CREATIVPAPER Issue One
Intro CreativPaper. Where do we even begin? What started off as an Instagram page just over a year ago has turned into a labour of love, blood, sweat and tears in the form of our first issue. Our goal was to give artists both established and emerging a chance to share their incredible talents for everyone to see. The first issue of our magazine certainly has crept towards that goal. In this issue, you will find illustrators, photographers and artists. Some professionally trained, others self-taught but each one has a common denominator. The drive to follow their passions, sometimes against all the odds. There are tales of heartbreak, lost love, depression and joy. All through the medium of brushes full of colour, staring at cold screens, scribbled paper napkins and sleepless nights. Art in its conglomerate of forms has the power to stop us in our tracks, flood our minds with a tsunami of emotions and inspire us to achieve the impossible. We hope that at you get to the end of this issue you feel inspired in the same way. We would like to thank everyone who believed in us and has supported us through this journey. This magazine would not be possible without you all. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did putting it together. Jimmy Outhwaite and Jefferson Pires Founder | Creative Director
Left: Photo Edit by Felipe Abreau
Terri Lloyd Carole Gray-Weihman
/JULIAN HANFORD Julian Hanford is a conceptual artist who had previously been practising creatively throughout a long and distinguished career as an award-winning Creative Director in British advertising. He left the world of commercial creativity to concentrate, firstly, on conceptual photography eight years ago, and has since moved into utilising his talent for ideas and visual communications to forge a significant body of fine art.
image manipulation. His in influences include the surreal-ists, Man Ray and Rene Magritte in particular, Gilbert Garcin, Pop artists such as Jeff Koons & Andy Warhol, and modern ironists including David Shrigley and Matt Collishaw.
His fine art works seek to explore the relationships and mysteries of humankindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing relationship with, and understanding of, the universe in which we exist, and the His practice involves combinations illusions and self-delusions we have of different media, with a bias so far traditionally held to be true. towards photography, but embracing the contemporary use of www.julianhanfordart.com
/JAOKIM BLOMQUIST Summer might be a distant memory for most of us, but there’s no denying these images from Gothenburg based photographer Joakim Blomquist takes us right back to those long summer days. His series titled “Promenade”, an ongoing project was shot in a place called Promenade des Anglais in Nice. Popular with tourists all year round but also a natural promenade for locals. We love the light airy feel in these images. A prominent theme in Joakim’s images. www.joakimb.se
/LISA KRULASIK Lisa Krulasik, is a talented jewellery designer based in New York City, she has been honing her craft at Pratt Institute for the past several years. Lisa was awarded the 2015 Saul Bell Design Award and received first place in the emerging jewellery artist category. Her BFA Jewellery Thesis Collection embodies her passion for Jewellery and reptiles. We took time out to speak with Lisa about her collection and the creative processes involved. In what ways has your background influenced where you are now? I am a first generation American from Polish parents. Growing up in a Polish household plays a minor roll in my work. My BFA Collection is titled Istota, which in Polish means â&#x20AC;&#x153;being, essence, creature, entity, substance, and soul.â&#x20AC;? My education has definitely had a major impact on my work. I have always been very interested in architecture, math, and science
so much so I originally was going to study Chemical Engineering. Once I found my love for creating, I trusted my gut and pursued art to see where it took me in life. Please describe your design aesthetic in three words? Crisp, dynamic, and sculptural. Who would you most like to see wearing your jewellery? It brings me great joy having anybody interested in my work and I honestly would love to have anyone wear my pieces.
Please describe the creative processes from start to finish of a new jewellery collection? Typically, what sparks my urge to make something new is when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m inspired by materials and forms. I then start sketching ideas while referencing the inspiration. For example, if a piece of wood sparks my creativity I will hold and rotate the piece in my hand so that I can discover and draw out new forms. After sketching, I either make prototypes out of base metal and paper, then move on to making the piece in the selected materials, or I just jump right into making the final pieces. Also, there are times
that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sketch at all and just start to make intuitively. All of this depends on what my instincts are telling me to do in the moment. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your jewellery philosophy? How do you like to wear your favourite pieces? While I design and create, I make sure to stay in tune with my intuition and allow for change as I progress. I find that this lets my work radiate the passion that I have for each individual piece. The process for my thesis collection, Istota, involved designing and rendering thirty brooches with watercolour and gouache.
This was to gain a better understanding of how the materials worked with each other and with the concept. To further progress, I had a few outside artists critique the designs, and then I selected the ten strongest designs that complemented my personal artistic instincts. I enjoy wearing pieces to complement an outfit, show off my personality, and boost my confidence. I also enjoy when people ask me questions about the piece I am wearing. Where did you find inspiration for the materials you use? I have always been interested in
work that included non-traditional materials. During my third year of college, I took a class titled beyond metals, where I was educated on how to work with many new materials like wood, plastic, etc. Since then, I have been inspired to stay on the look out to find unique and beautiful materials that allow me to create freely. www.lisakrulasik.com
/TERRI LLOYD Originally from the Bay Area in San Francisco, Artist Terri Lloyd now resident in Los Angeles since 1980 certainly grasped our attention with her unique perspective in art. She started a career in Graphic Design upon being introduced to an Apple Computer in the early 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. At the age of 50, she closed the chapter of the commercial aspect of her career to pursue the lifelong passion for fine arts. We love her combination of organic and graphical elements along with her use of colours. Her creative process begins with a series of sketches on any paper she can find, ranging from ATM-receipts, bar napkins to post-its. From there the images take form through a series of sketches or self-staged photographs o en being manipulated in different mediums. The results speak for themselves. The combination of spatial depth, forms and colours have sure got us hooked. www.terrilloyd.net
The Struggle Within.
/KUNIKO MAEDA With her organic inspired creations that look like something straight out of an Arthur C. Clarke movie, Kuniko Maeda is drawn towards materials that we take for granted. Plastics, paper and fabric, easily discarded by us are all transformed into her sculptures. Graduated from The Chelsea College of Arts Kuniko has exhibited extensively around Europe. Here she talks about ecological sustainability, her creative process and what she is listening to these days. How important is it for us as a race to look at reducing and reusing the materials we waste? The environmental sustainability is becoming one of the most serious concerns in our life and we are required to take immediate actions. During this project, I realised that understanding how to communicate with materials and utilising the possibility of them are one of key approaches for us to
consume less and re-evaluate everyday objects. While I was looking for paper bags as my main material, I felt paper bags were a very precious and indispensable resource for me. I often felt a sense of regret when I found a paper bag that I could have worked with were disposed in a bin.
I unconsciously developed an emotional attachment to the object. Thus, once we know the usability of the materials, we will definitely reconsider the usage of raw materials and value. Therefore, through my work, I would like to communicate to the audience, how the beauty of everyday materials and waste can be more valuable. We should care for our possessions and think about what we can do to
make materials last longer as this would bring about a change of attitude towards less consumption. Do you think we still have a chance to turn the damage we have caused on our planet around? Yes, I think so. However, first of all, I believe consumers need to change the attitude to be more aware of our excessive consumption and
the value of resources. While some designers and manufacturers are trying to find a way to less consumption such as zero waste design, long life materials and re-use of materials, I sometimes feel a big gap between makers and consumers. When I visited a recycling centre in London, I was shocked by the enormous amount of every day wastes. We are still indifference about our consuming behaviour. When the efforts for less consumption were practiced on a societal and individual levels, It would create a big positive impact.
of making. I experimented many different types of cutting pattern, shape and paper with laser cutting. I spent more than two months on laser cutting to achieve the desired outcomes. One of the most difficult aspects was to create digital files for laser cutting while maintaining the strength of paper alongside the delicacy.
Your paper sculptures sure have a very organic shape to them, are there specific elements in nature that you are inspired by? Yes. In this recycling paper project, I was inspired by bird wings since the lightness, flexibility and delicacy of paper project an image of bird wings which create How long does it take you to fluidity and elegant movement of complete a sculpture? There birds. Especially I observed pigeons certainly seems to be a lot of in it? since they are very familiar with It depends on the size of paper and human and they are a part of our shapes. I created long lasting paper daily scenery. by applying traditional Japanese natural lacquer on recycled waste What steps does your creative paper. process consist of? My main interest is the material life The process of making the paper cycle. Therefore, I often start with normally takes two or three days. some material research that I am But If I wanted darker shades of interested in and play with them to paper, I needed to leave the paper develop my ideas. in the natural sunlight for extra few days. In addition, design process was the most time consuming part
I explore each character of materials and associate them with natural and organic form which I am always fascinated by. After the research, I do some sketches for developing rough ideas for sampling. Drawing is indispensable for me to visualise small details, texture and create shapes. And the most enjoyable and yet important part of my process of creation is experimentation. I always create lots of samples, which lead me to come up with new ideas/methods and find unpredicted outcomes. Did you grow up in England? What was your childhood like as far as art is concerned? I am a Japanese born in Singapore and grew up in Germany until 12. And my family often travel around Europe. Therefore, I had many chances to meet people from different countries and learn different cultures when I was a kid. It was a good experience for me.
with my drawings which is inspired by the opera. I guess those experiences stimulated my creativity. What does Kuniko listen to these days? I recently listen to other people’s advice and feedback of my work. I was not keen to share my works to others before as I thought it was not so important. However, I noticed I could communicate with people through my work and gained lots of ideas and different approaches I haven’t thought. Do you have any upcoming exhibitions coming up? I am still working on this project to develop further more. Since I am interested in materials lifecycle, I will keep experimenting with different types of materials, mediums and scales, focusing on sustainable way of thinking. My new works will be up on my website and Made in Arts London. I look forward to share my current project very soon.
And also my they often took me to gallery, museum, theatre play and opera. So I was naturally interested in creative things. Especially I liked www.kuniko-maeda.com to see the opera since I could enjoy music, costume and set design even I didn’t understand the story. I still remember I made an original story
/RYOTA MATSUMOTO Ryota Matsumotoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work reflects the morphological transformations of our ever-evolving urban and ecological milieus that are attributed to a multitude of spatiotemporal phenomena in influenced by social, economic and cultural factors. They are created as visual commentaries on speculative changes in notions of societies, cultures and ecosystems in the transient nature of constantly shi ing topography and geology. The artworks explore the hybrid technique combining both traditional media (ink, acrylic, and graphite) and digital media (algorithmic processing, parametric modelling, data transcoding and image compositing with custom software). The varying scale, a juxtaposition of biomorphic forms, intertwined textures, oblique projections and visual metamorphoses are employed as the multi-layered drawing methodologies to question and investigate the universal nature of urban meta-morphology, the eco-political reality of the Anthropocene epoch, the advancement of biomaterial technologies and their visual representation in the context of non-Euclidean configuration. Furthermore, the application of these techniques allows the work to transcend the boundaries between analogue and digital media as well as between two and multi-dimensional domains. www.ryotamatsumoto.com
The Indistinct Notion of an Object Trayectory.
High Frequency Captured on the Surface of Augmented Objects.
Tell us a bit about Ryota Matsumoto Studio and the work it does? Ryota Matsumoto Studio is anÂ interdisciplinary research laboratory that operates across the field of architecture, art and design. We adopted a synergistic approach to investigate a multitude of spatio-temporal phenomena of urban and ecological milieus at all scales. Currently, we are based in Tokyo, but there are correspondents in Berlin and New York to be engaged in a diversity of
projects. As for now, we focus on developing a software that incorporate a recursive and reconfigurable algorithm based on multi-agent biological principals. It is capable of composing a hybrid image from the plethora of visual media driven by its own self-adaptive system. Some of my future media art are likely to reflect the outcome of this ongoing project.
The Chronology of Imaginary Scrolls.
You also refer to yourself as an Urban Planner, Tell us a bit more about that and how that intertwines with your art? I’ve undertaken some of the major urban development projects in China, Vietnam and Tokyo over the course of my career as an urban planner. The experiences certainly inspire and motivate me to explore and question both ecological and ethical issues of the urban sustainable environment that
have been influenced by the social and political realities of the Anthropocene epoch through my art, albeit with the use of visual semantics, analogies and metaphors. Your work comprises of complex layers and elements. How do you begin a painting and how long does each piece take on average? My drawing process involves base images that are composed by parametric and algorithmic design techniques.
Then they are merged and overlaid with traditional media such as acrylic, ink and graphite, as well as transcoded audio-visual data. These are further processed and looped through a series of arithmetic and stochastic operations by image editing programs and their custom plugins. The hybrid technique allows for a certain degree of unpredictability of visual dynamics. At the same time, painterly, organic sentiments of traditional media reveal themselves amidst the otherwise detached precision of digital drawings.
identity and style then. How did that influence you as someone originating from Japan? My experience of living and studying in London and Glasgow in early ‘90s has certainly fostered my creativity and helps me to approach things from multiple angles.
It was a few years before the digital tools and fabrications entered into the realm of architectural education. So greater emphasis was placed on theoretical discourses inspired by the work of continental thinkers and the discussions on Could you tell us a bit about the those themes facilitated the Metabolist movement and your exchange of ideas among students. involvement in it? Moreover we were trained to work I have collaborated with Kisho as a bridging point among Kurokawa, who was the founder of various disciplines and learned to Metabolist movement, on the pick things up quickly from campus master plan project in different fields and apply them to Fukuoka prefecture for several resolve any issues in our design years in the late ‘90s. Prior to that, projects from early on. I’ve worked briefly with Isozaki Arata, another associate of Consequently, interdisciplinary the movement for the landscape thinking comes naturally to me design of the healthcare facilities in and I guess that kind of a critical Tokyo. thinking mindset is indispensable for the development of one’s You spent a substantial time in artistry. London and Glasgow in the early 90’s. Art certainly had its own
Transient Field in the Air.
If you could mention three benefits about being a Japanese artist what would they be? I can’t really think of any off the top of my head. But suffice it to say that some people can’t quite put the finger on what makes us tick as we aren’t generally known to wear our hearts on our sleeves, thereby most people don’t have much preconceived notions about what we would do. That enables us to explore creativity in our chosen field in depth and without much constraint. I don’t know if this
actually counts as a benefit though. A lot of individuals consider being an artist a difficult profession to sustain, especially when making a living is concerned. What are your thoughts on that? As a struggling artist and designer myself, I could only convince myself and accept the fact that the financial stability is not my priority and make the best of every moment in my creative life.
/EMI HAZE It’s not every day that your work is featured on an Oscars spot, but that is exactly what happened to Italian artist Emi Haze in 2015 last year when she was part of Photoshop’s 25th Anniversary advertising campaign by Adobe showcased at the globally watched Academy Awards ceremony. The campaign itself won numerous accolades. Emi’s work tends to focus on a graphic style based on the construction and deconstruction of the human body. Here she gives us her thoughts on five topics ranging from music to technology and art. www.emihaze.com
NATURE In my works the human being melts with nature and its four elements to give birth to my inner world, ethereal and imaginative, hanging in balance between reality, dream and fantasy, in which colour and sensitivity have the predominant role. A harmony that binds man and nature in a perfect way and which unfortunately nowadays seems to be a utopia. Piles of tree branches, clouds forming hair, faces that melt with air and sky, human silhouettes that arise from expanses of earth and roots... this is my visionary world.
ART I love Impressionism for the use of colour and Surrealism for the subjects. I could name many artists, painters and digital artists that have influenced me, at first in my painting and later in my digital art.Â Mentioning only few of them would be reductive, because all the art world is the fundamental source of inspiration in the creative process, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m referring not only to pictorial art but also to music, filmmaking, photography and fashion.
MUSIC Music is one of the key of my creative process. Listening to my favourite artists like Sigur RĂłs, Radiohead, Bjork, helps me to immerse myself in my creative world and to have a right inspiration mood to develop a new work.
LIFE EXPERIENCE I think research is something fundamental and necessary in my work. In my opinion everything in every moment has an artistic side, the aesthetics of things, people around me... For me everything has its own importance, images, textures, sounds, fragrances, my creativity is constantly stimulated.
TECHNOLOGY Photoshop is my main working software. If it had’t exist my works wouldn’t have probably been real and would have existed only in my mind or, at least, they couldn’t have been as they appear today. Photoshop gave me the chance to combine drawing, painting and photography together to make my dreams and ideas come true. Nowadays there are no limits to what we want to create. Digital art is nowadays becoming increasingly important and it will exponentially grow in the future. The potentials offered by technology are endless and they can perfectly fuse with our manual skills. The only limit is our imagination.
/ALEXANDER JOHNSON Deeply structured layers and colours are what first comes to mind when you look at Alexander Johnson’s work. From his classic paintings to hand-made silkscreen prints and serigraphs, we enjoyed interviewing this multi-faceted artist. Based in Great Britain Alexander talks us through the extensive LP collection he has at his studio, his thoughts on modern digital art and how being an artist is a job like any other. You’ve got to put the hours in like everyone else. In an age where digital plays a huge role in art do you feel that we are losing the importance of tactile, physical art in its basic form? In short, yes. I just can’t get excited about digital imagery, or CGI. It all looks the same to me; superficial, soulless and kind of fake. I understand there is skill in creating it, but want to see physical evidence of the artist at work, mistakes, drips, a change of mind. You don’t get that in digital art because everything is airbrushed away, you end up with fussy,
overworked screensaver images with no hint of how they came into being. I do make sketches on my phone sometimes when I’m travelling, just because it’s easier on a train not to have to get out a sketchbook and charcoal, but I would never print up those digital drawings and sell them, I thought those Hockney iPad drawings at the RA last year were ghastly, I was so glad when I saw he had returned to painting this year.
I think in twenty years time we will Jeremy Deller exhibition last year see that the influence of computers at the Turner Contemporary in on Fine Art will be negligible. Margate was one of the best shows I have ever seen. In terms of technology the advent of photography has been the only Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with different real game-changer in painting and mediums such as oil paints, silkto a lesser extent collage. Ultimate- screen printing and even bronze. ly, most collectors and art-lovers Is there one that you are drawn to I know want paintings or original more than others? prints on their walls, not screensav- I was at Art College for five years ers printed by industrial machines and I trained as a fine-art on paper. I think history will bear printmaker. I learnt etching, me out on this. However, I do love stone-lithography and silkscreen good conceptual artists like Jeremy printing, but I also studied Deller and Cornelia Parker. The sculpture and photography.
Apart from drawing, silkscreen printing was my first real love in terms of a medium I bonded with immediately. I never used photo-stencils (like Andy Warhol) I prefer to hand-paint the stencils for a more painterly effect. I return to silk-screening at least once a year, usually when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a bit stuck with the painting process. I have my own screen-press and it forces me to simplify the images I am making. I still make small editions and monoprints which mostly I sell through my website.
How important is it to stay true to yourself as an artist? There certainly seem to be a lot of artists doing the same thing these days! It can be hard to see what your own style is. It has taken me years to settle into a more coherent way of working, I needed to get a lot of things out of my system first and I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to bypass that process. My modus-operandi is to make rules for myself and then break them. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve moved through several different stylistic periods over the last thirty years and I see that as a
normal part of ‘growing up’ as an artist. Picasso did it, Philp Guston did it, Bowie did it, all the artists I love have done it. I’ve always shiedaway from becoming overly formulaic and slick in the way I work. I know a number of artists who seem to be happy making the same basic image over and over again for years on end. I simply haven’t got the ability to do that; I get bored quickly and I like to experiment constantly. As soon as I find out how to do something, I’m bored with it and
I look for something else. I think artists can become trapped by commercial success and the need to make the type of image they can easily sell, that’s understandable but it doesn’t work for me. I need to feel free to make whatever images I choose. Luckily my work has always sold well and I hope that’s because I have stayed true to myself at any given time - for a painting to last it has to be honest. If you try to fake it, ultimately people will see through it, so I just do what feels right for me at the time.
What is your creative processes when creating a new painting, from start to finish?
peeling away layers of distraction to discover what is at the heart of the piece. I try to draw at least one sketchbook page every day, lately I make the canvasses and myself, a just going out into the garden and wooden frame, stretched with can- drawing the trees. I have sketchvas then primed with rabbit-skin books going back to 1980, I refer to glue, just like Rembrandt would them when I get stuck. It’s interesthave done. I like that link with the ing that sometimes I’ll be looking past and it means my paintings through a sketchbook from twenty aren’t to standard factory-made or thirty years ago and I’ll come sizes. I’m in the studio every morn- across an image similar to what I’m ing and I spend between 5 and 10 working on now, so I know there is hours a day working, it’s a job just continuity in the work, but somelike any other, you need to put the times it’s hard to see it as the artist. hours in. www.alexander-johnson.com I work on many different canvasses at once, different sizes and formats. Ideas surface during the working process and I develop them. It’s not a matter of waiting for some divine intervention and rushing to the canvas to capture it. It is a slow and sometimes frustrating process of
/HENRIK HYTTEBALLE Henrik Hytteballe’s paintings range from abstract compositions to partially figurative universes. Exploring the clash between civilisation and culture, he aims to let the viewer discover the world that may be elusive at first glance. As in life, we are learning piece by piece. Your work explores the interaction between various aspects of life such as philosophy, myths and spirituality, tell us a bit more about that? First I will thank CreativPaper for your interest in my art and for giving me a chance to share this. I have always believed that there is so much more to life than what we see with our eyes. Because of that I have studied literature on consciousness – the great philosophers, psychologists and books about myths and religion. I
think we humans still are having a very narrowed mind – it is shown in the incredible cruel way we treat animals and our common earth, and the fact that we still know so little about how our brain is functioning. In making art, I feel I get in contact with a far greater world and I think that this is what art should do – lift you above the daily life to reach other levels in consciousness. How did you get into art? I started drawing as a kid and took
lessons in piano and later blossomed during my childhood. Becoming a member of a band showed me that I felt great joy in creation instead of copying. A good friend taught me some basic skills in painting and I learned the magic of colors – how colors reflect feelings and create stories. I am still exploring and guess I will be doing that the rest of my life. We believe you are a composer too? Yes, I am educated piano player and have released 5 albums in the name of haiku and The Haiku Project. The haiku albums are based in some sort of rock and electronic music where as the Haiku Project albums are ambient music suitable for yoga, meditation and relaxation. I am happy that I can do both music and painting. One is visual, the other acoustic, but they both communicate various feelings and creates spaces and landscapes to explore.
I truly understand why you are asking – the big error is that we as humans are far more ahead in what we are capable of doing than our code of ethics. Humans are lead by greed believing they will become happier that way. But greed leads to loss and grief and destruction. I sincerely hope that mankind one day will see that by sharing and giving you are not loosing anything – on the contrary – you are adding to the unified whole. But we are still far away. Most Politicians have got it all wrong – they should answer the big meaninglessness in peoples life instead of continuing making the same mistakes over and over again. The changes will come from the people and I see a growing concern about our environment.
More people are taking actions against the cruelty against animals, and maybe one day we will understand why we are all here. We are in need of a huge change of thinking We love how nature has a to replace material values with the prominent role in your work, how values of caring and sharing. important is it for us as a race to take steps towards its What would you say is the preservation? Do you think we favourite part of your job? will ever be able to reverse the It is to be connecting to a source of damage on our home? eternal inspiration.
Dahab Into the Wild.
As an artist you must experience a creative block every now and then, how do you overcome this? I do shifts – some periods I focus on my music – in other periods it is my paintings I give attention, so I don’t experience any creative block. All my paintings start in chaos and I work on them over and over again in many layers before I reach what I want to, but I see this as a progress – not a blockage. My
music starts with small sketches and by working with them over and over again, they take form into a well balanced piece of music. www.henrikhytteballe.com
/hERO hERO is Helen Roowalla, a visual artist of Persian and Indian origin. She was born in Switzerland in 1980 and raised there until the age of 15 when she moved to the United States to complete her education. hERO currently lives and works in Switzerland. She has been actively painting since 2009 but has been drawing all her life. She began her career by painting large-scale insects in oil. Later she moved on to portraiture, with a touch of surrealism, still utilising oil as her preferred medium. In 2013 she began experimenting with abstract painting, and finally developed her signature pop art style, and embraced acrylic as her new medium of choice. Her style is characterised by bold lines and bright colours. Her lines are curved, almost cartoon-like, and the shapes organic and full of movement. www.hero-artist.com
Tell us about your Persian and Indian heritage? It’s certainly an interesting mix of cultures. My father is Indian, of Parsi descent, and my mother is from Iran. My father moved to Iran in the 70s where he met my mother, and they moved to Switzerland in ‘79, right before the Islamic Revolution, with my sister who was just one year old. I was born the year after in Switzerland. How much of an influence has Zoroastrian, the religion and culture you were born into had on your work? Being born Zoroastrian nowadays is a rarity. Zoroastrians are
recognised only if both parents belong to the religion, and with less than 100,000 Zoroastrians left spread across the globe, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. In addition, having grown up in Europe, isolated from a community with other Zoroastrians, I learned to adapt to my environment very quickly, always knowing that I was somewhat different from my peers. The mix of eastern and western culture, and the knowledge of being such a rarity in the world has influenced my artwork both consciously and subconsciously.
The Zoroastrian religion advocates a respect for nature and the tenets of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. This has also affected my choice of subject matter in my artwork, and also the way I perceive the world, and therefore translate it into my artwork. Both the shapes and the colours I choose are determined by my state of being, influenced by how I respond to the environment around me.
Animal and environmental protection is very close to my heart, and I feel we have a responsibility to act fast to repair the damage we have inflicted to the planet.
Unfortunately the environment is often deemed less important than causes affecting people more directly, and fewer resources are dedicated to wildlife protection. For this reason I have pledged to donate a portion of any sale of my artwork to wildlife protection Do you ever spend time in India? agencies. I do extensive research I visited my family in India, to choose the right agency where specifically Mumbai, when I was a to donate. I have recently read on child, and I went back twice in the protection of wild elephants recent years. I visited Delhi, Agra in Africa, and how the support of and Jaipur a couple of years ago, the local community is key to their where I was inspired greatly by the survival. Once people in both architecture and the history. Earlier developed and developing this year I visited Mumbai again, countries understand that wildlife where I was delighted to see several is part of their heritage and must Parsi communities (Parsi are be protected, the hope is that they’d Zoroastrians living in India) still be more pro active in preservation thriving. efforts. Maintaining an ongoing conversation about the importance You tend to donate a portion of of protecting the environment is your earnings to non-profit very important to me, and I hope animal protection agencies which to spread the word through the is really admirable, how do think exposure my artwork receives. we could raise awareness about animal welfare? Especially in developing countries where it seems to be lacking?
INTREPID, “Space is no place for the intrepid cosmoaut in love”
Talk us through your sculptural work? Sculpture is a fascinating art form, and very different from drawing and painting. When drawing or painting, I translate what I see in three dimensions into two dimensions, while in sculpture I need to be aware of all three dimensions at all times. In addition, drawing and painting is done uniquely with one hand, while in sculpture I use both hands, which engages the brain differently. Similar to working with murals, sculpting is more dynamic. Recently I’ve started fusing together my painting techniques by applying them to 3-D objects, ranging from mannequins to shoes.
and started developing a style that somewhat resembles pop art. What does art mean to you? I see art personally as the bridge between conscious and s ubconscious, between what is real and not real. Visual art is one of the most expressive and subjective forms of art. I infuse my paintings with my feelings, moods, and dreams of the moment, and I’m fascinated by the variety of reactions and interpretations I receive from viewers. I use art to translate the world I see through the filters of my feelings and imagination, and in the process develop a new language of symbols, which I often revisit in my paintings.
What advice would you give to Your current artistic style has artists trying to find their own strong elements of pop art in it, style and identity? was that always the case? My advice is to constantly keep My very first inspiration when I experimenting and getting started drawing as a child were inspired. Our own style and cartoons, especially Japanese identity doesn’t come to us right anime, so the cartoon style of away, and even once we believe we drawing and painting has always found it, it’s constantly been a strong influence. When I changing and evolving. Just as in started painting, I initially explored life we never stop learning, so is a more traditional approach, such art a constantly changing learning as portraiture, and then gradually process. went back to my original influences
/LINDSAY PICKETT Lindsayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary practice involves painting with oils on canvas, linen and board. He starts with a basic study of composition, takes it further as a small watercolour painting and then develops it more as the finished oil painting. He also uses photographs to create a visual reality that can be convincing at times and especially if he wants to get the likeness of a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face. It has also been good for him in the fact that it has honed his observational skills. In the below interview Mr Pickett discusses the obstacles of being an artist amongst other things. Most of your artwork has a deeply personal theme to it, with a distinctive perspective of the world around us, could you tell us a bit more about that? My work originally stemmed from dreams I had as a child. In particular nightmares that have made a lasting impression on me. My childhood was not easy either so art has taught me to express and rid myself of past negative memories.
What is the hardest part about being an artist? For me personally, selling work and meeting the right people. Your sculptures predominantly consist of British Airways model planes, where did the fascination for those stem from?
I have always loved aeroplanes and have great memories of being at Heathrow airport watching the aircraft fly in and out. I always got Your works from 1998-2007 a buzz of excitement in my chest certainly have a very vivid theme whenever I saw a new airliner through it, what was the strongest painted in British Airways and that influence in that period for you? feeling has always stayed with me My nightmares and childhood whenever I finish a new model. memories. Big Ben Rollercoaster.
What has art taught you? To be myself and to express what I was born on this earth to do.
impression on you and I remember always being excited by science fiction. Surrealist art is present in most Sci-Fi movies and also adverYou name M. C Escher and Salva- tising too. dor Dali as some of your inspirations, how important an influence People often paint to relax, how do you think they have been on do you unwind? the art community as a whole? I eat chocolate!! People always like the unusual whether they admit it or not and www.lindsaypickett.co.uk as a child things make a lasting
Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Cross The River.
/KIMBERLEY DAWN The Alkonost is an independent London-based jewellery brand. Founded by Kimberley Dawn, she produces unique, handmade sculptural jewellery. CreativPaper caught up with Kimberley and talked about Russian mythology, hope and creativity. Kimberley, There’s a strong organic theme through your designs, Talk us through that? I like to challenge the idea of what beauty is. To me beauty is using something already ignited by beauty through nature itself. I then take that form and generate something new.
things stylish yet sustainable.
Who is the ideal customer for The Alkonost? I feel as though the designs connect with people in different ways. The use of bird beaks is almost a metaphor for peoples journeys in life not running smoothly all the time, with As I use moulds from real bones sharp twists and turns – yet still in the design of my work, it is like they find their way to glide through giving it a new life and purpose – a the air like an elegant bird. reincarnation into something that can be timeless. In todays world I I want my jewellery to speak to think it is a good way of showing people to give them empowerment how you can use something that and the assurance to be exactly is around you in nature to create who they want to be.
The name ‘The Alkonost’ stems from Russian mythology, Tell us more about that? The Alkonost, according to Russian mythology, is a creature with the body of a bird but the head of a beautiful woman. She makes sounds that are amazingly hypnotic. Those who hear these sounds forget everything they know and want for nothing more. She lives in paradise but comes into our world to deliver a message of hope. Unlike her counterpart Sirin, she brings good, not evil.
lead to our own version of ‘perfection’. The struggle can often be that your imagination is limitless, yet when that collides with the hurdles and frustrations of completing a piece, it can be hard to get past that. All you can do is your best and let mistakes and fails strengthen you and lead you to a better creative process and achievement.
What materials do you use in your work? The main content of my work is The world of mythology fascinates silver. In a world of fabricated me as it makes the world of the jewellery it is important to keep a impossible, possible. The content of sense of the value of craftsmanship. this particular story in its relation My designs are handcrafted with to birds and the good message the moulds made from real animal Alkonost brings are both bones, combined with wax prominent features in my work. carving. This allows the original The combining of a human form natural form to be transformed and a bird brings to me the notion with the addition of my own of strength and freedom. I think imagination - becoming a unique it is important for your work and piece that is raw and refined at the your brand to stem from same time. something that inspires. Photographer: Nicole Gomes What challenges do you face Makeup Artist: Hannah Williams during the creative process of your design work? www.thealkonost.co.uk As a creative person it is important to finish things. Imperfections and mistakes can
/CAROL BROWN Photographer Carol Brown’s time working in the independent film industry helped to develop her style as an artist; whether working with wardrobe, make-up, or as a still photographer, she used the experience to learn as much as possible. As an artist, Brown’s images hold an autobiographic quality, as we are offered snatched glimpses into her everyday movements albeit from an abstract perspective. When did you move to New York and what brought you there? I moved to New York City when I was young and stupid and didn’t know anything. So I was a ‘deer in headlights’ for a while then. I loved the City but it took a while for me to make myself at home. I was right out of school and really shy, I suppose I sort of shrank off a bit and retreated to the background where it was easier to watch life unfold and carve out my own identity. New York is amazing, I just really wanted to be there.
When did you first start experimenting with film? When I got to New York, my real world life experience began. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t continue my studies, instead I went to work. I worked as a hair/makeup artist, costume design, and still photographer in Independent Film for years. I absolutely loved it. I learned hands on working with some really great artists, how to tell stories on film. So for me, the camera, whether shooting live action or still is the perfect medium to capture emotions wether heartfelt or fleeting. Do you think it is important to be versatile as an artist these days? I do. I think it is very important to be versatile as an artist I mean, why limit yourself itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a natural progression to want to experiment with other forms or textures or mediums. All my interests fed off each other, fine art to fashion to photography to film to music cross pollinated each other and became different branches of the same tree. There are a lot of organic textures present in your photographs, talk us thorough that? The textures and patterns I see all around me whether created naturally in nature, caused by time and or erosion or just accidental can be so beautiful and intricate like a painting. Leaf formations, water rippling in a puddle or pond, tree bark and branches, shadows, cracks on the wall, I find it all so fascinating. Mundane details, perhaps, but an intricate part of the fabric of life, multifaceted and intricately inspiring.
Are there other current photographers that inspire you? There’s so much really good work out there, Instagram is awesome, it’s great to see what everyone’s doing and what galleries are showing. Art is so accessible now, it’s really great being able to share your work globally with such ease. You held your first solo exhibition in 2015 which must have been a big moment in your career, Did you get much sleep leading up to the exhibition? And what was the response like? Oh my gosh I had such knots in my stomach from the nerves, it was really wonderful, people liked it though the response was really encouraging. We were in the middle of a snow storm that wouldn’t end so the weather was terrible but people still came out for it. It was amazing. What are you working on these days? I am editing two fashion films and composing music for them, while preparing for two upcoming exhibitions in Italy, ‘Little Treasures’ at Galleria De Marchi, Bologna and the XI Florence Biennale. So things are really great. www.carolbrownphotography.com
/FELIPE ABREU The European migrant crisis has been the central topic in media coverage over this year all around the world. There’s a human movement underway that will transform political, social and demographic relations in Europe in a profound way. For being such an important theme and receiving extensive media coverage, there’s a bottomless image collection portraying the journey and political repercussions of this migrant movement towards Europe. Considering this scenario, this essay proposes the analysis, selection and editing of images found under the search “migrant crisis” on Google. aprox. 50.300.000 – reference to the number of hits related to the search at the beginning of the project – aims to resignify this collection of image, creating a visual narrative of this immense and most significant movement. The series chooses not to spectacularize the suffering of the people involved in this journey by focusing on body language and reducing previously photojournalistic material to a minimalistic aesthetic. There’s a concern to protect the identity of the migrant characters in the series and to bring forward the face of those that can change their situation, exemplified by politicians, media and police. Considering the logic of the post-photographic movement, aprox. 50.300.000 abandons the click by the photographer and focuses on the creation of new meanings both visual and narrative to a specific photographic universe.
WORDS AND EDIT BY FELIPE ABREU
Is a self-taught contemporary mixed media artist and photographer with her work being inspired by whimsical fragments, nostalgia, melancholic memories and teenage angst. Martinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s abstract works explore the release of nervous tension from a universal perspective; from the subjective and objective viewpoints.
MARTINA MANALO Q&A
Q&A Here at CreativPaper we have a global audience, could you tell us what’s unique about where you live? I guess what’s unique with where I live is that it’s a city and beautiful nature all in one, naturally divided. Wherein traditional art and modern/contemporary art is both very much welcomed and
appreciated as well. How has this shaped you as an artist? This has opened my eyes in different forms of art even more and learned how to appreciate total differences of let’s say, traditional Chinese art, and contemporary art.
Is there a strong contemporary art scene in Hong Kong? Yes there is, it is actually quite interesting how strong the contemporary art scene is here in Hong Kong. Not only contemporary, but art in general. There are a lot of art festivals that happen quite often, and yes, they seem to cater to contemporary more often.
Ballet Manila as a Company Artist, and also worked with them as a faculty member. What is your morning ritual like? I don’t really have a morning ritual, since I’m not of a morning person, so it would probably be more like waking up and going back to bed again. (Lol)
You come from a family of visual How important a role do textures artists, how influential was that play in your paintings? on your steps towards becoming Textures play a really big role in an artist? my paintings. As a painter, I’d like Very influential. I couldn’t ask to really keep my paintings really for more. It’s like being in a place minimal but strong in having bold where everybody understands you, colours, and rough textures and and hands out ideas one after the feels on it. And as being said, for other and brainstorming me it is the “main thing” that em- non-stop---it’s amazing. phasises the whole painting and it being so important for me. I sometimes can’t believe it. I’m actually overwhelmed by how I believe you also do a bit of much support I get from my family performance art? Tell us a bit with the different kinds of art I get more about that? myself into. Yes I do, I have been in the performing arts for quite some I’d say very influential, that I won’t time now as a professional be where I am if it weren’t for them, ballet dancer doing mainly classical I look up to all of them and they all ballet and a bit of contemporary/ inspire me in so many ways each modern ballet. I have dane time until now and even if we all professionally back home in the are in different fields of art; Philippines in the company called somehow.
I see beauty in the things that are minimal but avant-garde, deep but subtle, the nostalgic, melancholic, but full of angst - contradicting but by bits and pieces they are different, and will always be mysterious. That I think is what make things beautiful.
How important do you think it is to educate the future generations about art, especially in areas that may not have access to resources we take for granted? Very important. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why it is one of my goals to conduct workshops back home first, starting provincial or in public schools and introduce art to them.
why I want to share it back to the world as well. What elements frustrate you as an artist? A lot - in many different ways I guess, negativity and all that. But I just put it all behind and forget it and move on. These could be challenges but, then again, accept and move on, or else itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be you that will ultimately do nothing.
Art is culture, and the world needs to be cultured and fed with this kind of knowledge as well. Art is www.martinamanalo.com very broad and it is not just a stagnant piece of study; we learn so many things about it, we learn people, the world from art, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
/JENNIFER COLTEN Jennifer Coltenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work focuses on ambiguous landscapes, sites at the margins of the urban environment, and spaces that reveal a resilience of ecological transformation. Central concerns within her photographic practice reflect questions surrounding the representation of our landscape and examine multiple issues unearthing social, cultural, and environmental implications of land use.
WASTELAND ECOLOGY: PHOTO SERIES Wasteland Ecology explores malleable landscapes as they shape around the sites of industrial and old toxic zones. The vegetation, as it follows the disruptions of the landscape, reveals unplanned ecological restoration. The land shifts over time and new life emerges, sitting parallel to the traces of human activity.
Could you tell us a bit more about the concept of “terrain vague”? The way I understand the term “terrain vague” is in its expression of a kind of space that is indeterminate, in-between, yet paradoxically present. These are places at the periphery- places that have been defined as “edgeland” space. The term ‘edgeland’ coined by environmentalist Marion Shoard, describes an “apparently unplanned, certainly uncelebrated, and largely incomprehensible territory”. The concept of ‘terrain vague” is imbedded in the idea of the edgeland. The overlooked or transient places that I wander around are often places that once were. They once were industrial structures, they once were communities, they once were thriving commerce, they once were something defined, but no longer hold retain its early usage. This is not an easy or necessarily a comfortable condition. These edgeland spaces are compelling because they defy a simple, obvious, or clear definition. Many of the images in my ongoing series, The American
Bottom and Wasteland Ecology, are made in and around old industrial areas. These are places that once had purpose and once claimed significance where traces found in the landscape quietly announce new forms. It is in the fractured space where the kind of resilient vegetation I am interested in, often emerges. So, the concept of terrain vague is very interesting to me. The dual and paradoxical condition where the familiar, almost banal and overlooked space is also the site of enormous transition and uncertainty. With the unprecedented expansion of urban areas how vital a role do non-spaces play? If any at all? The non-space a a place of incredible diversity, though almost by definition they are completely unrecognized. Continual transition occurs in these places influenced by both human intervention as well as natural forces. As urban space becomes suburban sprawl, or urban centers transition to the dull and undefined space of the office park, things shift.
The non-space can emerge as the area where an incredible diversity of animal and plant life might thrive. I am interested in the spontaneous and resilient vegetation that finds its home at these peripheral sites. Again, it is the definition of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;edgelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that I am inspired by.
exist, even thrive, and maintain ecological life in spite of human intervention.
Your photography tends to focus on detail and the interaction between human influence and the environment. Is this the new landscape image we should be focusing on? As Marion Shoard determines, This is not such a new perspective this kind of non-space is the space or concern for artists. I have drawn where most environmental change a lot of inspiration from the phooccurs. I am particularly curious tographers of the New Topographabout this shifting space and search ics group- photographers Lewis for sites that reveal a certain Baltz and Joe Deal, in particular. underlying strength and Also more contemporary photogperseverance. These environments raphers such as Ron Jude,
Sophie Ristelhueber, Richard Misrach, just to name a few, have been of great inspiration.
statements about what that relationship is, or in presenting direct remedies for our condition.
And then there is of course, Robert Smithson. I am struck by how relevant his writing still is today. I could go on and on with artists who have influenced my thinking and working. But, to answer your question, for me looking at the evidence of our human presence in relationship to the environment is crucial. I hope that my photographs might raise questions about our relationship to our environment. I am not specifically interested in overt
I am actually struck by how resilient nature is and I am curious about its ability to sustain and evolve in spite of us. This is not to absolve us of our obligation to take care of the environment, or for the need to make decisions for the health and future of the planet, but, the notion that Nature evolves with no care or regard for us, is encouraging and inspiring to me.
You teach photography at Washington University in St Louis, do you see different patterns and trends with regards to how your students view the environment around them? Sometimes, yes. Students are interested in a wide variety of things, but I do see a consistent group who are asking questions about the built environment and its relationship to what might be called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; . Of course then we have to get into discussion about how is nature defined, and where do the boundaries of the built space intersect with the wild spaces in the environment. For me, teaching art is largely about forming and identifying questions guiding students to find what their questions are about their surroundings. Along with teaching about photography as a visual language, and teaching students how be critical thinkers and makers of art, I try to teach them to articulate their questions as a way to define their art- making process. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no denying the impact we have as a race on the topography of the planet, how important is it for us to study this change and the impact it has? A big part of my work aims at
raising questions about our human impact on the environment. Since I am not a scientist, the way I study is through observing and photographing. I believe that art can provide a catalyst for all kinds of things including activism or awareness or even catharsis. Some of the new developments in the Wasteland Ecology work takes me into the world of science and ecology more directly. I am photographing plant specimens, their archives, and scientific laboratories. The study of ecology and aesthetics are maybe not so different, and I am exploring ways to intersect the two and see where that might take me. www.jennifercolten.com
/ANNE CECILE SURGA Anne Cecile was born in 1987 in Lavelanet, France. She demonstrated a natural interest in art and other manual activities during her childhood, and in 200 she entered her first drawing and painting class. She learnt traditional rules of compositions, anatomy, and harmony of colours along with different techniques such as drawing, pastel, China ink and oil painting. This first classical study of art would be the foundation for the artistic development to come. Anne Cecile enrolled in a business school in 2006 while studying clay sculpture in the evening. She later graduated with a Master in Business Administration from the Florida Gulf Coast University. This was also the period when she took all the opportunities offered to her to travel and discover the world. Her travels brought her to live in countries such as Mexico, Turkey, in Florida, and in Singapore; and she moved to even more countries. In 2012, she went to New York City where she graduated with a Master in Art History from Christieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Education. Because of her exposure to a multitude of aesthetics and cultures, Anne Cecile is inclined to develop a universal artistic style: a style that aims to be understandable by most people, an art that speaks directly to the heart of the viewer. www.annececilesurga.com Left: Fertility.
Above: Fake it Till You Make It & Fear.
Right: Black Hole III
/NICOLAS VIONNET Nicolas Vionnet’s primary medium is acrylic on canvas. His chiefly large-scale works play with space and expanse. Although almost always realistic, his paintings have more in common with abstract images than real landscapes. He paints disruptive grey strips across his clouds and allows coloured surfaces to drip down the canvas in accordance with the laws of gravity. Vionnet is fascinated by such irritations: interventions that approach and create a non-hierarchical dialogue with the environment. This discussion opens up a field of tension, which allows the viewer an intensive glimpse of both these phenomena. Vionnet uses the same approach and the same strategy for his installations and objects. Irritation and integration. A fundamental confrontation with the history of a place leads to a subtle and more precise intervention of the object. Take for example his man-made grass island at the Weimarhallen Park (Weimar, GER), which ironically intensified the park’s own artificiality. In ‘Close the Gap’ (Leipzig, GER) he bridged the space between an old-town row of houses with a printed canvas image of the now much frowned upon prefabricated building. A reference to changes in time and aesthetics.
What are the best aspects of living in Zurich? Raised in the region of Basel I’ve been living in Zurich for 8 years. Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and offers various opportunities. In addition to the central location the city has different recreational areas with some nice lakes and nature reserves, which are quickly accessible. I myself live outside the city, but only need 20 minutes to reach the city centre by public transport. Zurich has a vibrant art scene with a huge number of galleries and off-spaces. It is definitely a good place to be for artists.
working almost exclusively in the public space. I was very often concerned with barely-visible and subtle interventions. I love the abeyance between art or non-art, this uncertainty and irritation that is triggered by the observer. At all, I think to work in the public space is very different from working in a white cube. While in the exhibition space I almost find a neutral situation, the prerequisites in the public space are completely different.
How do the citizens use the place, what is its function and what role does it play in everyday life? Are there any special circumstances or other conspicuous issues? Integration with the environment These are possible questions which seems to play a pivotal role in drive me and with whom I enter a your work, how important is it to project. Accordingly, the you as an artist? environment of my work is always Yes, this is correct. My work often important and remains noticeable focuses on topics of integration in my work. and irritation. In other words, I’m trying to integrate something new Last but not least: I like this into an existing environment and approach, as the different places thus to irritate at the same time. I always lead me to new topics and think this fact is originated to my difficulties. I can’t and I won’t do it early involvement with public any other way - I continually want spaces. After my master’s degree at to rediscover myself. the Bauhaus-University in Weimar, I spent several years
What do you love about your job? First of all, I would like to mention that besides my freelance artistic work I have been a lecturer for art and design. This ensures a sufficient income and gives me and my family the necessary safety. Furthermore, the exchange and reflection on art with youngsters and students enriches my individual work in a good way. Therefor I am convinced that I will be teaching also in the future.
a twisted street lamp, all this can be potential starting points for installations and interventions in the public space. Very often, I discover situations that could already be art and have a lot of potential. This fascination for the public space started during my studies at the Bauhaus-UniversitĂ¤t Weimar.
With one of the professors, we have regularly done so-called night-walks. We have circumnavigated and explored the But now to your initial question: I city during the night! A very love the freedom to deal with enjoyable experience. It helped me personal questions and issues and a lot to develop a basic new to find appropriate solutions. What understanding of space. I also like is to deal with different materials and their workmanship. www.nicolasvionnet.ch Even though my work often shows conceptual approaches, I am still excited about processing and utilisation of materials. After an intensive day in the studio, I love to see how the work has changed. It is gratifying that I always can learn a lot in each project. Where do the inspirations for your pieces stem from? I find most ideas by doing very casual things, like reading the newspaper, driving the car or crossing the road. A lying around,
/DR. MIRANDA TROJANOWSKA Some might consider being a lecturer in Biology and Forensic Science alongside a profession as an artist paradoxes but not Dr Miranda Trojanwska. We had a chat with Dr Trojanowska in which she touches on aspects of her life and works such as the importance of emotions when she paints, the parallels between her day job and art. Both she feels are key ways in understanding and expressing the world we inhabit. People might be surprised to hear that you are an artist, have a PhD in Biochemistry and you are a Lecturer in Biology. Would you agree that there are similarities between science and art, and if so, how has this affected your art? I see no contradiction in my academic training as a scientist and lecturer, and in my painting of abstract images – they are creative processes aimed at understanding and expressing the world, conveying some of my scientific, artistic and emotional experiences. An example of the crossover between biology and art is reflected
in my painting ‘Circle of Life’ (2016). The three black panels attached to a wire frame signify how life and biology have to follow set rules; yet the fluidity and form of the large green abstract leaves shows that nature will always be evolving and adapting. The red roses signify the beauty of art, and the small metal circles are key to the whole piece – the symbiotic relationship between the Animal Kingdom and plants.
Circle of Life.
As organisms, we need oxygen to survive and as a product of metabolism we produce carbon dioxide. Plants require carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce sugars in order for them to survive, and as their product of metabolism they produce oxygen – hence the continuity of life and codependence on other organisms; a beautiful balletic biochemical dance depicted in form, colour, shape and scientific representation. There are no straight lines in nature, and as Antoni Gaudi said “the straight line belongs to men,
the curved one to God.’ Yet some of my work, with influences from Marc, Picasso, Braque and Boccioni, expresses emotions, internal dialogue and affective states through fluidity, form, colour, movement and texture, even straight lines. There is no conflict between straight and curved lines, but a melding of science and art, ultimately recreating personal, emotional and intrinsic experiences. This allows the observer to experience these states on their own terms, thus allowing visual
and cerebral connections to develop into a unique and thought provoking interpretation of what I am trying to portray, in essence a snapshot of my journey in the creation of each piece of work. Emotions take centre stage in your work. How effective would you say art is at enabling us to express emotion? My art as a creative process explores the genesis of tangible emotions ranging from pain, catharsis, love and friendship – diversifying these affective states, morphing, solidifying and ultimately making them permanent marks and forms on a canvas.
paintings. I have a piece of work, comprised of two paintings, painted three years apart and entitled ‘The Journey to Resolution.’ The first painting is called ‘Rage’ (2009) where my art questioned and explored a painful experience that weighed heavily on my soul. Over a period of years, the painting ‘Catharsis’ (2012) followed which expressed my acceptance and a start on the processing of healing. This is a powerful piece of work that evokes sadness, fear and pride in the fact that I had come along this complex, emotional journey to ultimate acceptance and self-belief.
Your paintings have a very tactile look about them. How long does each piece take from inception to completion? How do you fit in working on your art as a busy lecturer? My art started to take a different turn last year where I started exploring mixed media and different painting types and styles. As a consequence, I love the use of In turn, the observer conjures up creating forms that can be painted, their own juxtapositional internal to show the fluidity and organic dialogue, and thus in turn is able to movement of the sea, solar flares interpret and communicate their and relief abstracts. own emotions in response to my The pieces are colourful, vibrant, full of movement and energy, drawing the observer in, challenging the observer, allowing the observer to question the message that the painting is seeking to ask, and ultimately allowing the observer to agree or disagree with the affective states being expressed.
I usually start off with a concept in my head that morphs into shapes, forms and colours. I revisit these mental images over a period of days, and it is only then that I choose my canvas, put on my lab coat and gloves and get started. Lab coat I hear you say? I use a lot of paint and in order to protect my clothes and hands from being scrubbed, I use an old worn old lab coat from my Postdoc research days and latex gloves.
complete a piece of my work. What are you reading right now? I am reading Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. ‘Inferno’ telling of Dante’s descent into Hell with Virgil was the inspiration for my piece ‘Judgment Day’ (2016), showing souls descending into a pit of molten mass for their transgressions on earth, forever being reminded of their sins. This piece of work will form a trio of paintings depicting ‘Purgatorio’ followed by ‘Paradiso.’
I was demoing my painting ‘Solaris’ (2016) at an art exhibition www.mirandatrojanowska.com recently where a fellow artist, an elderly gentleman also demoing, looked quite perturbed at what I was doing. He was putting the final touches to a beautiful cottage in watercolour with a paintbrush that had only 4 hairs. I was standing next to him, working on a large canvas on a paint spattered easel, the floor covered in newspaper, clad in a colourful paint-spattered lab coat and gloves, splashing paint around. Completely different styles and approaches to painting but I love the energy that is required to
/IMOGEN REID 2006 was the year that artist Imogen Reid decided that it was time to put her career in advertising and public policy behind her and focus on her creative side as a painter. Since then she has honed her skills as a realist painter and artist, travelled across England on a painting tour in 2015 which led her to settle in the picturesque Scottish Borders. Her work reflects the beautiful landscapes she is surrounded by and her thought processes at the time. Having exhibited extensively across the U.K Imogen’s work can also be found in private collections worldwide. Could you tell us about the artists that have inspired your work? Both past and present? The realist movement provoked the new direction of my work in 2009 – depicting life as it is, with a frank acknowledgement of the artists’ intention behind the choice of subject and rendering. The French realists Gustave Courbet, and Caillebotte, are particular favourites. Daubigny made some stunning landscape works, mainly of river scenes. I also love Rembrandt, particularly for his drawings and his intense portraits
– the one in Kenwood House, London is the only self-portrait I have seen where you feel you are looking directly at the man himself. Last year I travelled to Amsterdam, to study how the Dutch landscape artists such as Cuyp and Ruisdael managed to capture the comparable ‘big skies’ that are so inspiring about the local landscape in Northumberland. Their use of spot colour, transparent glazes and expressive brushwork is spectacular.
Bristol, The Cut Reid 05.
Dutch landscape and genre painting, as well as American realism such as the work of Andrew Wyeth is particularly compelling with the sense of space and human isolation they evoke.
eloquent way. Contemporary painters who have been really inspirational include American Richard Schmidt for his exemplary commitment to plein air painting, and unselfish generosity in sharing his experience as a A recent revelation was the painter. The British painter Romantic and Realist landscape Graham Crowley also gave me paintings of Scandinavian artists, some great mentoring, and led me such as Peder Balke. Kathe Kollwitz onto a lot of my research into for her powerful prints and landscape artists when I met him devastatingly emotional sculptures in my London studio some years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; she deals with death in the most ago.
Retun to the Hive.
You currently have two exhibitions running, could you tell us a bit about them and the response you’ve had so far? The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) show is a nice gig – it’s the South West of England’s equivalent of the Royal Academy and has been around for 164 years. The Open is a nationwide competition, there are 7 selectors, and 5 need to approve your work for you to get hung, so it feels good to make it onto the walls, not least
because the calibre of the other exhibitors is impressive. It’s not often you find yourself on the wall opposite Ken Howard. This is the second time I’ve had work in the Open, and this year my urban landscape ‘Bristol, The Cut’ is hung next to Prince Charles’ inevitable offerings, which makes me smile. Another painter, said it was her personal favourite, which was a lovely compliment to have from an artist whose work you admire.
The second is a very modest event! The Merchants Arms is a small pub in Bristol I cycled past on my way back from painting expeditions and the studio. It holds no more than 30 people, but has an incredibly genuine atmosphere, and its clients include local sailors, musicians, poets, and writers. The landlord was once a DJ, and we became friends, sharing a love of old soul music, which I used to play out a little around the city. Hearing I had some success in London and Bristol he offered me a running exhibition, which I populated with some local plain air pieces. The feedback has been positive, and one of my works was sold in a charity auction there to one of the regulars. It’s sometimes nice just to put your creative energies into a place you enjoy being.
Could you talk us through ‘In Search of My Northern Soul’ series of paintings? Last year I became increasingly demoralised by what I saw happening in the society around me in the UK. I wanted to know where the vibrant commentary and action on social and environmental injustice had gone. The effect on my work was debilitating. I also wanted to ‘go home’, but had no sense of one where that was anymore. A friend gifted me a car, a 26-year-old Peugeot 205, and I filled it with painting equipment, some books, and sleeping bag. I started at the furthermost point I knew I could impose on a friendly face (in case the auto gave out in the winter weather).
That place was relatively close to Northumberland, where my What excites you the most about father’s family had come from. your job? The trip was intended as a visual Having the freedom to be honest exploration both my own sense of about the way I see the world, isolation and identity and establish although that is perhaps the most a connection with the country and daunting part, as you are putting people that I didn’t yet feel, beyond the whole of yourself up for a vague love for the natural scrutiny. When you don’t then need environment, and a sense of f to explain your work, it’s doubly amiliarity. satisfying. Right: Broken Flight.
The name for the series references my passion for Northern Soul music, of which I am an avid vinyl collector when funds allow. I felt my need for commentary on urban life was in danger of becoming polemic rather than articulate (Return to the Hive), and the message was overriding the craft. I sought sanctuary in the natural landscape, and looked to access communities’ heritage and lifestyles for the key to what has happened. The theme of barriers (Monument to Freedom), and boundaries on the rural landscape (North of the Border, Carter Bar), the changing pattern of human intervention is one I am still developing. As I read into the deep and complex social history of the Scottish Borders, it seemed that my project needed reshaping. My work here to date has not been purely about landscape but Man’s place in it, His interventions, His movements and struggles in and against Nature. The series of work involves close studies of the fabric of the landscape, plein air studies of the farmland (Above the Drover
Road), woodland and waterways (Tweed series of paintings) that feed the area, and larger compositions like ‘In Our Defence’ which features a World War Two gun tower curiously impotent on the barren expanse of coastline. ‘Facing the Future’ is a comment on the seeming new life in a frolicking lamb mindless of the dangers ahead on closer inspection dead in the brown grass (I reduced my palette to emphasise red, white and blue). It concerns not only of the fate of sheep farming in a failing environment as well as the mindset and prospects of the British nation following their referendum ‘decision’. The series still far from finished, as the broad agenda is now woven in with my own personal journey of uncovered secret family histories, which I uncovered along with a fantastic visual archive, including my father’s first photos from when he first visited the area in which I now live. I have worked from _archive photos a lot in the past (e.g. BullyBoys, Soap), but with this new series I hope to breathe new life into that aspect of my practice alongside my direct observational works.
Monument to Freedom.
Do you have a music playlist when you paint? What does it consist of? I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a playlist per se, and when I am working plein air, I just listen to the wildlife and the wind.
as it diverts my train of thought. Drum and bass helps speed the tidying up. What was the best compliment you were given? That I was a talented painter.
But when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in the studio Miles Davis, Stan Getz, plus many www.imogenreid.co.uk offerings from Talking Loud and Ninja Tunes find a way onto my speakers. Sometimes a bit of classical like Eric Satie is soothing, or a bit of Nina Simone, but I try to keep away from too much vocal,
/MICHELLE HOLD Michelle Hold believes that you are born with an artistic mind. When Michelle was aged 10, her creative passion blossomed and she began designing her own dresses. Michelle started studying architecture in Austria, then dropped by chance into modelling which gave her exposure on the international circuit. She lived in Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Munich, where she attended various art and textile design classes and subsequently worked as a textile designer in Milan where her designs have been used by Krizia, Escada, Ungaro and Bluemarin. A few years ago Michelle finally began her career as a painter. Michelle gets her inspiration from everything around her. From looking at nature, to reading about new discoveries in science or watching fashion shows. With colour playing a vital role in all of her paintings, you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help being mesmerised by the intricate layer upon layer of each painting.
Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Rush.
Your use of colour really resonates with us, how important a place does colour hold in your work? Colour is light and vibration, it gives rhythm and harmony and is very important in my work because it is an immediate message I can convey.
But I must say that it needs a trained eye to see the small differences of colour hues and I am lucky to have gotten that training from working in a top fabric design company in Italy where we used to print fabric for fashion designers like Bluemarin, Escada, Ungaro etc.
I am aware that colour determines the mood of the painting, it can heal and change reaction in the viewer. I have periods where I am attracted to certain colors and follow this feeling.
You have a background in Architecture, when did the transition to art occour? Well my background is only marginal, because my architecture studies lasted one year, while my interest in art made me participate
You mentioned that fashion and colour play a key role in your art, could you please elaborate on But still today my mind works that? tri-dimensional and while painting I was lucky to work as a I see beyond the 2 dimensions of model in the fashion industry, the canvas, I am applying many Milan,Paris,New York. During this different layers to get an unique period I worked with amazing image that opens a new world. creative, sensible designers and stylists, got a lot of inspiration and How has architecture influenced the love for beauty. your artistic process? Abstract art uses a visual language Beautiful objects are an of shape, form, color and line to enhancement as beauty is create a composition and so does harmony, uplifting and has hidden architecture , just in art you have power within. In the world of total freedom. fashion colour is chosen with the in many art classes around the world.
idea to impact, so I have learned to never underestimate the importance of color used also in branding and marketing . Color works in ways the conscious mind would never be able to understand. We live in a time when there is a lot of emphasis on sterile, clear art and photography. How important is abstraction in your opinion? Good Abstraction is a condensation of information, it enters your vision fast but continues to flow into your consciousness as it releases itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meaning slowly over time. Ideally we live with the image and it lives with us. For me painting abstract is mysterious, it gives me freedom and is a state of mind, openness as well as intense, bold and visionary. In my opinion Abstraction offers kinds of beauty unimaginable in earlier art and its visionary spirit evokes how art might proceed into the future.
NewYork, Milan I do enjoy staying in a small village with only 20 inhabitants in the middle of vineyards, too beautiful to be true and with amazing light. The Monferrato is a sleepy region, as beautiful as Tuskany , but very little known, although right in the middle of the triangle Milan, Turin, Genova and only 1 hour from Malpensa airport. How did your collaboration with British luxury homewear designer Claire Gaudion come about? Claire Gaudion is an amazing designer and I am thankful to my gallery in London Debut Contemporary , namely its CEO Samir Ceric who is continuously in research for business opportunities with companies, like this collaboration for interior design accessories another one with Purling London Luxury Chess. Art has to enter every aspect of life just as design has done already.
Are you a coffee or a tea person? Tell us a bit about the town where I love a good cup of tea. your studio is located, sounds like an idylic place for an artist? www.michellehold.com After living in big cities like HongKong, London, Paris,
Roadmap to Change.
/MEGAN HURDLE When she’s not looking after her kids or soaking up everything that Tennessee has to offer artist Megan Hurdle is in her studio creating beautiful art. From three dimensional pieces to large-scale works of art, she adds metallic elements to her work to give them an extra perspective. Talking about her family supporting her in her artistic endeavours, her grandmother who was also an artist and what inspires her. Megan sure seems like a Mom who has it all figured out. Was your grandmother an artist? Tell us a bit about her and the impact she has on you? My Grandmother, Kathleen Smith Moore was and is an amazing artist. She is 93 years old and still creates on a daily basis. Although she never showed her work for others to enjoy, her joy in life was to work in her studio. She taught me to trust my intuition and just dive into a piece head on. She encouraged me to try acrylics,
oils, water colour and pastels. It was up to me to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I had no idea at the time what a gift she was giving me. I have no doubt that my pure love of art came from her. What’s your preferred medium of choice and why? I don’t have a preferred medium. I truly love using so many materials.
We really like the idea of a cube as a canvas which is a key feature in your work this year, could you tell us a bit more about how that came about? I paste or collage the Thank you. I wanted to make a painted paper on my panel and add three dimensional panel that could copper tape, silver tape, glitter or essentially be viewed in more ways found paper. I am a mixed media than just hanging on a wall. artist because I love trying new materials. In fact, I just recently Although my cubes are fluid and tried an oxidising paint that I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t one piece of art, they can portray wait to work into new ideas. four different feelings depending I typically use a transparent gauche to start a background. Then I paint on 300 lb cold press paper and cut it out.
on how they are positioned. What are your favourite places to find inspiration? Traveling is an essential part of my creativity. Four years ago, I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and their costume collection sent me into immediate overload. I could not wait to come back to Memphis and work on ideas.
small village in Germany where I was surrounded by ancient artefacts. Within a week of returning to Memphis I was immersed in creating my painting, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anna.â&#x20AC;?
Headwear ranging across humans to animals plays a vital role in your paintings, tell us a bit more about that? Being outdoors was a large part of my childhood. My siblings and I In the same way, last December my spent a lot of time on the farm with family and I spent two weeks in a my father who is an outdoorsman
and an avid hunter. Seeing bones and skulls in our home was just a part of my life growing up and I saw the beauty in nature and wildlife. We have to ask about the beautiful Elvis piece you’ve created. How long did that take? I am extremely proud to say I am from Memphis, TN. I love that I am from a city that Elvis Presley once loved. Every August I participate in a group show at LRoss gallery where the artists
work hard to honour the King. My paintings reflect my appreciation of Elvis’ wild costumes and unique sense of style. This year, I exaggerated his famous blue suede shoes and painted one of his legendary sequinned capes. ou’ve been married for 16 years, Congratulations! Are your family supportive of your art and how do you manage to make the time? My family is extremely supportive of me. I married at a very young age so my early twenties were
dedicated to raising three kids and by thirty I had time to really focus on my creativity. My studio is in my home so my work, parenting and partnership all become one by the end of the day.
become timid or rigid.
What is the most rewarding thing about being an artist? Of course on a personal level, I am always rewarded when I can physically portray what I was Do you have any advice for other seeing in my head onto the canvas. Mom’s who may want to explore There are plenty of times I cannot their artistic side but simply can’t get it “right” but when I do, I find make the time? myself smiling or even talking to My advice would be to just take myself. one step into creating. Create something for yourself without www.meganhurdle.com expectations. To me, art is executing ideas from within. As a child, I think we all found this concept easy but as we get older we
Left: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Shoot Your Eye Out.
JESS KRISTEN Q&A
Based in Vancouver, WA, Jess Kristen is a portrait artist and freelance illustrator who specialises in capturing the expressions of our favourite actors and characters through striking, unique and bold colour combinations.
Q&A What was it like growing up in Culver City, Southern California? Growing up in Culver City in the 80s and 90s was actually pretty amazing.
backgrounds. Pretty much any type of cuisine or food it at your fingertips. The city itself is known for Hollywood and cinema, which was absolutely influential for me, as I ended up going to college for a film I love being from Los Angeles, its a degree. My mother and I had a very diverse city where my tradition of walking to our little classrooms included people of local theatre on Washington Blvd many different ethnicities and every Thursday night to see a
movie. We never checked what was playing, we would just walk over and pick something that started close to the time we got there, even if we didn’t know what it was about, watch it and then discuss it while walking back home. We preferred Thursday nights, because the theatre was fairly dead for the most part and we had our pick of seats in the house. Even though it was mainly empty, we always ended up taking row seats off on the left or right side, very rarely did we sit dead centre. Not sure why that was, but just one of our little quirks. On the weekends, I’d visit my father and we’d end up going to a movie and a dinner as well.
representing the US. Archery was something I excelled in but was never truly my passion, and so I eventually stopped competing in 2003, when I laid down my bow and picked up my guitar. I spent the next 10 years performing around Culver City, Los Angeles and Long Beach under the stage name of Buddha’s Sister. I collaborated with various local musicians and ran an independent musician CD project to help promote underground talent and eventually produced a couple CDs which you can find on iTunes and Amazon, my latest project ‘Helium’ was released in 2015.
I started revisiting my love for painting and drawing around 2010. I hadn’t really picked up a pencil Beyond movies and drawing, I was or paint brush since college but the a competitive recurve technique came back to me very archer, back before archery was quickly. cool. Now, thanks to movies like Hunger Games and Lord of the I took a handful of oil painting Rings, archery has recently realism classes with my friend back received a fresh pulse of in 2012 and thats when my excitement, but back when I was technique really started to take competing, it was relatively off. I was taught to mix my own unknown. I ended up winning colours using a limited palette and numerous State and National learned how layering colours Championship titles, as well as par- creates depth. ticipated in two World Team events
One day, I found myself sketching out faces of familiar characters and actors on little blocks of wood and painting them.
On another level though, I’ve never really preferred painting inanimate subjects, such as flowers, landscapes, city scenes... these just don’t call to me. But there is What is it about certain something special in the face or characters that inspires you to smile of a familiar character that paint them? does call to me. A sense of comfort Whether or not I want to and joy that evokes from within acknowledge it, these fictional with the remembrance of a time in characters and actors were, and are, my life that I spent engaged highly important and influential to emotionally in observance of this me as a person and I’m sure to character’s pursuit. People who others as well. view my work, immediately get a smile on their face when they see Painting one of my favourite one of their favourite characters or characters is like visiting an old actors. friend. I find comfort in the creation of the image and seeing a There is a deep and psychological familiar face come to life. On one connection between them and that level, its personally rewarding for character that only they posses, but me as an artist to capture the that I can capture and reproduce likeness of an individual. I love in honour of that connection and how the slightest variance in a sensation. nose, eye or mouth can completely alter the look of a I am drawn to painting the faces person. I’ve had paintings change of people, characters and actors of as I work on them and have films that have developed a special interestingly discovered some place in my heart and soul. people have extremely similar profiles who I’d never really Characters that I feel a connection considered to look alike. It’s a bit with or that I am familiar with on a humorous for me to enjoy the level beyond mere recognition. It is evolution of a face. my way of honouring the influence they have had in my life.
Cinematography plays a key role in your works. Have you thought of expanding your range to other areas? I have painted friends and family members on occasion, and have recently started expanding into various concept and surrealist images. I really have fun with these because it allows me to take the image to another level and incorporate some deeper messages and meanings into the work. I am just starting off a surrealist series of Zodiac Portraits based on
musicians who are born under the same sign. So far I only have Scorpio and Sagittarius completed, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited about the concept and interested to see the whole series completed. These images can be viewed on my Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as I am posting up speed paintings of each process on YouTube.
Does Vancouver, WA have a big art scene? I’m actually still discovering the area. But I can tell you that Vancouver WA is just across the river from Portland OR which has a very vibrant and thriving art scene. Vancouver has a bit of an art scene as well, with various gallery and hand craft stores, but its no where near the size of Portland. The mentality of most people in the Pacific Northwest really tend to value handcrafted items from artists, and there is a very welcoming and encouraging atmosphere for artists to enjoy and partake in.
face it... everyone is on social media these days. I have had wonderful successes and gains from my social media connections, including commission sales, online store sales. What was the last movie that you saw? Believe it or not, I hardly attend the movies any more... I think the last film I saw in the theatre was actually a year ago in October 2015...Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
I actually have wanted to see a BUNCH of movies this recent You tend to share videos of the summer and fall, but I never could stages of your paintings online via make it to the theatre! Things are Instagram, how important do you quite busy for me at the moment think social media is for an artist thankfully, but I’m sure I will go with regards to getting their work see something here before too long, out there? I’m missing it now that I’ve been I am not a classically trained talking about it! artist. I did not attend art school and I have no connections in the www.jesskristen.com art world. I’m starting from ground zero and building my way up as I go. For me, social media is essential to my growth as an artist because it is my main connection to the outside world. I will attend art shows and craft fairs every so often whenever possible, but lets
/D.O.M. ART D.O.M. (Dominika Zurawska) graduated from the High School of Art in Bydgoszcz before studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, before settling in Manchester, UK. As a child she loved art, she found solitary pleasure in colours, patterns and making shapes and drawing anywhere she could, the steam on the windows, the snow on the ground, the sand at the beach and anywhere she could use her pencils, chalk and pens. One of her favourite early artistic memory is being in her paternal auntâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house, Marzena, who was an artist, watching her work and being able to help her tidy up and clean her brushes, the smell of the turpentine still brings a warm smile to Domâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face to this day. www.domart.co.uk
To Have Not to Hold.
/CAROLE GRAY-WEIHMAN Northern California sure has its share of beauty when it comes to nature, and artist Carole Gray-Weihman paints them in all their glory. A devoted painter of the New American Impressionist Movement Carole has not only perfected her art but uses her skills to teach a whole new generation of artists. Carole believes that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responsibility to not only share their art but empower future generations and pass on skills and painting styles that might be lost. She does this through holding classes and private lessons across Northern California in which she teaches her students the art of observing and painting and the Hawthorne-Hensche Principle which she elaborated on in the interview below.
Last Light on the Mountain.
What did you do for a day job before you quit it to become a painter? In school, I had studied to become a graphic designer/illustrator and after a short stint at an ad agency, I started working for myself. I soon realized that I needed to supplement my income, so I started working part-time as a photostat operator/technician at the local art supply store. I bet not many know what a photostat camera is anymore. Technology for reproducing images for print started shifting to digital in the mid 90’s. I got out of that business at the right time! In the early 90’s, I experimented with assemblage and abstract expressionism. I was tapping into my anxieties, a feeling of being disconnected, and with things that I knew in my heart were simply “not just” and trying to express a sort of inner turmoil I was battling with. Somehow, producing those earlier works calmed me and provided the space for me to move forward into my next chapter—a whole new genre. It was 1996 that I stumbled upon plein air painting and began committing myself to rigorous study of the
Hawthorne-Hensche Principle. Could you tell us a bit more about the Hawthorne-Hensche Principle? The Hawthorne-Hensche Principle is a systematic technique and method of learning how to see and paint the natural light effect. It was developed through the teachings of Charles Webster Hawthorne and Henry Hensche, and it was ultimately inspired by the French impressionists. A little background... Henry Hensche immigrated from Germany to the US in the early 1900’s with his family when he was a young boy. Hensche studied classical drawing, painting, and sculpture in his early days as an art student at prestigious academies. But it wasn’t until he attended classes at Charles Webster Hawthorne’s Cape Cod School of Art that Hensche found his ultimate calling. What led you to found Plein Air Liaison and could you tell us a bit more about the work that you do? For many creative artists, survival issues have made art making out of reach and they’re stuck in soul-sucking jobs.
Afternoon on the Gualdalupe River.
I wanted to find a way to provide painting workshops and classes for the creatives out there that have a difficult time getting quality instruction due to life circumstances. But also I wanted to get away from what the mainstream art world projects on us. Being an artist doesn’t have to be about isolating ourselves in our studios, tackling our canvases in a mad fervor, being cut off from society and constantly looking to
have our egos stroked at gallery exhibitions. Plein Air Liaison offers workshops and classes not just out of my Petaluma atelier, but just about anywhere. Wherever there’s a small group of people who wish to have PAL facilitate a workshop for them, we’ll go there. If you build it, we will come, so to speak. One of our most memorable workshops was two and a half weeks in Tuscany. Whatever your skill level, all are welcome.
Nature sure has an immeasurable palette of colours, how important is this palette to you as an artist? It’s essential to me and is the basis of what I’m all about as a colorist trying to capture the light effect that I see in nature. Even the best photographs can’t capture what we are capable of seeing with our own eyes while out on location. So,
I never refer to photos when I’m painting in the studio, only my reference sketches. Studying the Hawthorne-Hensche Principle of seeing and painting for over twenty years now, has enabled me to see subtle color relationships in nature that one ordinarily may not notice unless it’s pointed out
to them... and even then sometimes prima means ‘at once’ and it refers the subtle variations are difficult to to the method of painting in one discern. application and without retouching, otherwise known as I also try to use only the best ‘direct painting’. brands of oil paint and the purest pigments I can find. I What makes Northern California rarely use painting mediums and special in your opinion as an the only time I use thinner to thin artist? my paint is when I’m sketching I’ve traveled all over, and every out my drawing or patterns before time I come home, I feel like I painting. belong. California is a special place. There’s endless beauty everywhere! What is the favourite part of your With the rugged mountains, rolling job? hills, rocky coastline there’s plenty My work is very rewarding. But I of subject matter within 30 minutes would say my favorite part of all is of my home. that I get to be outdoors most of the time. I enjoy truly experiencing www.gray-weihman.com a place in a kind of spiritual sense and I believe that energy and emotion shows up in my plein air work more so than my studio paintings. So, I try to spend as much time as I can painting outdoors on location. We love your series called ‘Small Works Gallery’ which you use to reference big paintings, could you tell us more about them? These small works are often my gems, as they are the most truthful pieces I produce. All are painted directly on location alla prima style. Translated from Italian, alla
/DAGUR JONSSON Dagur Jonsson is an Icelandic photographer his work is categorised into four themes. Winter in Iceland, Sunsets, Northern Lights and Icelandic Landscape - where he tryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to capture a multitude of subjects including the open roads, abandoned houses, vast areas and abandoned places while reminding the viewer of the beauty of isolation and being alone in nature. www.dagurjonssonphotography.com Your work explores the interaction between various aspects of life such as philosophy, myths and spirituality, tell us a bit more about that? I think pictures can tell a lot about your personality and that camera is a tool to express yourself in an artistic way. I guess I am a spiritual person though it is not obvious in my daily life. I think your subconscious comes through in your art work and your inner feelings an emotion comes alive through your work. Maybe i am full of subconscious thoughts that touches on philosophy, myths and spirituality
that I am not so much aware of in my daily life but are there are come out in my work. How did you get into art? I have always been an artistic person and been involved with art since I remember. I used to draw a lot when I was younger and in my early adult life I wanted to become some kind of artist. I tried to become good at painting but was never satisfied and stopped in my early 20s. I have though always been good at computers and web design and all kinds of web related projects have been my work for many years.
Early February of 2014 I picked up the camera and I knew straight away that I had found my right tool to get my art out.
nature and respect it as it is. I hope we can stop damaging our environment but is it too late to reverse the course that is something we will have to see. It is We believe you are a composer important to start treading our too? nature right so our future I have been studying classical generations can enjoy it like we singing as a hobby for many years can. We don´t own the nature, it is so music plays a big role in my life. something everyone has a right to. I am always singing and composing Here in Iceland we see the impact in my head but my lack of playing of climate changes and I think we instruments have meant that I have sure hope it will not get worse not been able to put my music out before it gets better. there but it is very active in my head and dreams so I am sure that Do you have any exhibitions music and photography are coming up where people can see combining in my subconscious. your work in person? The Brick Lane Gallery in London We love how nature has a was the host of my first show prominent role in your work, how earlier this year. This winter my important is it for us as a race to work will be exhibited at Venice, take steps towards its Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and Venice Art preservation? Do you think we House Gallery as part of FUTURE will ever be able to reverse the LANDSCAPES, It’s LIQUID damage on our home? International Art and Architecture You have to respect the nature here Festival, at Galleria De Marchi in in Iceland, living here means that Bologna as part of Little Treasures nature will play a big role in your 2016, at BIAF 106 international life. Here we see all kinds of Art Fair in Barcelona and finally at weather and we live very close to PAKS Gallery in the Castle nature so it does play a prominent Hubertendorf & Palais Werndl in role in my work. Nature is part Steyr/ Austria. of my life and I really don‘t think much about it. I am used to the thought of man being a part of
/BARRIE DALE Barrie Dale is a Scientist and an Artist. As a Scientist, he is appalled at the way that human beings are destroying the life-support system that Planet Earth provides; it is now possible to envisage a point at which all of Nature will have been destroyed: by us. Once we have destroyed it, we will have destroyed ourselves. As an Artist, he sees great danger in the fact that Nature is no longer seen as a source of inspiration to mainstream Artists. It gives politicians and businessmen the idea that Nature no longer matters, and can be exploited at will. If nobody, not even artists, regard it as important what does it matter? Well, it matters because, even though humans have produced many beautiful things, none of them surpasses what Nature has achieved. Every time you look at natural forms more closely than you have before you find something new, and unexpectedly beautiful. Barrie Dale has sold hundreds of paintings and has given a number of music recitals, but is now committed to photography as a means of getting as close as possible to the unvarnished truth about natural beauty. There is no artificial lighting and no computer manipulation in his work. He believes in letting the camera tell us what it will, even when It appears to contradict what it is we think we are seeing. Right: Woodland Fantasy.
We seem to be focussed on exploring the far reaches of the galaxy and yet there is so much about nature here on Earth we know nothing about, what are your thoughts on that? Yes, we know as little about the far reaches of the galaxy as we do about the Earth beneath our feet. To me the Universe is a single entity. Wherever you choose to look there are new wonders to be found.
Again, I recoil from compartmentalisation. All the Arts are one; all the Sciences are one; the Arts and the Sciences are one. With me such ideas are quite unconscious and unpremeditated. I look at an image, and a ballet or a poem or a painting springs to mind. Once that has happened the association is there for ever.
You have a Doctorate from Oxford and have published hundreds of scientific papers, has this given you a unique All endeavour its equally valid and perspective when it comes to your valuable, as long as it is heartfelt. photography? My son is an Astrophysicist, so I am told that I don’t think like a through him I get to see incredibly photographer. I sometimes think beautiful pictures from the furthest about photography as an artist, and reaches of the galaxy. In my own sometimes as a scientist. Again, I scientific work I was concerned am not in control of this process: with what goes on in the insides of it just happens. I might look at individual atoms. So the two of us something in my viewfinder and span very nearly the whole range. say to myself ‘that’s diffraction’; It seems to me not to matter where but I might just as easily say ‘that you start from; as long as you are contributes a diagonal element open-minded, you’ll always learn to the composition’. More often, I something un-expected, and find simply that I like what I have possibly with un-expected found in my viewfinder and click consequences. the shutter. Because of the journey I have taken, I don’t think I fit into You compare your work to any category, and I don’t think I non-visual art forms such as would want to. ballet and poetry, how important do you think fluidity is in art? Previous Page: May Morning.
The Epitome of Autumn.
What’s an average Sunday like in the Dale household? Well, there will be much time spent on the Sunday papers. There is likely to be a family walk in the countryside. There is likely to be some photography. I have a wood and a wildflower meadow to look after, and that always demands time. There is always a telephone/ Skype conversation with my daughter. And I always cook dinner on Sundays. Sundays go very quickly.
What is it about macro photography that draws you towards it? Macro photography explores a region that is just beyond everyday experience. So it is familiar andun-explored both at the same time. You find new things that were only slightly out-of- reach before. But much of the interest lies with the properties of cameras and lenses. If you work with a very narrow ‘depth of field’ in macro-photography, you can arrange to have some aspects in tight focus and others totally
out-of- focus; this provide you with brains are finite. a wide range of artistic opportunity Do you have any favourite Do you think mankind will ever places in the world that you like unlock everything that nature has to shoot? in store for us? It is very tempting to wish to work Briefly, No! Every door that is un- in exotic places; but I would not locked leads to a labyrinth. That is expect this to be rewarding. If you the wonder of it. Einstein was go to a beautiful place, all you can surprised to find that the world come back with are beautiful was even slightly comprehensible. pictures of a place that was already I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suppose that humans will beautiful; you have added nothing. ever know everything, or will ever desist from trying to. There are www.wildhaven.co.uk many, many things we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know; and perhaps things that are simply too difficult for us. Our
/KENNETH SUSYNSKI Internationally-acclaimed artist Kenneth Susynski composes his canvasses by weaving diverse cultural experiences into narrative, theatrical compositions that have inherent traits of love and love lost, depicted by actors in the guise of powerful form and colour. In his latest oils, inspiration is derived from the emotional impact of classic and contemporary literature, exuding the lingering implications of a great book by employing both abstraction and representation in new, adaptive interpretations. He has had numerous solo and group shows both nationally and internationally including the 2015 Palermo International Biennale, Art Caroussel-Louvre, Seattle Art Museum Gallery, and the Sundance Group.
Le Pergamene II
Your latest oil paintings cite classic and contemporary literature as inspiration, could you give us a few names of specific works that have inspired you? Yes, the genesis for the theme of each piece in my latest work is literary; specific sources are selected based upon their impactful impression upon me yet my intent is to broaden the definition of impactful literature. The references I have chosen thus far include Delta of Venus (Anais Nin), The Tsar of Love and Techno (Anthony Marra), The Art of French Cooking (Mme. Child), A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole) to name a few. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m currently completing a large diptych based on The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett). Yet the final composition and themes are all reinterpretations of an emotional moment from each that suck in a plethora of other imagery that derive from that which makes me tick.
early, the patience to see through what I am seeing, to listen more closely to what others are saying, and to READ. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been privileged to have enjoyed the differing experiences and cultures growing up abroad and saw many things that have otherworldly beauty. Museums, street art, individualism of spirit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it was the 20th century and there was a lot to love about the world back then.
Could you tell us three great things about living in Seattle, WA? There is a great sense of fortune that I now live in a city and region renowned for its tolerance, intelligence, and progressive respect toward all men and women. Seattle is also where I discovered true romance is not dead and thus I live every day with the most consummate love of my life. There is optimism, hope, and an intrepid spirit toward human kindness in Seattle that frankly is devoid in many other places in the Tell us a bit about your childhood country. and how that has influenced your work? Is it true that you travelled a lot as a child? I seem to have inherited what I believe is one of my better traits
Lorenzo is a motherfucker.
You are self-taught, do you think that formal training can have a negative impact with regards to an artist finding his own identity? I’ve never had formal training by which I could make a good comparison.
against self-taught painters. Ultimately it’s all about bringing yourself out in your work – and being flexible to change style/approach as needed to conform to personal changes in one’s life as we grow into savvy, mature painters. No one is ever free of artistic I do believe that all young artists influences yet it’s how we take start out by biting the style(s) of subtle lessons in their craft and someone, whether student or solo work them into our own that – and that there is still inherent ultimately leads to forming an prejudice among top-shelf galleries identity.
Talk us through the creative process being one of your paintings? Well, as I’ve evolved from a purely abstract approach to more representational painting my entire process has also needed to change.
essence of each step of painting without shortcuts, including stretching my own canvasses.
What according to you is the beauty of using oils when painting? Having successfully developed both There is simply no comparison styles I can say that there is more between oils and other painterly emphasis placed now on media. None. The smell. The lustre. sketching, technical draftsmanship It has been said flesh is the reason and referential components than God created oils. Sable brushes. when I painted abstraction from an The intimidating complex it emotional centre. imbues upon less bolder painters. The allure of their pigments over The change all came about due to centuries by kings, queens, and a renewed appreciation and dedscoundrels. Squeeze a fresh glob ication to oils, and perhaps as life from a tube, hold it under your for me has settled into a peaceful nose and it’s like holding a seashell harmony so has my art – there is by your ear, you are instantly more thought and time invested in transported somewhere from it. I layering from imprimatura to dead challenge anyone to see if they get colour to glazes aplenty, and it’s a that same sensation sniffing lot more fun to witness the subtle acrylics. changes in glazing build over each application into something more www.susynski.com multidimensional. In the past when I mixed medium on works of pure abstraction, I would just use linseed oil – now I use a medium that I call a “zaubersoße”, which actually is composed of 4 media and lends a luster to the oils that is absolutely striking. In sum, I believe in getting deep into the
Above: Where Cats With Bent Tails Live. Opposite: Of Cloister and Climax.
/AYALA UZAN Ayala Uzan recently graduated with a Bachelor of Jewellery Design from the Skenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, Israel. As a sculptor and painter, she expertly utilises these skills to push the creative boundaries of her jewellery designs. In what ways has your background influenced where you are now? Well, right now I’m just starting to figure myself out outside of design school. I graduated last year and I’m trying to leave the bubble of school behind me and focus on the rules of design and commerce in real life with all of its restrictions.
they said. But it was never enough for me. I wanted, and I still do, to be great at what I do. Not so much for recognition, but for my own personal Fulfilment. And that’s why I’m determent to create beautiful and unique jewellery at the best quality.
I’m a Perfectionist so my road is never easy. Never was.
Please describe your design aesthetic in three words? Clean, cool and unique.
My background is what’s motivating me to be excellent. Just Good is definitely not an option. All my life I have struggled the feeling of mediocrity that surrounded me. No one really expected more out of me. “You are average and that’s good enough”
Please describe the creative processes from start to finish of a new jewelry collection? It always starts with the hope and determination to create in an organised fashion. So I sit down and think of inspirations, draw something, define some goals, what
would I like to achieve this time around, materials Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to use and so on. I prepare a full inspiration board and thenâ&#x20AC;Ś What actually happens, is that I start processing the metal, and it just happens intuitively. I do have guide lines, but inside all of that order and lists and decisions, I have to let my hands and my soul just do what feels right, and then I do some fine tuning and adjustments. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your jewelry philosophy? How do you like to wear your favourite pieces? My philosophy is that it has to look effortless. Just a good clean design, that celebrates the everyday as well as the special occasions. I love
wearing a combination of my favourite pieces, normally a cool pair of pants, v neck oversized T shirt and a pair of white converse. Photography by Yafit Simcha. www.ayu.gallery
â&#x20AC;&#x153;My work is framed by drawing and making. To me, a drawing is a projection of the mind, as your brain moves your hand or body to create a line within the space of the material you are drawing on. It is a way of communicating and therefore a projection of life. As I draw I think about the scale of the objects and the space they exist in. By drawing a space, there is a sense of control within the artist to make an approximation of life. Drawing is a way of communicating life and the wonder of spaces.â&#x20AC;?
You cite the work by the renowned French novelist Georges Perec as an inspiration behind your creations. What element in his writings resonated with you? His thoughts really. The project that I have recently done was about the space that surrounds us. From my point of space, at that time, what really interested me was the apartment I lived in. I had lived there for two years with a good friend that I had met in Manchester. In the last year, it was not until I questioned the space that I lived in. I thought about the electricity, the noises, the neighbours, the switches that I did not care to look at. It was just part of the wall or the floor.
especially the chapter The Apartment. In this chapter I feel he really dissects his writing about everything, objects, walls, the people around him, stairs. Lots of subjects. This is what I try to do in my art, it is so important to me.
Do you think we have taken the objects that we surround ourself with for granted? Purely functional instead of having an aesthetic personality? I recently moved south of Britain and I went to Ikea to pick up some things. I was walking around the shop and I realised it was almost like being on one big film set. “This is how you should live your life”, the objects were saying to me. It was interesting to see furniture and functional objects in a new I was thinking at that time, what way after reading Perec. It was if I looked at them. How does this remarkable to see how it was all space communicate to me? And laid out. The fashionable way of how do I communicate back? I living. The practical and easy way wanted to know the apartment and of living. how it held together as a space. It began to fascinate me. I came I think we do take objects for across Georges Perec in my time granted. There is something wonin Manchester and I felt guided by derful about everything. I rememhim, looking at my apartment. It’s ber passing a narrow poster of such a good read. The book I read a man looking down at me with was Species of Spaces and other ‘Chair Tobias, £65’, I guessed that Pieces. I was interested in how he he was the designer of the plastic wrote about his own worlds, chair that I saw before me.
It is very remarkable that apart of him would go into your house. It is his design that controls your way of living. There are always artists behind everything. You could think, what would it be like without artists? Artists make the future and create the world around us. It is their design that makes chairs, light switches, shelves etc. We take a lot of things for granted. So I do think cardboard boxes are interesting, plugs beautiful, the patio door frames intriguing. Everything has a thought behind it and a thought by artists.
How important is the method of drawing to you from an artistic perspective? Do you have any other preferred mediums? Drawing is the raw imprint of the mind. Your thought is converted by the muscles of your body with a material, I find that incredible. In one simple line it interprets what you thought. It has to be one of the most important ways of creating art. Drawing has been with us since we picked up a crayon when we were infants. I also experiment with sound and performance. I do try to capture sound in space in the plainest way and sometimes I create performances with my drawings.
Are there any projects that you are currently working on? I am still challenging the ideas of space in my drawings. I am also www.sianleyshon.com working on translating public places and the media in drawing. I’m quite interested in how places and stories can control our behaviour in living. I sometimes think of televisions and drawing what is happening on the television. You see things that are important to you and you see things that aren’t. I am continuing to practice the skill of drawing to go places with it. I am also writing a short story. I want to speak out to people. My art is my way of talking to everyone.
/SOPHIE HORROCKS Sophie Horrocks recently graduated from Manchester School of Art this summer. She previously gained a Merit in Textiles from Central Saint Martins for her Foundation Diploma. Sophie’s work focusses on creating interactive, innovative materials suitable for both installation and body sculpture contexts. She is passionate about producing textiles that are more than just aesthetically attractive but can respond to the body and its environment. Talk us through your interactive garment film? The interactive garments I created for my final collection were a series of three knitted, magnetic sculptures. The garment sculptures are able to change form and shape on the body, depending on where and how you connect the garments to the body. The film also shows how you can connect the garments to other people or other environments. I started the project by wanting to do a sort of a social study of how
we as humans interact in our current society. For me personally, I feel one of the major problems that has arisen in the last few years within our society is the need for people to feel as though they have to be constantly “connected” to some sort of digital medium or platform. I feel this has impacted how we interact with the physical world. I can’t help but feel there is a need to reconnect people with the beauty of the tangible world around us, instead of becoming lost in a bizarre world of virtual reality within social media.
I was greatly inspired by a quote from David Linden, who states â&#x20AC;&#x153;touch is the sense that makes us humanâ&#x20AC;?. As the organ which connects us to the physical, material world I investigated the skin and explored how I could visually enhance our sense of touch. I was keen to use materials which reflected this notion of a natural connection. Magnetism seemed an obvious route in which to explore.
exaggerate the sense of touch, turning an intangible feeling into a visible movement.
I was fascinated with the slightly dark and mysterious magic of magnetism. Using this physical connection enabled me to
Are there any artists past or present that influence your work? As a textile artist I am naturally inspired by practitioners who use
Creating the film was an important way of demonstrating how the garments can move and change. I was keen to portray the idea that through touch, these materials could go on a journey; connecting people to their environments, and to other humans.
materials as a way of exploring and understanding our bodies, brains and the world around us. I am particularly inspired by artists such as Lauren Bowker, founder of The Unseen. I am fascinated by her ability use material innovations, which fuse science with design, in order to understand the intangible elements that surround us. Nevertheless, I think it’s important to take inspiration from everything around us; to look outside of our own creative disciplines. I recently worked at TED X Wan Chai here in Hong Kong, and listened to talks from an incredible variation of people. I felt so inspired by people like Amy Sterling, a Neuroscience Designer, and Roger Wu, an Architect and Heritage Conservation Specialist, who are completely changing the way we look at design. What role do you think technology will play with regards to garments and textiles of the future? I believe there are currently some fascinating technological advances, in all industries, not just textiles. However, I have a slight love/hate relationship with technology. I think some of the
technologies being created today are fascinating, but actually the purpose of them is pushing us further into this virtual world where nothing seems to be “real”. Personally, I am not sure if this is benefitting us. The boundaries between humans and machines seems to blurring more as technologies develop which I find slightly terrifying in all honesty! I do think there is a really interesting relationship developing between design and science, and that we will see much more of this in the future. This year I started to work with consultation and collaboration from a Biomaterials Engineer and a Computer Scientist, enabled me to consider new materials and processes to incorporate within my work that I would have been unaware of otherwise. Combining these skills is something I am definitely keen to do again in the future. To me, textiles is much more than making fabrics or clothes that look nice. It’s looking at all tactile surfaces and materials and understanding how we can utilise these to the best of our ability.
well known for their norm defying knitwear, what was that experience like? As a knit student it was a brilliant experience to be a part of a company like Sibling. Their work Your ‘Second Skin’ project lays is so exciting and charismatic. The emphasis on the unseen element team were great fun and I loved of our deeper skin and how it having the chance to make some of connects with the external layers their collection for SS16 which was that we are used to, tell us a bit shown at London Fashion Week. more about that? Although I loved the opportunity, The Second Skin project was where I think the experience made me my initial interest into our skin and want to investigate the potential of our senses began. It was a materials on a larger scale than just fairly quick project, so I used this the catwalk. as a chance to explore the physical construction of the skin www.sophiehorrocks.com and how this could be translated into knit. I was intrigued by the contrast between the notion of our skin being this great exterior to our bodies, holding everything together, yet also this very delicate fragile surface compiled of billions of skin cells. This material development enabled me to gain an understanding of what materials and techniques worked in terms of structure, particularly when looking towards the bigger project of “Touch” which I wanted to progress on to. I am fascinated to see how material science can be applied to other industries, such as for medical purposes or environmental solutions.
You interned for London based brand Sibling last year who are
/DAVID ELLINGSEN David Ellingsen is a Canadian photographer and environmental artist creating images of site-specific installations, landscapes and object studies that speak to the natural world and Man’s impact upon it. Employing different photographic techniques for each of his Thematic series, Ellingsen acts as an archivist, surrealist and storyteller as he calls attention to the contemporary state of the environment both directly and through conceptual, subversive commentary about our consumerist society. Ellingsen’s images engage questions around the transience and temporality of existence, and his thematic subjects are marked by simplicity, empathy and a wounded sense of humanity’s fate.
Previous Page: Anthropocene Cry Wolf.
Anthropocene Between Earth and Sky.
Above: Anthropocene Thunderbird.
Opposite: Anthropocene Titan.
/LAWRENCE LEE Beautiful and haunting, those are the first emotions that came to our mind when we laid our eyes on artwork by Lawrence Lee. There’s no denying that Lawrence definitely has an eye and skill that makes him stand out from the crowd. This Tucson native is known for his symbolic Native American images, many of which are a reflection of his own personal battles with depression. In this interview he talks about his passion for Particle Physics, being a professional artist for over 40 years along with the trials and tribulations that come with it and his hometown Tucson. Tell us a bit about your upbringing? My parents were both educators. My father was a self-proclaimed “street urchin” in a vanishingly small town in Mississippi yet rose to be awarded a Ph.D. and become Superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District. My mother taught reading and was fairly creative, but neither of them was particularly “arty,” in that they didn’t go to the symphony or Opposite: Red Coat.
opera or museums or galleries. But my mother was very protective of my own creative endeavours and fought hard for me to be able to pursue the creative forces she could see running within me. I received a terrifically good high school education and thought that I most wanted to be a writer, but in college in the 60s, I quickly found my home in the College of Fine Arts.
I received a BFA and a Masters in Art Education, and I suspect that my parents were shocked and more than a bit worried when I proclaimed that I wanted to be a professional artist rather than a lifelong teacher. And they were both mightily proud and more than a bit relieved when I began to achieve that aim. I taught and studied my craft for seven years before finally taking the plunge and started making my living entirely from my art in 1979. You seem to have a keen interest in Particle Physics, could you draw parallels with it and modern society? I think I have a fascination with subatomic physics because it is so obscure to me and so much like magic. As we seem to understand it now, there is exquisite order in the subatomic realm, but no one can really tell at this point whether that order is elementally a part of the universe at that scale or whether the apparent order is an emergent property that seems generally coherent even though it is based on randomness and probability. Our attempts to make sense of nonsensical things like Schrodinger’s cat and collapsed
wave functions are supremely annoying. When I was a young man, I had no problem believing that the power of science and the human mind were infinite and that Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy was an obvious end game; if you understand cause and effect and have enough data, even the complexities of human thinking can be understood and even predicted… forecast… with a high degree of certainty. But now I’m not so sure. Even though I know much more now that I am in my seventieth year than I did when in my twenty-seventh, I’m much less certain of anything. But I do now suspect that modern society quite comfortably parallels particle physics in its elementally chaotic nature. Stuff just happens. Most stuff just happens, but so much is happening all the time that we get this foolish idea that there is understandable order underneath everything and that if we are just clever enough, we can win out over invisible social force fields that seem to underlie all the self-serving, shortsighted, stupid and ultimately insane things we do.
Above: Autumn Dream.
Perhaps we’re all just waiting for Humanity’s wave function to collapse. Ha! Being a professional artist for over 40 years is quite an achievement, what advice would you give young creatives who might be considering a career in art? Here again, I once thought I had all the answers and knew just what I was doing and what others should
do if they wanted to emulate my success. But the world is a very different place now than it was in the 1970s when I was planning my career. Though most of the specifics of how I invented and promoted and supported my “brand” would simply not be effective today, there are a few general principles that still pertain.
First is recognition of the very difficult to swallow fact that the majority of anyone’s success at anything is due mostly to luck. Sure, hard work and cleverness and preparation and perseverance and all the other things generally believed to be vital to success are the primary ingredients of a successful career in ANYTHING. And they are all important, but the sad fact is that you don’t have to be a good artist to have a very successful career in art if you are lucky. And it only takes one bit of bad luck to end a promising career even if you have the soul of Picasso and the vision of Michelangelo. I take some comfort in believing that to some degree we all create our own luck, but life has a way of happening to us in spite of our best intentions and other plans. You are known for your unique representations of shamanistic figures, how did that theme come to fruition? I was in college in the 60s when the figure was largely out of favour in public art schools. My work at the time was mostly highly abstract and non-objective. But what I really wanted to do was to paint people. So when I Previous Page: Hunters Spirit.
graduated, that’s just what I proceeded to do. My non-objective and abstract work had taught me much about composition and balance and the importance of negative space and the other fundamentals of design, but I had no real training with the figure other than a couple of “life drawing” courses, for one of which I was the TA because I was better at it than the paid TA. And as for painting faces, I had no training at all. So I looked at thousands of portraits and started to practice, relying mostly on what I knew of the figure from a great “Anatomy for the Artist” course I had taken in sculpture. Could you talk us through your book Living with an Imposter? Ah. This is going to be difficult. The impostor with whom I lived was my wife—the love of my life, perhaps. She was/is nine years my senior. And we were perfect for each other. It was her job to dream the dreams and it was my job to make those dreams come true. Happily, she dreamed up some pretty great things, and I always managed to make them come true.
Always. That process led us to retire on a Caribbean island when I was only 53. Nice house with two small painting studios, right on the beach. Motorboat. Sailboat. (Both were small but perfect for me.) More money than we needed. Not perfect, this life, but damn close. And then she was diagnosed with dementia. Alzheimer’s or something like it. She was losing her ability to speak. She could no longer travel alone. She was becoming angry. She wanted to move back to Tucson. So we did. And she continued to fade away, folding all up within herself to the point that the woman I loved was no longer in her body. She had become an impostor. “Who are you?” I wanted to shout. “And what have you done with my wife?” No use. Elder Law attorneys and an education in the finances of dementia followed. In order to secure her care, we had to divorce. So I arranged it. She could own a half-million-dollar house, so I bought her one. And with the stroke of a pen, I became poor again. And lonely. Still, I did live with her and her younger daughter (now her guardian), and
it was during this time that she asked me to kill her. Three times, she asked me. And I had decided that if she asked me again I would make it so. Because I loved her still. But she forgot to ask that terrible fourth time. And then I ran. Mostly, I was running from myself. I had been diagnosed as severely depressed when I was seventeen and had fought depression to something of a stalemate until my wife’s diagnosis. (See? I still refuse to admit to divorcing the woman I loved. I divorced that other thing: that impostor.) But then I still had to live, and the depression now nearly consumed me. And that’s pretty much where the book ends. My life, in spite of everything, did not end with the book, of course. And it is time for me to write an epilog. I have already redesigned the cover. www.lawrenceleeart.com
Above: Many Stars.
Opposite: Mariposa Blanca.
/STEPHANIE HO Born in Hong Kong in 1979, Stephanie began her training in oil paintings at the early age of 11. After graduating from the London School of Economics in 2001, Stephanie continued to explore her potential in fine art, completing two postgraduate diploma courses at City and Guilds of London Art School and the prestigious Christies Education, as well as a Masters degree in Museum and Gallery Management at the London City University. Focusing on refining her skills in painting during the last five years, Stephanie continues to develop her highly recognisable Lowry style paintings of tiny human figures. Based mainly on photographs, sometimes Stephanie paints what she sees, and at other times she choreographs the picture. Appeared to be floating liberally on the canvas; every single figure is carefully positioned. Just like composing a piece of music, with notations hanging across the lines, creating enchanting melodies, conversing with the spectators.
We are big fans of your work here at CreativPaper, when did you first start taking your steps as an artist? Painting has been my favourite hobby from a very young age. After graduating from my economics degree, I decided to remain faithful to my passion and continued my education in art history and arts management.
style evolves over time.
Your work certainly has a recognisable, unique style. How important is it for an artist to have their own identity? I think it’s much easier for viewers to remember an artist with a recognisable style, though I admire artists who are brave enough to experiment with different mediums and style.
I want viewers to appreciate the paintings initially through the activity of looking, without interpretation. Stand afar and squint your eyes, get a feel of the picture through its colours and composition, enjoy the poetic movement of the crowds, then gradually drawn to the details of the figures.
Could you tell us a bit more about your ‘Human Planet’ series of paintings? Human Planet series was inspired by my interest in observing human activities.
Based mainly on photographs, sometimes I paint what’s there, and at other times I choreograph the Having worked in galleries and picture. Appear to be floating experienced the commercial side of liberally on the canvas, every single the industry, I am even more figure is carefully positioned. Just confident that art creation is what like composing a piece of music, I want to do and where my passion with notations hanging across the lies. I became full time artist in lines, creating enchanting 2007. It has been almost 10 years melodies, conversing with the now. spectators.
I have been painting in my current style for a few years now and still enjoy working on it. It is quite interesting to look back at how my
Opposite: Frozen Planet.
Above: Not Alone.
Who was your favourite artist growing up and why? There are a number of artists that I admire growing up. I like Julian Opie for the simplicity and linearity of his work; Gerhard Richter for his use of colours, diversity and how he incorporate photography in his work; and of course there’s L.S. Lowry, who a lot people relate my work to. His work has definitely inspired my Human Planet series. What element of human activities, a central theme in your
work are you fascinated by? The movement of people fascinates me. I enjoy people spotting, be it in a train station, at a public square or in a museum. It’s like watching fishes swim, looking at the river flow, very calming and therapeutic. With your ‘Still Frames’ series you’ve introduced colour to your backgrounds, a change from your earlier works. What inspired that change? Still Frames is the series before Human Planet. Inspired by postmodern art and artworks by Chinese contemporary artists,
Above: The Journey.
the colours in this series are more vibrant; figures are more repetitive and distributed evenly across the canvas like a pattern.
years. I spent my childhood days in Hong Kong; the 80s has definitely brought back a lot of good memories.
Compared to Still Frames, the people in my Human Planet series have shrunk in size, yet ironically, have more details.
Hong Kong was very prosperous in the 80s, citizens there are hard working, innovative and opened to new ideas and culture.
The introduction of shadows further enhanced the reality of space, light and time.
What was Hong Kong like in the early 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s? I have lived in England for about 20
/EMILY CONROY Emily Conroy recently graduated from the University of Leeds during her time studying textile design she gradually found her voice while everyone was concentrating of fashion or interiors Emily saw an opportunity and pursued the creative processes of luxury toy making. Emily, Your decorative soft toys for adults are interesting to say the least, Tell us a bit more about them? My decorative soft toys seem to have been destined to arrive at some point in my textile design world. I have made soft toys from being a young child and they have continued to evolve throughout my life.
embroidery it was always going to be of paramount importance. I chose feathers as my theme for the embroidery on the soft toys, the repetition, reflection, form and texture combined to create various stitch types.
The range consists of cute little bunnies and bears, will this expand to different species in the At University the ‘norm’ was future? fashion or interiors and I There’s a possibility for anything, eventually forced myself to dare to who knows what’s around the corbe different and I chose to focus on ner. I have definitely thought about high-end soft toys for collectors. it and I imagine it will happen at As my chosen pathway was some point in the future. structured textiles, specialising in
How important do you think it is to do what makes you happy in life? You quoted in an interview that this is something your mum once told you. Has this advice served you well so far? I believe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best way to live your life, do whatever makes you happy! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re stuck in a repetitive job you have to complete day in, day out that you hate, you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enjoy all aspects of your life.
dramatically. Various Instagram makers also inspire me daily, their individuality and pride in what they make allows me to feel similar emotions as I focus on advertising and developing my own work.
You seem to use a wide range of textures in your work, talk us through that? The theme for my embroidery is feathers, therefore the textures have stemmed from this. The contrast Who wants to live an unhappy life? between harsh wool fabrics and the The advice has served me well so light textured embroidery is taken far, throughout my education I from my visual research. chose subjects on whether I enjoyed them or not. This has led I have created photos where I me to earning a degree and the compare harsh materials such beginning of my business! I love as ice with the feathers creating making the soft toys, so my main shapes and contrasting textures. focus now is to get them noticed This is transferred into a range of even more! stitch types that create texture and shape in various ways. Are there any other artists that you look up to? www.instagram.com/ From a young age I have loved soft emily.handmade toys, as I have got older I have focused my collection on traditional collector teddies mainly from Teddy Hermann and Steiff. The craftsmanship in every toy amazes me, the limited edition certificates and all the attention to detail has impacted my work
/NOVAK SLUNJSKI Novak Slunjski, after getting a degree in art education at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, he continued his studies in Rome with painter Piero Pizzi Canelli and in Venice with master Emilo Vedova. On his creative path he has met established artists and teachers, but above all he learned about art and explored it by visiting the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s galleries, reading academic literature, fiction, poetry and art magazines, and by continuously observing and studying everything in depth. Thus he has developed his own style, which is not dictated by trends, but by his mission that materialises at the moment when the painter touches the canvas. Since 1988 he has regularly been exhibiting; he has participated in numerous group exhibitions, art colonies and performances. His paintings are in permanent collections in Slovenia and abroad. For his work, he has received numerous awards and commendations. His paintings are part of the interior of London based restaurant Zebrano, which was shortlisted top 5 in a globally recognised competition dedicated to the design of spaces Restaurant &amp; Bar Design Awards in September 2016. Novak builds a personal, independent expression. His paintings are multilayered. He mainly uses acrylic paints, various mixed techniques and collages. Apart from paints he uses unconventional art materials such as plaster, sand, pieces of canvas or similar fabric, burned paper, corrugated paper, coffee, sugar and other mediums. www.novakslunjski.com
/JASON CLARKE We live in an age where mental health issues are an everyday aspect of modern life, yet rarely discussed. Progressive societies with all their advances also put us under a lot of pressure which manifests itself in the form of stress and depression, the darker aspects of life. Artist Jason Clarke channels these clouded moments through his art and wants to break down the stigma attached to mental health. Especially among men. The attention to detail in your work is incredible, How long do you spend on each piece? It depends how unwell I am. During a hospital admission I will complete one picture every two days. At home it can take up to a week. Do you think mental health as a topic will always be taboo especially among men? Yes it has been a big taboo. Often men are too embarrassed to admit they need help. Stigma is also an issue but mental health campaigners and service users
are working hard to address this. When I exhibit I talk to lots of people about mental health awareness and I hope that my art helps them to understand what goes on in a troubled mind. Even amongst chaos one can see structure in your work, Who are your inspirations? I draw to clear my head. As a therapy it empties my mind of all the bad thoughts and visions that make me unwell. Without it I would not be here today. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any well known inspirations but the friends I have made at
Above: Gruesome Twosome.
therapy groups over the years health trust where I was (and still inspire me. They are a very talented am) a patient. I felt very strange bunch! about it because I have to draw so I didn’t understand why they liked Have you ever thought of my work. incorporating colour in your work? It is very difficult for me to feel No because the subject matter proud about my achievements. doesn’t lend itself to colour. When Over the years I have improved I draw my mood is low so I am and my partner tells me I look thinking dark thoughts. proud even if I don’t feel it. I am very lucky that my artwork is being Tell us about your first solo recognized. I have had several solo exhibition? Have you got any exhibitions since 2010 organised by more coming up? groups and charities and I am very My first solo exhibition was in 2010 grateful. There is nothing planned and was organised by the mental at the moment.
Above: Inside the Machine.
What advice would you give to other individuals who suffer from mental health issues with regards to using art as a way to deal with their illness? Art is a great therapy but it is not for everyone. Others use music, poetry, acting or even write mood diaries, which are fascinating. My advice would be to try them all and see which suits them best.
Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only been drawing for the last 5 years, do you have any previous experience or training with regards to art? I have no formal training. I attended art therapy during my first hospital admission.
I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really want to go to the group but I picked up a gel pen anyway and started drawing. I doodled at first and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel the benMost hospitals and charities have efit straight away but as I became therapy groups where people can more unwell the pictures began to get support and advice. They will take shape. This process is ongoing, also meet others with similar issues my style has changed over time as which is a therapy in itself. my illness has progressed.
Above: Disturbed Minds.
What was it about art that resonated with you during your healing process? Out of all the therapies art works best for me. It not only releases the pressure in my head but helps me zone out my voices which are be really overwhelming at times. Therapies will never cure these illnesses, they help you to manage your illness. If you have an outlet you are able to cope better in everyday life and you get to meet some amazing people along the way.
/LOTTIE MOLLOY The perception of beauty is firmly embedded in Lottie Molloy’s design process and inspires and challenges her as a designer. Through the use of mathematical acoustics and the manipulation of the viewer’s perceptions, the homogenous idea of ‘beauty’ is stripped from the acceptable. Each design is open to judgements and individual reactions of personal interaction. Each design therefore holds and a quality of individualism. Talk us through your ‘Glitches in Perception’ collection? How did it come about? Glitches in Perception is my Graduate collection for spring // Summer 2017, which conceptually concentrates on the construction of movement between colour and shape. The main ideas for this collection developed from research and investigation into whether the theories of Divine Proportion within an artistic paradigm still hold any relevance in contemporary design.
that allows the spectator to make a judgment as to what makes a work of art, an architectural concept and its final outcome, or a contemporary design aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. Is there any guide-lines that an artist, architect or designer can follow that will ensure that their work will be perceived as beautiful, or is beauty purely a subconscious reaction that comes from the individual. I wanted to then push the idea of what is beautiful, by pulling it apart, manipulating, distorting and even The reasoning for this research was glitching the idea. to attempt to understand what it is
By doing so my intentions were to create a collection that is open to judgment and the unique reactions of a personal interaction.
pulling out shapes, formations, compositions, scales and colour from my research, making a well thought out database to be then later crafted together into designs. We love your use of geometry Along side all of this a good strong and symmetry in your work. How cup of coffee and BBC Radio 6 are does your creative process start? always at the start of any creative Talk us through it. process. The pinnacle point of inspiration for my use of geometry and Are you drawn to specific shapes symmetry comes for the beautiful and architecture? world of modern architecture. So Any shape that involves a Clean for me, whatever projects I start, sharp line and perfect angles would to get the creative juices flowing I have to be what I am drawn to the need to do my research. most, so naturally I am drawn to Modern Architecture, with I can spend hours if not days movements such and Bauhaus, researching, whether that be Brutalism and post modernism. scrolling through Pinterest, lapping up interviews from However one architectural journals and magazines to movement has really lit a fire in traveling to a city with my camera my belly, due to its harsh angles, and snapping up all the extreme shapes and its look into inspiration that is around me. perception. This movement is called Deconstructivism and came I pride my self on my attention about in 1980s. Deconstructivism to detail and this cannot be done addresses the imperfections of the without the correct research. modern work and in the words of Whether this is me being slightly Phillip Johnson, the quote ‘pleasure OCD or a major perfectionist I do of unease.’ This architectural not know. But I cannot move over movement heavily influenced forward until I full understand “Glitches in Perception “ and what it is that I am conceptually allowed me to experiment with and aesthetically trying to achieve. geometry and angles of I then begin to start drawing and architecture that I had not yet
explored. This is going to be something that I will be continuing to develop within my design handwriting.
Supermundane, and Kate Banazi with their fantastic use of shapes and original bold colours. But when it comes to the design and fashion world I take my inspiration Does seeing your work in a from the design houses of Nike, three-dimensional format, like an Adidas, Mission and Stella upholstered chair or McCathney for their sleek style and wallpaper change the way you sophisticated use of line and see it? structure within their designs. Yes, seeing my work in a three-dimensional format www.cargocollective.com/ completely changes the way that lottiemolloydesign I see it. The print can completely change depending on what surface or structure it is laid upon. For me the way that I see my work even changes from viewing it on the computer screen to it being printed on the fabric. Suddenly this rigid structure, that can only be moved though the commands of Photoshop and Illustrator, has movement and fluidity of its own. Changing the way that lines and shapes, even colours of the print react with each other, forming new compositions, structures and colour grouping. What are your current inspirations? My current inspirations are artists such as Camille Walala,