Untitled, 2010, Paint, paper, nails,
pins, paper clips, staples on canvas.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I am working on a series of large-scale wall pieces; the artworks are made from painted and constructed paper. For me these works are paintings but at the same time they are also sculptural in the exploration of the two-dimensional surface, through twisting, weaving and layering the surface of the work becomes three dimensional, the works could also be labeled reliefs. Alongside the wall-based works, I am also working on a series of sculptures that ‘pop up’ through the layering and association of certain papers and surfaces. The series of works are called ‘Outtakes’ referencing deleted scenes of a film that have been discarded in a final edit. These works echo this process, as they partly use the same materials as the wall based works. The assemblages represent little moments of the studio and come together very spontaneously; I make these works for myself, my desk has become a 3D sketchbook.
Can you describe your working routine?
My studio is in a industrial area of Hackney in London, its not to far from where I live, I usually ride my bike to the studio and take a route that rides along a canal path and cuts through a park, the twenty minute journey clears my head and prepares me for a day in the studio. At the start of the day I like to reassess previous work, I love to throw stuff away in the studio, making decisions of what is useful or interesting, anything can happen in the studio, I can end up starting something new or rearrange something from a previous day. The working day is monitored through the flicking between radio shows that I like to listen to.
I always work on a number of artworks simultaneously; I like to switch between a sculpture and a painting or wall-based work. Often a new piece will just evolve from experimentation. I like to be spontaneous in the studio; sometime s a new collage might just come about in a quick and instant way, like having a little creative break from the bigger works.
Work in process
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My studio space is small, and it is constantly being re arranged to accommodate projects that I am working on. The space quickly becomes chaotic, and demands sorting regularly, I like to re use and configure waste paper and stuff that falls to the floor as I am working. I often make a rediscovery in the studio and upturn something interesting that can be used .The floor is covered in cut out pieces of paper, negative shapes that have been discarded when I have cut out paint marks. I like to leave this surface as I often pick up a interesting shape, and re use the piece of paper by colouring with spray-paint, these offcuts are often arranged back into the surface of the artwork.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
The works always start with an initial process of mark making on A1sheets of paper, I like to use spray paints, inks, graphite powder and acrylics. I start making random marks and brush strokes which are then cut out in a variety of ways, This activity provides information later on when I start to bring together the cut out pieces, on the canvas. I anchor the individual pieces to the canvas with nails, and pins, alongside fastenings such as staple gun and lots of paper clips. I like the immediacy of this process; it also allows me to quickly re position and change elements around.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
The paper works tend to go quickly wrong! The works lose their rhythm, there is always a tricky question of when a work is finished, the last few works have ended up being overworked and resulted in deconstruction, a difficult task of stripping the canvass and starting again. Recently, I have learnt that short bursts of creativity can be really productive, often spending hours on a work, can be an over kill. I have used smaller works on paper as a starting point for a larger work, by deconstructing a drawing and pinning to the canvas provides a framework for the direction of a final work, these works become hidden and layered with additional pieces of paper.
‘Outtakes’, 2012, Small paper and
mixed media sculptures
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
My practice is based upon experimentation and chance. I try not to have to set outcomes when making my work, instead I like to go with the flow and let material’s dictate the direction of outcome. I like to mix an element of control through a more structured approach to arranging and composition of an artwork; I like the contrast of the slow speed of the cutout paint marks against the immediacy and expression of the mark making.
What does the future hold for this work?
Scale, is something I would like to push forward for this work, the paintings could shift a gear if it left the proportions of the wall based canvas and instead worked on larger surfaces that might reference the architecture of a space or a site-specific location. The next works are going to be made on polystyrene sheets that might overlap and lean against the gallery wall.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am having a solo exhibition at a London gallery called Vitrine In Oct/ November, some of the featured work will be finished and be on display, please come and have a look! Also I am really happy to be featured on this blog, as I have discovered lots of new and interesting artists through the site, I love seeing artists studios and having a insight into how artists make there work. Many thanks, Bruce.
Untitled, 2012, paint on canvas,
collage and wooden tray frame