Under the Spotlight….Linda Bernhard

 

‘Life inspires me; people, places, travels, stories, and memories.’

 

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This time, in ‘Under the Spotlight’ we have had the immense pleasure of talking to Linda Bernhard, a local artist with strong links to Switzerland. Her collage work is unconventional and sometimes unsettling but never mundane, she takes ordinary printed pieces and her own photographs to create images based on personal experiences.

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

There are definitely more positive memories than negative ones. Art was the subject I always enjoyed the most; hands-on learning, experimenting with various materials/techniques and the teachers were usually a lot more ‘easy-going’ too!

What would your school report have said about your art?

Creative perfectionist, slow worker.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I think I spent a total of 11 years in art education! I did everything, from a top up year at a ‘Berufswahlschule’- a school that teaches tradesman skills in the fields of paint, wood, stone and metal – to an apprenticeship as wood turner, BA (Hons) in Sculpture, PGCE and more recently a Masters in Fine Art. You won’t get me to do a PHD though.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

Life inspires me; people, places, travels, stories, and memories. I’m very receptive of my surroundings and the people around me have an enormous impact on how I think, act and ultimately, create.

Coming from a different background – I grew up in Switzerland and moved to England when I was 21 – also has an influence in my art and the way I work. Being at ‘home’ in two different countries (I regularly go back to Switzerland to visit family) gives me the opportunity to draw inspiration from both cultures.

 

What Artists do you admire?

A few examples from an endless list: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Peter Blake, Ashkan Honarvar, Jessica Stockholder, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Andreas Gursky, Sanda Anderlon, Gordon Matta-Clark, Sophie Calle, Ron Vander Ende, and Sinead Leonard

 

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

I don’t really have a favourite piece of work. There are some that I prefer to others, and that I won’t ever want to sell, but I can’t pick a favourite. However, I have two favourite art pieces by other artists – Volatile 1980–94 by Cildo Meireles and Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo.

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What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I’ve been on an amazing creative roll ever since I’ve graduated from my MA in September 2013. I’ve managed to find the perfect balance between work, studio time and social life. Having a proper studio space (I am a resident artist at Worthing Art Studios) definitely helped with this. I go to the studio most evenings after work, which allows me to keep a ‘flow’ and consistency in my work that was missing before. I’m proud of this. I’m also proud to have had work in the Tate Britain as part of the BP Open Source Collage &Texture display! 

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What have you sacrificed for your art?

Money? Apart from that I don’t think I had/have to sacrifice anything.

 

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

There’s space for everyone in the art world. There are nearly 8billion people on this planet, someone will like your work! That’s when I started to believe in myself as an artist.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Network, share, interact, keep at it, think outside the box, use criticism to your advantage, stay focussed, stay motivated, be original and innovative, research and most importantly, never give up. 

How do you start a piece of work?

It varies. Sometimes I have a plan, sometimes I don’t. But I always work on 3-4 collages simultaneously. When one is finished, I swap it with a new blank background. The main sources for my collages are my own photographs. Whenever I go somewhere my camera comes with me. I document what I see and experience, and then use these images as a basis for new work. I also get images given by friends, students and work colleagues, or I find old photographs in charity shops and at car boot sales.

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 When is it finished?

When it ‘feels’ finished?

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

Yes, I love this quote by Gursky: ‘As a person who primarily experiences his environment visually, I am always observing my immediate surroundings. Consequently, I am constantly putting things in order, sorting them out, until they become a whole.’ (Gursky, 2001)

Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I usually have the radio on in the background.  My highlights are Simon Mayo’s (Radio 2) daily confessions stories.

 

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Whatever I can get my hands on really! I love them all. But my current favourites are definitely paper, glue, scalpel and scissors.

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Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

Getting there! I count myself very lucky; for having a studio space that is accessible 24/7, for having a supportive family and awesomely creative friends around me, and for having a job that I love and that inspires me every day. My long term goal is to spend more time in my studio, and less behind my desk.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

To complicate things.

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Thankyou so much Linda for talking to us, it has been a real treat! You can see more of Linda’s work here www.lindabernhard.ch and here www.worthingartstudios.com

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Under the Spotlight…. Nora Young

‘I want to create pieces that are ‘there and not there’, that change as we pass by and are unresolved in essence.’

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This time, for under the spotlight, we have been privileged to meet Nora Young, a local artist who eludes definition. She works in whatever medium she feels is right to communicate her ideas, and the resulting pieces, whether on screen, canvas or an old envelope, have an intense, haunting quality.

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Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

I was very supported at school by an enthusiastic and modern art teacher …. She encouraged my expressive work and allowed me to be experimental. She did not allow ‘the curriculum’ to interfere with my ideas.

What would your school report have said about your art?

Very little because there was no comment invited!

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught ?

I studied at Loughborough College and gained an art degree and B Ed. This was in the 60s but I did not pursue art for many years until the late 90s when I reconnected with my work through the innovative teaching of the tutors on the OCN Courses at Northbrook College. Here I was given a love of life work – I have since taken a life class weekly. It’s like ‘doing my scales’ – essential for maintaining the essence of line.

I think the tutors of this course allowed me to become a multi-faceted artist – to work in whatever way and media was right for what I wanted to express. This diversity is important to me.

Re ‘self-taught’ reflections:

We all teach ourselves by sifting what we are taught, outside influences and ideas until we build our own core ‘artist self’.

I do believe that there is a creative eye that we all can find. Mine began with having poor eyesight and not having glasses until I was seven. I could only see things at close range clearly… I inhabited a macro world. At the moment I got my glasses I discovered all the rest! I have never stopped looking. I know I am very observant as a result. I trust this instinct. It works for me.

What or who has inspired you over the years?

Air, light and natural forces. I connect with the sea edge and shore – the hinterland between the underwater and land which we inhabit.

I have been working on Worthing Beach all last year, drawing in the sand. This work continues and I invite any-one interested to contact me and join me on the sands.

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I am now developing marks in the studio using mixed media. I want to create pieces that are ‘there and not there’, that change as we pass by and are unresolved in essence.

What Artists do you admire?

Pablo Picasso. Lucian Freud. David Hockney. The recent life drawings of Tracey Emin. Oh, and her Bed. Not forgetting her videos.

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)

‘Guernica’ by Pablo Picasso. And all the accompanying preparation work.

A lasting inspiration.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I don’t tend to reflect back in this way. I tend to inhabit the moment – the now of anything I am doing. I have recently down sized my home and life and have found this to be very liberating. I am gradually letting go (to good homes!) my back store of art works. People have just given me a donation for work they would like. Now I hear about the pleasure this has given people … I hope to keep working towards in this way. Make me an offer! It won’t be refused ….

What have you sacrificed for your art?

It’s the reverse really. I found it hard to combine parenting with my art work so that meant there was a huge time gap between my initial work and the last 15 years when I have worked pretty solidly.

I prefer to look at this as more about choices and consequences … and to acknowledge the compromises which always come into human relationships.

Art is an essential part of life for me as a human being. I don’t always have to be working physically to be engaged. There is creativity in pauses – in the passive – in reflection – that leads to active exciting times.

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What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Leave only what is essential in a work – only that which is needed to achieve the thought/idea – only what is the essence.

Trust your guts. Be honest. Own what works and what does not.

This quote from John Cage I find particularly true:

“When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.”

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

It’s only a piece of paper …..

How do you start a piece of work?

With immediacy, with my guts, without too much thought.

But after a lot of looking.

When is it finished?

It is finished when it stops telling me what to do. And when it works when I am not there.

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Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

It ‘aint over till the fat lady sings.

Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I use music to block out cognition – to avoid over-thinking.

I have a very varied collection and it depends on what I am working on – the mood of the piece.

Recently I returned to playing John Coltrane’s album ‘Blue Train’.  Also Max Richter’s ‘The Blue Notebooks’. Then there’s Bach and Mozart.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

AAAH! This varies so much.

Again I respond in whatever medium feels right for the idea.

Mediums this year include printing, ceramics, video, photography and drawing. Then there is painting!

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

Charcoal and chalk

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Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I find reality is dream enough. Being real is essential to each piece of art. I guess I strive for that reality and it is often illusive.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Overworking an image …. But it still happens!

 

Thank you so much Nora, it has been a real pleasure to be given an insight into your working process and your life as an artist.

You can see more of Nora’s work at www.norayoung.com

Nora is also part of this years Worthing Art Trail at Worthing art Studios and 7 Harrow Road alongside Jane Keeley…

http://www.worthingarttrail.com/

http://www.worthingartstudios.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WorthingArtStudios

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Under the Spotlight…Angela Bolton

A lady of many talents with a passion for mosaics, this month we have been to visit Angela Bolton in her lovely studio…

Angela Web

“I have been making mosaics since 2002 and painting for as long as I can remember. I have probably attended just about every art based evening class going. In the last 10 years I have studied pottery, enameling, sculpture, stained glass window and terrarium making, water colour and oil painting, woodwork, pyrography,calligraphy and photography. But none has taken over my life the way mosaic has.”

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

Very positive. At primary school a lovely teacher called Mrs Cornford took our class to Fishbourne Roman Palace and while I was there I did a detailed pencil drawing of one of the floors which she liked so much she had it framed. It hung in her classroom for years and was still there when I left.

At secondary school I won the art prize every year for my house and was given special permission to do extra art classes when I should have been doing P.E.

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What would your school report have said about your art?

My reports always said the same thing; Angela is a talented artist but never finishes anything, works best with a deadline.

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Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I went to Eastbourne College of Art and Design straight from school. I did a foundation course and really loved pottery but I didn`t think I could make a living at that so I chose graphic design. It was academic in the end because I dropped out after the first year to get married.

With the mosaics I am mainly self taught but I did do a one day workshop which I was given as a Christmas present.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

My Mum was my biggest inspiration, she was always so proud of everything I did and encouraged my artistic side from childhood.

What Artists do you admire?

I love the work of Antoni Gaudi, especially the amazing Sagrada Famillia and the Casa Batllo in Barcelona.

What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

I have two favourite artists, Alphonse Mucha who was an Art Nouveau painter and Ed Org a contemporary artist but I don`t have a favourite piece of work.

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What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

The little shop I had at the front of the Lido was the highlight so far. I had such a huge cross section of people and ages, every day was a joy. My youngest artist was a little boy of 18 months who came in every week with his dad and my oldest was a lovely lady who told me in confidence that she was 96! I even had a group of 17 year old lads who came in to make Valentine heart mosaics for their girlfriends.

What have you sacrificed for your art?

I sacrificed a lot of family time when I had the shop but mostly it has been the other way round. I was a foster carer for ten years and there was certainly no time for art of any kind then.

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Don`t put off till tomorrow things you could do today.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

I would say try as many art forms as possible to see how they make you feel. Don`t do anything just because you`re good at it, do it because you can`t stop doing it. When you find the right thing it`s like an addiction and your life isn`t complete without it.

How do you start a piece of work?

It depends what it`s for. If it`s a commission I start by talking to the customer and then doing a drawing. If it`s for an exhibition or a competition with a theme I study that first and if it`s for me inspiration can come from almost anywhere.

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When is it finished?

It`s finished when the last piece goes in. That`s where mosaics differ from most other types of art, there is no second chance, you can`t rub anything out or go over anything, once a piece is stuck down you`re committed, only the colour of the grout can change things after that.

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

A quote by William Morris is what I keep in mind when producing my art, it reads “ have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.

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Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I work mainly in silence, I find music distracting.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I work mainly with ceramic tiles but also stained glass, mirror, semi-precious stones, shells, broken jewellery and anything else I feel will enhance a piece.

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

Yes I have a favourite cut and snap tool that I have used since I first started, it is perfect for me because it was designed for small hands unlike the man size ones they make now. A few years ago the company that made them went out of business and I was using my last one which was really sad because I knew that when it eventually broke I would struggle with the new ones and may have even stopped making mosaics. Then by chance I discovered a company on ebay selling old stock and I now have 20 which makes me very happy. 

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

Not quite living the dream because I don`t make a living from it yet but I have a beautiful studio at home opening onto a large decked area where I can make mosaics outside in the summer so I have no complaints.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

I don’t like work to take too long because I lose momentum and it stops being a fun process.

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Thank you so much Angela for taking part in our blog, your work is stunning and the patience required… amazing!  Please see below the link to Angela’s website.

http://www.abmosaics.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Under the Spotlight… Maudie Gunzi

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“A book conservator with experience in bookbinding, which is ever increasing! Also a maker with a love of stationery!”

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Maudie has been a work in progress for our blog.  We visited her at The Book Hut back in the summer and again just before Christmas.  Maudie has a real enthusiasm for her work, is very talented and has some inspired ideas with her stationery line….

Do you have positive /negative memories of art when you were at school?

I loved art at school, it was one of the few subjects I had confidence in – I wasn’t amazing, but I could get by with ease, hence looking forward to it.

What would your school report have said about your art?

Not enough research.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I attended Camberwell College of Arts, though this was for an MA in Book Conservation not art, so no, not really.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

I have worked with books since university, first as a bookseller, then working in publishing and finally moving into conservation, so I suppose I would say the book, as an object, has inspired me to get to where I am. My partner has always encouraged me to try new things, which made me seriously look into bookbinding and then conservation, with a belief that there was no reason why I couldn’t do it, so I guess he is an inspiration too.

What Artists do you admire?

Andrew Wyeth and Charles Reid for their watercolours, Augustus John and Leonardo Da Vinci for their line drawings, and Hannah Brown and Sayaka Fukuda for their designer bindings.

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What is your favourite piece of work (yours or someone else)?

I’m not sure – there’s too much to choose from – Andrew Wyeth did a very fluid watercolour of a lobster that I have always liked, but I can’t remember the name.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

Setting up my own studio and taking on private conservation commissions. The first time I returned a book to a client was quite special – seeing how pleased they were with the finished book.

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What have you sacrificed for your work?

Money and my weekends

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Don’t be afraid to give something a try.

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What advice would you give an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

The same – if you have an idea, give it a go and work towards it. Even if it’s a big idea, you can usually work towards something in a small way.

How to you start a piece of work?

With a lot of procrastination! I usually need a deadline to get me moving on a piece of work. Prior to the start of any job, I would have already provided the client with a condition report and treatment proposal, so I will work from that. Each project requires a different approach, so the start won’t usually be the same.

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When is finished? When it is returned to the client and they are happy with it.

 

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Do you have a Mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your work means to you?

Not sure, probably something from Star Wars.

Does music help with your creativity? If so, what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I love to have music on in the studio, it really helps, especially if I am the only one down at the huts as it keeps me company. I listen to different music for different things – if creating a binding, I like sing-along songs, if it’s detailed repair work, the music needs to be quieter and more mellow – jazz or classical.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Leather and brown paper.

untitled-1-10 Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

Not for ever, but when I got my first bonefolder, my father engraved it with my name and filled it with a red polish, so that is very special to me.

Are you living your dream through your work or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I guess I am living my dream, though there are a lot more work and financial worries to do deal with than I imagined there would be – but YES! Living the dream!!

Is there anything you avoid with your work?

At the moment I am working on a large French map, which is physically too big for The Book Hut! So size will probably come into what I avoid in the future. What a real pleasure to photograph Maudie in her gorgeous Book Hut, if you have not been to see her yet it’s a must…  Maudie’s studio is at East Beach Studios (next to Splash Point). You can follow Maudie on facebook and she also writes a blog…

https://www.facebook.com/thebookhutpage

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Under The Spotlight… Jess Gill

“Art for me is about fun; if I can literally light up someone’s world, even better’.”

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This time, for ‘Under the Spotlight’ we had the pleasure to meet Jess Gill, one of the many talented artists working at the East Beach Studios in Worthing.  She combs the local beaches and forages in the forests both for materials and inspiration and her work is proudly sustainable, being naturally sourced or upcycled.  Humour and irreverence are strong themes at ‘Light Art’ and her playful approach to sculptural lighting attracts viewers of all ages.

 

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Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

Positive, but possibly for the wrong reasons, we were allowed to relax and chat whilst we worked. We had a lovely teacher – Mrs Hamilton.

What would your school report have said about your art?

I can’t really remember but more than likely my teacher would have said to talk less and focus more on art.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

Self-taught with a lot of help from my friends. I was a late starter in my art career, I was more interested in travelling and discovering the world, but these travels opened my eyes and in turn made my art what it is.

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What or who has inspired you over the years?

Travel, nature, shapes, philosophy, engineering, colour, my parents, friends, family, resourcefulness, understanding the pursuit of happiness, architecture, mavericks, peacemakers, characters and doers.

What Artists do you admire?

The list is long but to name a few: Klimt, Gaudi, Turner, Hepworth, Impressionists, my fellow artists down the huts and anyone who loves their work.

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What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?

At the moment I love Phurba, the magic wand, I made recently. “The Time Machine” by Joana Vasconcelos blew my mind.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

My interactive art installation “Decide Before The Tide”.

What have you sacrificed for your art?

I don’t think I have. I think having a creative outlet is one of the most important things in life.

 

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

Everything happens for the best – though hard to see it sometimes.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Never give up – the journey as important as the destination.

How do you start a piece of work?

I take something that I have found and start imagining what it will be, and then I put it into action.

When is it finished? 

When it leaves, but I do have visitation rights on some pieces!

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Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

“And I’m feelin’ good” Nina Simone

Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I prefer silence although I can make a lot of noise with tools.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Metal, wood, stone, shells and light

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Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

No

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

Yes and I strive/hope for more of the same, maybe with a bit more money.

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Painting… I really want to have a go but haven’t got round to it yet.

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Thankyou so much Jess, for agreeing to talk to us today, it has been a real pleasure.

You can see more of Jess, and her work at ‘Light Art’ Studio No. 43, East Beach Studios, Worthing, BN11 2ES 10.30 to 3.30 Tues to Sat weather permitting.

http://www.jessicagill.net/

http://www.jessicagill.net/blog.asp

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Under the Spotlight….David Barber

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David Barber is part of the landscape at East Beach Studios. He was there at the beginning of the art studios, helped build a lot of Coast Cafe, and will always help anyone build anything. A highly dedicated and prolific artist, David is famously forthright, sometimes leaving his public lost for words! He is a well-travelled and knowledgeable man, particularly about the subject of many of his paintings, the natural world.

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Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

My memories are positive; they liked my art so much that I was asked to decorate the walls.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I am self-taught.

What or who has inspired you over the years?

Rembrandt and Peter Bruegel, two from a very long list.

What Artists do you admire?

Raymond Harris-Ching and Robert Bateman.

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What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I had a one man show in Arundel for 21 years… 1979 – 2000.

What have you sacrificed for your art?

Family life.

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

My father:

‘If you have talent….use it.’

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What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?

Stick with your ideas and principles, don’t be swayed by others. Accept constructive criticism.

 

How do you start a piece of work?

I stain the canvas then brush rough lines with the paint. Everything is in my head.

 

When is it finished?

When the paint runs out!

 

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’:

‘Is this the real thing or is this just fantasy?’

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Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

Yes music really does help and for the past 15 years new age music.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

Watercolour.

 

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

An extra fine ink pen.

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Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

Daily peace of mind.

 

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Some of them…showing them in public.

 

Thank you so much David, for agreeing to talk to us and it was a real pleasure to photograph you, the light was gorgeous, a lovely autumn morning. You are so much a part of the East Beach Studios and you will be a hard act to follow. Good luck in all of your future endeavours.

 

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Under the Spotlight…….Roy Kelf

‘Moments of Inspiration come from lots of different things and always seem to be totally unexpected and a bit big, like the lights have just been turned on. It can be a sentence said by a friend, the expression on the cat or the colour of the sky or a favourite song. They all feed the soul and keep us going.’

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This time, in ‘Under the Spotlight’ we have been talking to Roy Kelf, an intriguing  3D artist with a background in Fine Art and Theatre Design. He very much likes to use ordinary materials to make his ‘Kelf Kreations’ like newspaper, flour, masking tape and string. The results however are anything but ordinary, his sculpted animals have a unique humour and character.

 

Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?

It was a mixed affair depending on the teachers. One teacher, looking back ,was supportive and open to allowing kids to make and create within the lessons and I would look forward to getting into the class.

In the final year of school I was not happy, having a different teacher who wanted me to do everything in a certain way and she was not very supportive or engaging or inspiring. I wonder if that was because of having exam targets? At the end of the year she told me I was not very good and would be lucky to pass my exam.

What would your school report have said about your art?

I got A’s and B’s for art. I don’t remember the comments but it was something like this usually Roy fails most written subjects but really enjoys his art work and practical lessons.

Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?

I did go to art school as a mature student in my mid twenties. I didn’t have good grades and had to take A level art before they would even consider me for the foundation course. It took me three attempts to get onto a foundation course and then I didn’t look back. I attended

Norfolk Institute of Art in Norwich for a foundation Course

Brighton University for a B.A in Printmaking

Duncan of Jordonstone in Dundee for a Masters Degree in Fine Art.

While in education my work was 2D, printmaking and painting, I choose silkscreen printing for my B.A show and during the masters I did large abstract colour field paintings and printed artists books.

But now 15 years on from education my work is 3 dimensional and is self taught. The education of art history is such a valuable and interesting thing. when making your work it can support you in your development and justification of your art.

Work in progress

Work in progress

 

What or who has inspired you over the years?

I think it is the people who have been in my life and their words and support from loved ones.

I have always been drawn to strong and bright colours in art work that gives me a strong feeling and less thought.

Moments of Inspiration come from lots of different things and always seem to be totally unexpected and a bit big like the lights have just been turned on. It can be a sentence said by a friend, the expression on the cat or the colour of the sky or a favourite song. They all feed the soul and keep us going. I suppose it’s the small things can have the biggest impact.

 

What Artists do you admire?

I have favourites that have stayed with me for years and some that seem to come and go. Mark Rothko and Howard Hodgkin are painters I have always been drawn to, and to the brilliance of Lucian Freud.

But now it changes a lot. At the moment it is Nick Bibby who makes beautiful animal sculptures, Javier Marin for his heroic new take on classicism with huge heads and figures in resin and bronze and Calvin Nicholls’ incredibly detailed paper sculpture.

 

What is your favourite piece of work? (yours and someone elses)?

This is really hard; by having a favourite does it make the rest not so special? The most moved I have felt was when I stood in front of Jackson Pollocks big painting Blue Poles so I’ll say that one is very memorable for me.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?

I’m not one for putting myself up for awards and prizes but in my final year at Brighton University I was selected for a group exhibition Young Printmakers1993 at The Mercury Gallery on Cork Street in London.

Recently a piece of work was published in Ghost of Gone birds by Chris Aldhous. They are not great awards but no less important to me

Early Stages...

Early Stages…

What have you sacrificed for your art?

I’m sacrificing time working on my garden and down scaling my growing activity as I don’t have the time any more. Boo!

What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?

It was an old art lecturer in Norwich said to me. “What you put into your art, you will get it back.” I’m not quite sure in what way, but this keeps me happy.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/crafts person?

Don’t let practical reasons stop you following your dreams and it’s never too late to try.

How do you start a piece of work?

Sometimes the materials seem to suggest what they can be used for and I make that. I usually look at lots of photographs of the subject and think about the shape of a nose or the area around the eye. When I think I have it organised in my mind I start making the basic form. If I can’t get it quite right, I do some quick drawings to organise the shapes I need to make. The work usually evolves and takes on it’s own character.

When life drawing, I like to directly build the model as my drawing and then work it up in the studio to include details like fingers, faces and hair.

When is it finished?

When there’s nothing left to do.

Cheeky!

Cheeky!

Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?

I just really like to make stuff and working hard and to giving it my best shot.

Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?

I usually start with no music and as a piece progresses the music goes on, either the radio in the evening the local stations seem to play a lot of retro soul and disco and I like to hear the news. At the moment it has been Ellie Golding, Matt Cardle and Stevie Nicks.

What is your favourite medium to work with/in?

I work in mixed media and like trying out new techniques, Paper mache forms the building blocks of my work. Modelling with masking tape is my favourite way of working right now. It is great for sculpting and can be quickly worked into lovely shapes, rough and smooth and can be used to create some lovely fine details. I have been scorching masking tape recently to see how it looks for an owls colouring and coating it with fabric stiffener to try and weather proof it. It will be left outside over the winter to see how this experiment works.

Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?

I’m not very superstitious. I do have a glue gun I have had forever and it still works fine it hasn’t got a trigger, you have to push the glue though with your thumb and can be a bit tricky to manage sometimes.

The detail...

The detail…

 

Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?

I do like to have a dream or a plan to work towards. I would like to be able to make a living from my art work and only time will tell on that one. This is my first year of working full time as an artist and to start getting to grips with all that that means, like self promotion and working routine, sales, being self motivated and disciplined and having an exhibition to work towards, getting a web site up and running it seems like a big list and so far it has been great. I love getting into the studio and being totally engaged with my art work. I thought it would be a bit lonely but that’s not the case as when I not making there is lots to do and people to see, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. I would say I’m living the dream right now and loving it.

 

Is there anything you avoid with your art?

Things I think are very complicated, like making a web page for my art. It just baffles me.

Drawing with a pencil.

Roy's Creations - The Studio

Roy’s Creations – The Studio

Thankyou so much Roy, for taking the time to answer our questions, it’s been a real privilege!

You can see more of Roy’s work here:

https://www.facebook.com/kelfkreations

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