SHORT ARTIST INTERVIEWS
SHORT INTERVIEW WITH MARIE LOUISE WRIGHTSON
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW 9 MAY 2020
The messages behind the
WHY ART ?
From a young age I was always drawing and copying comic or book illustrations. I suffered from dyslexia, so I was always drawn to image.
I used to love old picture books and the book illustrations of Arthur Rackham (Wind in the Willows), Sir John Tenniel (Alison in Wonderland) and the children’s book illustrations of Kate Greenaway. I also loved the pre-Raphaelite art movement (dreaminess and romance) and the US artist Norman Rockwell (his amazing eye for detail and the way he captured faces and expressions).
I knew from an early age that I wanted to go to Art School. The irony was that I did not actually go until I was 28.
Wrightson (b.1972) studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee BA (Hons) (1:1) 2001-04 and MFA 2004-05.
ART SCHOOL ?
I knew that I wanted a career in painting beyond art school. It helped that I was a mature student as (sadly) many of my fellow students (aspiring artists) dropped art to concentrate on their conceptual focus.
I stuck to my guns as I wanted to really learn the basic craft of painting. It was a great four years of creative learning. I loved working in an imaginative environment, inter-acting with other artists.
Even at art school, my focus has always been on the imagery and the messages behind the imagery rather than representational art.
HOW DID YOUR ART DEVELOP ?
My favourite book as a child was Alice in Wonderland. Indeed I have a collection of 50-60 Alice in Wonderland books with different illustrations inside. I love the fantasy, the sense of getting lost in another world with all of the quirky characters (their visual descriptions).
I was also an avid comic fan. In particular, the works of (Marvel Comics) Stan Lee who created all these fictional (but realistic) superheroes. I was also drawn to the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s that challenged the traditions of fine art with imagery of our popular or mass culture written in an advertising and comic (graphic) language. The emphasis on a parody of the banal and kitschy. The idealisation of mass production.
My work seeks to harvest all these elements.
It is the imagery that I am interested in rather than the (text) content. I am trying to create the Front Cover – the image (illustration) that Wows you and draws you in to the story inside.
In this show I pay homage various contributors to our emotional development including the UNIVERSAL PICTURES cult films (1920’s – 1950’s) that scared and terrorised our parents and grandparents, the Disney Villains that remind us of the presence of evil lurking round the corner, the cult 1984 film Ghostbusters and finally the (DC Comics) Justice League including superhero Wonder Woman who fights all evil to save mankind.
THIS SHOW ?
In creating this series I wanted to create paintings that would fit together as a collection. I would like to show people that I am not a boring artist.
My desire is to create modern, characterful, feature wall paintings that offer you an element of escapism (fantasy) and challenge the viewer to study and interpret them - to find and feel the power of the underlying message.
I want to reach into a little bit of your soul !
THREE MODERN ARTISTS Marie Louise Wrightson, Hanna Kaciniel and Garry
Scheduled for Saturday 16th May to Sunday 24th May 2020
SHORT INTERVIEW WITH CECILIA CARDIFF
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW 14 APRIL 2020
Always Look on the Bright Side
WHY ART ?
As a child I was always drawing and painting. When I went through school, I found that I was always happier in the Art Department rather than in of the other (more academic) mainstream
It just always felt very natural to me to be drawing or painting.
YOUR FASCINATION WITH PEOPLE ?
I don’t know why, but I have always been fascinated by people.
I love them !
I always look at people’s anatomy – the different shapes and body language. When I am speaking to someone, I will be looking at their posture and how they gesture as they speak, their eyes and even how their nose looks.
I like to study people in situations, to see how they move or react to other people.
I am very conscious of the fact that I am always looking/staring at people. I probably observe more than most.
It was while I was in Paris (seven years ago) and sitting in a café with my family, having a glass of wine and enjoying the moment that I began to notice and study the café’s waiters moving from
table to table. I thought that it would be great to capture that feeling of pleasure that we get when we break from our routine (back home) and get to enjoy and absorb that short (travel) break that
we have been looking forward to.
It might be everyday life (routine) for the waiters, but for their customers (audience) they are in a setting that they view as (relative) paradise.
I wanted to capture the rose-tinted-glasses (how our senses are heightened) in these situations and everything (people and environment) looks so much better (when we are in an away-from-home or foreign setting).
A nice but quite ordinary café (in say Paris) and grumpy waiters can take on a whole new dimension when we let our excitement and imagination run.
I want my paintings (narratives) to capture and remind people of the buzz we get from these special holidays or moments of pleasure when we let our sensors go into overdrive.
SO YOU ARE CREATING A PIECE OF MICRO THEATRE ?
I always look for a focal point for dramatic effect – the main character/s.
I want to build a narrative. Every good painting needs a story or movement to pull you in. I use light (electric or sunlight) within my compositions to strengthen the depth of contrasts and to create (theatrical) atmosphere.
Theatre Lighting - many of the paintings will also use a high tone, such as white, to create highlights and points of interest within the painting.
I use thousands of reference images to audition my characters. Often, I combine characters from different images (my cast) to create my scene.
I deliberately avoid using a constant palette. My colours will respond to both the subject-setting and indeed my own mood. They might reflect a sunny day outdoors or I might feel that I want a more moody, intimate interior setting.
My flowers ? My flower stall paintings are my escape. Sometimes I need to get away from my waiters/waitresses. I love the freedom that I have with the flower shapes and colours. That said, I also know that I might stump many of the horticulturalists who might not recognise many of the new flower varieties that I have invented !
I believe that an artist needs to be able to use their canvas (their stage) to (perform) give pleasure to, inspire, entertain and stir the imagination of their audience.
I always take great deal of pleasure when I see a buyer walk away from one of my shows with a little bit of (inspiration/happiness/adventure*) for their wall !
(*Delete as appropriate).
CECILIA CARDIFF Solo
Scheduled for Saturday 18th April to Sunday 26th April 2020
SHORT INTERVIEW WITH RYAN MUTTER
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW 31 MARCH 2020
Art has an Important Voice
Two Person RYAN MUTTER and ROSANNE
Scheduled for Saturday 28th March to Sunday 5th April 2020
I always loved to paint and draw. At the age of 15, I remember seeing paintings (Catterline landscapes) by the famous Scottish artist, Joan Eardley (1921-1963), which had a lasting impact on me. I always did well in the subject of art at school, but my (typical) parents (an RSAMD lecturer and Psychologist) were worried that it wasn't a career. My art teacher convinced me otherwise.
If you saw my degree work at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee (1999-2003) you would not recognise it as it was very abstract and resembled aerial mapping. It is only in the last 10 or so years that I moved to landscape and introduced more realism and content.
I have always loved trips to the sea. I am happy just sitting and watching the sea, letting my mind go. I love the isolation and sense of space, being on your own. I could sit and lose myself there forever.
My roots are abstraction, so I do not wish to be literal, describing specific places or detail. I want my paintings to be like a piece of music or a great song that you want to go back to, over and over again. I want to achieve that sense of buzz that you get when you gripped by a great tune.
I know the west coast and Orkney (where my parents live) well. I tend to use physical reference as a starting point but then I close my eyes and try to paint my memories of the scene, using a scene to inform, but not dictate my painting.
I want people to remember the melody and harmonies not the (photographic) details of the score.
I use my instincts to create the shapes and colours and very often my painting will simply emerge as I progress.
The bottom line is that I want the viewer to be taken to the places I love and for them to love and enjoy these scenes too. I also want to leave it to the viewer to interpret where they think the scene might be.
I prefer to use large or wide canvases as they give me the freedom and space to paint. Very often the success of a painting is defined by the success of my starting point - the sky. I like to add marks and textures that stimulate the eye and make the content/painting enjoyable.
Not every painting is large as I also want people to be able to access pared-down versions of my paintings.
I am trying to convey that enjoyable sense of remoteness and isolation to the viewer. For that reason I love big skies, whether the fiery red of a sunset or a more moody, stormy sky, wide beaches and distant horizons (perspective) that invoke the desired sense of remoteness with no one else in sight. Vast expanses of water - I am fascinated by water. I want people to get a feeling of time and space that goes on forever.
Being brought up in Gartocharn (Loch Lomondside) the weather tends to be more constant. When you are in Orkney, the old saying that you can have four seasons in a day is so true. As an artist it is great to see the sudden changes in climatic conditions and face the challenges of painting these switches (the changing skies) that add dramatisation to many of my works.
You will see some examples in the current exhibition where there I have introduced elements of abstraction. Perhaps I am experimenting with my roots ?
Two Person RYAN MUTTER and ROSANNE BARR
Scheduled for Saturday 28th March to Sunday 5th April 2020