Category: interviews

Agony and tenderness; the world of Daisy Parris

Benjamin Murphy – Firstly, why are you an artist?

Daisy Parris – I feel like it’s an inevitable part of my life. I’ve been obsessed with painting and drawing since I was 13 and always wanted to be like the local artists I knew. I live for painting. It excites and stimulates me and gets me through life and I’m working really hard to maintain it as my career and not have to go back to jobs that suck the soul out of me.

Benjamin Murphy – What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t an artist?

Daisy Parris – In a dream world I’d be making music or something but in reality I’d probably still be a pizza chef.

Benjamin Murphy – What do you think it is about your work that resonates with people?

Daisy Parris – I put a lot of sadness and agony and tenderness in my work and I think people can feel that and empathise with the paintings. I also use a lot of imagination which allows me to play around with familiar imagery and energy so maybe that’s how people get into the work. I think about colour and composition a lot so you can also just enjoy the work visually if you wanted without going deeper.

 

 

Benjamin Murphy – Do you think that your work is dependent upon this sadness and agony, and would it be as successful were they not present?

Daisy Parris – I think there’s a certain honesty it brings to the work which I am really interested in maintaining. The process of painting also helps me come to terms with things and using colour makes me really happy. I look back at my lighter, more playful work and it just feels empty now. I think my most successful work has come from somewhere dark but I’ve been productive and created something positive out of it. These are the paintings that stand their ground.

Benjamin Murphy – Yeah I think that is very readable in the work. Does this make you crave disorder, so as to keep making the work that this dark mindset facilitates?

Daisy Parris – I don’t think I’d ever crave disorder but it seems to just be present a lot. Whatever’s going on at the time I really believe that I have to be doing my best work of that moment y’know? Even if later in life it doesn’t seem as successful as other work, I know that at the time it would have excited me.

Benjamin Murphy – Yeah that makes sense. Are you attracted to the same kind of darkness when viewing work by others?

Daisy Parris – I think I’m drawn to it naturally and that tends to be the work that affects me most because it’s got someone’s soul in it. I love being affected and consumed by work. I love work that questions the world and educates people. I’m also really interested in comedy; which in itself is a coping mechanism for darkness; and I love funny art. I think there’s a place for everything Is there much comedy present in your work? I guess there’s some funny gestures involved. The drips I paint are quite funny even though they suggest horror or gore. I think they’re quite ironic or almost redundant – it’s like what’s the point of hand painting drips when I could just pour the paint down the canvas and it would be done in a fraction of the time. But anyway I like being in control of where the drip stops. Putting those structures in place in painting are quite funny I think cos then you have to commit to the task you’ve set yourself. At the same time you can reject all the rules you’ve set yourself and that’s where the fun is. And I like doing these little gestures with paint that seem really serious but are actually quite frivolous. The thick paint squiggles in boxes that I paint a lot are an example of this. Cos I’ve framed the stupid little gestures it’s given them a status.

Benjamin Murphy – Is this the same reason for the bold geometric frames you paint onto every canvas?

Daisy Parris – I love having something to hold the painting together and the frames are the device I use for that. As a painter it’s easy to get attached to certain motifs and devices and I don’t wanna be stuck doing the borders forever so I’m trying to use them as an after thought now and not rely on them so much.

 

Benjamin Murphy – Do you think it’s important as an artist to step outside your comfort zone and allow yourself to be a little uncomfortable?

Daisy Parris – Yeah absolutely otherwise I think your work would be stuck in the same old place forever. With risk comes interesting work and interesting experience.

Benjamin Murphy – What is your next risk?

Daisy Parris – I think my next risk is gonna be really investing in myself and my practice and allowing myself to experiment and not make safe work.

 

For more by Daisy see her website – daisyparris.com

 

For more interviews: 

A very personal conversation with Richie Culver about his life and work

Florence Hutchings in conversation about her solo show Seating Arrangement with us in 2018


Fractured Integrity – Rowan Newton

Rowan Newton’s highly anticipated and long-overdue debut UK Solo Exhibition ‘Fractured Integrity’ opened at Jealous East for an exclusive 10 day launch, featuring 6 large-scale paintings and a series of miniature studies, marking a new direction in the artists work and a renewed, unique reflection on figurative painting.

Figures are poised in almost cinematic realities, instigating a sense of familiarity, yet these worlds are disrupted with sharp glitches and gestural sweeps of colour; a disrupted reality which isn’t quite as familiar as it first seemed. Motion swirls around the carefully constructed figures as they move through the canvas, expressed through the artists loose, confident and textural application of the medium and liberal use of vibrant colours which surrounds and interacts with them.

‘Fractured Integrity’ explores an emotive narrative, told through the female form with a series of frozen moments exploring the psychological darkness which accompanies our human need to connect; insecurity, power, isolation and vulnerability. Identity is subverted by the concealment or obscuring of the face, drawing our focus directly to the body. The gaze of the voyeur, however, is irrelevant. These characters recoil and turn away from our stares, an ambivalent nonchalance to our presence is created. Though beautiful and elegant, they make no attempt to seduce us with their naked forms. As we move past the beauty of colour, we are left with subtle suggestions of darkness, pain and anxiety, moments which create for the viewer a context to reflect on their own unique experiences.

 

Why did it take you so long to do a solo show?

I always knew that I wanted to produce a show that was more then a series of portraits. When I first started out I was painting figures. But after a couple of years I fell into this loop of constantly painting portraits. So I waited till something pulled me out of that. And then it hit me, nothing was gonna pull me out of that but myself. Like I was waiting for some devine intervention. But really I just needed to pull myself away from it, and start producing the work I really wanted to. That took time, and it took even more time to be really happy with what I was producing when I went in this new direction.

fractured integrity

Seeking Hidden Sins – Oil on canvas

Why did you decide that you needed this new direction?

I was tired of the box I had been put in by the galleries and the audience. “Oh you’re a portrait painter, we want the portraits” and I’m thinking, I’m a painter, full stop, not a ‘portrait’ painter. I wanted to remind myself I was capable of paintings more then a portrait. I wasn’t happy about the box I had fallen into and wanted to break free. Time has also helped with that. As it’s been a while now, people do seem to have forgotten about the portraits, or certainly aren’t so expectant that everything they see of me would be a portrait. Which is nice and refreshing.

Do all of the works feel like they are a part of one series for you, or is each work an autonomous piece?

It was important for me that this felt like a body of work when viewed together. There is a narrative to it all. It tells a story in a sequence. Which is explained to some degree in the zine I’ve made for the show. But at the same time I was very much aware that I wanted each painting to also stand up on there own individually. I really didn’t want the viewer to feel like they were looking at the same painting over and over again but maybe the colours had changed slightly.

In terms of the narrative, did you decide what this was going to be beforehand and then create works to illustrate it, or did the narrative develop from the paintings in retrospect?

At the start I was just painting. I took time to just paint anything but portraits. When in that zone, I think what happens is, what’s on your mind ends up coming through. How conscious you are of that at first I’m not sure. You step back from the painting look at it and think, wow ok where did that come from, and then days or even weeks later you realise that small thought at the back of your head really influenced the way you put paint down on the canvas that day. After a while of just painting it then naturally became apparent what was most important to me to communicate with this body of work. From there it became a conscious effort I’d say, so almost half way through. But lots of paintings were done at the beginning, communicating various things, paintings that will never be seen, that have now been painted over.

fractured integrity

Beyond The Shadow Of Doubt – Oil on Canvas

Where did the title Fractured Integrity come from, and what connection does it have to the paintings?

The title relates to the fact that u own your integrity. That’s yours and yours only, no one can take it from u. You’ll always have it. But people can question it, sometimes rightfully so, sometimes not, it’s just the other persons insecurities been forced upon you. Sometimes you will do things that are questionable, which can put your integrity under scrutiny. Other times it will be at its best. We are humans, our integrity will be up and down over our life time. Causing our emotions to be the same, which is what the paintings communicate. Emotions stirred due to your own actions and others. The fractured part is a reference to that fact that it can never be solidly good at all times, but up and down.

So how does the title inform the works themselves, and does this body of work feel complete and finished with the show, or will it continue?

The paintings represent different emotions, feelings we’ve all felt, moments we have all lived. The women’s face is hidden or partly covered, because it’s not about them in particular, but the feeling the painting evokes. Hopefully they start a dialogue with the audience about those feelings and emotions. In turn causing the audience to talk about those situations they have been through.

At this point the body of work feels complete for me. The paintings in my own head took a narrative arch. The story was told. I now look forward to the next story. In my head there is always a story to communicate with the art. A movie told in a number of stills as it were.

fractured integrity

Lost – Oil on Canvas

 

For more from Rowan, see his website HERE.

For more interviews

Making Bad Decisions – Richie Culver

Travel As A Source Of Inspiration – The Jaunt


Richie Culver – Making Bad Decisions – A Conversation with Benjamin Murphy

Benjamin Murphy – Firstly, why are you an artist?

Richie Culver – Because I was not prepared to do something I did not like for a living, or have someone tell me what to do. I have had some jobs I hated. Working in super markets, caravan sites, building sites, caravan factories, retail. That is that main reason I am an artist today. Fear of having to go back to doing something I hate. I could answer something poetic and meaningful. But this is the truth of it.

Richie Culver

Untitled, Acrylic & polycell on canvas, 200x160cm, 2019

BM – How did you go from working in a caravan site to exhibiting paintings?

RC – Luck, taking chances, moving around a lot, making mistakes, gaining loads of life stories that I could one day paint about. I took loads of photos many years ago. This gave me confidence creatively, I also learned about composition and colour pallets through photography, I always wanted to paint the way I took photos.

 

BM – Have you any plans for ever showing these photos?

RC – Ahh man. They are super dark.

They feel kind desperate now looking at them. I often come across them on my laptop when I’m going through images. I have really mixed emotions about them and that part of my life. Being a Dad now also make me want to hide them away. I would never want my Son to see those photos. I believe they are good photos, but I’m just not a photographer, it was just a vehicle to get me where I am today. My Schooling perhaps. Seeing Richard Billinghams work really affected me when I was younger and made me realise I could have a voice one day in the arts perhaps ? I related greatly to his Rays a laugh body of work in 1996.

 

BM – That’s an interesting connection, as he took that series with the intention of using them as references to make paintings from originally.

RC – Yes. I was gonna mention that.

 

BM – I saw him give a lecture once and whilst he was speaking I did this really bad drawing of him. After it was done I got him to sign it, he was very nonplussed by it.

Have these photographs informed your paintings in some way?

RC – Not really. It’s really difficult to link them to the way I work now. I hope that in 20 or 30 years time they may fit somewhere within the time line. They kind of do fit with my sculptural works. There is a certain denseness to the sculptures that echo the imagery of the Photos. I could see them together in a body of work. It’s really odd talking about them even, there’s a real vulnerability to me when they get brought up.

Richie Culver

Becky from the block, Cement & Synthetic hair, Dimensions variable, 2019

BM – Do you think that is because they more closely represent something that the paintings do not? I think it’s interesting that there is this great series that might never get seen, like some Henry Darger/ Vivian Meyer mashup.

RC – I think it’s just an age thing, meaning it takes me back to being in my early 20s. Or perhaps being honest about the way I schooled myself. It feels really Feral. My painting have that same language also. The textures and gestures are fast and sometimes messy.

Nothing ever sits right with me to be honest. I think that’s what I’m striving for. One day for everything to just fall in line or make sense. There’s a saying in football that at the end of the season, the good decisions and bad decisions you got should even out.

 

BM – So do you think bad decisions are necessary in art/ life?

I have tried my best to navigate my life Correctly and avoid mistakes. Naturally, I failed and made loads. I make less now.

Making bad decisions with a painting usually is a good thing. It can take a painting in a whole new direction from one mistake. Me and bad decisions in the studio are now great friends. I see mistakes as great moves and an opportunity to take the work in a new direction. If I make a mistake I always leave it. Even spelling mistakes.

In life on the other hand, a bad decision can make a difference in a negative way. Depending on how bad it is.

Richie Culver

Untitled, Acrylic on canvas , 50x50cm, 2019

BM – Yeah I’ve also made a lot of mistakes I think it’s necessary. An easy life rarely makes an interesting artist.

So what is the intention with your works, are you attempting to exorcise your demons, or to change the world?

RC – Neither. I’m still trying to realise my intentions.

Someone recently described my work as a little world or town where everyone is desperate and trying to rip each other off. I liked that analysis, when I working in the studio that is how it feels.

I paint autobiographically, fantasy moments pop in from time to time. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story and all that.

Like if Jeremy Kyle were to make a movie.

My work would be the script.

richie culver

Yoof, Cement, plastic & Acrylic , Dimensions variable, 2019

BM – Amazing. So do you paint for yourself, or do you paint for yourself or for the audience?

Definitely for myself.

I’m not sure how being an English artist is perceived in the world at large anymore. The country is in a bad way. I often think this affects us also as Artists with regards to curators and gallery’s in other Countries, Naturally. So I just stay in my lane and paint for myself.

 

BM – When I look at your work it makes me think of a dystopian 90s holiday at Butlins, authored by Chuck Palahniuk. Are your works intentionally a bit dystopian, or is that a reflection of your general outlook on life?

RC – I would not say I live in fear anymore, being a Dad I have had to learn leadership qualities, fast. We all have our fears, fear is a natural instinct for a human. It keeps us safe, as in know when or when not to react to a situation.

My Mother was a very protective Woman, really over baring. I was brought up thinking that the world is not a safe place, my Street is not a safe place. It has taken me years  to break the shackles of how I was raised. My mum was super loving but had no confidence in anything she did. I think that may have rubbed off on Me. Saying all this, Perhaps it is in my work then. It’s not intentional though.

 

For more interviews:

Lucas Price in conversation about his deeply personal video Body Body

Florence Hutchings in conversation about her solo show Seating Arrangement with us in 2018

 

For more by Richie Culver, see his website HERE


55 Pages interview – about what we’ve been up to recently

Interview by: Hector Campbell
This Thursday, May 2nd, Delphian Gallery opened their latest exhibition ‘Some Pieces of Mind’, the debut UK solo show of French painter Bertrand Fournier, at Hoxton 253 arts space in East London. Ahead of the opening writer and curator, Hector Campbell, spoke to Delphian about Bertrand’s work, their recent Open Call, advice to emerging artists and plans for the future.

​Hector Campbell : This week you’ll be hosting Bertrand Fournier’s solo exhibition ‘Some Pieces Of Mind’, in Hoxton, I was wondering where and when you first encountered Bertrand’s work? What the progression involved from that moment up until presenting this exhibition?Delphian Gallery : We discovered his work on Instagram a few years ago, when he had just started painting, albeit in a fairly different way. We struck up a friendship, and have been chatting ever since. We first asked Bertrand to show with us around a year ago and we planned for a solo exhibition, his first solo in the UK. He showed us pieces that he was working on over a period of time and we then decided on the selection that will be exhibited this week.


​H.C : I understand you recently travelled to Bertrand’s studio in France to collect the artworks for the upcoming exhibition, how was that trip? Did visiting Bertrand studio give you a fresh insight into this creative process?
D.G : The trip was great! It was such an interesting insight to be able to see inside Bertrand’s studio and the way that he works. It’s also always a real treat to get to see unseen works and works in progress. Studio visits are one of our favourite things to do. Also an evening of cheese and wine with Bertrand and his wife was a highlight too.


​H.C : As a nomadic gallery, you’ve presented exhibitions at a number of different galleries and projects spaces not only in London but also internationally. How do you go about selecting the locations for Delphian Gallery exhibitions?
D.G : We usually select locations for our various exhibitions based on the artist involved and what we feel would suit their work best. We also have an ongoing partnership with theprintspace in Shoreditch, whereby we use their gallery space for certain shows that fit the aesthetic there and that have prints involved in the show.


​H.C : I was honoured to be one of the judges of this year iteration of your annual Delphian Gallery Open Call, which culminated in a two-week exhibition of prints at theprintspace in East London and with Rhiannon Salisbury being crowned the overall winner. What did you think of this year’s; submissions and final selection? And is organising the Open Call a process you enjoy?
D.G : This years submissions were fantastic! There was such a huge range of styles and mediums from people all over the world. We had over 10,000 submissions in the end which is mind- blowing, but also made the task of judging extremely difficult. We had 5 judges in total, and each received a long-list of a few hundred works. We wanted to make the submissions process as fair and as impartial as possible, and so we omitted all biographical information from the documents that the judges received. Each judge gave then gave the works a numerical ranking, all of which were collated to create the show. Each judge also got one ‘judges pick’, who was automatically in the show without needing agreement from the other judges.

Rhiannon Salisbury was the overall winner and we are extremely excited for her solo show with us later in the year!

H.C : I’ve seen posts suggesting that Delphian Gallery may soon be expanding into the podcast realm? Could you tell us more about this new project? And any guests you can
Confirm?
D.G : Yeah, we’re launching a brand new podcast very soon. We wanted the conversations to cover a range of different aspects of the art world so our guests range from artists and gallerists to curators and collectors. We’ve been recording a series of them ready for release and we’re really excited about it. In terms of guests, the first two we can tell you will be Andrew Salgado and Rosalind Davis, the rest will be announced in due time.

H.C : Finally, aside from Rhiannon’s solo exhibition awarded for winning this year’s Open Call, do you have any other exhibitions/projects on the horizon?

D.G : Our next exhibition is a solo show with Delphian co-founder Benjamin Murphy in Helsinki in July. We can’t really release too much information about that just yet, but it is coming soon. We are also planning our summer group exhibition and finalising the artists involved as we speak. It’s shaping up to be a great show with some of our favourite artists around at the moment. Most of the show will be artists whom we haven’t shown before, so it’s really exciting to be introducing some more people to the Delphian family.


Bertrand Fournier, ‘Some Pieces of Mind’, presented by Delphian Gallery at Hoxton 253, open Thursday, May 2nd, between 6-9pm, and then runs until May 17th. 


Andy Dixon – The Psychology of Value

andy dixon

You appear the embodiment of your work, does art imitate life or does life imitate art?

I think my concern for aesthetics simply bleeds into every facet of my life. I’m interested in beauty and surrounding myself in it, be it in the studio, in my apartment, or in my wardrobe. I guess, in a way, it’s neither art imitating life or vice versa so much as all things imitating my love for visual stimuli.

How much has being a designer affected the aesthetics of your paintings?

A lot. I see my life as a designer to be a kind of visual training. It’s much easier to play around with colour, composition, and form in photoshop then on a canvas, so, at least in regards to the aesthetic aspect of my work, I had a lot of practice.

andy dixon

Andy’s collaboration with Versace

 

Is there any crossover between your music and your painting, and how do they cross-pollinate?

I think one could argue that I’ve been on a specific trajectory for my whole artistic career thus far, in music, design, and painting. All three have used some form of sampling, for instance: in music as samples, in design as found and scanned images from things like text books, and in painting as reinterpretations of various tropes from the cannon of art history. In a way, I see my true medium being culture to which I use various ways to play with it.

How important is it for artists to have other avenues of creation?

I don’t think it’s important at all to diversify if it’s not something that one wants to do. I’ve done nothing but paint almost every day for the past seven or eight years now and, honestly, it feels amazing. I feel focussed and sturdy from it.

Out of music and painting, which medium do you feel is the closest expression of your creativity?

Painting, definitely. I haven’t made music in years and honestly don’t miss it.

Your paintings share a lot of similarities with the themes and imagery of the old masters, but recontextualised. Is this an intentional device and if so what are you saying when you use such themes?

Yeah, that’s definitely intentional. There are a few things at play when I’m recontextualizing art history tropes. Firstly, I’m playing with the psychology of value. Since my versions of these paintings don’t contain any of the properties that the art market would say give the piece its value, such as antiquity, provenance, or even technical mastery, I’m asking the question of what gives my version its value. I’m not trying to shit on art’s price tag, I’m simply trying to point to the magic of art in a kind of Duchampian way, except using money as the measuring stick. Secondly, I’m exploring the way that the subject of the original painting, say a flemish still life, works in tandem with the subject of my painting, which is a painting of a flemish still life. In a way they’re the same thing – a depiction of luxury.

How do you reconcile the lavish and the glamorous on your work with your punk sensibilities?

I think my history in punk led me to the lavish themes in my work. I grew up in a culture where “selling out” was the ultimate sin so the bands who were successful had to enjoy their success in a kind of shameful secrecy and I see the same thing happening in the art world. Thus, the punk kid in me sees addressing making money as the final taboo.

The show Alchemy at Beers Contemporary was predominantly paintings of rooms in which other paintings of yours sit. Is this a very meta-comment on the artist being affected philosophically by the people who collect their work?

I see it more of an exploration of that same taboo mentioned above. To me, it’s a play on the classic theme of an artist depicting his or her own work in new works, traditionally done through studio paintings like Matisse’s Red Studio, which focusses on the creative side of painting, while mine are done through paintings of my patron’s homes which shifts the focus from the creative to the commercial.

Do you think that the commercialism of art should have this much power?

It’s not a matter of thinking commercialism should or shouldn’t have that much power, it’s about reconciling with the fact that it does have that much power whether one likes it or not.

andy dixon

How did your collaboration with Versace come about, and what has it been like working with the fashion brand?
Versace contacted me totally out of the blue. Believe it or not I was in the midst of making the giant Versace sculpture when they reached out and they hadn’t heard about it yet so the timing felt very serendipitous. Working with them has been great – they definitely use a different language than I do (I mean designer-ese not Italian) which takes some getting used to but their team is full of extremely creative people who have been a pleasure to work with.
For more interviews
For more about Andy, see his website

The Jaunt – Travel as a Source of Inspiration

The Jaunt is a really exciting project in which an artist embarks on a trip to a place they have never visited, and collects ideas and inspiration for a print. These prints are sold, and this funds the trip, and so buyers of the prints know that they have supported the artist on this journey of discovery. We interviewed The Jaunt’s founder Jeroen Smeets about why he decided to launch this groundbreaking project, and what they have planned for the future.

 

Why did you decide to start The Jaunt?

I used to work as an editior-in-chief of a Dutch magazine, around this time I used to be interviewing a lot of different artists. One of the things that always came up was traveling as the main source of inspiration. Everybody wanted to travel. Then a good friend of mine, the artist Hedof, really wanted to travel to Helsinki, just to go there and experience it, and I started to figure out a way to make this happen. How can I send artists on trips to make them find inspiration from their new surroundings, and at the same time take it to a level where we can share all of that with a bigger audience? It still took about a year before we actually organized the first trip. But eventually in April 2013 we sent Hedof to Helsinki, and we’ve been running ever since. By now we send out 10 artists a year and have organized over 50 trips in the last 6 years. 

The Jaunt

Cody Hudson at the Finca Bellavista in Costa Rica, November 2018.

What makes The Jaunt different from other print releases?

As far as I know there is no other art project out there at the moment, that works the same way we do. There are several great projects out there where artists are invited to come and work with a certain printer and a certain print studio. But in our project the travel is an essential part of the experience. It is an art residence which is always on the road. And I think that for the artists it is also a different project, because for which other project can they travel to a place and have absolutely no agenda or briefing. While they are traveling, there is nothing that they need to work on, so they can fully immerse themselves in their new surroundings  

the jaunt

Screenprint studio of our printer, Joris Diks in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

How does the trip that the artists undertake affect their work?

This is obviously different for each artist. Which also keeps our project so exciting and interesting. Some of the artists work directly on location and translate their inspiration directly. Others work on their print once they come back to their studio. There have been artists who have found a new medium to work with, just because they found new materials during their trip. Other artists have been inspired by their immediate surroundings or a certain experience that they endured during their trip. In the end each print is an honest and direct reaction from the artists. 

the jaunt

Silkscreen print by Atelier Bingo, trip #046 to Folegandros, Greece.

How do you decide where to send each artist?

Our most important rule is that we send an artist to a destination where they have never been to before. It could be on the other side of the world or more closer to home. At times I ask the artist if they have some bucket-list destinations, and at other times I suggest a destination to an artist, because I see an interesting connection between the destination and the artist. 

the jaunt

Jordy van den Nieuwendijk on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, USA, April 2014

What you think is gained by this method of creation?

Any time you take an artist out of their comfort zone they become more aware of their surroundings and their experiences. That is exactly what we hope to achieve by sending artists on our trips. They might find something beautiful in nature that directs their work into a certain direction, or they might find a new tool or medium in a local art supply shop that they will start trying out. It only takes one little spark to ignite creativity.

the jaunt

Jordy van den Nieuwendijk on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, USA, April 2014

What are your plans for The Jaunt in the future?

It’s going to be a busy year for us. A little over a month ago, we have relaunched our website, we are working on a second book, which will hopefully come out by the end of 2019. Then we have a few more trips coming up that I’m really excited about and will send our project into some new directions. Good stuff!

For more from The Jaunt – see their website HERE
For more interviews, read Rowan Newton’s interview with Robin Footitt HERE


Bertrand Fournier Interview

bertrand fournier interview

Some of the works in Bertrand’s studio

 

We are very excited to be hosting Bertrand Fournier’s debut UK solo show this month, and decided to ask him a few questions about his work during the run up to what is an amazingly accomplished show for such an early-career artist.

 Why and when did you start painting?

 It was in November 2016, I started painting with my daughter. My mother had given me an old frame with no canvas, so I have buy a canvas for my daughter and one for me, just for try.

  How did you teach yourself?

 I immediately began to paint with oil because my wife had in her childhood belongings some old oil paint tubes, she explained me that it was necessary to mix a medium with the oil,  after there is not much more to know, I had to try all the mediums and all the possible techniques, trade canvases, raw canvas, glued canvases, stretched or glued on wooden panel, it is by trying we learn.

  The title of your exhibition “Some Pieces of Mind” seems to refer to your work as a nurse in a psychiatric ward.  What parts of your daily life affect your art?

I am inspired by what surrounds me, my daily life and also my job as a nurse in psychiatry emergency has strongly influenced me.  Certainly it is a very hard work where we see a lot of human and social misery but the fact of being permanently confronted with this madness, necessarily opens the spirit.  Where the common man is limited to decency, the people who work in this environment know that the human mind knows no limit.  That’s what I try to apply in my work, to refuse to lock my mind.

  Have you found a community online?

 Yes, we are quite numerous to have started at the same time to post our paintings on Instagram, I think it’s a bit like school, we are part of the same class, we will grow together I hope, I  think they will recognize but if you want some names I will give you @christine_liebich @umutyasat @wmlachance @d_a_n_i_e_l_j_e_n_s_e_n @jordykerwick @philip_geraldo @jean_baptiste_besançon @jenny_brosnski @mateusz.sarzynski @benjaminmurphy_ @clement.mancini @mariehazard @jessietaylorart @yvonnerobert_ @gabriele_herzog @richieculver @sorensejr @jonathanryanstorm

  Do you have an art community near you?

 No

  Where do you find inspiration?

 All I hear and all I see.

  What are the living living painters you admire?

 Gunther Forg.

  What advice on social networks would you give to emerging artists?

No special advices, just be yourself ! But personally i think the Social networks can become like a prison, it was very good for me because without Instagram no one could have discovered my work.  I’m trying now to take some distances from this little by little.

  What would you like to know about the art world when you started?

 I have no artistic training, I started in the process to decorate my house not in the process of becoming an artist so I can not say what at the beginning I really wanted to know about this world.  Now I have discovered enough, the other side of this world is not very glorious, I’m happy to surround myself with good people with real good intentions because there is a lot of fuck as well in artists than in galleries in this world. It’s not the Care Bears’ world.

 

We are very happy to be releasing lino PRINTS alongside the show, which can be viewed by clicking this link.

 

For more by Bertrand, click this link.


How To Navigate The Art World – Panel Discussion

After the success of of our last talk Transition: How To Prosper In The Art World, we decided to do another similar one, this one taking its inspiration from our 2019 Open Call exhibition – How To Navigate The Art World.

how to navigate the art world

UHH by 2019 Open Call winner Rhiannon Salisbury

Panelists include:

Delphian director and artist Benjamin Murphy.

Delphian director and artist Nick JS Thompson.

2019 Open Call winner – artist Rhiannon Salisbury.

Curator, writer, and art-historian Hector Campbell.

All of the questions that will be put to the panel have been asked by followers – please feel free to add your own via instagram @dephiangallery

To attend, please RSVP to the Eventbrite HERE

 


Creative Restlessness – A conversation between Benjamin Murphy and Kevin Perkins

Creative Restlessness – A conversation between Benjamin Murphy and Kevin Perkins

 

I was first made aware of Kevin’s work through social media and I was struck by his boundless energy for experimentation. Whilst undertaking this wild experimentation, his work retained a feel that was unmistakably his. I have exhibited, and exhibited his work a few times before our upcoming show A Long Way From Home (With Igor Moritz), and in each show he has exhibited a different form of painting. Each of these, however, are executed with an expert precision, whilst also displaying a wonderful expressiveness and economy of gesture. I decided to have a chat to him ahead of the show we did with him back in January, about his work, and his approach to making in general.

 

Kevin Perkins

Utilising the unusual medium of coloured pencil on salvaged book covers; the portraits depict (mostly) lone sitters smoking, drinking tea, reflected in mirrors or simply ‘being’ and certainly give the nod to a golden era of twentieth century European painting. The surfaces of the book covers themselves lend an almost canvas-like quality to the images, and also help to add a beautiful ageing affect to the colour. Through these works, Perkins continues to develop his excellent ability to reference and draw from art-history, producing nostalgic works that drip with both playfulness and charisma.

 

[Benjamin Murphy] – Firstly – why are you an artist?

 

[Kevin Perkins] – I originally started painting out of necessity. I got hired to teach high school painting classes with no real background in painting. I’d watch YouTube videos and read tutorials before every class and then make a demo of whatever concept I was trying to teach. That turned into a real practice. I was looking at a massive amount of art and decided that I wanted to try and be a real artist, whatever that means.

 

I felt like an imposter for a long time. But now I guess I make work out of what I like to think of as a creative restlessness.

 

[BM] – Is this perhaps why you are experimenting so much within your practice?

 

[KP] – Oh yeah. Definitely.  I tend to have a hard time staying put in one specific approach to my work. I’m not really interested in creating the same kind of work over and over. I don’t care if that’s what sells, I make the work for myself, to fulfill a need that I have.

 

[BM] – I think the driving force for most artists is a need for experimentation, even if their work remains on a similar track. Where do you see your work going in future?

 

[KP] – I tend to not think about the future of my work. It’s a very in the moment kind of thing. Though I’m interested in moving into sculpture but haven’t had the space or time to figure out what that looks like for me.

 

[BM] – So where does your imagery come from?

 

[KP] – I cobble together images that I’ve found from my stockpile of old books, magazines publications, and photographs, as well as the occasional internet find, life drawings, and reimagining of master works. I don’t really seek out imagery for the work often. Instead, if I stumble across something that may work I’ll tuck it back until I’m ready for it.

 

[BM] – How in control would you say of how the paintings ultimately end up looking, do you have a ideal aesthetic in mind or is your process more experimental?

 

[KP] – The idea of an ideal aesthetic is something that I don’t put much stock in because it’s always changing. But to say that my work is experimental is reaching too far. Achieving consistency is not something I concern myself with. I produce work and it inevitably looks like my work. It may be influenced by someone or some thing that I’ve consumed but the way I apply paint, the rhythm of my hand, the energy will be evident in the work. It’s like writing letters. I don’t think about the way I write the letter “e” but if I write enough of them a pattern will emerge. In the same way, if I am true to myself and produce work that is a creative outflow of my interests, then patterns within the works will begin to form and an aesthetic that is true and uniquely mine will appear.

 

That being said, I do follow a similar process with the creation of most of my works. Which lends itself to a more consistent and specific aesthetic.

 

My drawings and studies are free and open to the whims of chance

kevin perkins

Kevin Perkins – book cover portraits

[BM] – With my work I aim to paint haptically, thinking as little about how I want it to look or what it means as possible, because I want it to mean different things to each individual viewer. Would you say that you paint in a similar way?

 

[KP] – Yes and no. I’m not so concerned about the outcome or what it means. I’d like for the work to look a certain way but that can range depending on where I am at mentally and emotionally as I’m creating the work. I make the work for myself. So to disassociate from the outcome for the sake of the viewer would be dishonest to myself and I feel that my work and my drive to make the work would suffer. I don’t care about the viewer so much. People will interact with and read into the work what they will and I’ve got no control over that.

 

[BM] – What are your intentions when you approach a canvas?

 

[KP] – I’m more interested in the creation than the outcome. Don’t get me wrong

though, the outcome is certainly an important aspect to it all. But once I’m done with the work I have no intention of returning to it. I’ve detached myself from the work. It’s served it’s purpose for me. I treat every painting like a puzzle. The enjoyment is putting it together. Once I’m done with that I could care less if it ends up in the trash or on someone’s wall. I suppose though that it’s nice to make a little money so that I can keep up the insanity of making work.

 

Maybe I’m being too honest.

 

[BM] – Yeah I can totally see what you mean, for me it’s all about the process. Once it’s finished and framed it feels almost as if it was done by someone else.

 

[KP] – So how do you feel about your most recent works, and did you alter your approach in any way knowing that this was a two-person show?

 

Yes I did. I was more open and free with my use of color. Igor has a beautiful sense of color and I guess my works needed a bit of a boost in order to stand in the same space as his.

 

[BM] – Is that the first time you’ve worked in this way?

 

[KP] – I feel like I’ve been edging toward it for a while.

 

[BM] – Can you tell us a little about the works you created for the show?

 

[KP] – I messed around with form a lot in this body of work. These paintings move in and out of refinement. Some of the work is incredibly unrefined, for example one of my self portraits was done in one take, drawn while only looking in the mirror and never at the canvas (blind contour). Another work, one of the nudes, was left as an unpolished charcoal drawing. And then there of course were more refined renderings in other works in the show.

 

The enjoyment for me comes in pushing the figures and the spaces that they inhabit beyond the norms of portraiture. Portraits are tricky, I’m never really trying to paint a specific person the way they actually look. I’m more considering the narrative around them and how that comes across in the work.

 

In retrospect, the paintings here emphasize the process, and the history, of how I work. As I stated earlier, I don’t like to think much about how someone may interpret the work. My interest in it lies in the development, the making of the works.

kevin perkins

Kevin Perkins – Book cover drawing

Kevin’s book cover works will be released as a catalogue via Kunst Katalog soon, follow their profile via the hyperlink for more details.

The other artist in our show with Kevin Perkins was Igor Moritz, read Benjamin’s conversation with him [HERE]

Originally published in AfterNyne Magazine.


Mizog Art Podcast – Benjamin Murphy

One of our directors (Benjamin Murphy) was recently interviewed by Gary Mansfield on the newest episode of the Mizog Art Podcast. On it, he discusses his own work, as well as giving some insight as to why him and Nick JS Thompson decided to start Delphian Gallery.

mizog podcast

As well as this, he drops some exciting hints about the hotly awaited upcoming Delphian Podcast.

Listen to it HERE

For more interviews with the Delphian Directors, check out this one with Arrested Motion.