Last Friday, the TRC crew (all two of us) hit up the new Edinburgh-based exhibition of our Black Lodges’ affiliate, SheOne/Black Atelier. It was awesome. There was free Innis & Gunn beer which, for our non-Scottish friends, is ace, so shouts to Gamma Proforma for serving that up, alongside the best food spread I’ve seen at a gallery .
Shouts to James for being so accommodating, Gamma for putting on an amazing exhibition and Richard Gaston for taking some great shots for us.
So how did this exhibition come about?
Through Gama Proforma, because they did the Futurism show in London last year that I was part of. And then they’re in the process of publishing my first book that’s going to come out and they were opening this space and they wanted me to be the first artist to open this space.
So what was the creative process like for this show? Is it all specific to this exhibition or is it work that you’ve amassed..
No, I didn’t all the work specifically for this. I did it in my studio in Barcelona then shipped it over, and we framed it all here. Then I painted the bikes here,.
The bikes are amazing, what was the idea behind the bikes?
Well, because it’s a bike repair store and a gallery, it made sense to attack a couple of frames, so we got some donated from Dolan. I didn’t really have a plan for them, it was just the mood I was in while I was here.
A lot of your stuff is quite off the cuff…
Yeah, I tend to work like that, I don’t really like planning things. I just see what the mood of the thing is then just do it.
So explain to us about the book. Is it largely made up of your work over the years?
Yeah, it’s 20 years of painting. Which is a lot of work. We’re going through it at the moment and going through my archive and personal photos.
Can you see a clear progression or shift in your work from it?
Yeah, there’s a definite shift. Obviously it was a lot more colourful in the beginning, then it slowly strips down into black and white, then moves into the abandoned buildings and becomes more about my photography and painting become. And then travelling wider, like travelling to Gambia.
Gambia was fairly recently yeah? I’d never seen that sort of art in that kind of setting before…
I mean, I’ve been 3 times to the same place, it’s basically 14 villages that we get to go and paint at. Each time we go we just add some more work.
And how do the locals react?
They’re great, they love it. The were confused in the beginning, but now they’re kind of used to us being there. So when we rock up, they offer to make us tea and ask ‘hey, can you paint my house next?’ and you know, they get involved. Kids come and knick spraycans and run off. It’s good.
So what else do you have planned for the future, aside from this and the book?
Well, this was a lot of work haha. We’re working on getting the book together and a launch event for that, but I haven’t got any shows planned. I’m not planning on any more shows in the near future.
So, what’s your normal day like. I’m assuming you don’t have a regular 9-5 schedule.
Drinking coffee… sitting on terraces drinking. But no one pays you to sit on terraces drinking.
So it’s short bursts of work?
Yeah, that’s why I’m not really doing another show for a while, because I don’t really feel the need to. I feel like this is a good show and it’s going to be on for 8 weeks. So I’m not in a hurry to do something else, I think this is a nice strong body of work. I’ll just work on personal projects up until a point where I’ve got something that I want to show. Then I’ll show that.
It’s good not feeling pressured…
Yeah, I prefer to wait until I’ve got something that I want to put out and that I have something to say and something different. I don’t want to do the same show twice.
The colour and the ripping of the paper is something that I haven’t seen loads of before from yourself.
No, I haven’t done it before, this is the first time.
It’s familiar but it’s a new perspective on your style…
Yeah, it’s symbolic as well, in me tearing up my work in an attempt to move on. That’s the only way to move on. And it’s something it’s something I’ve been feeding out recently from my studio onto Instagram. People seem to like it. It doesn’t mean I’ll do it again, but we’ll see.