International Postcard Show: Artist Interview

ARTIST:: ADAM BRANT

 

Introduce yourself and your art.

I’m a visual artist specialising in painting and drawing.  My work explores the relationship between the past, present and future.  I’m influenced by the tradition of still-life painting, and use objects and environments as starting-points to create images which investigate space and time.

 

I graduated with a Fine Art degree in 2002 from the University of Hull (Scarborough Campus).  I can recommend studying by the seaside – it’s as fun as it sounds!

 

During my studies I was lucky enough to spend a month at the Cyprus College of Art as part of a student exchange programme.  Finding inspiration in the ways the modern world impacted the ancient history of the island helped me to establish my identity as an artist.

 

My art practice can generally be divided into two work streams:

-  Conceptual series of work created in response to a theme (over months and years)

- Observational one-off work created in response to an object or image (over a few days).

 

Where/How did you develop the idea for your postcard?

‘Taut’ was inspired by receiving a Spirograph set as a Christmas present.  I often receive art related gifts (including art materials and books, as well as completely unexpected items such as an Etch A Sketch and the Spirograph!).

 

The idea for the postcard developed after seeing the Spirograph back in the art studio alongside other more traditional artist materials.

 

What was your intention for your postcard?

Over recent years I’ve been exploring different ways to combine painting and drawing within a single art work.  The intention was to challenge myself to use the Spirograph as the starting-point for the postcard as part of this exploration.  I didn’t use a Spirograph when I was young (I’m discounting trying out my sisters when she wasn’t looking!), so the aim was to see what I could make out of my unskilled efforts in using this new tool.

 

Is this your first exhibition and if yes, how do you feel about it?

This is not my first exhibition, but it is the first time my work is being exhibited in 2017!  It’s always exciting to be involved in a group show and see your art alongside the work of others.  It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded and supportive creative people.

 

My work has been exhibited in various locations across the UK, as well as in Norway and America (and is currently more well-travelled than I am!).

 

It can be daunting getting your work out there. I’ve been both successful and unsuccessful when submitting work for exhibition.  My advice to anybody creating art work is:

-  Do it because you love it.  If your work becomes recognised and appreciated by others that is great, but don’t let be the reason you produce work

-  Don’t be disillusioned if your work isn’t always successful.  Learn from previous experiences and stay inspired – you never know what exciting opportunities that next piece of work might lead you to…

 

Does your postcard have any connection to today’s world?

My work expresses experiences of space and time, and how these experiences impact how we connect to the world around us.

 

I join objects that already exist in the world from the past and present together for the first time.  By expressing my personal response to that connection, a new object is created with its own future in the world.  ‘Taut’ is no exception and represents:

-  The past (a plastic monster figure collected from a cereal box as a child)

-  The present (the Spirograph received as a Christmas present)

- The future (the postcard itself).

 

What artists inspire you?

I’m inspired by many different artists but if I had to pick one it would have to be Jenny Saville.  You can get a sense of the history of painting within Saville’s work so it also reminds me of other artists who inspire me such as Seventeenth century Dutch still-life painters, Picasso, and Lucien Freud.

 

The commitment of Saville to painting and drawing techniques fascinates me.  I treated myself to an expensive book about her work many years ago (I couldn’t really afford at the time, but it was a great investment). It has fantastic close-up photographs of the brushwork within her paintings.

 

I always turn to this book whenever something isn’t going well with my own work, and it usually leads me to resolving whatever artistic challenge I was facing.

 

What research do you do for your art works?

Research for my art work tends to be focused on local history, supernatural phenomenon, and my day-to-date interactions with the world around me.  This informs the theory of my work and provides visual inspiration.

 

My methods of researching vary - from looking-up information on the intranet, to visiting local libraries, to taking photographs of places I visit.

 

I love stationery so have more notebooks than is necessary to write down ideas and record information.  I tend to capture visual research information using a digital or phone camera as it is so convenient.  These have gradually replaced keeping a more traditional sketchbook.

 

I aspire to get back to keeping a sketchbook as they are a great archive of source material (I still refer to ideas from sketchbooks I created during my student days).

 

Do you have a creative routine/pattern?

I have a full-time office job to ensure the bills are paid so my art practice is planned around this.  It can be challenging juggling work, family and social commitments with time spent in the art studio.  Finding a healthy balance isn’t always easy.

 

I try to ensure I have a balanced schedule of time in the studio with time spent away from my art work.  Despite this I do still sometimes fall victim to deadline pressures (and have been known to stay up for 24 hours to get an art work finished!).

 

In the past I would feel guilty about not producing art work at every opportunity.  Now I have a more realistic routine of making sure I do at least one activity related to my art practice each day.  This can range from:

-  A few minutes spent updating my website or social media pages

-  A few hours spent researching concepts or sketching out ideas

-  A whole a day spent totally absorbed in painting a canvas.

 

It’s amazing what progress can be made from even doing only one task each day.

 

What are you trying to communicate with your postcard?

There isn’t a specific message I hope to communicate with ‘Taut’, but hope people can relate to the postcard in some way whether that be:

- Recalling memories of using a Spirograph

-  Wondering what the drawn figure and colours represent

-  Thinking about how the ink and paint has been applied to the paper.

 

I often use one-word titles to suggest rather than describe what the work expresses about my own experiences.  I hope people can take away something from my work that makes them challenge and reconsider their preconceptions.

 

You can discover more about my work via the following links:

Website: www.adambrant.co.uk

Facebook: Adam Brant – visual artist (www.facebook.com/abrantartist/)

Twitter: @brantus (www.twitter.com/brantus)

Instagram: @a_brant_artist (www.instagram.com/a_brant_artist)

International Postcard Show:: International Artist Interview

ARTIST:: HÉLÈNE BAUTISTA

 

Introduce yourself and your art.

I’m an illustrator, specialised in engraving and I my predilection is for lino-cutting when I have to create illustrations for books or posters.

 

Where/How did you develop the idea for your postcard?  What was your intention for your postcard?

 This idea of a an hot-air balloon flying in the sky came first for a book cover for « Cinq semaines en ballon’, the Jules Verne’s novel, and I made a large linocut print for it. When I saw the poster of the Surface Gallery calling for artists, I thought immediately of travels all around the world, and I wanted, by creating a postcard for it, to invite people to a « rêverie » . That’s why I choosed the hot-air balloon, as an unusual way for travelling, and a poetic one. I made a very small lino plate then to create this postcard, which I printed in traditional ways.

 

Is this your first exhibition and if yes, how do you feel about it?

It isn’t my first exhibition, but I feel very happy about it! I usually work in larger format than postcard, but this experience for Surface Gallery introduced me to it and I like it very much. The ones I created since are not really in connection to today’s world. I prefer the relation with books traditions, as Ex Libris for instance.

 

What artists inspire you?

Félix Vallotton, Daumier, Grandville, Doré as engravers, but I’m very much inspired by old movies for composition and contrasts between black and white, and my ideas often come from literature more than other painters or engravers.

 

What research do you do for your art works?

I sketch a lot, and read, read, read.

 

Do you have a creative routine/pattern?

I often sketch and draw when I’m in common transports, but without searching for anything in particular. Then, I feel I’ve got an image in my mind but I know I have to wait till it comes from itself. Music often helps it to do so, and then I make the drawing I’ll use to create the plate. This part takes hours, listening to music or enjoying silence. When the plate is ready, I prepare the studio for printing, which is a part I love too, especially when the first print reveal if the plate is good.

 

What are you trying to communicate with your postcard?

In my postcards, as in larger formats, I try to open the spectator to his own imagination by sharing mine, and to let him/her free to imagine a story or to be contemplative.

Interview by Dominique Mitchell (Writer in Residence)

 

Flying   

Flying

 

Re:Surface : Interview with the artist

ARTIST: REBECCA PEAREY

 

What inspires you to create and does your work reflect this?

Nature normally inspires me to create my work, as I mostly draw animals and plants. I think my work definitely does reflect this however I'd like to broaden what I normally draw!

 

What medium do you primarily work

 I use fine liners of various sizes for my work.

 

 How do you work/create?

I create small, detailed illustrations in a pointillist style, or sometimes linework - almost like tattoo designs. I like to use small strokes or marks to create an overall much larger, detailed piece.

What do you like about your work?

I really like how detailed my work can be for someone who can be very, very impatient!

What do you see for you in the future?

In the future I'd love to be able to be a freelance illustrator selling my work and commissions part time, while working in the graphic design industry - however I'm not sure which field yet!

 

Explain what you do in 100 words

My piece(s) at Re:Surface are a collection of my favourite drawings I've done over the past year or so, showing the style I like to work in and what I sell on Etsy.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Sam Lindley

Photo Credit: Sam Lindley

Bringing High Wycombe to Nottingham

While we hold a number of annual events at Surface Gallery, “At The First Clash” is one of our hire shows. We chose this show from a number of proposals for its originality, and the artists’ inspired use of space, form and colour, bringing a fresh new aesthetic to our Gallery.

“At The First Clash” welcomes Alex Dewart, Lindall Pearce and Marion Piper from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to Surface Gallery for their first exhibition in Nottingham. These three artists haven’t shown together as a group before and this exhibition gives them a platform to interrogate their work within a new context.

Dewart works with printed cotton and oil paints to manipulate the boundaries between two and three dimension...this is paired alongside Piper’s handling of surface and tone, which is drawn together by Pearce’s use of colour and direction of light. The exhibition has been carefully curated to lead the viewer around the space, framing all of the artists’ work from different angles, creating a number of different perspectives to view the work as a collection, and the space it inhabits.

It is a great pleasure for Surface Gallery to host these three diverse artists for such an exciting show, where they draw links and embrace their unique styles, coming together to find a common ground. It’s really exciting for us to work with artists in this way, with an objective for discovery, using the perimeter of the exhibition as a tool for this.

Their exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated essay, by Maggie Grey, who examines their practices, highlighted the artists’ influences and giving us a much more in depth view of the artists themselves.

We love how this show plays with structure and freedom and the pull between the artists and their individual processes, and we this works fantastically within our space and the context of how we work here at Surface.

The show is open until 12th July so don’t miss out. 

At The First Clash opening

At The First Clash opening