Sweet ‘Art Summer Festival Artists Interviews – Susie Olczak

Its been one hell of a week and there is still time to get to our Punch exhibition to see the works before it closes! Heres a taster of whats on offer from the awesome Susie Olczak. Stand by for a post on all the fun of our first summer festival.

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

My work and research explores space, light, perspective and form through sculpture, drawing, photography and installation. Predominantly the focus is on how the viewer experiences space. I’m interested in playfully making people become more aware of the minimalist beauty that exists in the geometric structures in our cities.

2474470

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by cities, architecture and materials. I often take notice of things people might rush past when moving from one place to another. My time studying at Art school in Japan was really inspirational, it was where I first realised how important light was to my mood and how influential it was to my artwork as a result. In Japan design is often focused on maximising on the use of natural light and spaces are carefully considered in order to be as enjoyable a place to be as possible.

What are you main plans a goals currently with regard to your practice?

I’ve just moved to London, so my main goal currently is to establish myself within the London art scene, to meet local artists and to learn as much as possible about the art world there.

Perspective

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

My most fulfilling experience as an artist so far is having had the opportunities to create light installations on buildings such as King’s College in Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum as part of the e-luminate Festival. I got so much feedback from people enjoying the work and the projects were with the aim of promoting sustainability so something I feel really strongly about. I also did some outreach work as part of this festival whichinvolved working as a STEM/STEAM teacher collaborating with Panasonic. I taught young children about sustainability and creating hybrid toy cars and LED lanterns.

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

I love spending time with a wide range of people and feel you can be inspired by people from all professions and with wide ranges of skill sets. I enjoy spending time with people who are motivated to do something good in the world and people who are driven and passionate about what they do.

1399497957

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

Let’s aim high and say we will meet at the opening of my solo show somewhere really prestigious. Or perhaps yours?

Sweet ‘Art’s Summer Festival and Art Bar Crawl Artist Interviews – Ant Pearce

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

My practice focuses on the concept that man is condemned to exist imprisoned. I explore the fragility of life, drawing on human psychology.

Currently my work consists solely of drawings, which I produce in three distinct but related styles. Recent work consists predominantly of Thread Drawings with select pieces created as Line Drawings and Syringe Paintings (which despite being created using paint are essentially drawings). Each work examines the human condition, dissecting the psychical personality while encompassing aspects of narcissism, gender and the life and death drives, as discussed by Freud.

These concepts are communicated through ‘breaking’ and ‘reforming’ the image(s), using geometric shapes and pixilation in combination with the straight and diagonal lines formed by sewing thread onto paper. Each piece embraces the idea of deconstruction and the spiritual importance of the line as explored by Dutch avant-garde, constructivist Theo van Doesburg

My creation process oscillates between the desire for structure, through mapping, which I then abandon in favour of fluidity. Thus, each work is created through a combination of control and chance, conscious and subconscious, with the formation of overlapping and intersecting angular planes resulting in a raw sense of flux and instability.

11_Kate #6 #3a_21x29cm_gold sewn on paper_450GBP

What inspires you?

Many things — numerous works begin taking shape in my mind while I am on the bus.

From the arts I have found a strong connection with classical music, particularly the piano works of Bach which are profound, suggesting the breaking apart and reformation of matter. I also find listening to the written works of Kafka and Dostoyevsky breeds images, like a ‘music’ which allows me to connect with my own sense of what I see and feel around me. I rely less on fine art. However, I do have a love for the works of Bacon, Schiele and Picasso.

Images from magazines, especially fashion and wildlife magazines are a huge source of visual stimulation providing the start point of many of my works. Images of primates, mostly baboons and chimpanzees, help me form ideas, often overlapping with imagery of a more erotic nature.

People who have been in a position of authority over me, as well as more deep-rooted relationships from my past have also sparked the urge to create.

07_female #7_21x29·7cm_ink on paper_350GBP

What are you main plans a goals currently with regard to your practice?

Most immediately I am looking forward to working with you guys (We Are Sweet Art) later this month. However, I do have a few other things in the pipeline.

I was recently approached by After Nyne Magazine to take part in a month long exhibition in London for later this year. I was also invited to donate original works to The Hepatitis C Trust as part of their Art on A Postcard initiative planned for The Moniker Fair, October 2015. And NY artist Zev Jonas, founder of I Shot Kate Moss, will be publishing an interview with me this month which will mention Punch and the We Are Sweet Art Summer Festival. Artvea’s Galerie, who currently represents me in Switzerland, will be visiting London in September. I have a meeting scheduled with them at my studio and they have already shown an interest in some of my new works. And I have recently started working with White Court Art who deal mainly with the US market. So things feel pretty exciting for the months ahead. There is also the possibility I will be taking part in The Other Art Fair, October 2015 but I will have to wait and see. Now they have gone global with the September fair taking place in Sydney I am hoping they will try the US next year. Being part of a NY or LA fair would be super exciting. Other than that I will continue experimenting, creating new work, plus applying for as many opportunities as possible.

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

I’d have to say being lucky enough to have the time to make the work is the most fulfilling. I can find it (or rather my own limitations) frustrating at times but the feeling of completing a work which I think is OK is wonderful, if short lived.

I find the shows, particularly the fairs the most exciting — working towards an event, the build-up and preparation, specially the ones in Europe. I also try and customise my clothes around the work when I take part in a show and fair. I really enjoy all of this, and the curation etc, more than attending the actual events.

15_Kate #1 #2_59·4x84·1cm_cotton thread sewn on paper_7500GBP

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

I’m happy to spend time with most people for short periods of time. Although I do generally find interacting with people a bit like being underwater — slightly removed but OK while you have air. I guess I prefer being alone or with one person at a time.

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

I don’t like to plan too far ahead, but maybe we could meet at Espacio Gallery again and look back to see where we all are — that might be interesting.

Sweet ‘Art’s Summer Festival and Art Bar Crawl Artist Interviews – Patricia Shrigley.

Not long now until our Summer Festival launch. We are super excited and want to treat you to another sneak peek of the talent that will be on offer with this delightful interview by the equally delightful Patricia Shrigley!

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

The art I create is from the perspective of my life’s experience and struggle of gaining a foothold in an otherwise privileged domain. My work over the last 3 years has taken satirical look at the media and governments obsession with the so-called disenfranchised, dispossessed and much maligned under-class furthering social divisions with terminology such as feral youth and breeding underclass.

main

What inspires you?

The everyday, and the imaginative.

What are you main plans and goals currently with regard to your practice?

Creating a hand drawn animation with Vile films exploring the Breeding Pigeons concept further.

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

After acquiring an Eadweard Muybridge flip book I had a realisation that I can combine my drawings & artist-moving image through animation.

IMG_0049

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

Open-minded people.

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

Having a drink at the after show party straight from our collaborative exhibition in New York.

Sweet ‘Art’s Summer Festival and Art Bar Crawl Artists Interviews – Kirsty McKenzie

Next up in for our festival artist interviews is none other than the vibrantly vivacious Ms Kirsty McKenzie! You can her work in our Punch show at the Espacio Gallery. For more info on the whole festival do pop over to our website. See you there!

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

 I live in my studio, which is a one big magical maximalist art installation. I’ve created my own world, where I am living my art, and being a total embodiment of my vision at all times. I live by ‘The 3 Es’: Exuberance, Eccentricity and Enlightenment. I have always been fiercely independent and individual, and in the last year feminist themes, and my identity as such, have seeped into my work a lot more. I explore the objectification of women and the feminine identity, defying sexual and gender stereotypes. My work contains prominent themes of obsession and addiction. Contrarily, I capture a child-like exuberance, simplification and distortion of forms, with a brazen use of colour. I let my imagination lead the way; not holding back like most who feel they need to as adults.

I studied Fashion design at RISD, and had straddled the fashion and costume worlds since. But really, I was an artist in a designer’s world. Until about a year ago, when I decided to dedicate my life to my art. And so I did. In the last year alone, I have created an insane body of work spanning from paintings, drawings and mixed media collages, 5 bloated sketchbooks, costumes, interior design, installation art, and now sound and video installations. In 2014 I was a contestant in Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World, and appeared on BBC One’s Your Home in their Hands – where I got to turn an unsuspecting family’s bedroom into an enchanted psychedelic boudoir, festooned with fabrics, bedazzled birds and twinkling bonsai tree!

KirstyMcKenzie_ChemicalDependency SM

What inspires you?

Feminist trailblazers. Unique artists who live their art and go all the way with their ‘thang’. Music. The moon. My Kundalini and meditation practice. Maximalism, complete colour saturation, power clashing, and CATS – anything with a feline motif. My inspirational individuals list includes: Vali Myers, Nina Hagen, Yayoi Kusama, John Waters, Frida Khalo, Frank Zappa, Les Claypool, Andrew Logan and Zandra Rhodes.

KirstyMcKenzie_inStudio 1

What are you main plans and goals currently with regard to your practice?

I recently screened my first video installation Cat Lady at an exhibition last month (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMJY5DlBelw ). I definitely want to create more videos and do a live performance of Cat Lady. With this medium, I can truly create imagined worlds that entrance and entice the viewer, and incorporate my performance, costume, and music backgrounds. Cat Lady actually started as sound installations (as I create my own music and elaborate themed DJ mixes too), but also branched off from my ongoing painting, drawing and collage series The Cat Ladies. I am also working on some fabric collage stretched canvases, and stitched drawings, and would like to expand on that some more. I also just created my first ‘light’ sculpture pieces, as part of my Addiction series. I have been in 5 great group shows this year, but now I really want to have a solo show. I have 3 different series on the go, and the work is piling up! In addition to all that, I am expanding sales, both online and I am participating in the Plasticine Contemporary Art Fair in September.

KirstyMcKenzie_GreenFiend SM

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

When I stopped being addicted to drugs, and became addicted to making art instead. In the past year, after getting clean – I completely rediscovered myself as an artist, and switched my focus from fashion and costumes to visual art. I struggled with drug addiction for 17 years of my life. Getting clean has been the best decision I’ve ever made, and led me to my current creative path where I am completely immersed in my work. I have reached creative highs unknown to me before, and often experience a straight euphoria and ‘art mania’; waking up at 5am to create feverishly until I drop! This year I started making art about my addiction, and recently had a piece from that series in the Chemcraft exhibition, curated by Christina Mitrentse Projects. It was a self portrait entitled Chemical Dependency, depicting the paranoia and frenzied obsession that comes with such a detrimental relationship. The mixed media collage includes pill package debris, the chemical compound of certain drugs, and diagrams of how they affect the brain.

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

Well, right now, I’m a major loner, or as I like to say, a HermKitten. Getting clean took me out of my social butterfly phase and into a magnificent creative cocoon. I suddenly realized that I knew WAY too many people, and had more friends than I could cope with. But throughout the years, in all the places I’ve been, I have fallen in love with some serious kindred spirits. I adore creative characters who are authentic, strong, funny, and free. Folks who excite and inspire me, and always remain true to their radiant selves. None of that frontin’, name droppin’ or bein’ too cool for school – no haters and posers allowed in ma crew!

KirstyMcKenzie_stillCat Lady1

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

I am living my art to the fullest, and creating a magnificent multitude of projects. I have had several international one-WOman exhibtions, produced a plethora of video installations, more costume design, a kimono collection; with a wearable art/performance runway show…and loving every damn second of my life. I will have an ameowzing hypoallergenic cat that doesn’t incite my asthma (currently I’m a volunteer and foster mom with Cats Protection – as I need to take breaks. It’s tragic.). I have always had a dream of moving to California and finally getting my driver’s license… but I think I will still be in London? You never truly know where life will take you – and that is what it’s all about. Surrendering to the mystery of the Universe is so exciting.

KirstyMcKenzie_DangerofObjectsFalling_SM

Sweet ‘Art’s Summer Festival and Art Bar Crawl Artist Interviews – John Gathercole

In the run up to our summer festival we have decided to share interviews with some of our talented exhibiting artists. First up is John Gathercole’s short and definitely not sweet contribution! You can see his work in both the Punch and Salad Days exhibitions and if thats not enough you can also check him in action as one of our 4 artists taking part in our take over of Juno Bars Open and Live event at our Salad Days after party!

20150805_150058

Tell us about your work and practice as an artist.

I paint pictures I do, deal with it yeah.

What inspires you?

Dames, Booze, Chains and Boots.

20150805_150115

What are you main plans a goals currently with regard to your practice?

Make loads of money to spend on the above.

What has been your most fulfilling or exciting experience of being an artist to date?

Meeting Corrina. Obviously.

20150629_19264010537440_516291541855688_4767012438715522198_n

What kind of people do you enjoy spending time with the most?

Dead ones.

Where will we meet in 5 years time?

Bedlam, is it still open for business.