MADIHA ABDO 4 AMKKA 10 JEAN-CLAUDE BISE 16 HAKIM BOULOUIZ 22 VALENTINA CASALINI 28 KATHY FERGUSON 34 FELICITY GAYLE 40 TESS GRAY 46
JULIE IMPENS 52 SÁNDOR NAGY 58 RADHIKA PRABHU 64 ANITA PROHASZKA 70 MARY ROUNCEFIELD 76 EMILY TULL 82 XIAO WANG 88 ALEX WILK 94
Madiha Abdo London, England, UK
The 30th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition: Agora Gallery Lucie International Photo Awards, First Place PX3, Prix de la Photographie Paris Gold, First Prize The Fine Art Photography Awards Gold, First Prize Professional Photographer of the Year , First Place
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
When, how and why started you photographing? I have been interest in photography since childhood, perhaps due to the fact that my uncle occasionally used to take me to his darkroom, giving me first my own small camera when I reached the age of ten. This childhood interest in photography evolved to become a passion, which led me to the study of photography at both college and university levels. For me, photography is about capturing interesting moments and emotions. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Great natural lights, interesting people and locations inspire me to take their pictures. Great photographers, such as, Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon and Robert Frank have greatly influenced me. What is the most challenging part about working with b&w photography? For me the most challenging part about working with black and white photography is how to choose the right elements, such as, visual angle, lighting, texture, tonal contrast, shape and form. How would you describe the art scene in your area? My place, London, is considered one of the most important cities of art world, chosen by world acclaimed artist to display their artworks on its numerous galleries. London is also known to promote culture and art, by offering great opportunities to people interesting to let the world know of their art achievements. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I believe that art is one of the most highest applications of our mental faculties that let us escape reality, giving us the feeling of living in a high spiritual existence. What advice can you give to those who are just starting with arts? My advice for those starting out is to be very patient and not get disappointed when they do not seem to have achieved that much. Be optimists and keep always aiming high. Have always self-confidence and never lose hope of achieving your goals.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
Amkka is an obscure artist, working primarily in black & white experimental photography. Her work is inspired by â€˜abnormalâ€™ psychology, world literature, and mathematics. Focusing primarily on solitude and the inner world.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
When, how and why did you start photographing? My journey with photography came in stages: I first began taking photos when I was 18 years old with the idea of becoming a photojournalist or travel photographer & writer because I was fascinated with the world. Eventually that idea wore off as I grew less impressed with my photos, finding them bland and lacking emotion. When I was 23, during my last semester at university, I found a smartphone and began playing with the low resolution camera and various photo editing apps. This brought me great joy and became an addiction, giving me some freedom to experiment. However, my style still resembled photojournalism and because I could not figure out what was missing, I grew more and more dissatisfied, and went through a very dark phase where I was not creating. I feared this was it, my passion was over, and wondered how I would live afterwards.
What is the most challenging part about working with b&w photography? Nothing comes to mind, except finding a good business to print silver gelatins from digital files. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am currently in San Francisco and do not know how to describe the art scene. After reading opinions online, my conclusion is that rent prices are making many artists leave the city, and there seems to be a lack of art community. What I’ve seen a lot of are large and colorful murals on walls and sculptures in parks and squares. What do you like/dislike about the art world?
It was not until late spring of 2015 that my style began to slowly emerge.
I’ve been really enjoying art from the Middle East and Africa. Many that I have seen contain strong messages about humanitarian issues. It is beautiful that the visual language is truly a universal one. It also delights me to see Russian artists create political works to speak out against the tyranny that is taking place in my home country. What I have come to dislike about the art world comes from reading one particular blog, where many featured artworks seem like fluff, which are then passed off as something with a deeper meaning. Not all art needs to convey a thoughtful message; some is just decorative, which wouldn’t be an annoyance if the pompous language was left behind.
Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice?
What advice can you give to those who are just starting with arts?
I am inspired by gothic and medieval architecture, by Edward Gorey illustrations, by experimental photography from the 1920s, by shadows and shapes, by supposed taboo topics and practices of societies and religions. Studying psychology and world literature has heavily influenced my approach with creating. I am fascinated by the inner world of each person – the how’s and the why’s, the realities we each create.
First, get to truly know yourself, demons and all. Then, experiment and experiment some more! Do not stop! Do not have your works critiqued, do not enter competitions, do not seek approval of any sort – just create! Eventually you will find your own voice, and with that will come genuine confidence. Never stop learning and growing, because if you do, your art will die.
August 2014, I was taking an evening stroll through a park and a thought rang loud in my mind – I want to be an artist. I had no idea how to do this; I did not have a style, only a general idea of what I liked, I had no idea how artists make it in the world. This thought fueled me, set me on fire. I began researching artists and techniques, researching the art world and how to run a business.
Jean-Claude Bise Neuchâtel, Switzerland 2013
Urban Landscape 2013 : Expo-group - 1650 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Biennale de Nancy 2014 - Ailleurs : Expo-group
Premio Arte Laguna Prize 13.14 - 2014 (Venice): Expo – group
Darkroom Gallery 2015 – H2o – square water 2 – Gallery and Online – Expo - group
Exhibition Without Walls – Free for Hall 2 – 2015 - Online Gallery – Expo - group
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My line of work I choose a theme and I develop. In my photographic approach, I try to provide food for thought. I ask myself questions about us and our changing society and about the perception of the things of everyday life. I use linear perspective, color and composition – elements required for the construction of the image, and try to eliminate external components as much as possible, in order to simplify its reading in a manner that borders abstraction, in a sort of minimalistic approach. Theme – Heteroclite (Motley) Mixture of disparate elements, with neither logical nor ranking. Snapshots encountered during my photographic walks. Facades, front, foreground, a fragment of space, a environments. My intention is to create specific atmospheres that brings reflection. As in a dream that I hope every person shall carry into an imaginary world that discover itself. Hoping thereby to make us forget all the problems of everyday life. I suggests a relaxing, calm, regeneration. 2014 – 2015
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Influences Artists which I draw. Duane Michals for its analysis on humans, Man Ray for his conceptual research.Lee Friedlander for his vision of photography. Conceptual Some of my photographs suggests a conceptual approach to the image. In that they induce reflection. Contemporary Photography It helps reveal the evolutionary events of the present time, these cultural developments and artistique. Elle is the witness of our history. I like free artists without concessions. I do not like plagiarism.
Hakim Boulouiz Geneva, Switzerland 2015
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 1ST PLACE WINNER (PROFESSIONAL) Fine Art Photography Award
2ND Place- Silver Star Award ND Awards (Street Photography)
GROUP EXHIBITION, Irish Street Photography, Culture Box - Dublin, Ireland
GROUP EXHIBITION, Night and day, Gulf Photo Plus - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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When, how and why did you start working with photography/hybrid photography? From a young age, I was very attracted to all artistic activity. Later, I found myself with a whole multidisciplinary program around that. I graduated with degrees in architecture, urban design, and cinematography. I had always practiced photography, but in the service of a model, an urban project, a film… today I’ve chosen to express myself through photographic art. For me, it’s about the representation of the main character. In him or her, I find everything that excites me about my other practices, which converge from then on in service of the main artistic approach (architecture inspires the location and the rigor, cinema dictates the story and the aesthetic, the urban animates the human and the life...) I would say that today with the recession, it’s really photographic art that has allowed me to accept and savor my multidisciplinarity (which, at first, was easy neither to carry nor to explain). It’s photographic art, in my history, that lets me maintain Desire (in the psychoanalytic sense of the term). Within photography, a new conception has arisen, which is the notion of hybrid photography, which is, roughly speaking, my way of refusing and distancing myself from contemporary society’s visual pollution and invasion of images. Who or what has a lasting influence on your practice? Right now, I am completely focused on photography. It’s my career. It fascinates me constantly. I look closely at the works of certain great photographers, living and dead... but I also nourish my approach with other forms of expression, like poetry and short literature. Cinema inspires me greatly, especially German expressionism, the universe of David Lynch... painting remains inescapable in photography. I love Dali, Magritte, Keith Haring...! Pictorial art in general provides the best lessons for art on the street. Personally, I love working with layers in order to build several levels of reading. This gives depth to the image. So in this quest, I’m in total admiration of the Flemish artist Brueghel, known for his landscapes, satirical paintings, and allegorical Biblical scenes. I’m also interested in the artistic production of the 60s. Here it’s not about any sort of nostalgia, but more the recognition that certain works of the past new how to offer an effective manner for constructing a narrative based on a composition, a gesture, and a style when all is said and done.
Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Yes. Completely! I consider myself a conceptual artist because I accord great importance to methods of conceiving a work of art. In my case, all my photographic research is a conceptualization around the street. The street remains the beginning and the end of my story. The street is the element that at the same time inspires and is the purpose. My work consists in interrogating the medium of photography to better portray the street. On the other hand, I consider myself a conceptual artist because I believe in the way in which photography continues to be capable of transforming the most insignificant subject into a powerful catalyst for the imagination. Unlike a journalist or documentary photographer, I’m interested in the commonplace in the city and in “non-subjects.” I seek to press visual curiosity and I leave it to the spectator to determine its meaning, knowing that there must be one because, in photographing it, I designate the thing as significant. What does photography mean in contemporary culture? Contemporary society needs a true imagery that translates the aspirations of a new generation in the midst of a current society that instrumentalizes and spreads “poor” images. We live in an environment of visual pollution with the invasion of images on social media, but we need effective art that’s able to make us reflect. A priori, we can believe that the photographer is a solitary person who is always scrutinizing life and who is always waiting for a strong moment or image to appear in front of the lens. The accent in the photographic approach must also be put on the way in which looking is premeditated, pre-designed by the photographer – a strategy that aims not only to change our way of thinking about the contemporary physical and social world, but also to bring this world toward extraordinary dimensions. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’m developing in a Western culture that has the luck to have access to art, to be able to have it, to collect it. But it’s a culture that suffers from a banalization of discourse and from negligence of a deep and well-founded artistic culture, seriously acquired and maintained. I dream of a better climate where I am, where art is not an effect of fashion but rather a way
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of existing, a way of seeing the world, a way of surfing amidst the meanderings of life. As I explained above, I believe in a conceptual photography that gives the viewer an instinctive and automatic response. A photography that seeks to capture the viewer’s gaze as soon as his eyes rest on it; it must speak to him, it must tell him a story. On the other hand, what I don’t like around me is more and more conceptual art that limits itself to the effect, or the aesthetic remains simply an impact or a show of skill without narrative depth, without a second degree of reading, without a subtlety that could position and suspend the work outside of its period of creation. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Personally, I love art without limit and without exception. I even believe in a certain universality in art. Its spirit is the same regardless of the form of expression. Designing a cabinet, thinking up a piece of jewelry, composing a melody or photographing an apple... these are acts of the same kind, with similar requirements, but it’s the medium that changes. But I’m wary of an environment that can falsify the mission and
utopia of art. If art is a great reservoir of shapes, signs, senses that let us see, feel, think... its environment can be polluted by economic motivations, or by people who are seek the prestige of saying that they are “artists” more than advancing reflection on art and its expression. What are your future plans as an artist? I spend a lot of time not only producing art but also going to meet other artists who interest me during certain key periods in my creative process. So in the future I’d like to do that even more; I’d like to spend even more time in the cities that inspire me as a street photographer. I’d like to think about greater interaction with the public by working in larger formats and in newer exhibition spaces in order to give more access and life to the art that interests me. I’d also like to get even closer to the three eternal themes that preoccupy me, MAP (mystery, absurdity, and paradox). I’d like to introduce myself to other sources of inspiration in order to construct new forms and to encourage different encounters between myself and others.
Valentina Casalini London, England, UK Finalist ViewPoint Emerging Artist. A month long Exhibition September 2015 â€“ ViewPoint Gallery 1272 Barrington St., Halifax â€“ Canada Selected for the NARS -the New York Art Residency & Studios Foundation- for the 2016 Season II & III International Artist Residency Program. 0000 exh
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My work is a form of detachment from reality, as much as a kind of sinking in it; it’s like a process, to become conscious of what surrounds us, what forms us and what alters our feelings. I like to slip into this reality to pick existential scattered pieces that resemble the state of things, and see how ordinary spaces become poetry. In order to do this I need to take some distance from my current way of living to choose what is worth seeing and to try to catch a glimpse of something different. Photography has always been my tool to get structure, order my thoughts and stay focused. It’s being here in this life; I’m collecting spaces like private memories through which I would like to build my way of seeing. It’s my attempt to find the potential beyond what we call the ordinary. I have developed a deep interest in the poetics of the urban landscape, in particular for the uncanny in contemporary modernity, and for all those phenomena of estrangement and alienation related the space around us. I want to evoke a sense of eeriness in the viewer, like jamais vu, the impression of seeing a situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing it is beforehand.
When, how and why started you photographing? I don’t remember exactly when I started, I had some childhood memories of me playing with a camera. At the beginning photography (like painting) was for me a way to get detached from reality, but it also somehow made me sink deeper into it; it was like starting to become more conscious of what surrounds me, what forms me and what alters my feelings. Photography has always been my tool to get structure, order my thoughts and stay focused. I began to be seriously interested in photography when I decided to take my masters degree. Everything changed there, my concerns went from strictly aesthetical matters to more theoretical ones. Everything was questioned, I could no longer say I liked a picture just because. Tell us more about “Red Velvet” project: These images are part of an ongoing project, “Red Velvet” - its purpose is to draw the relation between London and its intrinsic urban features. This is an attempt to understand how the geographical environment of London could play an influence in shaping the poetic visions of so many writers and artists, particularly during the Victorian Age. That period had seen an incredible diffusion of the gothic fiction genre, this genre also includes horror, death and Romance. London has been the privileged setting of so many gothic stories and I’d like to unearth those atmospheres, in a psychogeographical interpretation of the city of London, as Ian Sinclair did in his books. Most of his work consists in fact in a psychogeographical reconstruction of the City blended with essays, fiction and poetry. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Agnes Martin, Dirk Braeckman and Lewis Baltz.
who you are. It’s being here in this life. It’s hard and it takes courage, but it’s the same courage you need to live a truly honest life. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Speaking of my hometown Trento, I don’t feel like it has a strong contemporary art scene. What is really interesting though, is that it’s located in a border region influenced by several cultural contaminations, the north is more linked to the German and the Central European culture in general, whereas the south has more bonds with the Italian tradition. In terms of contemporary references there are two important art museums like the Mart in Rovereto and the Museion in Bolzano. Historically speaking it is the land that gave birth to Giovanni Segantini, Fortunato Depero and the sculptor Fausto Melotti, among others. I’m currently living in London, which is of course quite exciting and full of inspiring things, even if sometimes it seems cooler than what it really is. But yes, this city can change and give you a lot of opportunities, inputs and energies, here you can live a full intense life and see things that other people can’t see in an entire life. This city can give you a lot, but it takes a lot too, it certainly comes at a price. What do you like/dislike about the art world? To me it is more about love/hate than like/dislike! Art can be a way to express yourself, that allows you to perceive so many aspects and perspective on life. For me it’s just what I need to become the person I want to be. Art generates a world of possibilities and now more than ever there are no rules, but such freedom can help you find your way as well as getting you completely lost. What I don’t like is the constant necessity to explain everything, especially in the photography world. Images don’t always need explanations, that’s the beauty of the medium itself.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist? What advice can you give to those who are just starting with photography? I’m still struggling with this definition, too many people define themselves artists without a valuable rea- To choose wisely what they want to say and to pay son and I don’t want to be one of them. I think that attention to what they have around them, everything being an artist is a necessity as much as a choice. It’s can be interesting, it’s how you see it that makes the like exposing your deepest inner self, what you think, difference.
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Kathy Ferguson New York, USA Artwork in the collections of The Plaza Hotel in New York, NY; The Four Season Hotel and Spa in Houston, TX; The Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg, Russia. First Place, Blue, Front Street Gallery, Patterson, NY Small Works Exhibition, National Association of Women Artists, NY Valdosta National 2015, Valdosta State University Gallery, Valdosta, GA Kathy Ferguson, a mixed media artist living in New York City, paints colorful abstract landscapes that are whimsical, richly layered, and complex. Using combinations of geometric and organic shapes, she creates imaginary worlds using paint, collage paper and ink. Her work is an amalgamation of textures and layers interwoven to suggest hidden treasures beneath overlapping colors and patterns. Fantasy allows her to enter new worlds filled with possibilities, creating scenes that seem both alien and familiar. Her vibrant paintings hint at common landscapes where recognition becomes fleeting upon closer inspection. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, the viewer finds these realms are not altogether what they seem. Her colors are often bold and saturated alluding to worlds that are more illusionary than authentic, places more commonly found in dreams than in reality. When Kathy took her first formal art class at seventeen, she knew she had found a piece of her soul. She won first place in a state art competition that year and with it, scholarship funds to college. Raised in a practical family, she chose to major in engineering and business instead of fine art. Still, the desire to create art lived within her and when she left the workforce to stay home to raise her three children, she once again took up painting and following her dream. These days she builds new worlds using paint and paper instead of concrete and rebar. Kathy received her MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries coast to coast, including the National Association of Women Artists Gallery in New York City and the Vernum Ultimum Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Her work is held in many private and corporate collections including the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa in Houston, the Plaza Hotel in New York City and the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg, Russia.
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When, how and why started your art practice? My first memory of creating art was in sixth grade. My teacher cut up a photograph and gave each student a piece, with instructions to draw an enlarged version of our respective, yet unrecognizable, section. When we finished our art project, the teacher taped them together and, voila! There was a giant replica of Paul Newman, a larger version of the original photograph. It seemed like magic, and I had been a part of it! From that day forward, I was hooked on creating art. I took a circuitous route to becoming a professional artist. I received an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, an MBA in marketing, and after careers in both, decided to change course and return to my passion for creating art. After taking time off to raise our children, I earned my MFA from the Academy of Art University and have devoted myself to art as a profession ever since.
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Tell us more about your imaginary landscapes, what inspired you? Most of my ideas develop in the time between sleep and waking. Beautiful colors, undiscovered vistas, and strange flora beckon me to come and explore. Through a combination of geometric and organic shapes, I try to recreate these imaginary landscapes and the moods they inspired. I use overlapping layers in a variety of mixed medias, and intertwine the patterns to create depth and complexity. Intersecting layers of collage paper, acrylic paint, and ink texturally blended allow me to create curiously familiar imaginary places. These fantasy landscapes often seem recognizable, but upon closer inspection there are twists and turns that transform these places into realms of the imagination.
What art do you most identify with?
spontaneous, and I let the paintings tell me when they are finished instead of having I truly love all types of art: from the hyper a preconceived endpoint. realistic to the completely abstract, and I find inspiration from it all. Some of my favorite contemporary artists include Mark Bradford How would you describe the art scene in with his additive and subtractive collage pro- your area? cesses, Dana Oldfather with her juicily layered infrastructures, and Rex Ray with his The Manhattan art scene is as vibrant and vibrant, graphic style. varied as the people who live and visit here. You have Sotheby’s selling multiple million-dollar paintings while street artists “doIn your opinion, what does painting mean nate” their art to the public for free. Add in in contemporary culture? the other four New York City boroughs, and there is more art, music, and theater than There is no simple way to define contempo- a person would ever have time to see. The enrary art into a single, unifying standard. Art ergy and vitality of the city has had a great in contemporary culture encompasses a wide influence on my art. range of materials, media, and technologies, as well as the opportunity for artists to explore new ideas and concepts to convey their What is your future plans as an artist? message. Often audiences play an active role in completing the artwork by injecting their I’ve recently started a new body of work that own experiences, histories, and opinions into is looser and larger than my former paintthe work. Contemporary art mirrors the world ings. My past work was more methodical around it, pulling ideas from today’s environ- with lots of cutting and pasting of small piecment, politics, entertainment and more. es of paper. My new work involves adding many more layers of paint and paper, not being afraid to paint over whole sections to exHow has your work changed in the past plore different ideas and options, and letting years? the paintings evolve more intuitively to their finish. I am enjoying this change and want to I have always been drawn to nature and start- continue exploring it, letting each new painted my art practice by creating realistic land- ing evolve and progress from the painting bescapes, simply painting the world I saw in fore it. front of me. As my artwork evolved, I began abstracting my landscapes more and more I’m working on the artwork for an upcomto the point where I no longer referenced the ing two-woman gallery exhibition this sumreal world for my work, instead relying sole- mer. Plus, my work will be published in the ly on my imagination for my subject matter. upcoming North Light Book, Incite 4: Relax. My mixed media work has become heavily Restore. Renew this fall. But most importantlayered using hand-printed paper, paint, ink, ly, I will continue to paint and grow, just enand more. These days, I push my colors to joying the process and the journey of creating be more vibrant, my landscapes to be more art.
Felicity Gayle Wirral/Merseyside, England, UK The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum Open Show 2015 The Oxton Secret Gardens 2015 Made Here - Liverpool One / Met Quarter 2014, 2015 The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum Postcard Event 2014 John Moores/Wirral Met Degree Show - NOVAS
The outcomes are unpredictable when I am revelling in the uncertainty of abstraction - Flirting with impulsive and erratic decisions, compelled to create; playing with my inner ‘provocateur’. Paint meanders around the canvas, manipulated one way, then deviating off course, constantly changing and developing, largely organically; until dry. Results are as uncertain and unforeseeable, as the unpredictable manner in which the work is created. Inspired largely by the conversing of colour, I like the painting to form it’s own narrative, consequently calling on the viewer to devise their own perception and version of the fictional landscape in front of them. I frequently refer to the works as ‘Mindscapes’ as each individual outlines their own depiction of the scene, based on their own personal unique senses, memories and perceptions; finding faces and shapes of things that were ‘never, but always’ there.
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
When, how and why started you painting? I have always been a very creative person, always looking for an opportunity for self expression, in whatever guise and with whatever medium takes me at the time. Painting is something that I have dabbled in on and off, in different styles and with different intent; since I was at school. I originally started out as a figurative painter, specifically portraits. I completed my BA Hons in Fine Art, and during that time, I worked my way through many different expressive mediums and concepts, including film and photography. Some years later and since the birth of my son (my greatest masterpiece yet) I found my world turned upside down (In the best possible way), and I’ve turned 360’ and back to painting (In nap time.) I have found my passion lies in Abstract Art, and the surprising evocative atmospheres, escapist worlds and imaginary landscapes that can be created. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use. I actually use very little ‘equipment’ to create my work. I let go of precision, using as little tools as possible, enabling colour and form to captivate and narrate. I very much like the work to be as ‘organic’ as possible in it’s development. Paint consistency, gravity and chance, all play their parts in the paint manipulation process, where infinite moments of creation and destruction merge forwards and backwards, forever changing, constantly developing; on the journey to the finished piece. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I am influenced and inspired by so many things, just simple day to day things, and those things are always changing. I think really in my case, it is the obsessive desire and compulsion to create that takes over. A self confessed ‘Glory Hunter,’ I am driven largely by others appreciation, and that desire for recognition is something I will always strive for. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I think living in the North West of England as an Artist is dramatically different to living in or around London, yet there is still an ‘Art scene’ wherever you go. I have a beautiful Gallery local to me - The Willimson Art Gallery and Museum, and I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to exhibit there on a few occasions. Unfortunately there was talk of closure for it, but with a big fight and hard work ethic from the local ‘creative’s’, we have managed to save a real diamond of an Art Venue. I am lucky to be connected with many artists within the local vicinity, and in all honesty you have never met a nicer bunch of people. Liverpool, just minutes away from me has a larger art scene again, regularly hosting a multitude of large exhibitions and Art Festivals including the International Biennial exhibition/festival that has been commended as “One of Britain’s best art Events of the year.” Liverpool also boasts the TATE, Blue Coat and Walker Art Gallery, famous and spectacular Art Venues. What are your future plans as a painter? I hope to develop my practice further, and continue to create an array of atmospheric abstract ‘Mindscape’ paintings. I am also working on the development of my paintings being used as designs; for my own Home ware range. I made the decision to make Art my Career last year, and I suppose this year and for the future I need to utilise the many tools and opportunities now available, thanks to the World Wide Web... and definitely learn a bit more about the business side of things! What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? There are many of my pieces that go too far, and some not far enough, learning not to be precious about the work, while it is still ‘ in progress’ has to be my most poignant lesson yet. As for tips, I think the best one I have received is - To ignore criticism from those with no understanding or interest in what you do. Likewise not to waste time trying to ‘educate’ those who do not wish to be ‘educated.’ We all know that person who says “How much!?...I could have painted that!” “Yes, but you didn’t...”
Tess Gray Tours, France 2015
Art Gemini Prize finalist, London
Solve et Coagula, The Abacus, Cardiff
The Title Art Prize, Blank Media Canvas, Manchester
Channels, Arcade Cardiff, Cardiff
For The Time Being, The Bargehouse, London
Art Reveal Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
When, how and why started your art practice? Choosing one focal point may not be easy, having visualized a life devoted to art as far back as I can remember. The clearest image that comes to my mind is of fastidiously making pictures as a child. I had a bright sense of realization that, more than anything, I was “in love” with pictures, a love that I never wanted to relinquish. For many years, I had the feeling that by perpetually honing my skills as a painter, an activity that remains central in my life, it might culminate in a singular point. It is perhaps only in the moments of actually making images, or making them better, or finding the necessary solutions to pictures that need making, that an art practice begins. This could be defined as a perpetual beginning. Tell us more about your artworks, what inspired you? Not wanting to be clichéd or to use presumptuous language, the works tend to evolve from the process. On the path to realizing one piece, I find myself exploring lots of new projects, ideas and approaches. From one day to the next I am creating very different things that inform each other as they progress. The series of paintings I’m finishing now emerged from two years of living in several countries, working in a myriad of landscapes from rural to urban. Similarities in the architecture of these places fascinated me. I became an aficionado of development houses and began making photo journals focusing on the geo-specific differences amongst a homogeny of concrete fetish objects. From this, I developed an understanding and appreciation of the pre-fab, post war house as a worldwide phenomenon. An emblem of the endless standard of comfort and aesthetic that seems to be perpetually re-designed, re-vamped and re-deployed. At the same time, there was a direct inspiration from science-fiction illustration. Researching the history of the suburb, I drew lines between the births of the pre-fab house and the genre of science fiction as we know it. I then began painting these houses into realms of fantasy so as to look more clearly at the relationship between nature and an ever-growing suburbia. This allows an examination of our human relationship with home ownership and the “dream house”. What art do you most identify with? I feel privileged to have grown up in the post-internet age with awareness of an ever-expanding universe of art! This permits me to compare and develop ideas with contemporary digital art, grand master painters and everything in between. If I want to be specific Bruegel, Hokusai, and Brett Amory are some artists I looked to during this series. I mentioned science fiction as one of my sources and I draw a lot of parallels with the concept as a whole. The idea of creating alternate universes and characters to address issues of the present day is something I use in different areas of my practice. Immersive art and virtual reality also really get my brain going. Creating a complete experience in which everything must be imagined, curated, composed then tweaked over and over to make an entire world is fascinating to me.
In your opinion, what does painting mean in contemporary culture? Painting has always been, and will always be, an incredibly visceral method of expression. Every so often, it comes under scrutiny, but the transformative magic of paint remains an integral part of the evolution of human expression. A great painting endures time like a fairytale; we can see a truth in it for ourselves far beyond its representational value. In my opinion, right now we are experiencing a hugely rich, exciting time for painting and art in a larger sense. The accessibility to art and education is improving rapidly and in doing so is actively changing the range of tastes in painting. We are seeing a grand resurrection of academic painting while expressionism, abstraction and the conceptual deconstruction of painting continue to power on simultaneously. For the past decade there have been exchanges between so many artists and different communities that weren’t possible before. For example, now even CERN has an artist residency program. It’s really exciting to see this new genesis of the human imagination realized by making traditional methods and materials work with developing technologies. Unperturbed by all of this development, painters carry on mashing, slopping and caressing unique forms into life upon surfaces and we continue to love and learn from them. How has your work changed in the past years? Some noticeable changes in my work arise from the challenge of finding the best visual language to communicate my ideas. This current project led to works becoming more figurative and illustrative. In contrast, one of my prior series of paintings looked at collective memory and autonoetic consciousness. To communicate these themes, the project culminated in a series of large scale, abstract
compositions with geometric shapes. The overall message of an artwork is very important to me. I adapt my method and perspective to create work that represents ideas rather than putting messages into my own personal style. At the same time, there are certain elements in my pieces that will remain idiosyncratic beyond my consciousness, in the same way as someone’s handwriting. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I’ve invested the better part of last year into a home and studio in the heart of a national park in central France. In addition to being able to explore the cultural advantages of this region, I have developed close ties with a few artist communities in Paris. There is a great creative energy in France right now, nowhere more intensely so than Paris. Talents in graffiti, fashion, music and digital arts, along with painters, sculptors are creating together constantly. It is a true witches’ cauldron of innovation! As well as this the Internet has helped me to keep exchanging with many of the creatives I have encountered on my travels to get here. Also spending a good portion of my life in Cardiff, I would be remiss not to mention this vibrant micro cosmos loaded with accessible art and international cultural events. Dedicated independent groups like Arcade Cardiff and Modern Alchemists have considerably developed this remarkable platform for expression. What are your future plans as an artist? My future plans are to carry on living and discovering the world through art. Its my intention to keep researching, practicing and creating beautiful work in the hope that people will continue to enjoy it and that it may add new perspectives to their world.
Julie Impens London, England, UK 2014
”The affordable Art Fair”, The Tunnel, New York, USA.
Solo show, “HORTUS CONCLUSUS, second edition”, Lippenslaan, Knokke-Heist Belgium.
”Mini Soloshow” exhibition, Touchstone Gallery, Washington D.C, USA.
Runner up of the “Unsigned competition” by Econe.
Featured in the “2010/1011- guide on the Best Art And Design Graduate in the UK” by Wallpaper* Magazine
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When, how and why started be intrinsically expressive of art your art practice? and Central Saint Martins offered the opportunity to be immersed in I have always been fascinated with a multidisciplinary environment of creativity. For as long as I can re- teachers and artists which helped member, art has been my true pas- me discover my talent. sion, creating things and bringing life to whatever objects and mate- During my first year of study I met rials I had available to me. Jane McAdam Freud, and she became a true inspiration to me. She I started my journey from a young was the first really successful artage attending painting classes ist I worked with and she made me which was my first opportuni- realise the difficulties and the hard ty to apply my raw desire into an work behind the passion and workexpressive language. Gradually ing on her pieces helped me to imI realised my passion could be- prove and develop my skills. come a profession and I could not imagine pursuing anything else. After graduating I interned for KelI was fascinated by the work of ly McCallum for 2 years, an artist John Galliano and Alexander Mc- that had the most profound influQueen who graduated from Central ence on me. During my two years Saint Martins and being inspired of internship my style evolved by their work, I decided to come to enormously. She invited me to unLondon to study Jewellery Design derstand that art serves as a mediat the university, graduating with um to express your inner most self a BA in 2010. I wanted to create and that the message behind the pieces that could be worn but also piece is as important as the piece
itself, therefore it is not a field to be safe, to simply give people what they want. As an artist you can use what you do to make people think, question and confront their ideas and this is such an amazing thing. It helped me realise what I wanted to do. I was then free of being a bit darker and controversial in my work. What is your creative process like? My process usually begins with research and contemplation, giving birth to insight, and from there I start to experiment visually with the aesthetics. Ideation often emerges from books I read, exhibitions I visit or conversations I have with friends, companion and fellow artists, but also the subjective world I observe in the media. Sometimes just walking down the street I will see an advertisement
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or hear a conversation that will inspire me to form new ideas for my work. Frequently one piece leads inexorably to another, my entire body of work is innately connected. Through my pieces I endeavour to provoke people to reflect on their own experiences. I like to mature my ideas before sharing them with others. I am a real perfectionist so I need to work a lot on a concept before sharing it.
important component in my work. I believe my work is unique because I base it on my personal experience, I invoke my past, my education, and criticize our society in order to bring questions that I can relay and relate to others. Tell us more about “Flowers of Eden” series
Once upon a time, according to the Sumerians, in a world without any Who or what has a lasting influ- notion of sin, there was a man and ence on your art practice? a woman united as one. They existed in a place where no harm was Studying our society and our cul- ever done and every creature was tural past deeply influences me as fulfilled and lived peacefully. The an artist. man was called Enki and the woman Ninhursag. Sex for them was Being conscious of the work of oth- a celebration of life and a tribute er creators is also very important, to God. for example I admire the work of Takato Yamamoto, Philipp Banken, The story of Enki and Ninhursand to state the obvious, Salvador ag is ancient and has journeyed Dali, whose creations convey more through so many millenniums of than shapes and forms but the in- history that time has changed it. vention of a whole new universe. The entire moral of the story has Tim Walker manages to produce been reworked and transformed, the same ‘story telling world’ with and by the work of the scribe “J” photography. it has become a text that is at the centre of the world’s largest reliI am a bit of a bibliophile, I love gions: presently known as “The reading and writers like Jovanovic Garden of Eden”. The female took and Aries have dramatically in- the name of Eve and the male befluenced my work, adding further came Adam. perspective to my understanding of religion and death, and question its It is commonly accepted that Adam power and meaning in our society. and Eve are responsible for the exReading allows me encounter and istence of all pain and suffering on open my mind to new ideas and Earth. The Old Testament tells us confront my thoughts to others. those ill feelings became part of I derive much inspiration from oth- the spectrum of emotions in order er disciplines such as philosophy, to punish Adam and Eve for sucsociology, artistic and religious cumbing to their sexual desires. books. I am very stirred by the Me- Therefore, the scribe “J” encourmento Mori and the way people aged us to associate sex with the view death, and deal with the no- notion of sin. tion grief. At first it was a notion that heightened my emotions, but Despite the fact that our society soon came to be fascinated by the seems to be moving forward from concept and grew to become a very the concept of dogmatic religion,
it still plays a very important role in our lives, whether you are religious or not. It is part of our shared past, it defined our society for countless generations and the majority of our societal stigmas. This history makes fulfilled living an ambiguous, difficult task because our desire for sex is a primal instinct, but it is deeply anchored in our mind as a forbidden sin, or at the very least profoundly dangerous. Our lives today still reflect the consequences of the first couple’s afterglow. Our society invites and encourages us to be fulfilled, to succumb to our every desire, but this fulfilment falls at the cost of culpability that inevitably comes with it. We live in a society that is frustrated, we are constantly exposed to a superposition of sexual content, based on explicit images prolifically disseminated in the media and these representations act as constant reminders of our inner desires, creating an endless longing for something you are afraid to really want. In my series of work entitled ‘Flowers of Eden’, I imagine a society free from the notion of sin. A world where Adam and Eve would return to be Enki and Ninhursag. In this fantasy world, they both leave their flesh behind in order to rid themselves of any notion of sin, and revert to a simpler life where sex is a celebration. In the process they turn into a Memento Mori, and remind the viewer to live life to the fullest because of its ephemerality. Sex becomes the way to perpetuity and fulfilment. Do you consider yourself more as an artist or a designer? I consider myself an artist. To me art is powerful when it has some-
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thing to communicate to the viewer. The meaning I put behind my pieces is really important to my work. During my years at Central Saint Martins I explored deeply into my past, endeavouring to understand my roots but never stopped since then. I realised how important my past is to me and to my work. I always need to question what surrounds me.
forums for renowned and emerging artists alike, giving exciting opportunities to meet interesting people and becoming part of a community of talent. Being around actors, photographers, designers and other artists allows me to confront my ideas to theirs but also to meet people from different cultures, social backgrounds and to observe how different nationalities, religions and origins creates a rich environment How would you describe the art scene in your of perspective on the same subject. area? Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. London has a thriving art scene offering vibrant and diverse experiences, which makes it a very exciting Jérôme Bosch for his desire to explore religion and to city to live and work. From prominent curatorial ex- understand and question the Church’s need to create hibitions to small grassroots events, London provides and instil feelings of fear and shame.
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Alexander McQueen for the unbelievable eccentric has never been done before. world he created. He pushed his art without any constraint of not shocking the audience. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Kris Kuksi for the intricate and powerful designs of Jane McAdam Freud gave me advice that has always his sculptures. stuck with me: Though I have been influenced by these great artists, ‘If something is worth doing, it is worth doing it well’. I am really attached to the idea of creating work that
Sándor Nagy Paisley, Scotland, UK 2014
member of Society of Scottish Artists
member of Visual Arts Scotland
Szárhegy 40, Selection from the collection of Gyergyószárhegyi Art Camp - Sekler Museum Of Ciuc, Transylvania
3rd Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland – 2015 Sepsiszentgyörgy, Transylvania. Organized by: The Covasna
County Council, the Cultural Center of Covasna County, the Harghita County Council, the Cultural and Art
Centre of Lazarea, and the Transilvanian Art Center
Sit in / Take away – 2014, National Galleries of Scotland, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Organized by Society of Scottish Artists
My artwork takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues but always is inspired or led by a love for nature, making connections between mythology and reality, different phenomena in the world, specifically between Nature and human being, Inner and Outer and Microcosm and Macrocosm, cultures and traditions, I’m interested in issues of identity. Having engaged subjects as diverse as the nature, mythologies, my work reproduces familiar visual and aural signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered digital art, photos, videos, land art / nature art installations and different performances. While I use a variety of modern technologies, materials and processes in each project my methodology is consistent. Although there may not always be material similarities between the different projects they are linked by recurring formal concerns and through the subject matter. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work. Each project often consists of multiple works, often in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. The technology and the use of materials in my work are calculated. I’m often looking for avenues of the unexpected. An ironic twist to images or things you might expect…Or their combinations. Provoking the participant to new and perhaps unexplored territories. In a world that is constantly changing via incredible leaps in technology and unbelievable strains upon the environment I am constantly questioning our connection to the land and our loss of connection to that land. I believe that energy connects us within space and time to each other, the planet and everything in, on and around it so I try my best to establish that connection, at least for myself and the participants, receptive, viewers of my art. Performance and ritual have always played an essential role in my work. I find peace and fulfilment in the creative process, especially when experimenting and combining different mediums.
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When, how and why started your art practice? I like to believe that it started when I was a child, playing on my grandparent’s farm in Transylvania , close to nature and in direct contact with it. But basically it starts when I finished my studies, in 2003 at School of Art Brassov. Right after that I moved to Budapest, the capital of Hungary, where I started my artistic carrier as a mural painter, restaurateur and worked as a freelancer artist. I was worked for non-profit organisations and famous restaurants in Budapest, developing my own painting style also started to make experiments in digital arts and nature art. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I could say Transylvania with his ambience, fabulous places, nature and people, his prominent artists... I really don’t want to say names, but just for an example Erőss István and Ütö Gusztáv, they was like a torch for myself. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? I think every artist should guide people to real values. I always try to highlight nature, spiritual conections,art. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Yes, “Ceci n’est pas un pipe”
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What does land art mean in contemporary culture? I believe that energy connects us within space and time to each other, with our planet and everything in, on and around it so I try my best to establish that connection, at least for myself and the participants, receptive, viewers of my art. I find peace and fulfilment in the creative process, especially when experimenting and combining different mediums. How has your work changed in the past years? When I moved from Hungary in Scotland I loose my studio and unfortunatelly I dont have posibility to rent one during my residency in Scotland. So in the past years I try to concentrate on digital arts alongside with my nature art projects. I was always in the nature, creating on/ from the „local” land, making short films or performances, often stone ballancing. What are your future plans as an artist? Plans for the future ? I never make plans in art, I just leave the river to flow. I know what I want, but I really don’t like to force nothing... I’d like to concentrate on local energies, nature art and digital art. Also preparing for a solo exhibition from a while, but due to the theme of the works it’s very dificult to find the right place where to exhibit it.
Radhika Prabhu Bangalore, India/ London, England, UK I fish for and create psychological and personal narratives. These narratives are never offered with a neat beginning, middle and end, but rather they are all cut up, disjointed, and abstracted. I situate myself on the threshold â€“ a border that divides us between life and death, sleep and wakefulness, and reality and illusion to create spectral and immersive environments. Since personal narratives are responses to the world around, the world within and the conflict between them, these works often hint at social, political, and sexual commentaries (whether they are personal or inherited), though not necessarily seeking or offering an answer. The characters are sometimes anonymous, sometimes my own, and sometimes borrowed from various periods across history. They engage in obscure conversations and situations amongst themselves and with the audience, thus expanding the scope of the dialogues happening which are often muted. By not being direct I want to give the audience the freedom to form their own patterns with the layers offered, thus making them passive performers in the process. To share these narratives, I tend to use a multiple palette drawing from my experiences in dance, Visual art and Literature. These works comprise of paintings, performance, sculptural objects, found objects, drawings, video, and text, meshed into installations in various combinations for different projects. Every idea thus has its own individual landscape, its own setting, theatricality, and mood. Lighting plays an important role in creating these moods. Generally represented through the presence or absence of human bodies which become partially the subject and partially the object, along with the suggestive symbolism of a few everyday objects, these narratives blend elements of performance and visual climates of my practice while addressing the internal voyages.
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Briefly describe the work you do. stracted manner, which also suggest social/political commentaries. I work with multiple disciplines I mainly deal with poetic politics. and mesh them into interdisciplinary projects. What is the most challenging I started out as a Bharathanatyam part about being an interdisci(South Indian Classical) dancer, plinary artist and did my BVA with a specialization in painting. I pursued both My foray into interdisciplinary art dance and painting as separate came as a natural progression from fields, never really finding a good my previous practices, it came as enough reason to mesh them into a natural need that I had to eman interdisciplinary approach. brace, given where my thought Since the past few years, and espe- process was leading me. So I feel cially during my MA, I started ex- pretty comfortable dealing with panding my framework. It did feel the complexity of this approach. uncomfortable in the beginning, If I have to pick out one thing that but it also opened my eyes to the is very challenging it would have endless possibilities that I had at to be the fact that sometimes I feel my disposal now, given my expo- I am spoilt for choice. sure to disparate mediums. Most of the times, though, once the Though I still deem that every art idea or the urge to create someform is complete in itself and in thing solidifies, the medium comes its identity, there is some essence walking hand in hand, even if a bit in each that cannot be found in vaguely. For example, ‘ELITE INthe others. This essence is what TERVALS’ is a series of mixed meI wish to bring into my personal dia work on canvas that captures language. It is about the images the experience and expression of that certain words put together can sexuality within a culture, veerconjure up. It is about the kind of ing paradoxically more towards movement that a particular line in- being unexpressed. Dealing with spires. So since then, I am working the emotional residue of such exwith the language of mixed media periences rather than its political installations (videos, sculptural shades, this series poetically tries forms, found objects, drawings, to capture these interior spaces performative elements, text, light- and psychological narratives. Using, etc.), video works, while also ing words would have given it a continuing my practice in Classi- slightly ‘activist’ sort of a feel, or cal dance as a soloist. I also love using video would have required writing, and have published two too much of a story and movement collections of poetry and short to include, which were unnecesprose so far ( ‘Snatches of Sun- sary, given that they are frozen shine’ - which had poems along points in time rather than a comwith images - and ‘Mid Light - The plete narration with a beginning Prologue’ - which dealt with ab- and an end . So, the still space of stract and broken narratives told a canvas worked brilliantly to hold through three characters, like the thought. three different series of paintings or drawings arranged randomly On the other hand, with the ‘Mid on a wall). Light’ series, which dealt more As for what I want to express - with an abstract concept of being I deal with psychological and per- situated on a threshold, I needsonal narratives in a broken or ab- ed something much more spatial,
much more spread out. Something which the audience could walk around and be a part of. I wanted to create a more deeper, tangible experience. And since abstraction can elicit vastly different responses, a mixed media installation which could give a multi dimensional experience seemed apt. Once the medium is set, I do work around different materials to find the perfect ones. But sometimes, when you have choices, you tend to slip into the one that seems the easiest to deal with, and that is the only thing I am really apprehensive about at this stage, and find myself wondering if I need all this jazz. But that again brings me to the question – what is more important, to have the option of saying things better or to be heard better? Because no matter how strong the intention or impulse, it keeps evolving and modifying as it goes on to become a ‘work’. This constant flux in communication between the artist and his art, and between his art and his audience is what makes it so exciting and challenging for me! Who or What has a lasting impression on your art practice? I cannot really point one particular thing or person as an inspiration. I find a lot of inspiration in literature, in the way moving visuals are used in films (Especially the oldies like Andrei Tarkovsky and Frank Borzage), in travel, and also in the Human Nature and its complex and astounding layers working around me. It is the sense of something overwhelming and intense that takes my breath away. I like encountering extremes - either deviously pure or unassumingly adulterated.
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Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that every work of mine has a concept embedded in it, whether it is simple or complex, obvious or suggestive. But the process is not very straightforward every time. The idea is not always the starting point, and a finished work is not always the end. Sometimes the concept is completely changed by the time the work is finished, or completely discarded. And sometimes also they just remain as concepts or words, not needing the justification as a finished or ‘tangible’ work. For me it is the most important part of any work - an affirmation of a well thought out or well felt idea/concept/emotion. No, in the sense that it also depends on what medium I choose to use for a particular theme as well, so I let it be malleable and try not to put myself or my work into brackets. I do wonder sometimes if I can be purely conceptual - and just walk around telling people about the concept, like an existentialist experiment, rather than using any other medium or material. But then words are also tangible things, with immense potential of becoming ‘objects’, so personally I do not think I can ever put myself completely on one side of the river. How would you describe the art scene in your area? On the whole, Indian contemporary Art has garnered a lot of interest in the world art scene right now. There are a lot of residencies and art programs popping up around as well, as are the number of artists. In my city, (Bangalore) particularly, there is a lot happening with Music, Literature, and Dance, but comparatively lesser in Visual arts arena, and it is still mostly confined to the elite or the cultured section. We hope to have more mass interest and more dialogue between the general public and the art world. What do you like or dislike about the art world ? Everything and nothing. Nothing and everything. What are your future plans as an artist. I wish to continue challenging myself in every way, and I wish to have as intense an experience as possible from both life and art. I recently started my art organization which I am pretty excited about, and hope to be able to do more innovative and far reaching art events/programs.
Anita Prohaszka Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK 2005
Library of Elte University -Hungary; Title of exhibition: Exploratory Talk
Library of Godollo city –Hungary; Title of exhibition: Pastel vision
Gallery of Csemadok –Slovakia; Title of exhibition: Anatomy of Nature
House of Arts in Godollo –Hungary;Title of exhibition: Journeys
I am originally from Hungary but I am currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I graduated as a teacher of Arts & French and arts always played a very important role in my life. I had some autonomous exhibitions in Hungary and Slovakia. After moving to Belfast I got into the drudgery of work and I stopped drawing and painting for almost 10 years. I have never stopped thinking about arts and this year the motivation became so strong that I decided to continue my art life. I thought that 10 years without expressing myself and not using my creativeness would result in being full of inhibition and being very difficult to give out the feelings and to show my style. When I however restarted to express myself, it was like an explosion and I just realized that this part of my life is even more important as before. I am not limited using only one type of technique to reflect how I can see the world what surrounds us. I love pastel as a material as it gives me the opportunity to directly use my fingers to form my pictures however I also love using pen with aquarelle to emphasize the beauty of the consonance of lines. The most important for me to show how diverse and beautiful our world is especially our natural environment. My pictures could be characterized by clear and vivid colors and also dynamic line drawing. I find myself as a traditional artist who still has a long way to find her own style which can reveal my real personality however this road is full of excitement with lots of balks and challenges.
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When, how and why started your art practice? I accidentally discovered my attraction to arts. When I was 11 years old I met a graphic artist in a summer camp who was teaching arts to both kids and adults. I went to his class and I spent the rest of my childhood learning drawing and painting. Later on I graduated as a teacher of arts in Hungary and I acquired the qualification of bookbinding too. After my studies I started my work life which is not related to arts however my urge to express myself by visual arts has never stopped. I always had introverted personality as a kid and expressing myself through pictures is the easiest way for me to show my feelings and thoughts of people and the world. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Not to be influenced by other artists or actual trends. I am still searching my own style and the way how to present my visual world not depending on the actual fashion styles. Using traditional media it is difficult to be a reformer in the 21st century and I can see that many artists choose the easier way following the recent contemporary trends to be more successful or accepted by the public. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Is it possible to compare somehow UK and Hungary? As I had a big break in creating any art product when I moved to Belfast I am not really familiar in my local art scene. I recently restarted to focus on arts and searching different opportunities to show my pictures again. What I noticed that in the UK there are more possibilities for visual artists like open exhibitions comparing to Hungary however the competition is much bigger too. In both countries I see many talented young artists and it seems that it’s a very productive time period regarding fine arts.
beauty and uniqueness of the natural and human world which seems to have been destroyed by humans year by year. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why? If I could choose an occupation which is not connected to arts it would be something related to environment protection. The world surrounding us is beautiful and unrehearsable and everybody should notice that. In my 2015 year’s project my main topic was to show the
I wouldn’t really like to be compared to anyone but if I have to choose three artists whose arts are the most respected for me would be Egon Schiele, Edgar Degas and Tivadar Kosztka Csontvary. All these three artists brought something very new and original: Schiele with his human portrayal, Degas with his pastel technique and Csontvary with his usage of colours.
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What are your future plans as an artist? In this year my new project is to illustrate human emotions what typifies the general moral the most nowadays. I also would like to continue showing my pictures on different exhibitions and being active how I restarted in 2015. In November one of my selected pictures will be exhibited in Rome on an international exhibition and I would like to arrange at least one autonomous salons.
Mary Rouncefield Bristol, England, UK 2007
shortlisted for Jerwood Drawing Prize
exhibited in ‘Titanic100’ at Noble Maritime Museum , New York
‘Drawn’ exhibition Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK
‘Urban Life’ exhibition with Guerilla Galleries, London, UK
‘In The City’ Hannover Project, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Over the past two years my work has evolved into a voice trying to raise awareness of issues affecting vulnerable people living among us in so-called developed societies. Dress To Die For, 2015; Concerned at the current trend for models to be thinner and thinner, I made this ‘dress’ to highlight the dangers to the health of the models themselves and of all those girls who strive to be like them. Apparently the average female model now has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 16 . This is a standard medical recognised ratio of height to weight. The World Health Organisation defines a BMI of 17 as being ‘significantly malnourished’ when allocating food and medical aid to individuals in disaster zones. Child Soldier, 2015; Spray paint stencilled onto a re-constructed parachute bag; this is a depiction of a child soldier Waves, 2015/2016; The image on work is formed using hand-written text. I was moved by the verbal accounts given by refugees and migrants arriving on the Greek islands of Kos and Lesbos during 2015. I recorded the things they said; their hopes, their motivations and their regrets. While the title ‘Waves’ has layers of meaning, this piece reminds us of lives lost as well as opportunities gained.
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When, how and why did you about. My first series of works with start your art practice? a human rights theme, was aimed at raising awareness of human Even as a child, I have always had trafficking and the trade in men, a passion for art; painting, draw- women and children to be used as ing, making. Alongside that pas- a commodity or an unpaid source sion, though, was an enjoyment of of labour. Many trafficked people mathematics and a level of ability are living unnoticed in our towns, which enabled me to ‘just do it’. cities and countryside. Four drawI began my ‘work life’ teaching ings in this series were exhibited maths at various levels and tried to by Guerilla Galleries in London balance my life, with art occupying in 2013. This was a huge encourthe other half of my brain. agement to me, to use my work to Eventually I decided to swap the campaign for equality and justice. two halves over, and to make art my More recently, I have created work main focus in life. After re-training commenting on the rights of chilat Bristol School of art and the Uni- dren to be just children: free from versity of the West of England, my exploitation as workers or as solnewly established art practice re- diers fighting wars imposed on volved a great deal around my for- them by adults (‘Plantation Workmer life as a mathematician. I need- er’ and ‘Child Soldier’ both 2015). ed to express my thoughts, feelings Every child should have the right and ideas about the discipline of to attend school without the threat mathematics, my experience work- of violence or intimidation and ing as a female mathematician and ‘Today’s Lesson’ 2015 was made to the effects of mathematical conven- highlight the increasing violence tions on brain patterns and thought around this issue and the growth of processes. (I’m sure there are still ‘gun culture’ around the world. more avenues to explore there!) I do think art can create social A drawing, entitled ‘Parabola’, change, in the same way that literwhich combines mathematical cal- ature can. Most newspapers today culations, a graph and a female fig- feature the work of a cartoonist ure, was long-listed for the Jerwood and much of this is political comDrawing Prize in 2007 exhibition, mentary. There is a long tradition at the end of my second year on the stretching back to the historic degree course at U.W.E. After some publication ‘Punch’ and on into time, the focus of my work changed the present with ‘Private Eye’ and to a more political one exploring other satirical publications. Artists social issues, particularly those af- very much have a role to play in fecting women and children. This criticising the status quo and camwas partly precipitated by a time paigning for change. Other artists of introspection and re-evaluation making art to comment on social following on from a short period of issues, include Banksy, Grayson ill-health. Perry and Jake and Dinos Chapman. You create socially engaged art – The artist has potentially a means do you think art can create social of communicating ideas and conchange? cerns and providing they have an audience, can raise awareness For me, art is a means of commu- of social issues and injustices. In nication: a way of presenting ide- addition the artist can aim to presas, stories and situations that the ent a situation from an alternative viewer might not otherwise think viewpoint thus challenging the
viewer to consider a different perspective. My work ‘Campaign Boots’ was exhibited at The Mall Galleries, during the 2015 ‘Passion For Freedom London Festival’. This piece was made to highlight the campaigns women have embarked on over the past century, in their attempts to gain equality with men. The boots are covered with drawings illustrating a range of issues and campaigns which have been fought in the past, but sometimes forgotten in the present. These include: Votes for Women, equal pay, the right to birth control, the women’s peace camps, the right to education for all girls, and the broadening of women’s horizons and opportunities by female pioneers. I made the piece ‘Dress 2 Die 4’ to draw attention to the fact that the average female model now has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 16. This poses massive dangers to the health of the models themselves and to all those girls who strive to be like them. (The World Health Organisation defines a BMI of 17 as being ‘significantly malnourished’ when allocating food and medical aid to individuals in disaster zones.) This is just one instance in which the expectations placed on girls seems to have taken a ‘step backwards’ in recent years. What role does the artist have in society? The role of the artist is infinitely fluid. I believe that every artist can define their own role. Commenting on the huge artistic contribution made by the recently deceased David Bowie, BBC arts correspondent Will Gompertz said that the role of the artist is to make sense of the world and to shine a light on the darker corners of life. I immediately felt a high level of agreement with that statement as I see
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my current practice as having similar aims. The artist may take up a position outside of the accepted norms of society and thus be able to comment as an outsider; as Bowie certainly did for much of his career. However, not all art practice needs to be critical or political in nature. There are many people who take the view that the role of the artist is to produce beautiful images and objects, which will delight the viewer. Indeed currently, there are artists working towards either one of those pole positions with many other artists taking positions in between. One of the main constraints on artistic expression and independence of thought is the need to earn a living. As a result, many artists have another job to keep them solvent and pay the bills. Another alternative, is to have parallel practices; one commercial and one following the artist’s true inclinations (which
may be much less saleable.) A considerable problem for the ‘socially engaged’ artist is that commercial galleries may feel that work of that kind is difficult to sell. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live and work in Bristol, and also did my art training here. Bristol is a vibrant creative city with a hugely varied art scene. Almost every possible vision of art can be found here. Bristol is the home city of artists as diverse as Richard Long, Banksy, Nick Park of Aardman animation Studios and Beryl Cook. There is a thriving scene of independent and ‘pop-up’ shops and galleries showing and selling drawings, paintings and craft work. We have larger galleries showing contemporary art – the independent Arnolfini Gallery recently celebrated its 40th birthday. The City Art Gallery and Museum has its own permanent collection as well as showing international and national exhibits ranging from current contemporary work through to Hogarth’s etchings. Artist studios such as Spike Island and Jamaica Street Studios are well-known nationally and there are smaller studios working in new media, film and animation. Springing from Banksy’s legacy, there is now a burgeoning street art scene. Tourists are able to go on organised tours of street art around the city. I myself was delighted to have been selected to paint ‘live’ at Upfest, Bristol’s internationally famous Street Art festival which was visited by 3,000 people in 2015.
work in ceramics but also makes and exhibits paintings, exciting tapestries and textile work. His ceramics are always decorated with intricate drawings in which he often depicts social situations and social inequalities from a point of view critical of the status quo. I find his work quite inspirational and his use of colour -I do tend to go for monochrome in my own work- is magnificent! I am not a ‘street artist’ as such, but I enjoy working with stencils and spray paint. The impact and immediacy of the resulting image is ideal for communicating a political point. I do realise that I am unlikely to be compared to Banksy, but I do admire him for his fearless political and social commentary. For my third artist, I am going to nominate Judy Chicago – as she is a feminist artist and highly skilled at working with a variety of media. What advice would you give to those starting out in the arts?
I think this is a really difficult question and I certainly don’t think that I know the ‘right’ answer here. For many people just staying alive has to be their first consideration and a second job or a commercial strand to their work is essential. Do your research, apply for any possible openings that come along and grasp any opportunities with both hands. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself and your work. There is nothing wrong with being a ‘self-publicist’! On the other hand, try to find the time to do the kind of work you really want to do; even if you know in your heart of hearts, that you are unlikely to sell it! Persevere Name three artists you would like with this. Find your own voice and to be compared with. style and try to make work which you can be proud of – whether you Grayson Perry is renowned for his are selling it or not.
Emily Tull Ramsgate, England, UK 5Mall Galleries, London ‘Society of Women Artists’ 2015 Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize Exhibition 2015, King’s Place, London RBSA Portrait Prize Exhibition 2015, Birmingham, UK Royal Academy ‘Summer Exhibition’ 2014 Regional Finalist ‘Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 series’, Sky Arts
Kent based artist Emily Tull graduated from Kent Institute of Art & Design in 2000. Since then, she has exhibited in London, Birmingham and regularly across East Kent in group and solo shows. Recently exhibiting in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, the Mall Galleries and was a contestant in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2104 series. Inspiration comes from many sources including Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Curiosity Cabinets, Cindy Sherman, Egyptian tomb paintings and the Pre-Raphaelites. The work covers a range of subjects based upon everyday life and literature. I am obsessed with faces. They show a person’s life, and can look different on a daily basis, a perfect canvas to convey different sides of your character. But more than this my fascination is with the colouration and fragility of skin and within my portraits I strive to bring these issues across. My concern is more with the flesh then the actual likeness. Drawing and mark making play a significant role, repetition of marks, layering on different colours. This can be a violent process, pressing paint through fabric, manic stitching – quick actions due to a short time-scale. These ‘routines’ and combinations of materials trace my thoughts and fixations of the paint/skin and lead to an ongoing exploration of abstraction. In the latest sewn pieces, sewing takes the place of drawing, abstracting the face, breaking down the features to a more vulnerable state, with the thread melting into the delicate ‘skin’. For the last five years I have used wildlife imagery to experiment with fabrics, predominately British species but I am inspired by curiosity cabinet displays and my mother’s bee collection Once I have an image in mind I work out the fabrics and start by tacking on the base fabric of the subject matter. The actual sewing is quite a random act unless it is a face, where I start with the eye and work out from there. I will flit from colour to colour thread cross hatching, weaving the thread over and under until I am happy with the overall effect, I compare it to using colouring pencils. I am striving to close the gap to what is deemed ‘craft’ and what is art.
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When, how and why started your art practice? I started my current style in 2008. Since graduating in 2000 my practice was as a painter - I would paint through fabric, so there has always been a textile element to my work. But I reached a point where I couldn’t achieve the desired result within the style i worked. There’s no easy answer to how I started to stitch my thread paintings, it was through a mixture of inspirations all coming together at one time. I have always loved drawing and this is an alternative way of drawing using a needle and thread. Tell us more about your works, what inspires you? I am predominantly a figurative artist, I am fascinated, obsessed with faces -they show a person’s life, and can look different on a daily basis, a perfect canvas to convey different sides of your character. But more than this my fascination is with the colouration and fragility of skin and within my portraits I strive to bring these issues across. My concern is more with the flesh then the actual likeness (although likeness a important too). The models in my artworks can often inspire the piece too, either but the choice of background material or stitching in a symbol relevant to them. The fragmented feel to them was inspired by Egyptian tomb paintings and other relics. But recently the textures, layering of peeled away wallpaper and advertising billboards have influenced my fabric shaping. What art do you most identify with? Coming from my painting background I am mainly drawn to figurative painting. I adore drips, splatters and marbling where paint hasn’t quite mixed. Studying closely how the artist presents their flesh tones and personality. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Not sure i really want to be compared to anybody, but another thread painter I admire is Cacye Zavaglia. Other than them I would love to be compared to Lucien Freud and Francis Bacon. In your opinion, what role does the artist have in society? We are social/political commentators and story tellers. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Think with your head, paint with your heart. What are your future plans as an artist? To continue experimenting, exploring with the needle and thread, pushing it’s boundaries and mine.
Xiao Wang San Francisco, USA / China Anne Bremer Memorial Prize (1st Place), 2015, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award, 2014, San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco, CA Edge Effect, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA Familiar Deconstructed, Smash Gallery, San Francisco, CA Behind the Mirror, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Xiao Wang is a Chinese painter who lives and works in the US. He studied at Glasgow School of Art in Scotland where he received the BFA degree in Painting and Printmaking, he continued his study at San Francisco Art Institute and earned his MFA degree in Painting. Wang currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Wang’s work has been exhibited in Glasgow, London and California at spaces such as Candid Art Trust, Studio 41, Fort Mason Center, Diego Rivera Gallery, Arc Gallery, Chico Art Center and SOMArts Cultural Center. In 2014 He received Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award from San Francisco Foundation. Recently he was awarded with 1st place for Anne Bremer Memorial Prize, 1st place for “Mind, Spirit & Emotion II” at Art-Competition, and silver award for Art Forward Contests.
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When, how and why started your art practice? I started showing interest in art at a very young age, it has been the most important part my life ever since. Through out my early study I received traditional academic education, from which I developed an interest in realism painting, the trainings has also provided me the technical foundation for my later work. In 2009 I moved to Glasgow, Scotland to pursue a BFA degree in painting, the experience in UK opened my eyes to the larger contemporary art world. I started thinking critically towards my previous practice of figurative painting, I learnt to take a more contemporary approach to my subject while embrace the technique that I had built up. My practice of painting continued after I move to San Francisco, CA in 2012 to study for a MFA degree. Tell us more about your painting, what inspires you? My recent works are greatly influenced by cinema. Although I donâ€™t directly reference specific film scenes, I am interested in the intensity and mystery that can be found in works by filmmakers such as Lynch and Hitchcock. The uncanny plays a significant part in my practice. In my paintings, the uncanny-ness is usually presented as an in between: the frozen moment in between one second and the next, the locations between the known and the unknown, the fetishized interiors that are realistic yet feel alien. The in between turns familiarity into something that is unsettling and unfamiliar. What art do you most identify with? I often describe my work as somewhere between realism and surrealism. I want to embrace elements of surprise and bazaar-ness in surrealism within the realism narratives. I have been studying magical realism literature recently in order to push my work further. Name three artists youâ€™d like to be compared to. Francis Bacon Peter Doig Vermeer How would you describe the art scene in your area? Is it possible to compare somehow Glasgow and San Francisco? Both Glasgow and San Francisco has created some of the most influential artist in the world, but the art scene in the San Francisco Bay Are has been struggling for the past decade due to the high rent caused by the tech boom, many galleries and art organizations were forced to close or relocate. The good news is that the art community is still standing strong. In the past few years I have seen the birth of countless alternative art spaces, the new SFMOMA will also re-open this year after 3 years of construction, this will surely bring some attention from the art world back to the Bay Area. In your opinion, what does painting mean in contemporary culture? I suppose painting can mean very different things depends on what your role is in the art world, it can be anything from a philosophy to simply commodity. What are your future plans as an artist? My goal is to settle in New York City and become part of their art community as a painter.
Alex Wilk London, England, UK 2013
Florence Trust Residency (1 year), London
Culturia writing residency for Artistic Research (3 months), Berlin
Prism17 exhibition for Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
Building Volumes exhibition for Fringe Arts Bath
My work and research is concerned with the over-saturation of meaning in today’s world and aims to liberate images, objects and text from their attached associations. I am interested those moments of lucidity where words collapse into alien symbols, familiar faces into strangers, utilitarian objects and systems into inane futility. We see with new eyes for a moment and feel the fundamental absurdity of the human world around us and the beauty of it when stripped of its meaning. There are three main branches to my practice: sculpture, photo-collage and prints. My sculptural practice draws upon the language of signage, both contemporary and archaic, due to our inherent trust of the information within them By combining contrasting visual language, often from different periods of time and displaying them as artefacts in situ, they provoke this lucidity and absurdity. Through the use of the crafts and aesthetics of the Turn of the Century, such as traditional metalwork and enamel, combined with contemporary graphic language, ideas surrounding meaning and manipulation in an age of mass production are ensued. Meaning re-imprints itself as its own critique. In my photo-collages and prints I aim to incite new associations and narratives by juxtaposing different images and text. Sections of the world are shown as familiar yet fragmented. The collages often have a combination of urban and natural, heightening an awareness of our structures and systems. I draw inspiration from the free association of dreams, where narratives form out of confused scraps of day residue yet appear to the dreamer as credible and significant. When awake we rarely experience the sublime; we live in a world saturated with meaning and images. We are susceptible to the narratives that surround us in the same way that we trust the corrupt logic of dreams. The experience of the modern sublime is an awakening of consciousness, similar to becoming lucid in a dream. Will Self describes this: “…looking into the face of a startled deer while a Boeing 757 jet screams overhead ¬– that’s the modern sublime….it’s the juxtaposition of the natural world with the man-made / natural or meta-natural world.” My work aims to provoke this sensation, to allow the viewer to feel lucid and to sense the underlying strangeness of the world around us. To remove the cataract that eyes have habitually seen through and created by the acts of a mechanical life. When meaning breaks down, when the usual semiotic systems are subverted, we become more receptive: we sense, we feel, we become lucid.
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Briefly describe the work you do. I am a mixed media artist with an interest in corruptions of meaning and communication. My artwork generally takes the form of steel and enamel signs, site specific interventions and collages. I am particularly interested in the confrontation of the absurd and its ability provoke moments of lucidity – where meaning and human systems, constructs & connotations break down around us. I also draw inspiration from language of dreams with their fluid narratives, fractured logic and the heightened sense of association and metaphor. What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist? The most challenging, but also the best part, is getting to grips with new materials and processes. I spend a lot of time experimenting and getting things wrong before I feel ready to produce a final artwork. At the moment I’m playing with resin combined with silver leaf and found images. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Ed Ruscha, for his use of words and typography. I also think we have a similar relationship to words and phrases as he once said that the words that he paints somehow just get ‘stuck in his head’ like a catchy song, which I can definitely relate to. Bruce Nauman, for his playful word-game neon signs and his concept of ‘metacommunication’ - which can be defined as the alternative communication takes place when the usual sytems are corrupted. Albert Camus, for his concept of the absurd as being an intrinsic part of human existence. He speaks about the absurd as being a moment of lucidity where one becomes aware of the contradictions between what we feel and what we know, particularly in relation to the human tendency to impose and seek meaning from an inherently meaningless universe. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? If you define a conceptual artist as one who is interested in concepts then yes. However aesthetic is hugely important to me, although my use of aesthetic is also entirely connected with certain concepts and references that I am interested in. I also think it’s important to keep work accessible and playful so that it doesn’t become
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elitist, which I think is the main criticism of some purely conceptual art. I am also very connected to craft and enjoy the time and labour it demands, particularly within the context of todayâ€™s digital age where the instantaneous rules. Craft provides a certain set of ideals and values that are becoming increasingly absent. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live in Hackney in London which is famous for being a creative centre. There are many galleries ranging from emerging to established, pop up events, plus tons of studios and creative industries based there. Itâ€™s a very dynamic and interesting place to be. What do you like/dislike about the art world? I like the boundless passion and enthusiasm that those working in the art world have. Itâ€™s not an easy world nor career path, whichever aspect you are involved in, so those who have chosen it are entirely committed to art and the possibilities that can arise from it. I dislike the way trend and fashion can dictate success and value often more so than talent. I also feel uncomfortable with the investment aspect and resulting extortionate values that art can fetch. When this happens, I feel that the very point of art and what differentiates it from normal commodities is destroyed. Art then risks loosing any meaning created by the artist and instead transforms into a pure status symbol and an extreme embodiment of commodity fetishism, something which feels so contradictory to the original intent and purpose of it. What are your future plans as an artist? To continue to produce, research and write.
Artists: Madiha Abdo, Amkka, Jean-Claude Bise, Hakim Boulouiz, Valentina Casalini, Kathy Ferguson, Felicity Gayle, Tess Gray, Julie Impens,...
Published on Feb 5, 2016
Artists: Madiha Abdo, Amkka, Jean-Claude Bise, Hakim Boulouiz, Valentina Casalini, Kathy Ferguson, Felicity Gayle, Tess Gray, Julie Impens,...