Monday, 24 July 2017

Rising Talent - Satu Viljanen

Satu Viljanen  

I’m originally from Helsinki, Finland and I studied Carpentry and Product Design when I was still living there. My long term dream was to study Sculpture and that took me to move to London and enter university at Camberwell. After graduating in 2010 life took over and it’s been a journey to try to carve time for art. I’m happy to say this is my very first exhibition since uni. The previous studies and jobs working with the interiors have influenced my art practice. There’s an ongoing interest in how spaces affect us and how we affect spaces.

Which other artists do you like or find particularly interesting?
Tatiane Freitas uses old wooden furniture as a starting point and replaces some of the parts with transparent acrylic. The results are still functional pieces of furniture but they seem to be somehow elevated with this delicate otherworldly quality.

Richard Woods has designed playful cartoon like surfaces of real materials like wood, bricks and dry stone. He paints these surfaces on to objects, structures and buildings creating artworks that could also be seen as design or decoration.

I’m intrigued by the work of these artists because both of them blur the line between art and design.

Why is making art important to you?
By making art I encourage myself to concentrate on subjects and moments I wouldn’t necessarily otherwise notice.It allows me to be curious, geeky, and allocate time just for the wandering thoughts. And for me these wandering thoughts are needed to feel grounded and happy.

What would help you to develop your art further in the future?
I would love to find new people to have art conversations with. A positively critical peer group is so important when mulling over some new ideas or just wanting some advice. Also hopefully there will be some more exhibitions or other involvements to push me creatively and to keep me busy developing new work.

25th July – 6th August
Private View: 28th July 6.30 - 8.30

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Rising Talent - Branka Vrhovski-Stanton

Introducing ceramicist, Branka Vrhovski-Stanton

My interest in ceramics started with adult education classes, first in Croatia and then in UK. That was followed by a Diploma in Ceramics at Goldsmith College London, and subsequent self-employment as a ceramic maker and pottery instructor at various places.

A few years after, I started to write what I then understood as an article on the basic nature of such works in ceramics, that treat the hand built container type shape as a theme on its own.  That “article” soon managed to take the place of my making: something unimaginable to me before it actually happened, as ceramics was my dream-come-true kind of work. The writing took me on an epic journey, swallowing the next seventeen years and then some more, its wheels dragging as I was trying to disengage. Though still a part of my life, I no longer write except an occasional presentation that has so far not found its way into print.

In order to disengage myself from this venture and its all-consuming nature, I enrolled again in adult education classes to help me re-start with the making. When I was ready, my starting point, as before, has been the vessel form.

The works that I am showing now result from this period. All are hand built from rolled slabs of clay and/or coiled. They are painted with slips, engobes and glazes. Some are more planned then others. They present my exploration of this particular shape from three different yet intermingling aspects: pottery, expressive and painterly container oriented ceramics. How the work will continue, is yet to be seen.

Which other artists do you like or find particularly interesting?
In ceramics, mostly the makers whose work is centred on the empty ceramic container type work. Hans Coper, Gordon Baldwin, Alison Britton, Ken Eastman, Marit Tingleff, to mention a few. 
Painting interests me too (I was a self-taught painter before encountering ceramics). My latest interest is Roger Hilton’s work.

Why is making art important to you?
It is my therapy as is so often said, but also my need and sometimes -or often- my headache too. It is, as also said, primeval: it gathers the earth, the heat, the water and apprentices poor ceramicists who bring their offerings to the kiln for the kiln’s gods to decide!

It is also, for me, the primary form of all human arts: its primary content, the space we live in and that surrounds us and its mental counterpart, the consciousness, both simultaneously the most distant to our senses and the most intimately involved with us, it is also the content that potentially contains all.

What would help you to develop your art further in the future?
Time, as I am starting again and not in my prime, and opportunities to exhibit.

Rising Talent: Young and emerging artists at the Hastings Arts Forum 2017 
25th July – 6th August
Private View: 28th July 6.30 - 8.30

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Rising Talent - Helen O'Leary

Please tell us something about yourself and your art?
I came to art later in life after bringing up four children and helping to meet the needs of sick parents. I went to university at the same time as my oldest daughter. My intention had been to get completely away from textiles, in that regard I failed. I did an Applied and Media Art BA and went on to do an MA in Fine and Applied Art Practice.

I have spent my life doing serious renovation work on Victorian houses and a 300 year old cottage I lived in. The intrigue of the layers of plaster and wallpaper along with learning about methods of thatching and other old building and household crafts have all informed my working practice. The relationships I have had and still have with my children, their friends and my own, the complications of family life and the contrast between happy and sad times that inevitably come to families, also play a part in my work. 

I'm very interested in women's past associations with textiles. How, during the twentieth century, decorating, mending, washing and the general time consuming drudgery of keeping the household linen, repaired replaced and above all clean, meant “women’s’ work”. And the time it took and the social aspect, particularly in times of family and national crisis. From childhood girls would learn needlework at home and school, neat stitching for decoration and strength, and in working class households they would be expected to help with the laundry. Keeping the family clothes repaired and linen in good order on the washing line was an important measure in local society of the woman's worth and morals.

Clothes define us, they give a clue to the outside world about who we are and how we want to be seen. Clothing and bed linen take on certain characteristics of the wearer, the shape we are, the way we move. Clothing and linens bobble, thin, tear and scuff often in characteristically different places. Clothing and skin begin to share many similarities with age. Old clothing holds the memories of past occasions when we allow the time to think. From a background in fashion I am constantly drawn back to textiles and textile techniques, bringing in other media when appropriate. I work generally in three dimensions, frequently starting with a mixed media work I have made from layers of materials and then carefully paring back the layers and adding details.I also work with old photo images printed on used fabric, wire, plaster of Paris, old dolls, tin cans and other found objects.

Which other artists do you like or find particularly interesting?
Artists I admire and frequently refer to when losing my way are Ann Hamilton, for all the detailed research behind her work and her ambition in the large scale installations she makes. She frequently involves other women and artists in her awe inspiring textile works. Annette Messager and her concept of others within each of us. Her installation of stuffed toys with heads switched from one animal to another, gives a sense of disguise and transformation. Anselm Kiefer for the materials he uses, the way he uses them and a sense of absence I feel when looking at much of his work. He confronts our dark past and brings us face to face with size and scale through his works. The immersive art of Mona Hatoum, her mixture of surrealism and minimalism amazes and excites me. Her sense of familiarity and the uncanny disturbs and intrigues me.

Why is making art important to you?
Though I don't consciously use my past experiences to inform my work it continues to find its way in. Art enables me to express my experiences understanding that even difficult times are part of who we are and we must look to the future in a positive way. I constantly return to research my main interest in the use of textiles by women in the past and use this research to inform my textile practice. I of course enjoy feedback from anyone who sees my work especially if they gain any understanding of where the work originates and can relate it to their own lives.

What would help you to develop your art further in the future?
To further develop the use of photographic images on used fabric I need to make a dark room at home. The process involves soaking the fabric in photo emulsion and drying it in full darkness which takes about 24 hours, then it can be used as normal photo paper. This process embeds the image into the fabric so it can even be washed in the machine. Just inkjet printing onto many cotton fabrics seems more obvious that the print is on the surface. I need to find the confidence to promote my work harder, I have recently become a member of Studio 21 textile group where we have mentoring sessions as well as high profile exhibitions. As I have only recently moved to the Hastings area it would be good to meet up with local textile or mixed media artists to discuss working methods.

To see more of Helen's work see the website: HELEN O' LEARY WEBSITE

25th July – 6th August
Private View: 28th July 6.30 - 8.30

Rising Talent - Amelia Allden

I am really enjoying the diversity of responses we are receiving from our Rising Talent interviews. Next up is mixed media artist, Amelia Allden. 

I am aged 46 and have spent many years creating using various mediums but never really considered or even realised that I was capable of creating pieces of artwork that would peak peoples interest.

I have no formal art training, everything I do is self-taught. I have a very deep passion for vintage things and history and I adore rummaging to find treasure for my pieces. All my pieces have at least one item that is re-purposed, which gives me an added sense of achievement that I am able to re-use and save things from being sent to landfill.

When I first started creating in mixed media, I never really knew much about the art world or artists, then I stumbled across an artist called Greg Hanson from America and I found his art very inspiring, unique & interesting.  He often made mention that he was inspired by Joseph Cornell, a famous artist who created amazing assemblage work. So I did some research and Yes: his work begin to inspire me too! I adored his use of moveable objects in his assemblage pieces and I often try to create movement in my own pieces. 

I sell work locally and I have a Facebook page called ‘Amelia’s Altered Art’ where I also sell pieces. I have many loyal customers who often purchase pieces as far afield as British Columbia.

Creating art is like a form of therapy to me, it helps to relax my mind when the stress of being a parent of an autistic child gets too much. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing that someone somewhere is also enjoying my creations.

I really hope the above gives you a greater insight into what inspires me and why I create.

To see more of Amelia’s work please see her Facebook page here: Amelia’sAltered Art

25th July – 6th August
Private View: 28th July 6.30 - 8.30

Friday, 21 July 2017

Rising Talent - Daniel Huckfield

Our next artist is Daniel Huckfield.

Me and my art
At 43 I am a comparatively late starter in the art world. I have always been interested in art, but after being told at school I wasn't good at art I had sort of given up on making art.

However, as part of recovery from illness I started painting about 4 years ago and haven't looked back! I have just completed a Foundation Degree in Fine Art Practice at West Kent College and I am beginning a BA Fine Art top-up in September.

My art is based on an instinctive use of colour and form, I have become increasingly interested in the use of surfaces other than traditional canvas and find the tension created between a 3D surface and the paint applied very exciting.

Other artists
I found the recent Robert Rauschenberg show at Tate Modern very inspiring, particularly the combines and assemblages. I have always loved the action paintings of Jackson Pollock and whenever I am at Tate Modern I always spend time in the Rothko room. Recently I have become interested in minimalist sculpture and I am drawn to the work of Carl Andre.

Why making art is important
I started making art as a way of recovering from illness and now the love I discovered for painting has developed into a completely central part of my life. I cannot imagine not making art it is part of me and helps to fulfil me.

The foundation degree I have recently completed has helped me to develop my understanding of and thinking about art. I also spent last summer working with artist Rod McIntosh which gave me an insight into the life of an artist. The BA top up will help to build on this and develop my practice.

As far as developing outside of my studies I think the opportunity to exhibit in a range of spaces and learning from the experience will really help me to understand how an artist works in the 'real' world and learn the things they don't teach you at art school!

More of Daniel's work can be seen on his website: Daniel Huckfield
and Instagram @dhuckfield 

Rising Talent: Young and emerging artists at the Hastings Arts Forum 2017 

25th July – 6th August
Private View: 28th July 6.30 - 8.30

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Rising Talent - Josephine Richardson

Rising Talent: Young and emerging artists at the Hastings Arts Forum 2017 

25 Jul – 6 Aug
Private View: 28 Jul, 6.30 - 8.30pm  
Rising Talent is an initiative with the specific aim of giving young and emerging artists an opportunity they would not necessarily get elsewhere.  That is, the opportunity to show their work in a commercial gallery and the experience that goes along with that. Artists can exhibit at no charge and the work is for sale.
In order to help publicise the show and give the selected artists a greater profile, each has been asked do a mini-interview. All of these interviews will be published here over the course of the exhibition which starts next week. Our first interviewee is Josephine Richardson. 

Please tell us something about yourself and your art?
Photography has always been of interest to me, ever since I was a young girl. It wasn't until my foundation year at college that I realised how much I loved it as a medium. My early art background was very much focused on life drawing, observational sketches and botanical drawings and that is where my love of art originally stemmed from. It means I work in a very detailed way and become very focused on a project. I believe that is why I have a good eye when it comes to taking photographs. 

My photographic work is very personal and I pride myself on taking photographs full of honesty and truth. I often create work in relation to negative events that happen either to me or a loved one and turn it into a positive experience by creating a project or series. I find it not only helps me to understand my work as it develops, but it also acts as a form of therapy. I find it helps me to grieve and gives me time to reflect on the situation, allowing me a form of unconventional expression. I am a firm believer in theory of Sol LeWitt that the idea is more important than the outcome and often refer back to that notion within my own work.

Which other artists do you like or find particularly interesting?

My interest in other photographers changes frequently, but most recently I would say that I am a huge fan of Wolfgang Tillmans; his work is so varied and he really inspired me on a personal level to show my personal life through my photographs. I also like the work of Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Richard Billingham, Tracey Emin, Walker Evans and Gregory Crewdson, just to name a few!

Why is making art important to you?
Making art is important to me because the personal aspect of my work seems to resonate with a lot of people. Everyone goes through hardships and struggle, everyone has their own lives to lead and everyone is an artist in some form - I like to make work that people can relate to. I want to show that negative events don't have to have negative outcomes. My photographs represent an awareness of my changing situation and surroundings, that is inevitable - art is adaptive, that is why it is so important.

What would help you to develop your art further in the future?
I think my work will develop naturally as my situations change as my work is reactive. However, what would help would be looking for more and more opportunities to be creative, whether its independently or by collaborating with others. I have an ideas book that I am hoping to start working on, particularly a project on Irrational Childhood Fears which I am hoping to have a slightly humorous feel to it. I would also like to tell the stories of others through a photographic narrative, perhaps concentrating on health issues such as Cancer in order to help raise awareness of the disease further.

To see more of Jo's work please see: Josephine Richardson Website 

Rising Talent at the Hastings Arts Forum
July 25th - August 6th
Private View: 28 Jul, 6.30 - 8.30pm