We live in testing times. A pandemic that is ravaging through countries, thousands of lives lost, millions unemployed, quarantined in their homes with some governments using the chaos to tighten their autocratic hold. Some of us may make it to the other side with everyone we know alive and well, some may not be so lucky. It is important in times like these to keep your loved ones closer, pick up the phone and call a friend to check on them. There are ways we can be socially connected while maintaining the required social distancing norms. As artists, this time can be tougher as revenue sources dry up but we can use this time to look deeper into the chasms of our creativity. What inspired us to start creating, our goals and dreams. This is a time to recharge and re-evaluate so that when the time comes for us to move forward, which it inevitably will. We can present our best selves. Personally, in my darkest hours, I have found comfort in Ancient Greek Philosophy. In the words of Marcus Aurelius â€œThe impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the wayâ€?.
06 MIRANDA TROJANOWSKA 12 JOAN ANDAL ROMANO 16 WILLOW BANKS 20 SANNA MYRTTINEN 22 KENCH LOTT WEATHERS 26 JOSIANE DIAS 30 KATY KIDD 34 KENNETH SUSYNSKI 38 RYOTA MATSUMOTO 42 HAIMENG CAO 46 MATTU PHOTOGRAPHY 52 TRINE CHURCHILL 56 MATTY HEIMGARTNER 62 ELENA TSIGARIDOU
MIRANDA TROJANOWSKA mirandatrojanowska.com
Having spent some time catching up over coffee with artist Miranda Trojanowska in her home town of Sheffield not long ago, thereâ€™s no denying the fact that her colourful, eclectic art is as infectious as her personality. She combines a career as a lecturer in biology and forensic science, painting in her free time. Not shy to switch things up, her recent pieces are a radical change to her previous work, a topic she touches in our interview with her. She also talks about the importance of pushing herself outside her comfort zone as an artist and her favourite comfort food on a rainy English day!
Your new work has a completely new look and feel, what inspired the change? I revisited the works of some of the Cubists last year â€“ Picasso, Braque, Gris, Dali; Girl with a Mandolin by Picasso being one of my most favourite paintings. I was struck by the lines, symmetry and fluidity of being constrained by form and shape, yet the outcome is beautiful in movement and interpretation. This inspired me to try a new style, to experiment with a different approach to presenting my ideas. It is important to be open to change and in studying again the works of these Cubists, I saw them from a different perspective than before because of my greater experience. Great paintings such as Girl with a Mandolin always have something new to offer and so are always worth revisiting.
Has the current political climate in England and Europe affected you as an artist? The current political climate is going to make being an artist and exhibiting artist that much harder. We will be a small island with borders, visa and restrictions of what can and cannot be done. It is going to mean a big change for a lot of artists. We should see this as a challenge and rise above the difficulties. It would be a great mistake to decide that there is nothing to be done. Art has the potential to bring people together from a wide range of backgrounds and we should try to see what we have in common. Is the geometry in your current work a metaphor for anything in particular? The linear conceptual aspect relates and refers to the essence of the geometric, yet organic, nature of the work. 06
Fizz 125 x 103cm, acrylic
Geometry configures and prefigures a range of elements in all our lives from the sacramental forms of sacred geometry (that are precursors to so much of our current sense of inner worth) to the secular nature of contemporary existence with our alienation from reality exemplified by the harshness of the overwhelming force of the built environment. This work offers a paradigmatic perspective of the exemplar notions of the nexus between ourselves and those around us.
science and it still fascinates and inspires. Every artist should know something about science and every scientist should know something about art. They are both incredibly rich fields of human achievement and anyone who focuses entirely on one to the exclusion of the other is missing so much.
What are your thoughts on evolution as an artist? Is this something other artists should explore more? Evolution means different things to differThe word ‘linear’ is founded on the geoent people. To fundamentalist Christians, metric form expressed here while being evolution does not exist as God created the associated with the related terms ‘line’ and Earth, Universe and Life as we know it. To ‘lineage’. Thus the painting and what it scientists, evolution is based on facts, on represents and engenders, consists of lines fossils, on carbon dating and the analysis while also ‘crossing a line’ in the sense of a of DNA which shows how we are related to transgressive act through forcing the all living things. To artists, every piece is an observer to reassess their relationship in the evolution. It is an evolution of thought, cresense of familial links and bonds - in other ativity, emotion, passion, love, personality words their lineage, their forebears, their and more importantly, the essence and soul ancestors combining to impose the stricof the artist themselves. Where would an tures of thought that are an imposition on artist be without constantly evolving? the freedom of us all. Counterpointing the Stagnation for an artist is like a death knell linear nature of the word ‘line’ is the delibwith all hope of artistic movement, erate non-use of any straight lines with the language and narrative gone. This is a scary entirety, the totality of the work consisting and lonely place for any artist. of circles - arcs of constant radius with the many different radii denoting the multiplicity The natural world has an abundance of of meaning yet complicated in their execuevidence of the value of evolution. All life tion so symbolizing the challenging nature around us has evolved into the most incredof creation. ible variety of forms. Evolution is a fact; the evidence for it is overwhelming. The theory Do you still lecture on forensic science? associated with evolution is that the Could you tell us a bit about that? driving force is natural selection. Some The students that I taught were inspired people misunderstand the meaning of the to study this topic because of watching term ‘theory’. In the scientific method, we forensic science programmes on TV. They make observations and form a hypothesis seemed to think that a Forensic Scientist in an attempt to explain how these things was someone that collected the evidence, came about. analysed the evidence, made conclusions, arrested the suspects and gave evidence in We then test the hypothesis and if it passes court. This is not quite what real life is like the tests it achieves the status of being a but it did get students interested in science theory, that is, an explanation that has been and anything that achieves this is a good thoroughly examined. Art is less absolute thing. Although I am now primarily an than science but it is also a way of seeing artist I am very proud of my background in the world and trying to understand it. 08
Prismatic 80 x 60cm, acrylic
Gears in Motion 50 x 40cm, acrylic
Do you manage to get any spare time between lecturing and painting? I do have some spare time between working and painting. I mostly use that for reading and more recently I have started learning the piano again after a gap of many years. It is very enjoyable and I am fortunate to have an inspiring teacher. I am still at an early stage but I think I am making progress. I am playing some of Beethovenâ€™s work as well as trying pieces from Bachâ€™s Well-Tempered Clavier. It is beautiful music, profound with a spiritual element; it is great art.
they are in a big mushy mess. Delicious!!! I have been a vegan for some time now and feel much better as a result. I stopped eating meat for ethical and health reasons and will never do so again. END
How do you push yourself outside your comfort zone creatively? I constantly push myself to evolve as an artist. I feel I have to adapt to my emotions and feelings. I have changed my style significantly several times over the last few years and each time this pushed me outside my comfort zone. I had to learn new techniques and work out how to use the potential of each style to its full. I began painting with a very flowing style using oils. I then adopted the technique of using acrylic paints with immiscible liquids and resin; this was a very interesting form as it was never possible to predict exactly the results as the various coloured areas reacted with their neighbouring zones with the force of surface tension driving the shape of the lines along the boundaries. Most recently I have worked on my geometrical style using straight lines and pure curves. It is an utterly different style from that of the immiscible fluids and I still experimenting with it. What was your favourite food growing up in Yorkshire? It has to be a chip butty with mushy peas. I can sense all the cooks in the world throwing down their utensils and storming off. A chip butty, for those not from Yorkshire, is a bread bun filled with chips (potatoes cut into sections and fried) all slathered in salt and vinegar with a side of peas that have been so boiled to death that 10
Primary Shapes of Colour 80 x 60cm, acrylic
JOAN ANDAL ROMANO joanromano.weebly.com
Artists create for different reasons, some to channel inner angst, struggle or pleasure, some to make themselves heard and start a dialogue. Toronto based artist Joan Andal Romano began her journey into the world of art in 2010 with an argument in the Louvre in Paris of all places. The crux of this argument was the claim of Joan being an artist because of what she creates rather than who she is as a creative individual. This pressed her reset button, and she landed up marrying the critic! The event also opened the gates to her creativity in ways she had never before, focussing on her cognitive state rather than what she created. Growing up in Toronto, the diversity and multiculturalism Joan was surrounded by was a source of inspiration that continues to this day.
Our Beautiful Flaws Situation 2, Mixed Media & Stitch on Unstretched Canvas, 8.5 x 10 in
Our Beautiful Flaws Situation 1, Mixed Media & Stitch on Unstretched Canvas, 8.5 x 10 in
Our Beautiful Flaws Situation 3, Mixed Media & Stitch on Unstretched Canvas, 8.5 x 10 in
WILLOW BANKS wbanksportfolio.com
In these times of restrictive movement, most of us have found a much-needed appreciation of the benefits of nature, travel and our planet as a whole. The ongoing pandemic has made us re-consider our entire way of existence and will hopefully lead to positive changes for us as a species and nature. Northern Californian artist, Willow Banks, draws inspiration from the environment around her. The Pacific coastline, Southwest Canyonlands and the Sierra Nevada mountain range are places where she finds solace, healing and inspiration. Her recent work includes a small series of monotypes titled â€œImperfect Landâ€? along with other landscapes. In typical Willow fashion, her use of colours combines emotion and representation of her surroundings, taking the viewer on a journey. Something we could all do with right now.
Aurora Borealis Nr1, 2020, A2 size, ink on stonepaper (sumi-e technique)
SANNA MYRTTINEN sanna-art.com
When you lay your eyes on one of Sanna Myrttinenâ€™s paintings, you cannot help but feel enveloped by a sense of tranquillity. Largely inspired by the philosophies and aesthetic concepts of the East, her work revolves around themes of spiritual growth and nature. Not shy in her use of broad brush strokes, reduced forms and colour, she uses painting as a meditative practice and a tool for raising awareness. Elaborate collages with Buddhist prayer papers, contemplative texts and pensive landscapes comprise of the body of her pieces. Her studio is located just south of Munich, Germany, on the foothills of the Alps, in the vicinity of beautiful lake Stranberg.
The Storm, 2020, A2 size, ink on stonepaper (sumi-e technique) 21
KENCH LOTT WEATHERS kenchlott.com
With our swelling populations, space, at least in urban areas is becoming a competitive resource. We are crammed into micro spaces, with limited access to nature and its marvels. This has made us reconsider our relationship with space. Residing in Savannah, Georgia, Artist Kench Lott Weathers is a three-dimensional artist creating art across various disciplines. His influences consist of the Minimalists, Op-artists and Constructivists. His installations take into consideration the architectural layout and interiors of the spaces he works with. Using mixed-media structures in a non-traditional format. Using steel, wood, light, and vinyl. His work is not a critique of contemporary society, but an escape from it; with an underlying theme of mindfulness and compassion. His work has been published both nationally and internationally.
Do you think our perceptions of space and depth need to change with our growing populations? That’s an interesting question; this might happen subconsciously, but it’s not a primary reason for me making installation work. I’ve always been fascinated with utilising previously used materials and/or space. When I sketch, it’s easier for me to come up with new ideas and designs on a previously used sheet of paper. I like the idea of taking a normal and transforming it. Making use of nontraditional formats such as floors, ceilings and corners appeal to me as well.
Your pieces are often three-dimensional, has that always been the case? No, it hasn’t, I’ve been a practising two-dimensional artist for the majority of my life. Only in the last few years have I explored three dimensionalities and still, I enjoy mixing the two. The use of sculptural objects in an environment is still a new and exciting practice for me. You’ve cited Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi as one of your inspirations, is there a particular period in his body of work that you are drawn to? Our visual aesthetics might differ, but the core inspiration is ideological; particularly the underlying concept of the Noguchi Garden located in Costa Mesa, California. 22
Noguchi was heavily influenced by Zen Gardens and Philosophy. Noguchi and myself have a fascination with eastern and western philosophy which comes through in each of our work. I am interested in creating an environment for people to commune, contemplate and meditate in. The Minimalists, Op-Artists and Constructivists are some of my influences as well. The Constructivists were interested in creating utopia through architecture. I’m interested in creating utopia through installation.
local and elsewhere. Speaking of spaces and structures, what is your favourite space to relax after a long week? I enjoy quite a bit of racquetball during the week. I play vinyl records at a local pub in my free time as well. END
Tell us a bit about your journey into the world of art? I decided to start my graduate degree in 2016, at Georgia Southern University. My studies comprised of three years of research and honing in on my technical skills; welding and woodworking. After graduation, in December of 2018, I held my first solo exhibition outside of a university setting which has continued throughout 2019. I am focused on showing and getting exposure to a variety of venues. What is the importance of escapism in your practice? Especially in our troubled times? Escapism is essential in today’s polarized political and social climate. I’m interested in creating a space where people can get together and converse regardless of superficial and/or ideological differences. As an artist, what elements of the art world do you find most frustrating? I find the snobbery and elitism within the art world quite boring. I prefer to see more diversity of thought; it’s a bit homogenous at the moment. What does the upcoming year have in store for Kench? I’m applying to multiple universities for professorships, as well as writing proposals and working on commission projects both 24
JOSIANE DIAS josianedias.com
The Tel Aviv central Bus Station is located in a decadent area which most locals avoid going to but when the architect Ram Karmi began work on this brutalist building in 1967, it was supposed to be one of the hallmarks of the city. Indeed, it is one of the world’s largest bus stations, measuring 230,000m2. There are more than 1,000 stores, cafes and restaurants inside its labyrinthine structure. This white elephant, whose construction was only completed in 1993 due to different kind of problems, has suffered from neglect throughout the years. As it is located in one of the poorest parts of the city, many drug addicts, prostitutes and even homeless people can be spotted there. Inside the building, everything seems to lie eerily abandoned, including a huge underground parking lot where bats have made their home. However, if you look closer, you can find a Yiddish library, refugee health clinics, a Filipino church, some art galleries, and even a night club. There’s a whole world inside. Surprisingly, it is also home to the largest street art installation in Israel: the walls of the 7th floor have been spray-painted by approximately 170 street artists, both Israeli and foreign. I was attracted both to its weirdness and diverse atmosphere. I was seduced by this structure’s architecture, and not its apparent ugliness, or “balagan”, a word Israelis use to define a state of disarray and confusion.
Tel Aviv Bus Station lX
“I was attracted by both its weirdness and its interesting and diverse atmosphere. For this project, I was seduced by its architectural structures and not its apparent ugliness or “balagan”, a word Israelis use to define a state of chaos, disarray and confusion.” - Josiane Dias
Tel Aviv Bus Station V
Tel Aviv Bus Station Vll
KATY KIDD katykidd.com
Living and working in the high desert at 8000 feet in the Sangre De Cristo mountains, we have artist Katy Kidd. Raised in a family that appreciated art in its various forms and collected it in the Seventies and Eighties, Katy learned to realise the importance of art from a young age. She studied art at the University of Denverâ€™s Youth Art Programme and at the Art Studentâ€™s League of Denver. She has also studied Fine Art and Prehistoric Pottery restoration, highlighting the importance of not just the creation of art, but its preservation. Her work can be found in private collections across the United States and she has exhibited her pieces across Europe and North America.
Tea Time, 48 x 66, Oil on Linen, 2019
KENNETH SUSYNSKI susynski.com
Having spent his childhood dotted across various parts of the world, artist Kenneth Susynski was exposed to a multitude of cultures and ideologies. These influences can be observed in his work. Primarily painting using oil, he does not shy away from incorporating mediums such as automotive basecoat paint, charcoal, ink, beverages and in some cases, chipped pieces of the Berlin wall. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. While the subject matter may vary, his goal as an artist is to conjure rich humanity from his work that speaks to every viewer, highlighting that although we may be different, we are all bound by the same values, emotions and struggles.
Iron Poppies, 64 x 60, Oil on Linen, 2019
We Changed The Hands, 44 x 38â€?, Oil on Canvas, 2019
The Mamas and The Papas, 54 x 48â€?, Oil on Linen, 2019
RYOTA MATSUMOTO ryotamatsumoto.com
As humans, we have had an unmistakable impact on the world we inhabit. The consequences of which we are only recently coming to understand. Observed from space, our planet, during nighttime, is an illuminated sphere. Signs of life visible wherever we look. Landscapes have been moulded to meet our requirements for habitation and commerce. Tokyo based artist Ryota Matsumoto explores these complex relationships. Matsumoto is also known for his interdisciplinary design and urban planning work. Born in Tokyo, he was raised in Hong Kong and Japan. He received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 after his studies at Architectural Association in London and Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art in the early â€™90s.
HAIENG CAO It might seem like we live in dystopian times, governments increasingly taking on an authoritarian approach, civil liberties being restricted and mobility coming to a standstill. But, when it comes to conceptualising this, the movie Blade Runner comes to mind. Towering skyscrapers, apartments the size of shoeboxes, smog and neon lights peppered all over the place. Los Angeles based artist Haimeng Cao is one of those individuals. Working with the game and film industry, his skills focus on concept design and visual development. His workflow consists of digital painting, rendering and modelling. His inspirations include dystopian novels such as 1984 and Brave New World, artists such as Mobius and the founder of Akira, Japanese artist Katsuhiro Otomo.
Hey Haimeng, could you tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Haimeng Cao, a concept artist who works in the game and film industry focus on entertainment production design. I graduated from ArtCenter College of Design with a bachelor degree and Southern California Institute of Architecture as a Master of Science. My clients include Framestore, Blizzard Entertainment, NetEase Game, and Titmouse. I was responsible for the concept design, world-building, art direction, and storyboarding for different projects. My work has been featured in different digital art media and magazines, such as CG Society, Character Design Quarterly and ImagineFX. Awards including one of the
biggest illustration awards in Japan, the grand prize of Japan Illustratorsâ€™ Association Award 2019. We believe you are currently based in Los Angeles, has that always been the case? I have been working in Los Angeles as a concept artist for five years. In 2017, I was invited to work on a mobile game project for NetEase in Guangzhou, China. It was four months duration. I would love to do relocation work if there is a project that suits my skill and interest.
As someone who deals with dystopia in your work, what are your thoughts on the current political climate around the world and especially in the United States? As an artist or writer, politics in most cases serve as inspirations for works, which is only taken objectively without a position. The dystopia climate works as a theme of world-building in my work and brings the audience more space to do infinite imagination, including political ideology and social structure.
ment industry after high school, and attended ArtCenter College of Design to study in the illustration department. The detail in your work is astounding, how much time do you spend on a piece on average? The average time for one piece is 20 hours.
How does Haimeng spend his Sunday in Los Angeles? I love doing hand-drawing sketches during my travel time, it’s a very good art medium to explore the natural world with simple When was the first time you came across supplies such as charcoals and water-colour brushes. Los Angeles has some beachthe work of Katsuhiro Otomo? es which offer great perspectives such as I saw Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira when I was Dana Point and Newport Beach. END in college. It was the first time for me to see a comic achieved with such enormous amounts of details. It was also a chance for me to explore more great Japanese animation directors such as Miyazaki Hayao and Satoshi Kon. Their works inspired me impressively when I was a student. Their stories and world buildings bring me the courage to explore the boundary of the art. Are there any contemporary cities that you draw inspiration from? My graduate degree is architecture, Master of Science. It makes me more sensitive to the details of architecture and city design. The contemporary city that interests me is Brasília, the capital of Brazil. The main plan is designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The design has been acclaimed as a modern utopian city plan. It inherits Le Corbusier’s ideology, the master of modern architecture. I also inspired by architects such as Louis Kahn, Wang Shu, and Tadao Ando. Were there any cartoons that you watched growing up that influenced you as an artist? The Adventures of Tintin created by Hergéis the one that made me passionate for storytelling and character development. The book influenced me and I decided to become a visual storyteller in the entertain44
MATTU PHOTOGRAPHY instagram.com/mattu.photography
I’m pretty sure most of us remember our birthday presents as children, some more memorable than others. The anticipation of the package being opened, wrapping paper everywhere followed by the obsession with the present, even if it only lasted a few days. For Mattu, this birthday present took the form of his first film camera. It might have been made of plastic but this did not stop Mattu from making it his constant companion, photographing landscapes, people and everything around him. At the age of fifteen, he bought his first SLR camera (a Nikkormat) with money he earned working through his vacation.. Shooting primarily in Monochrome using Ilford film, Mattu honed his skill through trips to Paris. As the years followed, he worked in New York, Europe and Israel in a multitude of professions ranging from food to business and marketing. It was during a business trip to Paris that Mattu stumbled across a photograph from acclaimed theatre director and photographer John R Pepper from his series ‘Rome 1969’, an image that he would purchase two years later. This re-ignited his passion for photography. Currently working with full-frame cameras, Mattu has been exploring the world of portrait photography. Shooting a plethora of subjects, he aims to capture not just the subject, but its emotions, energy and beauty. Not just recording the subjects as he sees and feels them but adding value to their existence, digging out the vitality through composition, expression, light and shadows.
TRINE CHURCHILL trinechurchill.com
“Moments stopped in time”, this is how artist Trine Churchill best describes her work. Using photographs, both old and new as a reference point, she combines the imagery, rendering it in realism and abstraction. Some of the photographs come from her family’s closet, while others are captured during her travels. This amalgamation of time, place and nature encourages the viewers to venture into a path of their own memory and imagination. Trine’s parents decided to emigrate to the United States when she was nineteen, leaving long-lasting implications on her creativity and personality. Being a daughter of a Cartoonist, a career in the arts was a natural choice for Trine. It was not until she took her first painting class that becoming a painter was going to be the way she expressed her creativity. Currently, Trine is inviting people to send their pictures to her to be considered for her Together Now project - a series of portraits of a world sheltering at home.
Field of Flowers, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 20â€?, 2018
Song of The Open Road, Acrylic on Canvas, 60 x 72”, 2018
First Friends, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 20â€?, 2018
MATTY (MATTHEW) HEIMGARTNER matthewheimgartner.com
A visual artist living in San Jose, California, Matty (Matthew) Heimgartner tells stories with his paintings. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he has battled with mental health, identity and addiction. Using his art as therapy, he works through unresolved conflicts, both internal and external and hopes that the personal nature of his work inspires others to explore themselves and understand who they really are. Drawing inspiration from both sensory inputs and emotions, he transfers them to the canvas using acrylics or ink on paper. Sometimes, the true depth and meaning of sentiment only presenting itself upon completion of a painting. He holds degrees in both English and Visual Art and has participated in several art shows and festivals throughout the Bay Area.
Flirting with Death, Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, 14â€? x 11â€?, 2020
Just One Drink, Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, 14” x 11”, 2019
Bar Talk, Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, 14” x 11”, 2020
Ecstasy, Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, 14” x 11”, 2019
Piece by Piece, Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper, 14” x 11”, 2019
ELENA TSIGARIDOU elenatsigaridou.com
Our memories are much more complex than we consider them to be. Emotions, sensory information like touch, smell, taste and sight are layered. They all combine into moments of joy, pain, pleasure and love. Artist Elena Tsigaridou uses her art as a capsule, encompassing the sensations, wonder and memories associated with our experiences. Using a contemporary visual language, she combines different mediums, symbolic imagery and textures to create a visual representation of our labyrinthine memories. Her work evokes the private world of personal identity and inner state.
Hug, 100 x 100 x 7cm, Ink, Graphite, Acrylics, Watercolors, Pins, Paper on Wooden Board, 2020
Placebo, 130 x 130 x 7cm, Ink, Graphite, Acrylics, Watercolors, Pins, Paper on Wooden Board, 2018
Something Blue II, 70 x 70 x 7cm, Ink, Graphite, Acrylics, Watercolors, Pins, Paper on Wooden Board, 2018
Featuring: Miranda Trojanowska, Joan Andal Romano, Willow Banks, Sanna Myrttinen, Kench Lott Weathers, Josiane Dias, Katy Kidd, Kenneth Susy...
Published on May 6, 2020
Featuring: Miranda Trojanowska, Joan Andal Romano, Willow Banks, Sanna Myrttinen, Kench Lott Weathers, Josiane Dias, Katy Kidd, Kenneth Susy...