If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
Without sounding too much like how a pageant queen might answer this question, I would try to change some of the hatred in the world, and people’s inability to empathise and understand each other. Maybe that would result in a little more peace.
If aliens came to Earth tomorrow, how would you describe your work to them?
I would describe my work as a visual expression of what goes on inside my mind. I would explain that my work is about people; about how sometimes we suffer, and sometimes we are happy, and about all the other stuff in-between. I would describe my work as being brightly coloured, crude and honest.
What is your preferred medium and why?
My preferred medium is acrylic paint. Using paint comes most naturally to me. Much of my work is made up from different layers, and paint allows me to easily and quickly create and build upon these layers. I like the vibrancy and high saturation of colour I can get from using acrylic paint. I also enjoy using pen and ink and the immediacy it offers. I can simply pull out some paper and a pen out my bag and get my thoughts and ideas onto the page quickly. I find the work I produce using this this method is often most honest.
What is your work about?
Much of my work embodies themes surrounding politics, identity and health, with a close look at both mental health and ‘invisible’ disabilities. I use art to make visible those things which ordinarily cannot be seen or expressed with words alone. Most of my work is autobiographical and often reveals intimate confessions or details from my life. It is a visual journey.
It may not always be obvious what my work is about on first glance, as sections are often chaotic or illegible. This is partly to allow for some anonymity, but I also do this because I want the viewer to make their own assumptions regarding what the work is about, based on their own interpretations and thoughts. My work is created by me, about me, but hopefully becomes about each individual viewer as they experience my work differently.
What inspires you most?
I am most inspired by the people around me; my friends and family, the people I pass by in the street, musicians and other artists. I am particularly inspired by the strong woman in my life, like my mother who always manages to see the positive in any situation and always looks to help others. Or my grandmother who taught me to never let anyone put me down. Despite life not always being easy for both my mother and grandmother, they always remained strong.
I am also greatly inspired by Louise Bourgeois. I feel a strong connection to her work and to Bourgeois as an individual. A favourite quote of hers which I feel sums up my relationship to art and also inspires me goes as follows: “Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented - which is what fear and anxiety do to a person - into something whole” - Louise Bourgeois
How did you get involved in BGW?
During my Master's degree at The Manchester School of Art I met Lizz Brady who runs BGW. She was visiting the university to give a talk was about mental health and her work for BGW. I felt a strong connection with the things that Lizz was talking about and I reached out to her later that day... the rest is history. We became close friends, with our passion for art and mental health awareness being something we bonded closely over. It was during this time that Lizz introduced me to BGW.
What’s your favorite thing about BGW?
BGW is a great platform for showcasing the work of artists that deal with mental health. As a big advocate of mental health awareness, my favourite thing about BGW is the work it does to promote mental health awareness, allowing more people to talk about their experiences with mental health and ultimately lifting any shame.
Thank you Amy, for chatting to us. Very interesting!
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