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: Set Up

We're nearly ready.

Here at Surface Gallery we are buzzing away painting, sweeping, mopping, curating, folding, hammering, nailing, sanding, typing, photographing, organising and, of course, drinking copious amounts of tea in order to get the International Postcard Show all set up and ready to go for opening night which is this Friday 13th at 6pm.

The International Postcard Show 2017 features over 460 unique pieces of art from artists all over the world. From over the road in Sneinton, Nottingham to the other side of the planet in Western Australia to just over the channel in the Netherlands. 

Opening night will be an opportunity to grab a beer or a glass of wine, chat with artists and other locals whilst perusing these fabulous mini-masterpieces. Some of these mini-masterpieces are for sale and would make fantastic gifts or the start of a budding art collection!

We look forward to seeing you!

 

A tweet treat

A tweet treat

Beginning to curate the postcards

Beginning to curate the postcards

Applying the finishing touches

Applying the finishing touches

Getting all those shelves up.

Getting all those shelves up.

Rows upon rows of mini-masterpieces.

Rows upon rows of mini-masterpieces.

Written by Dominique Mitchell (Writer in Residence)

Re:Surface : Interview with the artist

ARTIST: PETE ABRAHART

 

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

My paintings come from my love of music and the heroes and icons I hold dear to my heart.

 

How do you work/create?

I have two areas of work - acrylic and collage icon paintings and biro/correction fluid scribbles

 

Explain what you do in 100 words.

I paint my portraits on A3 card, mostly in black and white and then collage them against a 16x20" art board with brown paper frame. After this I give the artboard a distressed effect with acrylic paint. I also distress the brown paper frame either with water and paint and then tear in to the frame or simply distress it with black acrylic paint depending on the musical artist and their life. I like to give each one a separate colour background that I feel represents them in some way also. I guess this is just a form of double framing and image.

 

What do you like about your work?

I like how my paintings are not just simply straight portraits - each one has it's own personality and double framing to bring it to life. This is something I don't plan for and although the black and white portrait itself is highly planned and measured the background and frame is very much an organic process.

 

What do you see for you in the future?

I think probably more of the same to be honest. I'm only really a hobby painter but love the work I produce. I always paint with the thought in mind that if I don't sell the pieces I produce I'm more than happy to hang them in my own home! My work also gets me some commission work too which is really a boost for my enthusiasm in creating work.

 

A few words about your piece at Re:Surface.

 

My seven pieces at Re:Surface represent the past six months of my life and work but my favourite being "Silent Sense of Content" the Amy Winehouse portrait - this piece was to commemorate five years since her death on the 23rd July. I wrote lyrics from my favourite song of hers around the outside and slightly changed some of the words to make it more personal to me. Amy Winehouse is someone I had the pleasure to meet many years back and I feel it is the most important piece in my collection as my own personal tribute.

 

 

photo: Sam Lindley

photo: Sam Lindley

Re:Surface: Interview with the Artist

 

Artist: Emily Geyerhosz

 

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

With writing, I get inspired a lot by music, film, TV and books. I can be inspired by certain characters and certain exchanges between them and I can get inspired by sights or settings I may come across, which is what my piece is about. I was in awe of the weather one day on an annual family trip to the coast. The town, Whitby, is a place I’ve always come back to, since I was a child. The sea, the abbey, the pier, the cobbled streets have always been one of the settings I’ve been interested in. I’ve always been keen to take photos too, and this one day I took one that stood out from the rest and just became a representation of the beautiful day I’d had. I seem to rotate to these descriptions of coastal towns, and old towns with narrow cobbled streets. I really like to describe these settings as vividly as I can.

How do you work/create?

I mostly end up writing when I’m not supposed to, like when I need to be studying. I come up with ideas usually when I’m travelling or walking whilst listening to music and I then try to write about certain images or extracts of a scene I’ve thought up and form backgrounds or plots later on. But, generally, I generally don’t really have a plan with how I write, though it can depend on what I’m writing. I like to sit down with a notepad and pen or my laptop and write for a while and then read back over it.

What do you like about your work?

I like that it is a physical copy of what I’ve been thinking about and I like translating thoughts into words. It can be difficult to not attack your work because of your inner critic, and it can also be hard to keep on rewording, cutting and changing and sometimes scrapping your ideas, but getting through that is very rewarding. Writing is a really good creative outlet, which is probably why I do end up writing when I’m supposed to be studying because it’s hard to absorb facts or information all the time as a creative person.

With the photography side of it, I have always liked the idea of being able to take a physical copy of something ephemeral- that cliche idea of capturing something forever is quite inspiring. There isn’t any skill behind the photos that I take at all, I just like the idea of photo albums and flicking through memories some of which encourage me to write.

What do you see for you in the future?

I’d love just to be able to write more in the future, either towards a big project like a novel or even smaller things like a creative journal or something that I would write everyday. Finding time to read and write for entertainment is hard now as a student as you always think you need to be getting on with uni work when you’re engaging your brain creatively instead of passively watching TV as a form of taking a break from studying. I’ve also always wanted to write and publish a book and keep up with a blog, and hopefully I will when things settle down.

A few words about your piece at Re:Surface.

I wanted to recreate the image of the Whitby Bay pier in words as it was a remarkable sight and a piece of photography I’m proud of. The photograph was taken around two years ago. I wanted to mash together my love of writing and my hobby of photography. What I hoped people would take from the piece was the idea of how writers can paint a picture, to rather capture a picture using words, which is something I find really intriguing with writing creatively. The aim was that people would read the description and then see if the photography matched up to the image painted in their head. I used pages of a book to cover to the box I’d placed the photography in to go with the idea of words mixing up with images and the conflict I can experience in my head with lots of different words and descriptions colliding together to try and describe something.

 

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