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Art Reveal Magazine

When, how and why started your art practice? I started thinking about applying to an Art University when I finished high-school. I attended a Mathematics-Informatics profile, therefore after four years of struggle I wanted to break free and followed a different path. I was interested in art since I was a child but I never considered this possibility until then. So I applied and got accepted at the National University of Arts in Bucharest and that’s how it all started. My parents’ support helped me a lot since they encouraged me. I wasn’t absolutely sure that I followed the right path until months later, when I discovered that I didn’t want to do anything else than paint all day. I guess then was when I realized whatever I did had to be related to art and I would continue a long time in this direction. It’s been five years since then and I haven’t stopped yet. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I think being an artist is, by definition, challenging. It’s like walking blind in the desert and you never know what you’re going to do next. But that’s the beauty of it. Ludwig Wittgenstein said “What can be

shown cannot be said”. But we are always trying to explain what we are doing with too many words. I many times tried to guess what I was going to do next but it never worked since once you think of something it’s not worth doing it anymore. A big challenge for me is always to find new subjects and things that would keep my interest alive. I get bored quickly so finding new themes and new topics is hard. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I dislike the lack of importance given to Visual Arts education, which I experience in my country. This situation seems to be different in other countries. Most bothering is that people allow themselves to judge works of art they know nothing about. Art is not taken seriously. The same people wouldn’t judge other arts or professions, for example dance or dentistry. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Dynamic. There are a lot of events and exhibitions in Bucharest. Still I try to travel and visit as often as I can other countries’ museums.

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What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best art tips I’ve ever received were almost always negative comments. As opposed to good criticize, bad criticize had the biggest impact on me. For example, one time I was in another country with the Erasmus Scholarship. The environment was wholly changed and I was alone in a new university. I was working hard and I was appreciated by one particular teacher. She said she appreciated that my style is expressive and creative, but that situation completely changed after I turned to geometric abstraction. The turn came naturally for me, but it was shocking for her and made me remake the work. That was a turning point in my life since I did not remake the work and decided to keep away from other people’s advice, as it did not always work for me. I do listen to what others say but I don’t take it for granted. What are you future plans as an artist? I don’t have any future plans. Since I never know what I am going to do next, making plans is pointless. Still I am interested in expanding my knowledge in other fields at the moment, for example music and literature.


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Art Reveal Magazine

emptymirrorbooks.com/visual-art/30165

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KA Bird Middlesbrough, UK


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When, how and why started your art practice? My practice came out of a very primal need to create, as an intensely human means of expression that linguistic communication cannot satisfy. To me art is what lies beyond the threshold of language, and indeed exposes its inherent inadequacy for capturing an essence or for describing subjective experience. As such my work is deeply invested in the use of symbolic exchange as an attempt to reveal or to ascertain something universally relatable from an idiosyncratic position. It’s difficult to determine the exact moment when the art started. It’s hard to remember a time before it, impossible to remove myself from it - to imagine myself

as separate from my art. When I was at art school I grew to understand that I was interested in circulation and in a sense had always been. My time there afforded me the tools necessary to articulate this compulsion towards cyclical consumption, circuits; indefinite ins and outs. This attentiveness towards circulation was manifest in the objects that I made and in the way I conducted my lived existence. Recently I have been developing a process of mark-making using a browser based CPPN and image editing software. Digitally generated and born from the internet, the graphics have an intrinsically immaterial provenance. I then iterate the saved files as tangible objects in vinyl decal to create large wall installations built up of sweeping computational strokes and gestures. Creating the cut-outs I always consider the platform for the documentation, the work exists on the internet and in physical space but both are equal assertions of the art. The work is relayed back and forth across on and offline spaces, becoming imbued with the residue of each new location as it migrates across various supports. This then informs and progresses the on-going project. I have always been interested in technology and always found ways of incorporating it into a strategy for creating, as both a product of and to comment on contemporary culture. I am innately obsessive in my approach, constantly relaying, reworking and remixing the artefacts of my heavily digitised environment to produce, or rather to post-produce objects of intrigue and/or elegance. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Being an artist is notoriously difficult. We operate in a highly competitive industry under the persistent pres-

sure to outwork our peers, and it’s easy to get discouraged. Criticism is a fundamental aspect of being an artist, we apply it in our work to uncover inconsistencies in the systems that underpin our society and we must be subject to it ourselves. There’s an enormous amount of self-doubt present in any self-aware practitioner. The fear of being exposed as fraudulent is insistent, debilitating and characterised by occasionally being wholly unconvinced of your own abilities whilst simultaneously trying to convince the world that your input is credible and important. Art practice demands absolute conviction which can at times become entirely engrossing and isolating, putting pressure on relationships and other commitments, as we each maddeningly strive towards an ultimately unobtainable perfectly realised vision. Being largely self-funded we are constantly dissuaded from pursuing careers, investing huge amounts of time into our work and rarely being paid for it, especially in the early stages. It’s difficult for people outside the art community to empathise with this position, it’s not like any one is making us do this, so why should we bother? No one embarks on a career as an artist under the illusion of making a lot of money either. I make art because of an urgent and insatiable drive to express, to compose. It’s not a free choice but rather I am obliged to do so out of necessity to create. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The world of art, as a diverse and vast network of interlinked artists, organisations and institutions is of course infamously problematic. As within any hierarchical model, internal politics and exploitation are real issues. The conceit is that it is insular and exclusive, and still propagates casually concealed social, sexual and racial prejudices despite being publically liberal and progressive. The market caters to a collecting-class, made up of a few vulgarly affluent individuals, resulting in a vapid, art-as-asset ecology. This bourgeoisie influence facilitates the production of insincere and innocuous art-type-stuff whose value is seemingly protected by an opaque and unregulated global market economy. However the market is not the final arbiter of taste and of cultural capital, and


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it is the responsibility of the artist to actively resist such shameless obscenity, and to persevere in developing and progressing radical discourse and social change through art. The world is rich with practitioners and academics operating at the forefront of contemporary art who continue to inspire and inform my practice and constantly reinforce my desire to work within the industry. How would you describe the art scene in your area? In the age of the image, collective visual literacy has never been so crucial. However art programmes nationally are the first to be cut from educational institutions. Funding for the arts has been systematically decreased despite an increase in value of the international art market worth in excess of $60 billion. The result of this is to effectively erode the role of art to an immediate general public by essentially rendering it inaccessible. It is becoming harder to operate in such a climate but undeterred by being one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged parts of the UK, Teesside boasts an exciting arts scene. As well as Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Platform A gallery and several studios and collectives, art organisation The Auxiliary, based in Stockton is an artist-led project space and hosts an Artist in Residence programme for experimental sound. Middlesbrough held its first annual international art show The Middlesbrough Art Weekender in 2017 and is already preparing for the second instalment in the autumn of 2018. In Teesside we have recently seen the foreclosure of one of its most exciting exhibition spaces and its associated studios, The House of Blah Blah. The gallery helped establish emerging art from the local area and provide for it a platform to elevate it alongside national and international talent and its founders continue to succeed in new projects across the region. I am one fifth of the arts collective The Big Nothing. All our members are Teesside University alumni each working within painting, sculpture, sound and video, which when brought together create experimental assemblages and happenings. We collaborate in order to curate our exhibitions, by following a set of self-appointed aesthetic guidelines that we each adhere to. The region is resilient and continues to participate in an international conversation between artists and art spaces; the North East is a radical place of creative interaction and critical discourse. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Building up a strong peer-to-peer network is one of the most valuable assets to any artist. A well cultivated web of associates can provide advice, support and offer potential opportunities to further your career and to better your practice. Working collaboratively can augment the individuals working within a group by providing the chance to share in and experiment with new ideas and methods, as well as offering useful feedback and constructive criticism in an encouraging environment. This can function to benefit a practice that has become stagnant and parochial with important insight. What are your future plans as an artist? Moving forward with my practice I intend to continue to develop my strategy for art-making. Incorporating new stages into the process and being open to new influences that could renegotiate its trajectory. Having recently returned from residency in Spain, I plan to capitalise on this experience and broaden my visibility across Europe and further afield. At present I’m planning exhibitions across the UK with the aim of reaching out to other artists dealing with similar concerns in their practices, and forging new working relationships with galleries and organisations.

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kabird.co.uk


James Blamires

Leeds, UK

There is a conflict between the auto-ethnographic element of my research, to creating work which unpicks historical elements from my own life; I reinvestigate place and space through todays current time with an ethnographical study to reimagine my past and others’ present and future. With the use of sculpture, photography and narrative; I reimagne personal stories and histories as well as make political and social commentary through the made physical piece, though fact and sometimes conjecture to develop my work. My most recently made work is responding to research, which I am undertaking to address the impacts that a recent regeneration of a social housing estate in Leeds (Little London) has impacted the physical and those who pass through the estate.


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When, how and why started your art practice? From 1996, I initially started practicing art, taking inspiration from my local landscape where I lived in the East Riding of Yorkshire at the time; where there was a friction of beauty and industry of coal burning power stations. I used to inhale, on my daily 40-mile commute to school to complete my GCSE’s, the landscape heading towards the M62. These clashes of beautiful surroundings of greenery where I lived, with the imposing nature of the coal powered stations that seemed so close to my home, made me think about how I would portray my work in the physical, which mainly was painting at that time, before I became more adventurous with materials. I went onto Bradford College in 1998 and started a BTEC course in Interior Design, then 1999 I studied Media Production for two years, which even now, is filtering through into my documentary making work for my master’s degree at The University of Huddersfield. I think that there was always something in my subconscious of recreating my surroundings, that is still going strong in my work. If I were to describe my practice and

why I do it, is to document and represent in various ways what is happening to my ever-changing environment, particularly as I moved homes often with my parents; and even into adulthood. I have always explored new places to live and experience. Environment and my surroundings, place, space and experiences is everything that filters through my work, but that has taken some time to understand why I make work around these topics. I didn’t really understand until starting my BA in Fine Art to question and challenge myself to why I was making the work I was. I still question and reflect my work and ideas as it helps me to develop, explore and expand as an artist. What is the most challenging part of being an artist? Personally, ‘blank page syndrome’ of making is the most challenging part of being an artist. I need time to have something purposeful to make, otherwise I don’t see the point in making it. My point of view is that art should have a purpose and a thought of enquiry. If I’m stuck for ideas, I simply won’t make anything until I have made lots of research ideas that could possibly come into fruition.

There must be an interest, a challenge, an interest in the research, if it’s not there, then I think all creatives become still, until that magic spark of inspiration comes through. Talking to and being around other artists helps enormously and breaks down a barrier at times, as there are so many inspiring artists I know who help get my creative juices flowing again, so I guess I owe a lot to other artists that unknowingly, have helped me when those mental barriers are there. Also, depending on what you want as a career of being an artist, money is and always will be an issue for us creatives. But for me, earning money as a full-time artist has never been the absolute as it is so difficult to do this. As an artist, you must do many things and work several jobs to keep your practice as an artist going. I’ve worked in regular jobs, volunteered, studied and kept up my art practice simultaneously to keep on going. Many artists I know do this, it’s quite the norm when your passionate about art and staying connected in the network. I enjoy thinking, problem solving, making and exhibiting when possible. If something sells, it’s a bonus, if not, the homeless charity shops generally get my work, I don’t hoard much of it.


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Persevering as an exhibitor is challenging, but through collaborating, networking, keeping in touch with peers, other artists, art organisations and wherever you may have studied is not an easy thing to do. It takes time, but, maintaining, building and gaining new relationships is a fantastic way of staying connected to help you achieve what you want from an artistic career. Attending artistic talks, searching online, giving yourself a weekly task sheet, whatever you can do to continue to build any relationships or find more of what is happing creatively near you will be a challenge, but it pays off; if you persevere! What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love the conversations that are brought up in the art work, anything that sparks a conversation to me is a good thing. I love the connections that can be made and how incestuous it all is really. Everyone knows everyone, so you always have someone in common, when you go to private viewings whilst you’re knocking back the free booze and catching up with all these amazing talented and interesting creatives. Profit making (unavoidable unfortunately) is one of the things I dislike in the artworld. I attended a private view a few years ago at a privately-run gallery, who are very selective of the artists they work with. There was free flowing champagne well ahead of the artist to arrive and meet the potential purchasers. Everybody was quite intoxicated by this point, and the gallery manager was creating such rhetoric of romance and amplification of the actual work that was selling, it really sickened me. The artist arrives, and it was as though Madonna had just walked into the room (I wish it had been), so there was clapping and whistle blowing with excitement from these inebriated so-called art lovers, that knew nothing about art; particularly as I had lengthy conversations with them. Then, the chip-and-pin machine was being thrown around like a hand-ball, as the art was flying off the shelves. I remember one piece sold to a couple I spoke to for about £36k. There was nothing from this experience that I enjoyed, apart from the champagne (probably Cava), obviously. In my opinion, it should have been about the art, the discussion and meaning of the work and yes selling too, we all need to make a living. It was all about commodification and just totally soulless. The real art shows that I attend are so much more interesting, engaging and the people are very different from the commercial galleries that sell their over-priced reproductions. But, that’s capitalism. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in West Yorkshire; the art scene is just amazing really. People just think of London as the place to be in the art world, but we have a great intimate cohort of artists and smaller organizations, such as East Street Arts, Mirfield has a great Creative Arts Hub as well as the West Yorkshire Print Shop with studio space and exhibition spaces too. I have the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, Art Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, he Hepworth Wakefield, Sunny Bank Mills. There is just so many galleries, workshops and the universities are great at collaborating with their art courses too. It’s a brilliant location and place to be, with absolutely no shortage of places to network and build relationships with. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Make with meaning! This was a great tip from my undergraduate degree at Leeds Arts University, and it resonated with me since.

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This notion has changed my thought process when I’m considering making, planning a piece, researching and executing the physical work. When I reflect from my earlier work, there has always been a commonality with most things I have made, such as place, space and architecture, but now, when I’m making I consistently question what I am making. What are your future plans as an artist? I’m looking to work more collaboratively with other artists who share similar interests as myself in the future. I recently qualified as a Further Education Art teacher and have been teaching at Leeds Arts University throughout my placement, which has been amazing. As an artist, I continue to practice often, more through my research as I am currently undertaking a master’s degree at The University of Huddersfield. My project is working with the residents of a council estate in Leeds I used to live in when I turned 19, called Little London. The area has been regenerated through a Privately Financed Initiative, so I’m questioning how this has affected the residents through my practice-led investigation. I live in a purchased house in a council estate now (as I would never be offered a 2-bed-semi, through any council, especially with the current housing crisis climate as a man with no children – probably) and find them so interesting, particularly as they have changed so much since Margaret Thatcher’s Right-ToBuy policy came in during the 1980’s. So, my future for the next year is to continue this research and continue to teach, which is exhausting as I’m busy as an artist and with my educational practice too. I hope to start a PhD in 2019 and continue a research-based project. I have definitely acquired the education bug. I love it as much as art, so I think that’s my future pretty much summed up!


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jamesblamires.com


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Anthony D Kelly

Castlebar, Ireland

Anthony works primarily with Illustration, Analog Collage and Digital Collage techniques but enjoys to expand his skillset and explore the limitations and Possibilities of new mediums. His work centres around Surrealism, Satire, Wonderment, Human Connection and the Darker Draws of Human Nature. Anthony D Kelly is a Freelance Illustrator, Writer and Visual Arts Practitioner. He currently bases his practice in Castlebar, County Mayo located on Irelands West Coast. He has extensive experience as a Gallery Administrator, Curator and Project Facilitator from his time at Basement Project Space an artist led initiative which was based in Cork City, Ireland. He has studied both Arts Administration and Arts Participation and Global Development and he is currently training in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy. Anthony is greatly interested in the Arts as an effective method for engagement with Social, Political and Global Development issues.


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When, how and why started your art practice? The when and how? Well I have always had a passion for artistic expression and I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a child I remember craving blank paper and pencils. In a more formal sense I would say it was back in 2010 when I started working with fellow artists Lorraine Mc Donnell, Rachel Mc Donnell and Stephanie Hough as a Board Member, Administrator and Resident Artist at Basement Project Space in Cork City, Ireland. At that point in time the global recession had started to hit Ireland pretty hard and there were a lot of dormant commercial spaces sitting in and around various city centres across the country. New independent, artist led studios and project spaces

filled up a lot of those voids with cultural activity and artistic experimentation, creating life where there was none. Basement Project Space was one of those. As for the why? I have always enjoyed how the arts provide us with the opportunity to mentally and emotionally extend our current reality; they can really allow us to find a necessary space from which we can reflect back on our nature and our existence, enabling new angles and new truths to emerge, as well as facilitating the emergence of old truths long since hidden. It is in this way that I have always found art as a powerful tool for evoking a sense of restoration and wonderment. For me it is a way of searching, investigating, exploring and playing with reality that is expansive and freeing.


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What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

What do you dislike/like about the art world?

No one is going to make you do it! There is no clock-in machine, there is no set structure, There are very few repetitive tasks, and you alone are in charge of the quality control. As it is purely self-directed, artistic practice is devoid of the same limitations and structures that in wider society provide direction to our activities. This can be pretty intimidating. You have to find that motivation for your practice within yourself, pick your own direction and trust that your own intuitive choices will guide you to realizing a piece of work that you are satisfied with.

If there is something that I dislike it’s a sort of sterility that I have seen creeping into some forms of contemporary art. I feel that there is an over academicization of some visual practices, a heavy reliance on reams of supporting documentation and unfortunately as a symptom of this, visual engagement, intuition and aesthetic sensibilities can often take a back seat. I am not proposing dumbing down Art or complaining of its use in investigating concepts from other fields, quite the opposite as I engage with Psychology, Sociology and the Environmental Sciences heavily through my current work. What I would love to see is a stronger confidence amongst some Art-


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ists in the innate intelligence of artistic enquiry, and its use as an important and expansive tool, that has value beyond and independently of controlled and rational academic discourse. What I do like is that there is so much raw talent out there. I love street art with its visual punch, political commentary and its reclamation of urban visual spaces from the corrupting forces of advertising. I adore collage in all its forms for its improvisation and its capacity to quickly restructure contexts, symbolism and narrative composition in novel and interesting ways. I also love that the internet has provided such powerful platforms for young emerging artists to seek out new opportunities and develop their profiles in ways that would have been extremely difficult in the past. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am currently based in County Mayo on Irelands west coast. It is an area of the world which given the quality of the light here and the harsh, rugged beauty of the landscape, tends to attract many Artists, Writers and Craftspeople. There are many excellent Art Centres and Gallery’s in the towns dotted around the county with their own programmes and so there is a vibrant scene here which sees a good mix of Contemporary and Traditional styles. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I had a ceramic tutor once who espoused that hesitant accuracy is the destroyer of great art. I took from this, and it has always stuck with me that the most important thing in the outset is to try, not to be put off by the spectre of some imagined future failure, or to become too tamed by a single minded pursuit of perfection. Stay loose. Don’t fear your mistakes, mistakes are learning, mistakes are friendly, mistakes have character, and mistakes have style. What are your future plans as an artist? To support my training as a Psychotherapist I am currently working on the Inner Space series in which I am using Digital Collage to render images that represent various internal emotional states and psychological concepts. While I am currently enjoying the clean lines and pristine style that working digitally affords, I am starting to pine for again for a more hands on medium. I have been slowly building towards working on an Illustration- Short Story – Bookbinding project named Notional Geographic. I will write, illustrate and bind numerous editions of these small books, based around various themes before sending them to friends and contacts to be lost, planted and otherwise disseminated in their home towns and cities around the world to be found by whomever may be wandering by. I think that project is my next port of call. To catch up on any new work, news about upcoming exhibitions or Notional Geographic release locations visit my site www. freeformtrouble.com and for any enquiries contact me at anthonydkellyartist@gmail.com


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Julie De Abreu

Caracas, Venezuela / Funchal, Portugal


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When, how and why started your art practice? I always liked drawing, but I started practicing seriously when I started the career as an Illustrator, when I was 17 years old. When I entered, I wanted to study Graphic Design, but in the course of the first year (it was a basic year that all careers had to take) I decided I would be an Illustrator. I think it was the best decision I could ever have taken. For me, painting is the way I speak. I’ve never been really good with words, especially when it comes to describe feelings or emotions. Sometimes I find them very abstract in my head, and I think painting is the way I find to translate them. Most of the times the process is very spontaneous, I don’t really plan the paintings before I do them. It was the way I found to get off my chest the things I feel, and that’s the reason why I decided to take art seriously in my life. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most challenging part is indeed to stay truth to yourself and your art. Is easy to go on the commercial-type of path, where you illustrate what is trendy; or to do the jobs that bring you financial stability. There are many hard decisions and sacrifices we must take, in order to make the most sincere creations and to follow our truth ambitions. The balance between surviving and making what they truly want is, in my opinion, the most difficult thing to achieve.


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What do you like/dislike about the art world? The thing I like the most about the art world is the fact that everyone can interpret the same thing in their unique way, and it will never be the same. Every trace, doesn’t matter the technique has the unique language of the artist that made it. When I see any artwork I feel like I can get a glance to the soul and the fingerprints of the person who made it. What I dislike is that this days everything is too fast. We are programmed to pay attention for just a few seconds and then just move to the next thing. There is a general culture of the “immediate” and there is rarely time to appreciate the hidden messages or the –not so obvious- details. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m from Caracas, Venezuela but I’m currently living in a tiny Portuguese island called Madeira. And the art scene is really different in comparison. In Caracas, as the capital, there are many different art forms, different artists and approaches. In many cases the art is on the street, in murals and in the hands of the people that paints day by day in the Boulevard of Sabana Grande. I’ve been in Madeira for about 6 months, so I haven’t been able to know the art scene at its best, but the first impressions I have are that it isn’t a place where art is really appreciated, but I still have to get into it a little bit more, to have an accurate opinion about this statement. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Always be honest to yourself as an artist. We all are changing constantly, we are never the same persons as we were yesterday. So, if you don’t feel like the artist you were yesterday, don’t continue to make the same things. Experiment, constantly make questions and find what is that you want to say each day. That is something I sincerely believe in, and I think if a piece of art doesn’t follow this path, it loses its power. What are your future plans as an artist? Right now my plan is grow as an artist. I’m both learning and finding my way in the art world. I’m accepting challenges and opportunities as they come, always trying to follow the tip I mentioned previously.


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David Dunne Aughrim, Co Wicklow, Ireland

David Dunne’s work manifests in the interconnection between art, nature, science and technology. Dunne’s practice embraces Video, Audio, Installation, Sculpture and Photography. The point of departure is through expropriation, entropy and recontextualization. His work has been influenced by the Arte Povera movement, in making botanical interventions and land art evolving from ideas of entropy, working with the notion of chaos, collapse and transformation. Working with steel,wood and low–tech archival electrical elements, this exchange of materials informs an intuitive response to particular archaic industrial situations and natural site-specific environments. In the retrieval of obsolescence he is interested in taking risks with a range of materials that can render new values. In a recent exhibition Refuge at The Werkstadt Arts Union in Berlin-Neukoln, constructions based on the nests of swallows and house martins made from steel fencing, blackberry brambles, clay, straw and industrial materials inform a language in the connectivity between the natural and physical world. The nest provides a safe haven perched high in the crevices of buildings and dwellings, a temporary lodging away from the industry of war. Writer and Curator Jule Böttner says of the work. A vast thematic field arises encompassing refuge and escape, security and confinement as well as conservation, re-contextualization, finiteness and destruction. At the same time they produce and generate new thematic connections themselves. Just like the nests, the whole exhibition offers a refuge for reflection allowing the components to create new networks of meaning and reference: these networks encompass the social structures of current society and question their implications and changeability. Jule Böttner kunst@werkstadt-berlin.com

David Dunne, Born Dublin, Ireland. Studied at the Dun Laoghaire Collage of Film, Art & Design and The Johnson Atelier Institute of Sculpture, New Jersey, USA 1989. Dunne’s work has been written about in EV+a International – a sense of place. EV+a - Heroes + Holies. Third Text, Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art, UK.


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When, how and why did you started your art practice? I am not sure if there was a time when the process of cogently making work had value, however I can pin point when I began to draw. I was a young deck hand on a large fishing trawler out of west Cork in the late 1970s, Apart from working on deck, I was charged with cooking for the crew of seven. In the galley centred on the table a wooden slotted rack held together the cups and plates from sliding off the table from constant heaving of the boat during force 8 or 9 gales rolling in from the Atlantic. While cooking in the galley, an oasis, I was drawn to the racks linear form and abstraction. The only paper I had was a brochure from a hotel in Dunmore East, Co Waterford. Hidden under my bunk , the plain back of the brochure gave me the space in which to draw the wooden frame. This formative experience had a raw and visceral nature coupled with the demands of a life at sea. Later on while working in a bronze art foundry I utilized this drawing to sand-cast elements to construct a bronze sculpture. This subsequently was exhibited at the Independents Artists exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. During the show the work was purchased by The Irish Arts Council for their collection. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? In my practice belief in your work is paramount. Recently writing to the Norwegian artist Pernille Fjoran we

discussed how individually we dealt with motivation and how it affects us in different ways. I wrote about the nature of doubt as the engine of our imagination. Doubt is the machinery that drives us, if we do not doubt ourselves, the belief or work does not exist. Another factor, I think it is important to work outside your comfort zone to challenge the way you normally go about your practice. One way is by participating in international residencies. These opportunities give you a broader outlook and perspective to your work. In 2017 I undertook 2 different residencies, one with Pilotenkueche international art program in Leipzig (a non-profit institution organised by artists for artists). I found from my travel and research for residencies in Germany that this residency had a transdisciplinary approach between art, theory and diverse sciences that suited my work process. The second was an awarded residency Begehungen No 14, this was from an open call titled Institut Potemkin in Chemnitz, Germany. Curated by Anatolia Budjko with a voluntarily team, this art and culture festival is held every year in a different place in Chemnitz. Last year it was sited in a former GDR culture centre (Kulturpalast), a neoclassical building holding a kind of “Tropical Island “of ideology with a theatre and ballroom, library and restaurant now folding in on itself, encasing a benign symbol of communism. I collaborated with my fellow resident’s artists Julio Anya Cabanding from Spain, Austrian Hans-Jurgen Poetz and Mexican Guillermo Álvarez-Charvel. My experience of both residencies was very positive in terms of opportunity


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and network while being resilient and flexible in your work process. What do you like /dislike about the art world? Making art is not an exact science, it is a strange business, but like any business it has its drawbacks rewards and grey areas. Its up to the individual artist to decide how and where he chooses to navigate in the industry of art. When I think about people who have worked and contributed unselfishly to the arts community in Ireland, the artist and curator Paul O Reilly stands to mind. Paul curated ev+a Circus ZZ 1998 in Limerick, he awarded all exhibiting artists individually 50-euro cash. This was a powerful egalitarian and democratic gesture. Thinking further afield, visiting Documenta in the West German city of Kassel has been important in my understanding of what I would like to think the art world (broadly speaking) contributes to the wider vernacular. This exhibition provides an outlook and access to the work of a number of artists (arguebly) who are not normally on the international radar. As a visual artist , I strive to make-work that is meaningful and hopefully contributes to society in some positive way without prejudice, gender, colour or nationhood. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am based 45 miles outside Dublin living adjacent to two hard working sheep farms in a rural Wicklow. The land and the envoirment inform a springboard for my work. Drawing from the natural world the thought process like the stars at night are crystal clear. The nearest arts space to me is the Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely, Co Wicklow. This centre accommodates a diverse program of visual arts, music and literature, coupled with its excellent space and incredible acoustics. Predominately my immediate art fix is to visit the Museums and galleries in Dublin such as the Irish Museum of Modern art, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, The RHA, Kerlin Gallery, Hillsborough Gallery, and further south Lismore Castle in Waterford. International artists always draw my attention to visualise their work. The current 38th EVA International in Limerick City with an extended programme at IMMA Dublin, curated by Inti Guerrero, is always a good barometer and eclectic mix of what is happening nationally and internationally in the Irish and international art world.

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What is the best art tip you ever received? I can only talk about experience or the lack of it. I think it is important as a young artist to build friendships and relationships. Also to foster and collaborate with artists and galleries that have a strong criteria. This will stand to you in the future no matter how insignificant the experience was at the time. When you are showing your work in your studio or gallery, the way you light your work can radically alter its perception. Light it how you see it. What are your futures plans as an artist? I have a number of projects in development. My recent project “Another world is possible “ drawn from an essay Exercises of freedom by Antonio Negri, Documenta 14 Reader, is an ongoing investigation into the concept of freedom within the domain of migration, borders, restriction, and incarceration. During my residency in Chemnitz, Germany in 2017. I acquired a large number of 8 and 16mm film reels that were produced during the GDR period. Working with this content, I will research and develop a project titled altered –State during a residency at RUD AIR in Dalsland west of Sweden in September 2018.


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Jessica Goodwin Derby, England, UK

These Documentary pieces are set around the childhood nostalgia of parks and seaside resorts. The sadness and loneliness that comes with the images which are taken from a child height perspective is what made me come up with the name ‘The Lost Smile’ for this collection photographed in Cleethorpes. Born in Grimsby Town, Jessica Goodwin is a Landscape & Travel Photographer based in Derbyshire. With a love of traditional and digital practices, Jessica switches between using a Nikon D3200 and an Olympus 0M10 for her personal projects. Jessica took up Photography during the early years of Secondary School, but it wasn’t until studying Art & Design at Grimsby Institute when her love for the medium really began. During her time at the College of Arts (Grimsby Institute), Jessica specialised in Fashion Photography in her second year of the Level 3 National Diploma. She then went onto study a Level 4 Foundation Course in Art & Design, where she specialised in just Photography. This took Jessica onto studying a Bachelors Degree in Commercial Photography at the University of Derby, where she will graduate in 2018.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Art is something that started for me at a very young age, but it wasn’t until I was studying Art & Design in college at 17 when Photography began for me and I bought my first DSLR. I was always snapping away as a child on my compact camera or mobile phone but then I got to college, majored in Fashion Photography, did a few Photography positions in college for the end of year Fashion Show, but I knew in my heart that it was documenting real life as it is in the ‘now’ that I enjoyed more. This took me onto a Foundation course specialising in Photography, and I wish I had made that decision a year earlier because that realisation is what I took me to what I photograph mostly today. Going out, photographing and being behind a camera is the one place I feel confident and content with my skills and it is something I thoroughly enjoy. As much as I love art as a whole, photography is the one thing I hope I will be doing for the rest of my life.

is being used for this but getting people to actually see it and recognise me as an artist is always the hardest part. The use of hashtags make it easier in the world of social media but then getting the public to see these images and to follow your profile, your work and yourself as an artist is mostly harder than it seems. Getting them wanting to see more is another. I have learnt that one has to keep their profiles updated every few days on these platforms so followers don’t lose interest which is really sad. One of the other most challenging things is the task of promoting myself as an artist outside of social media. There’s so many open competitions for galleries, websites and magazines but getting accepted into these is the hardest part for myself and being turned down for these submissions, when you were really proud of that piece of art work is something that really kicks you down for a while. It is the task of creating something unique enough and eye-catching but also fits in with the ‘what is popular in art now’ which is also a major struggle.

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

One of the things I have found most challenging about being an artist is promoting of the work I create. It is so simple to post something on an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account that

The main thing I like about the art world is the chance to express myself through my work, and to relate to what others express through theirs. I also like how it gives me the opportunity, espe-


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cially as a Location Photographer, to travel and meet new people, to experience different worlds and learn new things all while doing my craft. One of the biggest things I dislike about the art world is the stigma and stereotypical judgement that comes with it from people outside of our world. I have had my fair share of disapproval looks and comments from people who think the artistic field is an easy subject to study and who also believe it to be a dead-end career path – this is one of the things I would wish to change and I hope one day artists are much more appreciated in the world.

created by fellow artists around the area – I went last year and it was really enjoyable, especially as I had never done something like that before or lived in a town where art is so big. There’s also the Derby Theatre for theatre lovers. Even walking through the city art in the form of music is highly publicised with not only buskers but open-mic nights at a variation of different pubs, cafes and bars all on different days too. The art scene in Derby seems very inclusive and fun, there’s always something happening and in more than one genre.

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

It wasn’t until University when things people started saying to me really began to stick – one I will always remember being; -“If you really want it [to be a working photographer], you can’t wait for it come to you, you need to go out and get it yourself.”

Back home in Grimsby the art scene is sadly pretty much non-existent. Growing up there as an artist or art student was always hard because there was not really any galleries or high quality art stores except the odd one, which is no longer open. However, in Derby or around Derbyshire, there’s so much more to experience – there’s at least three major Museums or Galleries which are always open and at least one high quality art store. Each year between May and June there’s also the Format Photo Festival hosted at different places around the city, which is amazing to see and venture out to all the different locations and to experience the art

What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?

What are your future plans as an artist? I want to keep working. That’s my main focus, I want to be a Photographer for as long as possible. Graduation is in July and although I don’t currently have any definite plans set in stone, I know that getting my work out there, and setting myself up as a fully committed freelancer is what I hope to work towards.


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Jessica Grady

Leeds, UK

Jessica is a contemporary embroidery artist. Her original textiles are a bold and tactile exploration of colour and pattern through hand stitching and embellishment. Her textiles use a combination of processes including traditional hand embroidery techniques, hand dyeing, and embellished surfaces – that utilise unconventional materials. Jessica utilises mixed media and recycled materials such as painted metal washers, hand dyed plastic cotton buds and parcel ribbon. These materials are transformed and manipulated to create intricate embellishments. This juxtaposition of unusual media with traditional techniques invites the viewer to look closer – creating curiosity. All of Jessica’s textiles showcase meticulous hand stitching and intricate detailing. Each single stitch provides an added element of texture and colour to the work as a whole. Colour is an important aspect within her work – she uses many strong and highly contrasting colours, creating a very vivid and saturated colour palette. Jessica’s artworks are a textural and visual feast, saturating the senses with colour and pattern. Jessica is originally from a seaside town on the North Yorkshire coast, she now lives and works from her home in Leeds. Her love of textiles developed throughout her degree which she completed in 2014 at Norwich University of the Arts. She has exhibited and sold her embroideries in various galleries and shows across the UK and Europe, including being the only invited British artist to exhibit at Pour L’ Amour du Fil 2017 in Nantes - France. She also was recently one of the winners of the RAW Talent 2017 award programme for emerging artists.


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When, how and why did you start your art practice? I have always been a creative individual and particularly I have been interested in embroidery since I was a child. My Gran’s button tin would provide me with hours of entertainment! I am addicted to anything with texture so going into textiles was a natural fit for me, and something that I can’t imagine not doing. I initially began my embroidery career in fashion embroidery design but have been working as a full time embroidery artist for over a year now and love every minute. I enjoy bringing mixed media elements and processes into my embroidery work; this has stemmed from my Textiles Degree where I was encouraged by my tutors to cross process and combine different things together. Its always challenging to introduce untraditional textiles materials into my pieces, but the results can open a whole new line of thought and making! I really dislike waste and so this idea of using waste and excess packaging to make sequins, beads and appliqué elements was a natural occurrence. I like to see people’s reactions when I tell them about the raw materials I have used in specific embroideries. It shows that you can transform rubbish in something beautiful. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? It can be quite a lonely career, especially as at the moment my studio space is at home. I do have a studio cat, although sometimes it’s nice to have

someone who actually talks back! However I think that being self-employed has really pushed me to connect with other artists and I now have such an incredible network of friends all who work in the art industry, and are always up for meeting for a chat, or coffee break. I think it’s so important to have these relationships and to step outside of your “artistic bubble” once in a while. If I’m having an unproductive day or getting stuck with ideas, talking through things with another person is often the trick in getting creativity flowing where it should be again. Working alongside galleries and being a part of shows also helps you to meet and network with other people. That’s another great thing about online communities and groups, I find that my social media is really great for having connections with people worldwide. Last year I was also lucky enough to be chosen for an emerging artist-mentoring programme through the Art& York show. This programme gave me the fantastic opportunity to meet a great group of artists and makers as well as receive a lot of invaluable creative advice! What do you like/dislike about the art world? I really like the idea that you can fully be yourself. I find that in my work I express my personality through my embroideries, and that each piece of my work really is the essence of who I am. This can be a daunting prospect to then try and show off to the world! I also like the fast pace and spontane-


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ous nature of being an artist. I get to travel all over the country to either show my work or teach others some techniques or talk about my processes. My days are varied and sometimes a little crazy but that buzz keeps on feeding my creativity and just makes me want to do more! I think its very rewarding to be able to have a career in something that you are so passionate about. I don’t think I could ever be bored or fed up of being an embroidery artist. The only thing I dislike about the art world is the constant fight to get embroidery recongised as a serious artistic discipline and not just a hobby. I do think views are starting to shift as people become more aware of the possibilities within textiles; this leads to potentially exciting possibilities in the future! How would you describe the art scene in your area? I have only recently moved to Leeds, West Yorkshire from my previous home in a small coastal town in North Yorkshire. The art scene here in Leeds compared to my previous home is a huge contrast. Leeds is a very creative, bustling city, I feel that my work fits into this sort of colourful, urban environment much more , and there is so much inspiration to take from spending a day wandering around the galleries. I also spend a lot of time in York, another arty city. York has a different feel to Leeds, and is much more steeped in history. I find that the artistic community in York feels closer knit and connected. I’m part of the York Embroiderers Guild, which has led me to so many exciting opportunities and given me further confidence in my artistic abilities. I also have great relationships with local businesses, and enjoy getting involved with community projects.

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What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? To create the art you want to create, not to create something purely because it’s more commercial. I feel that tying yourself down, to constantly creating a highly commercial product starts to dilute your individual vision as an artist over time. If I am passionate and excited about the work that I am creating, then it’s always going to be a stronger piece with more of an essence of my artistic voice. I still and always will enjoy experimentation in my embroidery pieces. This sense of playfulness helps to drive and refine my ideas and collections. Overall I wanted my work to feel vibrant and full of life, encouraging curiosity from the viewer. I don’t tend to intensively plan out my embroideries, I was once told that the more you plan, the more you hesitate to start. For me I need to just pick up a needle and thread and start stitching. I do have a small sample piece, which I often use to test out a small motif or element combination – other than that I find my work evolves as I go along. What are your future plans as an artist? I always want to work bigger as I think embroidery in particular is incredible on a large scale. Tying scale in with creating interactive and community-involved embroideries is something else I would like to develop, in order to raise the profile of contemporary stitch. I also have big plans at the moment on developing my embellished structures into more sculptural forms. This will allow deeper experimentation into building 3D embellishments, and is a really exciting prospect for me. Finally at some point in the near future I would love to do an artist residency somewhere that reflects the bold and textural aspects of my work. India in particular would be incredible!


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David F. Heatwole Martinsburg, WV, USA

I believe that humanity has been given an unspoken job to increase. I believe that this is evident in so many professional fields. We have been given the technology to help with this progress. With that said, I believe that the arts can change the world. To further this belief I am using my own fine art to engage people in dialog about my mission and vision to change the way ... Art WORKS! I push myself in my own fine art artistic vision to take an idea as far as I can go with it on the limited budget that I am on but I also push myself to get out of my comfort zone and the studio by launching projects in targeted communities that are designed to help to unite the citizens of that community and bring them together under one umbrella. This is such a passion for me and I have really enjoyed casting seeds of ideas on various sized communities and watching how they inspire and spark others imaginations.


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Briefly describe the work you do. Besides being a contemporary fine artist working in a great number of 2D painting mediums I also stretch myself with another medium that I am passionate about; this other medium uses a much broader brush stroke and I call it Creative Community Collaborations (CCC). The CCC is basically a practice of synergy with other people and uniting our talents to make something better in the form of an artistic project, this form of project management is a type of manifestation of my own fine art because it is the topic of so much of my 2-dimensional art work in the end though it might not even resemble my own art in fact I often hope that it wont – it is much more exciting to me to see something that shows something completely new and beyond my talents.

respond to it. They will either get involved by offering their talents, skills and their ideas to directly make it grow. I admit that sometimes it is just their suggestion or idea that leads me to the next step but that is usually how the initial idea began anyway and so then I am led to either the next step in the journey or the next individual via a suggestion, recommendation and often as an introduction. It is very “Zen” I guess because I have to be patient and watch how the ripple of an idea travels. I have found that it best to start with children and their educators which allows me to complete another aspect of my artistic mission which is to inspire and to help push the arts in public education without having to become a fulltime educator. Another thing I will share here for posterity sake, that I hope no one I ever work with will ever read but that I feel is somewhat key to my success is that I often times have to act ignorant to what to do next. I know full well that if I really wanted to I could create a project from the ground up with strategic management, but it wouldn’t really be that fun. The projects are supposed to led by a type of unseen breeze if you will and to allow this to truly work I have to be patient with people, listen and sometimes just be a conduit until the catch the inspiration and then I get excited by what will happen next. Yes there has to be a control and this is the framework of the scope of the project but within this if the goal is met but others have been able to share their creativity and talents or their time, talent and treasure then we all benefit from the journey or working together. Does this make sense? Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?

I must admit that for me, one uneducated in project management, marketing, etc. it is all rather experimental. It all begins with something inspiring me, yes an idea but usually an idea inspired by something that almost seems to come by chance, I then look at it as if I am creating a regular 2D work of art and fashion it in my head first, this involves a lot of “If this then that” contemplation. Then I may create a sketch or a full blown painting to be able to illustrate the basic idea and then I either just start talking about it and seeing what leads the project to the next step. I “toss it into the pond” of a community and watch how people

Making something with ones own hands fulfills so many needs for me, but one of the main things that keeps me focused on my art is the ability, it allows me, to connect with people. Don’t get me wrong I really like my alone time in the studio but I also want to “play” with others. I look for a certain type of people that are rather rare to find unless you are really out there being part of the community; my art business helps to make that connection for me. I love art and have been a collector since I was in my early teens. Because of my passion for fine art I always seek out what I feel is “great” art for today and I admit to being greatly inspired either directly by the art or by just being motivated to get back in the studio to make something equally powerful even if it is in the con-

text of my own style, technique or medium of choice. I am fascinated by life and the hidden things that we as a species discover, from math to science, from art to philosophy. With that said I can be inspired by practically anything, but I tend to direct my artistic expression to telling visual stories about myself and my walk through this world. It often times also has to do with how we are connected on a level unseen by our earthly eyes. Through all my years of watching, listening and contemplating cause and effect, I have come to believe that in my particular field of art I might just be contributing to something bigger than myself. I use art to communicate with other people and an invisible source of life which I call “God” and I know that God is beyond brilliant and bigger than us that is why we have given him/ it the name “GOD”.  When I go into the studio to work I try to allow my hand to create works of art that he would want created.  I believe to a certain extent the famous saying by Russian Author Fyodor Dostoyevsky who wrote “Beauty will save the world”.  I would never even have heard of this brilliant author if I hadn’t been led to the faith shared and held by the rather mystical Eastern Orthodox Church. Before coming to the Christian faith I practiced a blend of Taoist and Buddhist traditions. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Martinsburg, West Virginia. There are many artists in my area and while there is a little support for the arts in my immediate area really one must go out of the area to get the kind of support a visual artist really needs. There is a strange energy here that has been here since the American Civil War and I am sure before that as well. Since I have started to really pay attention and learn about the area I have learned such things like the Secretary of War for the United States during World War I was from Martinsburg. Martinsburg is the only city listed in President Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation as being free to keep slavery intact. There is so much more to “energy” here in Martinsburg/Berkeley County that I can only shake my head in wonder. It amazes me because I own an art collection having to do with this topic of Energy and Synergy that stems back to the 1700’s and includes great art from all over the world. This community was written about as the number one town in the nation for being stricken by the herion epidemic and this affects everyone


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here. Meanwhile I am seeing change for the better in our historic district and have hope that winds of change are happening. I can only hope to be part of it in some way. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? I am not saying anything new here when I say that art at its best is a reflection of the culture but what I will say, that I feel is rather unique is that I believe that the arts, especially the visual arts, could have a place in society that is far more important than just creating beautiful and interesting decorations for interior and exterior spaces. I am kind of a futurist in my view of the world and where it is headed at the rate we are going, we are excitedly watching and learning about technology and stuff that has long since been predicted in the annuals and short stories of science fiction writers. One of the best known being Ray Bradbury. Look at the science fiction movies from the 80s and 90s about technology in the future aren’t we well on our way to a very possible rude awakening if we keep on doing what we are doing as a “creative community”? While technology and entertainment is fascinating and keeps us focused, employed and entertained, I have to believe that the artists have to do more with art than just make art for arts sake. I believe that it is time for a real revolution, but not one like we have ever experienced and certainly not one that the word itself “revolution” conjures in our minds. I feel that societies around the world are operating in a somewhat lopsided manner where the people in charge of fixing things are usually people that use a different side of their mind than those of us who want to play – the artists. Play is a good thing and artists are still in that mindset from childhood to play and use their imaginations. It is my full belief that artists should be elevated to a certain level or managed in a way where they can serve community in a way that will bring joy, laughter, wonder and yes even pieces of peace. If we watch the news what are we bombarded with? Is it positive news? Is it news of a peaceful nature? No. it’s lopsided and we are still taking it sait line and sinker. Who can really live “peacefully” reading and watching the news that is designed to get your attention and sell more papers with hyped up negativity? It is just as easy to make headlines of a positive nature using the arts. Positive energy moving making positive change making positive news making positive influence pushing back putting negative energy back in its place; well this is my belief. For years I have been saying that the news is negatively charged energy being broadcast and promoted. How can a society be well balanced when there is to much negative energy? How can that be changed? By elevating the arts. By artifying our communities. By marketing the arts in a different way. This

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is what I am passionate about but I am limited by my own sphere of contact and it is hard to teach people new tricks. What is the best book you’ve recently read? That’s not a question I get asked very often and thank goodness because my reading habits are much like my art making habits. I read a lot but I am like a hummingbird, I read a little of this book and a little of that book. Like my art I usually have multiple books I am reading somewhat simultaneously. I am like a hummingbird collecting important information when I can find it, but one book I couldn’t put down and read right through is a short book by Alexander Schmemann titled “For the Life of the World”. It is a brilliantly explained discussion to the Christian “Worldview” and how to treat everything in life as a sacrament. This certainly could benefit all caring people “Christian” or not. Name three artists you admire. There are so many artists that I admire. Narrowing it down to just three is a bit of a chore because the first one is always going to be my Dad who passed away in 2006. His name was John L. Heatwole and he was given the title The Wizard of Wood in the 1980’s by the newspaper The Washington Star. He was an amazing wood sculptor that created everything from fantasy art to more modern art. I grew up watching him create and ultimately was inspired to pursue the arts too, while he and my Mom gave me free reign to pursue whatever field of interest I wanted as a child the arts are in my blood, I am an 11th generation artisan so it seems that it was divine providence. The second artist you may be surprised to learn is the environmental installation artist Christo (and his wife Jeanne-Claude, may her memory be eternal!) and that is because I believe him to be the most successful artist of all time, so far. His art, while it could be confused at times with a construction zone, were amazing accomplishments in overcoming bureaucratic red-tape and making works of art on a monumental scale. His installations are a huge inspiration to me. I could easily name Picasso, Dali, VanGogh, Warhol, Pollock, and many many more for so many reasons but for my third choice I will name a dear friend of mine who is virtually unknown for his surrealistic symbolistic art works. His name is David E. Curtis (he goes by Dave). His art is very thought provoking, very deep and introspective while also historical in nature in a challenging sort of way. His art has to do with war, psychology, philosophy, patterns in nature and history. I just love the sarcasm in his work, plus he is such a kind person with a sensitive spirit. If any artist deserves recognition as success for being a contemporary artist he is one I would buy stock in – that’s why I own a shit load of his art. Is it legal for me to share this if I have access to privileged data about his art? What are your future plans? Currently I am working on a project called “Handmade In America” where I am planning on sending two huge tourand-create paint-by-number murals, a mobile studio and gallery around the U.S. collecting handprints for two and a half weeks. People will be able to watch the murals come to life as the project is broadcast live and marketed in every state we visit. I am also using this project to promote my vision of a national Art for Charity Month where eventually every year in every community around this country the arts are supported in a way that will in turn support local charities. I have a slew of projects in the works that I hope to see to fruition before my time to leave comes. But I am a dreamer in the fullest sense of the word, with eyes wide open.


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Catherine Hellsten & Jon Rees

Salisbury, MD, USA

Catherine Hellsten’s work explores the perspectives of memory and connection through photographic imagery. Catherine is currently expanding on her most recent body of work, Mnemonic Waters. She has exhibited work nationally at places such as the A/ NT Gallery in Seattle, Washington and Gallery r in Rochester, New York as well as internationally at Koc University in Istanbul and Pingyao China. Her work has been published in FotoVideo Digital Photography China, GASnews and is in the collection of the Ege University Paper and Book Art Museum in Izmir, Turkey. Catherine living and working in the Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota area Jon Rees’s work centers on a phenomenological deconstruction of the world around him. His body of work Deconstructing Architecture is based on his prior experience as an architectural designer and explores what he sees as the language of architecture: Form, Space, & Light in a sculptural context. Selections from this series have been exhibited at several national and international Biennales, as well as being published in the Corning Museum of Glass Journal New Glass Review #37. He’s currently working on a new body of work that draws inspiration from expressions in modern language that have their etymological roots in nautical culture. This sculptural work, when complete will comprise a nonlinear visual metaphor for a difficult journey through life. Jon currently teaches in the Glass Department at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland and has served on the Glass Art Society’s Board of Directors as Student Representative.


Geographic locations that possess a strong “Sense of Place” have a clear identity and character that can be perceived by inhabitants and visitors. What particular characteristics contribute to a locale’s sense of place? How can these aspects be conveyed through art to a viewer to give them an understanding of a place? We started asking similar questions as new residents to the secluded peninsular east coast of Maryland and as visiting artists engulfed in the unending horizon surrounding West Texas A&M University. In order to further explore these questions we realized we would have to expand our search geographically. Geography, culture, socio-economics, and history all contribute to the identity of an area. This body of work investigates these attributes through academic and field research as well as our experience of them as travelers through observational photography. These explorations are then conveyed through composite imagery and sculptural glass. Photographs carry a sense of authenticity and authority over time and place. This is true for both the observer and the observed. The historical photographic process of wet plate collodion is used for its inherent qualities that compliment the ethereality of experience and memory. Similar to the multi-faceted attributes of a place, glass, when used as a substrate for imagery can be layered to create a three-dimensional representation of the experience of that space. Sense of place is defined as the intrinsic and perceived meaning of a locale. Meaning is understood through distinctive physical appearances, attached value and our own experience of the place. Can correlations be made between places with drastically different geographies or cultures? Can these similarities or differences between places help us to not only better understand our fellow human beings but also better understand ourselves? Inherent in the local is the concept of place – a portion of land/town/cityscape seen from the inside, the resonance of a specific location that is known and familiar…..Place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a persons life. It is temporal and spatial, personal and political. A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth. It is about connections, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there. (Lure of the Local, Call for Artist Proposals / Catherine Hellsten & Jon Rees / 2 Lucy Lippard, 1997, 7)


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Briefly describe the work you do. Our project “Here and There” is the first time that we have fully collaborated on a body of work. This work questions how unique attributes such as geography, culture, socio-economics, and history contribute to a place’s perceived identity. We began asking these questions as new residents to the secluded peninsular east coast of Maryland, as visiting artists at West Texas A&M University and now as new residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We investigate these ideas through initial research, interviews and exploration before creating a visual dialogue within laminated, cast, and blown glass, as well as utilizing the wet plate collodion photographic process. Individually our work pursues different avenues of thought, although through working together we have found common areas of interest. Jon’s work deals with the world around him and what he’s interested in at a given moment. He also draws inspiration from his architectural background, exploring elements such as Form, Space, and Light, as well as critical regionalism. Catherine’s work is influenced by memory, storytelling and connectedness. She’s sees her role as a visual storyteller, translating vivid memories into tangible visual narratives. As a photographer, imagery plays a large role within her work. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Our collaborative work is influenced by our experience of different places and translating that experience in a visual

way. Our understanding of a given place is shaped by unique local qualities such as traditions, stories, geography, history, and the built environment. We combine this with a rigorous studio practice, investigation into particular materials, which support the content of the work, and the practice of making. We are excited to be a part of a larger visual conversation that spans different cultures and communities. Experimentation is a large part of our studio practice. We are interested in an original, creative narrative or perspective within our work that helps the viewer examine a locale from a fresh perspective. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Being relatively new to the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area, we’re still discovering new things about the art scene here. We are discovering a wide range of galleries, contemporary art centers, art/craft shows, and local artists studios in the area. A section of Minneapolis, designated the “NorthEast Arts Neighborhood”, caters to local artists and makers through artist housing, studios, galleries, and art related festivals. We are excited to further explore the arts in our area as we settle in. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? That’s a difficult question to ask without qualifiers and then, we believe that it depends on who you ask. As educators within the art community, we see it as meaning many differ-


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ent things to many different people according to what their experience of art has been, ranging from the functional to the conceptual. For some it is a pretty painting that goes with the décor in their home and for others a politically charged statement against the current governmental regime. For us, it’s a way to experience and communicate with the world around us, both for the artist making the work and for the viewer. There’s a point to it, it says something, even if it’s saying something in the formal language of visual art or about a specific material. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Jon: Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, by Robert Irwin. Catherine: And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos, by John Berger. Name three artists you admire. Although we admire many different artists and agree on most, those that are most important to us individually are those that have most influenced our own particular practices. Jon: James Turrell, Robert Irwin, and the architect/engineer/sculptor Santiago Calatrava. Each works with light and space in a different way. They were also all very influential to me in determining what my specific interests are with sculpture and making. Catherine: I admire the calm and quiet of Yamamoto Masao’s photographs, the experimentation and harmony between Bin Dahn’s process and concept, and the unapologetic imagination of Joseph Cornell. Although I’m always finding new artists to admire so my list continues to shift and grow. What are your future plans? We are currently beginning to explore the surrounding area and developing research on the local area in order to further inform our work “Here and There”. We are currently in the process of finding a new studio space after our recent move to a new locale. And then we will continue our usual creative process of make, make, think, make and repeat. We are interested in progressively exploring new materials and processes, as well as being a part of the larger contemporary artistic conversation. We look forward to continuing to explore new places and the influence that those experiences will have on our work.

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catherinehellsten.com jonmrees.com


Simona Ledl Salzburg, Austria

It’s the human being that interests me the most and therefore appears in most of my artworks. The motives of my drawings, prints and paintings are created by one connected line. This technique underlines the motives’ connection to their surroundings and feelings.


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What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

How would you describe the art scene in your area?

At the moment I am facing a bit of a change concerning my daily routine. As my art business becomes more intensive I find myself in situations in which I spend a lot of time on things like writing papers, updating my social media platform and other organisational tasks connected to my art work. While this is an important part of being an artist, working on my actual artworks is cut a little short. I really miss the times when I could concentrate entirely on the creation process, spending long hours in my atelier simply letting go and experiencing the artwork evolve on the canvas. On top of that I am having a hard time dealing with the discrepancy between realizing my own wishes and ideas and being pressured into the structures and social conventions of the art world. Also challenging for me is the loneliness that accompanies a big part of the artistic existence. On the one hand, working on my own makes me feel good as I can organize my workflow freely and also concentrate on doing my thing. On the other hand, I miss the exchange with other people. Even though it has its advantages, it can be pretty hard to live the life of the “lonely artist”. Connected with this state is a big portion of self-criticism that keeps knocking on my door. While I think it is important to constantly reflect ones own doing as it can reveal new angles and drive people to unexpected places, it also includes spending a lot of energy on dealing with it.

Salzburg is a city with a rich cultural life and a lot of well-respected institutions. There are various galleries, for example ‘The Thadeus Ropac Gallery’ and the high reputation of the ‘Salzburg Festival’ goes beyond boarders. Those responsible promote Salzburg as a cultural stronghold and therefore try to enable easy access to certain segments of the arts. This opens up a lot of possibilities but it is primarily the established artists who get promoted. A large part of the arts in Salzburg is defined by high culture and young innovative movements that push the arts of the future are rare. Nevertheless, cultural institutions, as well as small businesses and associations committed to helping young artists who are new to the scene, do exist. They give, especially local artists, a platform for presentation and the necessary support for development.

When, how and why started your art practice?

What do you like/dislike about the art world?

I have always been interested in painting and drawing but my true passion for the arts I found during my studies in communication science. Throughout my Erasmus exchange program in Spain, I felt an extensive need to express myself. At that point I didn’t know how to deal with this drive which made me feel a little trapped back then. Only when I came back to my home town, Salzburg, did I discover the arts as a medium to free my inner demons. Since then I have regularly attended art courses and have exhibited throughout Germany and Austria.

What I like about the art world is that it is a place where people can be free, a place that gives a voice to those who think differently; it is a place for those who are trying to cause change, or who just wish to express themselves. This openness is what gives art its extraordinary adaptable power. Nevertheless, even a world that claims to be so extremely flexible is defined by specific rules. The more you get involved with the big fish the more you are playing by someone else’s rules and the enforced pattern about whom to like or dislike as well as what to say and what better remains unsaid. In this world even authenticity is staged. Luckily, it is possible to avoid following those rigid moralities and to put the arts back where it belongs (from my point of view) – into the eye of the beholder.

I started painting as a method of pure self-expression but as my skills developed, I began to explore specific topics and integrated new materials and methods into my working process.

Even though Salzburg doesn’t provide studies for the applied arts there are other institutions for artistic practice and opportunities for international exchange. One of them is the ‘International Summer Academy of Fine Arts’, originally founded by Oskar Kokoschka. It is a great place for future networks and the creative energy is enhanced.


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What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I got a really helpful piece of advice from one of my teachers at the Summer Academy in Salzburg. It was – “to only internalize feedback and criticism that is helpful for my own practice.” When having exhibitions or participating in art courses I get a lot of feedback and input. While some comments I find useful, others may be well meant but not applicable for me as they come from a totally different angle. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include a little bit of ‘out of the box thinking’ from here and there, but I think it is important to figure out who you want to listen to and who not as feedback from the wrong place can have a bad influence on your art practice. Therefore, to spend the precious energy one has on thinking about – or even inte-

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grating suggestions, one could use better getting down to actually working. What are your future plans as an artist? A major aspect in my plan for the future is to spend some time abroad ideally as part of an artist in residency program where I can connect with other creative people, experience the surroundings given and dive deep into the customs and cultural inheritance. Also, I plan to gain more international experience by exhibiting in locations beyond the borders of Salzburg. What worked quite well for me so far was seizing opportunities when they presented themselves which is why I will try to keep my open mindset also in the future and see what life holds for me.


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Jawbone Jawbone

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

As habitual re-users of imagery Jawbone Jawbone generate visual motifs that appear in various mediums and forms. Referring to a lot of their work as ‘elements’, rather than their more specific disciplines, means motifs can be pushed to see how far they are able to stretch and morph. Expanding from a simplistic image or conventional belief, they channel a daydream-like aesthetic to influence their decision making. This methodology is reflected in their work through metaphorical associations to the body. Jawbone Jawbone are interested in re-imagining the functions of the body and creating new environments for them to exist. They will regularly take aspects from previous works jostle and repurpose them to inform new works. Through this approach their multidisciplinary works also exist as elements attempting to understand 3D life; whilst playfully reflecting common sense. Nikki Katrina Carroll (b.1994) and Matthew Young (b.1993) collaborate artistically through their third identity ‘Jawbone Jawbone’. Their practice emerged through an exchange to Groningen, the Netherlands where they studied for six months at Academie Minerva in 2015. Since successfully graduating from Northumbria University in 2016 they are current residents in the Graduate Studios Northumbria (GSN) in Newcastle City Centre. Recent exhibitions include ‘I Can’t Remember the Last Time I Used Cardamom’ TESTT Gallery, Durham, ‘Les Boîtes’ Suede Gallery w/ Slugtown, Edinburgh, ‘Dishwasher Safe’ System Gallery, Newcastle, ‘Bish Bash Bosh’ by We The North, The Royal Standard, Liverpool & ‘Deep Down the Ear Canal’ Slugtown, Newcastle, Bitter/Sweet Assembly House, Leeds and Now Another Procedure Is To Run Catalyst Arts, Belfast They recently participated in ‘MLK1967’ An intervention produced by Jeremy Deller and Wunderbar to mark the fifty year anniversary of Martin Luther King’s final public speech outside of the US. On, 13 November 2017, fifty years to the day, individuals recited parts of the speech around Newcastle. This project was part of Freedom City 2017.


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Briefly describe the work you do. Matt: We work collaboratively under the name ‘Jawbone Jawbone’. It’s a practice that originated from a performance Nikki asked me to participate in a few years ago. It involved putting paper lanterns completely over our heads and sticking heavy duty tape to the other’s lantern. With our vision blinded the tape became entangled and our heads stuck together. I vividly remember a friend, who kindly filmed the performance, immediately describing it as ‘some kind of weird alien mating ritual’. That sounded about right. Our views and descriptions of Jawbone shift regularly, which we both find really healthy! Our most recent thoughts are that it’s a dream dialogue and presents itself visually through art works that are self-reflective, metaphorical and humorous. We’ve always championed the use of humour and find it to be a wonderful access point to our work. We predominantly make sculpture drawing attention to particular parts of the human body. Aiming to accentuate shape through simplicity in line and colour, we choose to alter or over emphasise the purpose of the selected part of the body, to see how far we can push that sense of illogic. Our solo show ‘Deep Down the Ear Canal’ at Slugtown in Newcastle certainly intensified ideas on recontextualisation. We made a large sculpture of a pink ear. Where the ear canal began there was a video piece on a tablet showing an ear bud spiralling down deeper and deeper. Reappearing split in two and moving back up the ear canal resembling a pair of boat oars. The ear bud was digging out lodged ideas that were in the form of colourful shapes. On the walls of the gallery we had giant digital prints of hands capturing the whole event. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Nikki: Each other! I think we both possess qualities that knit together so well, it’s ridiculous. Matt’s attitude towards being an artist is very inspiring and I have learned a lot from him; especially when we moved to Groningen in the Netherlands for a sixth month exchange. There is always a real sensitivity when you’re on the edge of something brand new and we had only really just got to know each other. Living together

in a central flat with a rogue mouse and Twin Peaks on repeat, must have been a defining moment. Our time there felt so natural and exciting. Now when we are making work together it’s like a chemical thing, the idea arrives and develops through our conversations, lots of laughing and sometimes a little low brow eye rolling, but we never lose the immediate excitement of materialising new ideas and that is partly what we make work about. We celebrate new language and modes of communication through playful motifs like clouds or pink bubble-gum. I never feel like we limit ourselves. The conversations we have are more like tropical dances through the studio; we don’t rely on words to voice things. We have created a practice that celebrates multiplicity and we always seem to know what questions to ask each other! I think our main influence is to celebrate the imagination and people! Maybe it sounds naïve, but Jawbone wouldn’t exist without the joy we feel in collaborating, I don’t care for things to be professional, this gives me anxiety most of the time and when the pressure cooker is on high I don’t

feel my best self in making. For me, Jawbone feels like a holiday home filled with weird stuff that is waiting to be played with. And the best thing is that I get to go through all this stuff with someone else! How would you describe the art scene in your area? N: Newcastle is a dreamboat for artists, especially emerging artists! The support system feels very strong with such fluidity and energy. I think the art scene is very multi-disciplinary combined with an overlap of connections between people; it naturally generates a unique energy that feels super positive. There are so many independent galleries, studio spaces and creative hubs. There is the Baltic 39 which is essentially the love child between BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University. At the moment there’s a lot going on and upcoming, like the AV festival, The Late shows, The Great Exhibition of the North. However, I have recently moved to Nottingham for a residency at BACKLIT Gallery. Whilst I will


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be back and forth between Nottingham and Newcastle, I already feel the similarities unfolding between the two. There is an immediate vibrancy in Nottingham, especially in Hockley!

BIG lovers of Heather Phillipson. Her magnificent playfulness with language through both visuals and spoken word is ridiculously captivating. I remember seeing her show ‘Yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama’ at BALTIC and being in a state of sheer wonderment because of how immersive and fun it was.

In your opinion what does art mean in a contemporary culture? M: To respond to this question from our point of view as a collaborative duo, we are interested in where art begins. Working together we have built a trust that between us is essential, right from the very beginning when an idea pops out of mine or Nikki’s mouth, no idea is left inside the brain. Ideas can be jostled around and mulled over or one of us can pull a face and say ‘hmm I dunno’ and that’s ok too. But, making art together is an adventure, it’s important to both think critically about how we are responding to the world around us, but also to see what is the most fun we can have with it! In a broader sense, presently contemporary art seems to be engaged by digital spheres. To pose it as a question, perhaps it would be ‘How do we deal with the immediacy of image in the present?’ Although that may seem negative, we are seeing a lot of art at the moment that celebrates the internet in a highly considered way. Aspects of the internet are being positioned creatively in incredibly experimental ways. What do you like/dislike about the art world? N: I guess it depends on what art world your living in. I think we both really like the sense of community you gain from being an artist. Immediately you have an access point to so many weird and wonderful things. The social media aspect is really fascinating right now too. It’s another platform to showcase work with the assistance of WIFI! I guess everyone jazzes it up a little, but why wouldn’t you? If I am looking through social media, I don’t want to be bored senseless. However, I do think social media is tricky; it’s sometimes overwhelming and detrimental to the creative process. Name three artists you admire. N: Pester and Rossi: I see their practice as an explosion of play, with undercurrents of togetherness! The performances and installations they create are so immersive and ooze such dynamic energy.

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What are your future plans?

We were fortunate enough to work with Pester and Rossi as participants in ‘A Bodyssey Odyssey’ at Baltic 39 last year; it was a really wonderful experience because they have such great spirit! M: René Magritte: The way his paintings calmly question the nature of reality and his way of hiding things in plain sight is visually stunning. For me his work has a freaky charm, not in an unsettling way, rather it leans more towards having a captivating but fluid narrative. We’re

N: We have lots of future plans both in our heads and physically! We are currently readdressing our collaborative practice over two cities. This is such a big change for us, but we are hopeful it is going to bring so many exciting potentials. For example, now we have a real platform to organise workshops and performances that could travel from the East Midlands to the North East. We have an upcoming exhibition in Lancaster with GRAFT Collective, where we will hopefully also facilitate a workshop on the theme flatness. We have recently been shortlisted for the ‘Open Contemporary Young Artist Award’ at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle which was a lovely surprise as we have only just begun making digital prints, and so it was a real honour to have one recognised and nominated for the award. M: I’ll be moving studios sometime in summer, along with a six foot pink head, some four foot blue hands and a big ear! Happy days.


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Tahira Noreen

Islamabad, Pakistan

My work involves a conceptual depiction of movement focusing on rapid changes of images, thoughts, sights and sounds, which stimulate my senses during various travels. It is equally informed by my subjective interpretation based on various memories. Travel can be both an inward as well as an outward experience. It can be a travel back into time; or a reverie; or a visit to the outer space. Conversely, it can be an uncharted road journey leading to a distant horizon or an unknown destination. My depiction of a thought or scenario is deeply entrenched in the local context. I do my utmost to explore local resources and materials to aid in my work. This method has given me a mastery over mix medium and constantly pushes me to challenge what |I know and merge it with new possibilities. This also ensures that the process in as stimulating, if not more, than the end result Tahira Noreen (b.1984, Pakistan) is a visual artist. She received her BFA from National College of Arts, Lahore. She believes in an unstructured line of work that comes naturally from within. She eliminates the prerequisite of planning out a piece and goes about working in a rather spontaneous manner. This is evident in the natural evolution of her linear work that creates a harmonious flow. She has been involved in various exhibitions locally and internationally. She has also participated in an artist in residence program in Hangzhou, China. Concurrently, she is teaching as a Lecturer at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


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When, how and why started your art practice? Ever since I could remember, the act of creating something with my own two hands has brought me great pleasure. If my scribbled school textbooks weren’t enough proof of me becoming an artist, my sheer lack in absolutely every other subject being taught in school surely was. What started as a hobby from drawing other people’s biology diagrams, quickly turned into a fullblown career path for me. Making art is the only thing I know of and perhaps the only thing I’m even remotely good at. The clues were stemmed in everything I did and as clichéd as it may sound, I know I was born to do this. The mere thought of one day setting up my own studio has brought me greater pleasure than anything else ever could. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? To constantly redefine your own art practice to remain current in this ever growing and highly competitive art world. What do you like/dislike about the art world? The one thing I’ve always liked about the art world is that it’s a limitless space where one can create and receive appreciation for ones unique perspective of looking at things. As for the latter, I believe that in order to create original art, deep focus and prolonged periods of immersion in your artistic vision is required. It is no wonder that most artists are more towards the introvert side of the socializing spectrum. This however creates a conflict. Artists who are not willing to go out and embed themselves in certain networks never find the kind of patronage

that is critical for artistic endeavors to receive adequate support – both financially and also in terms of appreciation from a wider audience. I wish there was a more equitable platform for artists to showcase their skills. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in Pakistan is still young. Till a decade back, art appreciation remained an acquired taste of the elite minority however, the trend is slowly shifting and more young blood is seen pouring gallery spaces in recent years. The country held its second Biennale this past month in the city of Lahore. Art enthusiasts are taking initiatives and creating new platforms to launch the young breed of artists today. A vastly growing number of local artists are exhibiting their works in the international art market including some major biennales all over the globe. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? The best art tip that has stuck with me to this day is “never stop making art… even if you think its all garbage, you can’t improve on a blank canvas - just keep on working”. I pass this message to all my students and friends because I believe it’s the only formula to ever succeed in life. Like Dory says… “Just Keep Swimming!” What are your future plans as an artist? For an artist like myself with a spontaneous approach to making art and for someone who refuses to plan ahead of time, it’s hard to say exactly what the future holds for me. Having said that, I see myself exhibiting my work on major international art platforms to formally launch my art career.


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tahiranourin@gmail.com


James Paddock Southampton, UK

My work focuses on cultural/social issues and generally the everyday. I enjoy Questioning mainstream thought, looking at alternatives and articulating aspects of society that are not addressed within contemporary art. It might be celebrating existing aspects of life or focusing on the new or even age old problems in life. So, I do not like to be restricted politically or artistically, I am trying to do my own thing and I like to think that I operate ‘outside the box’. I have an interest in a future ‘OPEN SOCIETY ‘ where we can have open discussions about disability, race, gender, nationality, sexualty, class, ideas, our feelings and thoughts. It was said recenty of my moving image work that “ As part of his overall artistic practice, Paddock exploits the medium to approach social topics he believes are overlooked and under-represented: his work often critiquing and conversing with contemporary society through his aestheticised observations.” I use narratives to convey my observations about contemporary society within my bitter-sweet statements. Exploring the unexamined is a key theme to my work and finding a new topic within our everyday to articulate. Gently disrupting current ways of thinking and asking “what do you think of this?” within my artworks.


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When, how and why started your art practice?

What is the most challenging part about being an artist?

From my childhood through to my teenage years, studying in a state school proved a great challenge. The culture I found myself in did not regard education highly. The restrictions and rulebooks of the educational system in Britain at the time suffocated my initial interests in learning and – like most creative minds – deterred my ability to navigate the formalities of such. However, with every cloud is a silver lining, and from these challenges my creative side was born. As a consequence, I began my true studying at the age of 23. I chose to start at the beginning again, returning to the bare basics of education. As my tutors and lecturers came to recognise my work as a budding artist, I progressed naturally onto the Art Foundation course at the Winchester School of Art, and subsequently onto a Fine Art degree at the Cardiff School of Art and Design.

That’s a great question! I find the difficulty lies in the understanding of myself as an artist, and what people take away from my work. Do they understand me on an artistic level, on a philosophical level, on a cognitive level or an individual level? I believe the challenge to be about successfully achieving a level of shared understanding on all fronts.

At Cardiff, my practice began in the painting department, but this quickly developed as I found an interest in making conceptual artwork from found materials. I painted walls, used text, and worked with sculptural relief to address various heavy, political subject matters in a contradicting, light-hearted approach. I began to find my feet as an artist and came away with a strong practice and successful degree under my belt. My years after graduating were soon preoccupied with the internal and external battles of mental illness. For a period, my art was kept on hold as I went through the mental health system. However, over the course of the past three years, I have been able to use this chapter of my life to steer and define the course of my current artistic practice. An overwhelming urge to promote freedom of speech, free thinking and the ability for humans to question life is a motivating factor for me to produce art.

To resolve this, I find solace in the writings of theorists, philosophers, and social critics, most notably the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek. I often find his work relatable and draw parallels from his thought processes to my own. I am not a Marxist like Zizek, but he has his finger on ‘reality’, and deals with life exactly how it is. This strongly impacts my practice as an artist, and how I look to develop both my work and myself. However, the most difficult part of being an artist is producing art that has not been tested, something that is new to the world. I feel pressure from society from the political left and right to conform and not try out new conceptual and philosophical ideas. I am not the type to go with the flow of society. I like to question everything and have the freedom to document my findings within an artwork. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I have experienced life of both the analogue and digital age, I remember the positives of previous years in the UK and elsewhere. However, I believe the internet and social media have made the artworld a closer community in the UK and across the world, I like that. The downside of the artworld is a possibility that I am currently worried about; the loss of the independent or free thinker in western societies. I worry that we are seeing people at the top who feel that we should all have the same beliefs. My main


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worry is on the University campus, but the artworld seems to be struggling with this as well at times. Tell us more about ‘Lost person’ installation. ‘Lost Person’ which can be see at my website: www.jamespaddock.net is my most recent work, I co-directed with film director and camera man Rob Luckins, I edited with artist and animator Martin Davey. I have worked with Rob on every film installation I have done, I usually come up with the original concept, script, the installation ideas, I do the casting and so on. Rob helps me turn my ideas into film. I found the editing experience very productive with Martin and enjoyable, producing an excellent edit between us. The installation piece about a person who is housebound, trapped by his own mental illness. The main character (actor Graham Cawte) is invisible to both the community and state. He is screaming out for help, but his plea is muted; we hear him only through the subtitles that quietly appear at the bottom of the screen. He is a ‘lost person’. The actor Graham Cawte who was recently nominated for the National Film Academy’s award for best drama ‘Little pieces’ made the Character his own and his professionalism shone through bringing something extra to the work. The work was inspired by mental illness, and its prevalence in British society today. Over several years in the United Kingdom, the treatment for mental health has progressed from criminalisation and institutionalism, to more socially integrated solutions. Our modern-day national health service means we now usually have a more community-based level of care, which enables the individual to continue living at home and conduct a ‘normal’ life under supervision and treatment. However, loneliness and social isolation is inevitably a huge repercussive issue. ‘Lost Person’ epitomises this very struggle, as it becomes clear that the main character’s only point of social contact is through his monthly visits from a psychiatric nurse. We hear British sitcom comedy style voiceover characters, making remarks which have a dark undertone. A contemporary waltz composed by musician Dan Keen also permeates the background. Dan is off to the Royal College of Music, London, to do post graduate studies. I put it to Dan that I would like him to compose a traditional waltz as the music sound track to the moving image artwork. The relevance to me was that, although it is a heavy subject matter, there’s lighter side about the artwork. The use of my scripts for both the main character and the voice over actor’s lines with canned laughter lend themselves well to and waltz like music. He came back with a contemporary waltz, which works better with clashing chords at times. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in the city of Southampton, England, which is where I grew up. Southampton’s art scene is continually developing; the doors have recently been opened to a new arts complex called Studio 144, which includes a new contemporary theatre as well as the new John Hansard gallery We also have a new gallery currently being renovated called Gods House Tower, due to be opened to the public soon. The art scene is currently in development, in conjunction with the current interest in contemporary art by the public and

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a zest for investing in the arts in Southampton. Things are really starting to move on in our city. The Arts Council England have invested heavily in the development of arts and culture in Southampton, which is very encouraging. The Arts Council England is a wonderful organisation and I was funded for my ‘Shells’ project by them last year. This truly helped my development as an artist and I am encouraged by the wonderful investment being injected into the arts here. I have studio space as a member of the ‘Keepers artist collective’ we are just moving into a new studio space now. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I am not sure where I heard this, but the words describing conceptual art as “The idea being the main importance within a conceptual artwork, rather than the beauty of an artwork being of primary importance” That seems to strip down conceptual art well. When people ask me about conceptual art, that is the answer I give.


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Szilvia Ponyiczki Grantham, UK My work brings together interrogations concerning identity, our personal and collective unconscious, and delves into the symbolism, messages and representation of dreams. Dreams can help us to gain better insight into problems, offer new and creative solutions, and lead to a new way of thinking. Not only because our brain can work freely during sleeping when there are no disturbances from daily life, but because it has access to both the personal and the collective unconscious. This inner world of ours, where probably a higher intelligence resides, can be a source of imaginative wisdom and understanding. Looking for the latent content of dreams, interpreting the messages of this symbolic language gives us the opportunity to find the meaning of life, to fulfil our true destiny, to make full use of our potential. Dreams make the unconscious accessible; showing us what we do not know, what we do not notice. In the state of lucid dreaming, I use the capability of the unconscious to create snapshots related to a given topic or problem, and then consciously pick up on them. Interpreting these oneiric images alongside my dreams, with the help of a Jungian analyst, makes it possible to choose the ones that I feel are worth investigating and portraying either on their own or as a collection. I paint mainly with acrylics, incorporating text elements in different languages into my paintings as metaphors for the unconscious and as symbols of multiculturality and constant change which are important factors in my own life. The same way as these texts cannot be fully read or understood, the information from our unconscious cannot be completely retrieved. The feelings invoked by my work lead the audience to scrutinize their own life and struggles, to look within, ultimately to discover their own truth, identity, and meaning.


When, how and why started your art practice? I am a Lincolnshire based artist of a Hungarian origin. After a long incubation period, feeling of being lost, I started to concentrate on my unconscious. Firstly I just mapped my reactions, feelings and behaviour, searching for those childhood events that shaped me who I am now. Later, I turned to my dreams, which I believe can lead us to understand ourselves if analysed sensitively and attentively. Lately I have been painting dreams. As a result of dedication, leaving behind my past of 15 years as an architect, I have started a Master of Fine Art course at Nottingham Trent University in 2016. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I’ve never had a creative crisis; I’m full of ideas and one of my biggest problems is not having enough time to accomplish them. As a painter, I am the owner of this small fine art business. Marketing, accounting, managing sales, making the website up to date, dealing with social media, entering competitions, writing applications, building and maintaining relationships with galleries and curators, etc. are all part of it – and it is hard

to find time for the most important of all, which is creation. This is all I would want to do: being submerged into painting where I lose all sense of time. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I simply cannot stand monotony; the more challenging and complex the task is, the more enthusiastic I get. So, what I love in art is that I can always do whatever I fancy, something that I am attached to at that moment. I am free to be as crazy, strange, unpleasant or quiet as I wish to be and I still have a place in the art world. At the same time all these are the difficulties of this life too as there are so many artists around the world, all being very different both from the human point of view and from the created artworks’ perspective. This makes the overall art scene extremely diverse and competitive, where achieving satisfactory results is rarely possible. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I have diverse affiliations, so it does not really matter that the art scene is not very prominent in the small town where I currently live. I lived for more than 30 years in Hungary and since 2008 I have been living in the UK. I am studying fine art in Notting-


ham and I am a member of various art organizations, some of them are UK based, others are international or Eastern European. I developed close associations with diverse art scene representatives which give me the opportunity to exhibit internationally; but more importantly make it possible to work together with like-minded people during artist residencies or on projects we are enthusiastic about. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Base your art on those things that are relevant to you, that are really important to you, so your art can be honest and coming from deep down. To me it is very important to be well connected to my unconscious. One way to access this non-real world is through dreams; therefore I consult with a Jungian analyst on a weekly basis. I record my dreams, draw sketches of oneiric snapshots and start analysing them on my own. During the sessions with my psychoanalyst we dig further down, revealing the deepest and darkest secrets of the psyche, with all its collective unconscious related aspects. Another good tip was to develop my capability of lucid dreaming, as in this phase we can influence our dreams, choose a topic and there is an opportunity to influence outcomes.

What are your future plans as an artist? For a long time I painted my own dreams only but recently I have started to work in collaboration with others as well, using their dreams as a base of my works. This method led to complexity in my dream portrayal, increased ambiguity by multiple layers, with more space left to the viewer to speculate. I can see great potential in this new approach; therefore I would like to investigate this possibility further. For this reason, in the near future I would like to work on a project in relation to dream representation; doing workshops with volunteers who would be happy to contribute by sharing their dreams. The project would involve the partakers from the first stages of artwork creation until the last, exhibition phase. The importance of this project lies in the possibility of improving the participants’ quality of life. I think that to live a happy and satisfying life, we have to believe in our own significance and in a meaningful existence, whilst acknowledging and respecting the uniqueness and intrinsic value of every human being. To achieve this, having a clear sense of one’s own identity and individuality are crucial – and this is exactly what can be achieved through a close relationship with our unconscious via understanding our dreams.


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ponyiczki.co.uk


Emma Walker Liverpool, UK

This photograph series explores how love has changed since the 18th / 19th century. The woman has found a match on tinder and is full of love (or so she thinks). The 18th/19th century house is in Toxteth Liverpool, the colours are bright and reflect her happiness. The second one of the woman represents not getting a match, the girl is frustrated, a little sad. But should she be? The emotions are reflected again in the colour of the house behind her which was also built in 18th/19th century, Toxteth Liverpool. The portrait of a pregnant woman, she wears a pinocchio nose reprsenting how times have changed and how you do not have to be in love to love something. You can be alone and be in love. The last photo is lucky in love, it shows a couple surrounded by playing cards.


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Briefly describe the work you do. I am a concept artist/ photographer, I am inspired by past and present everyday life, society , current affairs, conformity , expectations and people. I portray emotion in my work through my own perceptions of current and past circumstances. I like to create work that makes people react or think about the message I am trying to portray through a image. To evoke emotion in others is very special. My work atheistically is almost fairy tale/ ‘strange’ concept with a modern yet historical twist. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Everyday living, adventures, friends and family , events that have impacted my life or others ,environments, history , modern day culture , fashion, anger / happiness, the government, societies and conformity. The more society expectations, the more I try and create. My Grandad has influenced my art , he was a photographer in the RAF, he is incredibly smart, humble and kind. Tim Walker made a huge impression on me and music. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Liverpool, the art scene is unique, supportive, with a incredible sense of community. Art is celebrated , Liverpool has always been a creative city. It brings communities together through different mediums. Liverpool is open minded and art is a characteristic that many of us have in common. The Kazimier art community host many events for all art forms, music, film, photography, poetry. They are a group of artists who have incredible talent. Their aesthetic is very unique. There are many cafe’s, galleries exhibiting local artists and events like Light Night which the city celebrates. In your opinion what does art mean in contemporary culture? Art is extremely important . It takes the mind to many different places, you can express how you feel and create something that will change individual’s perceptions. It means that there are not any right answers. It give an opportunity to new ways of thinking and creative freedom aswell as addressing issues. What is the best book you’ve recently read? Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. A old favourite which I have read too many times, brilliant book about the original punk era. Name three artists you admire. Tim Walker, his vision is mesmerizing, he is truly inspiring. Jean Michel Basquiat, unique and empowering. Yayoi Kusama, fun and playful. There are too many artists that I admire , I could name more than three :) What are your future plans? To keep creating , to keep a open mind, travel , to help others and to try and host my own exhibition with local artists with proceeds going to a charity I am associated with.


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Art Reveal Magazine no. 38  

Damaris Athene, Francesca Badea, KA Bird, James Blamires, Anthony D Kelly, Julie De Abreu, David Dunne, Jessica Goodwin, Jessica Grady, Davi...

Art Reveal Magazine no. 38  

Damaris Athene, Francesca Badea, KA Bird, James Blamires, Anthony D Kelly, Julie De Abreu, David Dunne, Jessica Goodwin, Jessica Grady, Davi...

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