Artist of the Month: October 2018
1. How long have you been at Phoenix?
25 years this month! My Silver Jubilee! I've never even changed studio.
It wasn't called Phoenix then, it was Eye Level and then Waterloo Place studios. We didn't have the whole building; there were about 30 studios and the gallery. Inside was like a shanty town, no walls, just bits of wood or curtains. The top 2 floors were full of junk and we sometimes had parties up there.When we got funding to buy the building we had to put up the partition walls as our 'in kind' contribution. For a long time we still had only the north part of the building. Dinah Kelly and I started the creative course programme in 1996 with the Fine Art Course, which is still running. We had a tiny room just off the foyer and so many students they were crammed in, practically sitting on each others' laps. We used to hear thumping from the boxing club on the south side.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
I go on residencies where I make site-specific, impermanent works, but also bring back lots of material and ideas to work on in the studio. This summer I've been at Kirsten Kjaer Museum in Denmark and also up the road at Stanmer. So now I'm editing my videos, and I'm making prints from from some of my drawings and photos.
3. Which media do you like to use?
I'd say I like using old technologies: I draw with charcoal, pencils and ink, paint with oils, model and cast with clay and bronze. But I also make site-specific performances and interventions, and I use digital technologies to re-present these after the event. And I use found objects.
So the installations I make can include quite a range of media, are usually made up of lots of small elements (repetitions and series), and often the setting itself is part of the work.
4. Which other artists do you admire?
Artists who work across different media, who are interested in processes and materials. Artists for whom drawing is central to the work.
William Kentridge, Tacita Dean, Shelagh Wakely.
All these artists make large scale installations or films but also small, intimate objects.
5. What would you recommend to go see?
Christian Marclay, The Clock, at Tate Modern.
The new galleries just opened at Charleston Farmhouse.
The re-located Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize.
6. What work are you most proud of?
Last year I put on a solo exhibition in the basement rooms of Regency Town House called house keeping. It's an extraordinary and atmospheric space. I had always wanted to show there and at that point had just the right exhibition. All the work was about an old house in the Dales, about time and memories, so there was a conversation between my work and the venue.
It was the first time I had put together works made in so many different media. There were oil paintings, photos and videos of my performances, several installations of objects, sound and light. I used all the spaces - 3 rooms, courtyard, corridor, meat safe and wine cellar - and the whole thing was choreographed, theatrical, a journey through the building. There is a video you can see via my website.