|What have you been up to since finishing your studio residency at Phoenix Art Space?
EM: I can’t quite believe it’s been 5 months since we left the studio at Phoenix! In amongst that we’ve experienced a few lockdowns and a number of tier restrictions – I’ve been doing my best to keep busy with work and other creative projects. I’ve also spent some time getting back into painting! I treat it like a hobby – it’s nice to have some separation from the animation work and to do something just for fun.
MF: Since finishing my studio residency, I have moved back to London and into a new studio. I have been working on private commissions as well as exhibitions in London and internationally, in Canada and Switzerland. I also had my first solo show in December with Guts Gallery – a new gallery championing equality and accessibility in the arts.
Are there any positive experiences or achievements that you enjoyed in 2020?
EM: Despite all the challenges of 2020, I feel like it pressed a bit of a ‘reset’ button for me. It allowed me some quiet time to really think about what I wanted to be doing – and to focus on producing work for myself. I also feel very lucky to have remained in full time work – and to have picked up a couple of freelance design projects on the side. Generally – I’m pleased to have kept busy, creative – and optimistic!
MF: Although we couldn’t be in the studio during the first lockdown, coming back to the studio after lockdown and during summer was a highlight, I wanted to make the most of every last day. I was in an exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery – Antisocial Isolation – which was an achievement that I enjoyed. Several of my works were also acquired by The Arts Council Collection and Soho House – which I was really excited about.
Tell us a little bit about the work you are exhibiting in the Window Gallery.
EM: I’m showing a few selected still frames of my animated work in the Window Gallery – taken from short clips produced throughout the 2020 lockdowns. A lot of the work I created during this time explored a space between the real world and our imaginations. Produced in response to my own time stuck indoors – working on these acted as a form of personal escapism.
MF: They are a combination of some small works I made at home during the first lockdown and some even smaller paintings I have worked on recently. The #ArtistSupportPledge project inspired me to make some smaller, more affordable works, which meant I could still have some income while exhibitions were postponed. It was really exciting to start my own collection of tiny paintings too. These paintings aim to represent people in their own domestic environments with a sense of warmth, authenticity and tranquillity. They are little snapshots into people at one with themselves in their own homes.
What are your creative plans/ambitions for 2021?
EM: I’m working hard to keep my creative momentum going despite all the unpredictable twists and turns. I’m hoping to pick up some more freelance jobs, and enter my work into some festivals/competitions.
MF: I just really want to get back to physical exhibitions – it feels like a long time since I have had a big wall to play around with. I have been working on some large-scale paintings and I would love the opportunity to show them in the flesh, where people can interact with them in person. I want to make some ambitious work this year and create a body of work that brings together some of the themes I have been working on.