Can you tell me a little bit about you?
B. 1992 (Surrey UK) I Live and work in London. I’m a current MFA Fine Art student at Goldsmiths University and will be graduating in July 2019.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
Couldn’t put a date on it, but it was the only thing I knew how to do since being a child. It was instinctive.
What do you like most about working where you do?
Mostly, the places I enjoy and influence my working practice are in my hometown and surrounding neighbourhoods. Living not too far from where I grew up means I routinely visit home and soak up the social and political climate of the area. Observing and documenting the subtle and incremental shifts in town politics, aesthetics and consumer trends has fed into my working practice and themes.
Equally, being able to spend a day, an evening or weekend outside of London, in a quieter area of the UK is very therapeutic. While I’m able to just wonder around town, there is no buzz, no drama to this hometown environment, its quiet and time seems to stand still. On occasion this space outside of the heart of London provides some resolve and relaxation, while on other occasions, the unnerving political climate of the U.K in the wake of the Brexit Referendum means there is an insidious energy to this suburbia that informs my practice greatly.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
I’m currently addressing themes of nostalgia and heritage commodification within British politics. while this has not always been the case, I have certainly always engaged with historicity, site and ontology within my work and have been informed by specific sites and eras in the U.K. I found myself considering more and more my own attitude toward romanticising the past and the rhetoric of utopia within British national identity.
As I became more cognitively aware the politics of the past, and aesthetics of nostalgia were controlling the way in which I defined Britain, I began to feel disillusioned and disgusted by the realities of this gossamer veil Id allowed to be pulled over me eyes. I have since been drawing directly from this to create alternative realities within my practice that more closely resemble the spectres that occupy my mind.
What is your process like?
My process often involves a more holistic and encompassing approach, informed by research elements that can span years apart and be around entirely disconnected subject matter. I tend to react and respond to first hand experiences with a space or architectural site and look to work with the most instinctive and simplest idea first. this is often a recreation, re-articulation or appropriation of existing designs and spaces.
Pieces can take from as little as three weeks from conception to finalisation as with my most recent work, to several months in construction. I often work on one to two pieces at any given time and have a backlog of ideas and influences still in different stages of conception that I allow to ferment in the background of my mind, knowing that they can be subject to change and one day will come to fruition.
Is there any subject or theme you’ve been particularly interested in lately?
I’ve been focusing my research into the Festival of Britain 1951. Particularly I have been researching the design and implementation of the festival through its architectural and design vernacular that prompted the ‘atomic era’ in British interior design.
I’ve been looking at archival imagery and archived designs this festival to try and underpin certain agendas around its conception and implementation. Through this I have been building sculptural works based on certain resonant themes from the festivals design, ultimately calling into question where does design become art. More interestingly however, using contemporary manufacturing processes combined with appropriation, my practice now examines the role of simulacra, within a historical context, It resonates with my interest in the museum industry and the process of historical dispossession that takes place when an era of design is archived and mythologised rather than implemented: in this case British Modernism.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
Working for another artist I was employed to pick out of upholstery foam cushions, with a pair of tweezers, silhouettes of dead flowers. Using a lamp to project the outline of the flower I then had to create an indentation of this form. It took ages!
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
I work as an art technician for a sixth form college in London. it i similar but different in many respects but I do enjoy being in a creative environment and believe that for artists it is necessary on a holistic and spiritual level to be working in an environment that is somehow creatively engaging. Even a building site or factory, so long as you are able to soak up what is happening around you and be able to contemplate on it, find something about it that drives you to consider how it could inform your practise or as a topic of thought even in a negative way.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
keep it simple, stupid
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
keep it simple, stupid
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
I think that community can include studio mates and friends outside of that who share interests and enthusiasms for creative industries and practises. The art world is a harsh and cruel environment at times so it is necessary to balance that with community and positive influences without wrapping yourself in cotton wool. I think that means you should always be proactive and genuine and the right people will begin to formulate around you, and likewise you will find yourself supporting other fiends/and artists for the same reasons.
What is your studio like?
My ‘studio’ exists in many forms and in many different places. I currently utilise a studio space at Creekside Artists, Deptford for the storage and construction of certain works and elements to work, acting as my main hub to test ideas and configurations and use the project space for documentation and experimenting I also producing things at my flat and also out of town at home and at my place of work.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
I get up early around 8 o’clock and by half 8 like to have begun producing or working on whatever construction tasks I have for the day its easier for me to then slow down and begin to find some rhythm for the day if I’ve started and got 2 hours of sold work done.
At the moment while studying and working part-time I’m actively producing work around 3-4 days a week However there are occasion when this will increase to 5 if the tasks involved demanding this is particularly true of any basic construction work such as casting, mould making or timber constructions that I make where it is repetitive. However other tasks can be little and often, slowly taking shape or coming to fruition through a few small things every day. It’s important with that type of work never to rush the job or do too much: knowing when to stop is equally important!
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
There are certainly benefits to not doing an MFA if you feel you’re not ready to do so or would find it difficult to conform to the doctrines of education which have their pitfalls.
Ultimately and candidly MFA;s are good for the social networking in the art world and the critical peer to peer discussion with students artists and student curators and the relationships that can foster going forward.
In the art world critical discourse and an articulated practice doesn’t seem so tantamount to creative or professional development as much as peer groups, aesthetic trends and marketability. Ultimately therefore I think you study an MFA because you believe in what you are doing and want to develop both how and what you are keen to provide critical discussion on, exclusive of what the art world may be doing at that time. This can come at the cost of rebuilding your practise and making work that may not be to everyone’s taste, but may mean more to those who are keen to engage with your practice.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Candidly, being a success as an artist and remaining true to your core conceptual beliefs without having to bend over backward or compromise for the sake of the art world, for fame or for someone else’s agenda. Paying to submit work for shows, paying to send work for selection processes are the most frustrating.
How would you define “success” in art?
Being at a stage where you are afforded the agency and liberty to work in your own time, in your own way through project briefs in a productive and assured environment with full support both financially and wherever else applicable, knowing that your work will reach the audience you intend it to also has some remit on who you decide to work with, and sometimes that may mean saying no to an opportunity for another to crop up.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
Being shortlisted for the ACME Goldsmiths MFA Graduate Studio Award 2019.
What are you working on right now?
After completing my degree show I have a few works on the horizon that follow the same thematic as what I present at the Goldsmiths MFA degree Show 2019, investigating proto-modernism in Britain.
I’m formulating spatial works that examine the politics of interior design, utility and the interstice between mass production and mass customisation in contemporary design markets.