Artist of the Month: July 2018
1. How long have you been at Phoenix?
I had my first studio at Phoenix in 2007. It was a tiny place on the 3rd floor, but it helped hugely to bring me back into my practice, after spending three years without a studio to work in. Then I moved into a half-studio on the same floor, then to another one a bit bigger on the 2nd, and now I enjoy one of the bigger ones in the basement, my favourite so far. My new neighbours rock!
2. What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on "The Slow Bird", a group show for the Sao Paulo Biennial, which starts in September this year. Instead of bringing together, as it is traditionally done, a team of curators, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, the curator of this year’s biennial has taken the bold decision of giving seven artists the responsibility to propose a curatorial project each. I am part of this group together with artists Waltercio Caldas and Sofía Borges (Brazil), Mamma Anderson (Sweden), Antonio Ballester Moreno (Spain), Alejandro Cesarco (Uruguay) and Wura-Natasha Ogunji (USA/Nigeria). We were invited to take part of the biennial in a double capacity, as artists/ curators, so at the moment I am producing my own artwork as well as developing the curatorial structure that I have created with artworks especially commissioned by other 8 artists that I have invited. I am not allowed to disclose what is my artwork about yet, but I think people attending the last Open Studios had a good glimpse! I can say it is a big installation, that involves a lot of hand-sewing, and that I am working with a large group of women from Brighton and beyond.
3. Which media do you like to use?
I love when I reach the state of not thinking about what I am doing, when the artwork makes sense and feels necessary beyond what I have to say about it. Porcelain at the moment is the material that best allows me to do so. Materials are like animals: the more time you share with them, the better you understand and can predict their behaviour. I have been using porcelain for 5 years now because it allows me to turn images into volumen pretty quickly, and usually I have a lot of images in my head that I need to download. I prefer to work in a small scale, on a table, creating one piece in response to the former until I find a flow of cohesive work that generates the next piece almost by itself.
It is very helpful to have a kiln room at Phoenix, as much as colleague artists in the building with much more experience in ceramics than myself and who are always at hand for advice. I am extremely thankful to Phoenix for this.
4. Which other artists do you admire?
There are so many! Just a few out of the top of my head right now: Lucrecia Martel, Pierre Huyghe , William Kentridge , Louise Bourgeois.
My personal pantheon from art history who work as a great antidote whenever I become skeptical about art: Odilon Redon, Hokusai, Rodin, Sonia Delauney, Xul Solar, Paul Klee.
5. What would you recommend to go see?
Lay down in a field and look up.
6. What work are you most proud of?
The next one, while it is in my head! The pride lasts up to the moment when I start to materialize it. Then it gains a life of its own, and I cannot claim anything else about it.