Audiovisual Cultures episode 86 – Art and Community with Clinton Kirkpatrick automated transcript

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this is audiovisual cultures the podcast that explores different areas of the arts and culture of production with me paula blair visit forward slash av cultures to find out more and to join the pod hello thank you for tuning in to another audio visual cultures podcast my guest today has been mentioned before if you recall episode 77 with joanna leach talking about the amabe project today’s guest is one of the contributing artists and i am really very pleased to speak with clinton kirkpatrick very warm welcome clinton how are you today i’m very well thank you how are you i’m not too bad you’re joining us from belfast is that right i am yes i live over in east belfast um so i’m at home today yeah lovely yeah i’m from east belfast and i’m a bit homesick for it at the minute clinton could i ask you to be so kind as to give us a bit of an overview of your work because you work in a lot of different ways and with different media and lots of things so could you just give us a bit of an overview of how you would describe your practice yeah sure so i’ve always kind of like said that i i’m first and foremost like a painter and whilst that still comes into my mind every time i’m asked this question i know i do a lot of other things within my practice as well so there’s a lot of printmaking a lot of drawing and then more recently lots of collage in my work really since like last summer and then this year i’m hoping to kind of take my work into a slightly different direction again and introduce animation and moving image into my practice so i’m next week actually just beginning to learn around animation because i’ve always been able to kind of see my work uh moving in my mind like you know i create lots of characters so i kind of can always see them moving in my minds i kind of want to you know actually see what that might look like so yeah so my work is um it’s quite broad my interests are quite broad you know fundamentally really interested in the human i’m really interested in how we function both individually but also collectively within society so if you kind of look through my work there is a lot of character that come into that there’s a lot of strange situations or lots of play lots of absurd notions and i know i kind of have on my chest i almost kind of like soak in everything around me and then chew it all up and then sort of like spit it back out and that’s kind of what you see with my work yeah and lots of color i love color very bold color i think is a good way of describing it i think it’s fair to say that your work is distinctive it’s really quite um i want to use the word weird but i’m meaning in a really positive sense and i i love weird it takes the body and fragments it but yet you know so you’ll take feet or legs or eyes and you’ll put them in different positions i mean there’s something harking back to surrealism but it’s not quite that and it’s not reproducing that it’s there’s a hint of it but it’s doing something different and what do you think about those sorts of ideas i’m an advocate of the sort of weird and wonderful and yeah certainly i would agree there is a touch of like surrealism in my work but i kind of i almost like look at myself as an artist in a contemporary climate where i know it’s like i think we live today in a space where you can kind of pick and choose and take whatever you want and you know you don’t have to fit within one genre or the other i think that’s what my work is i mean if you look through some of my work you’ll see that i do quite detail portraits or drawings of people and then on the flip side my work would be quite cartoonish and i don’t want i don’t need myself as an artist to be recognized as any one thing you know and i think within me all of this exists so you know that’s kind of what i want to kind of put back out to the viewer i think also you know as an artist you’re always kind of like grappling with what it is you want to talk about what it is you should be talking about or how you your work should look and certainly you know i think that things identify you as an artist but i don’t think it should be definitive if that makes sense i don’t think it should be something that you know is uh so written in stone that you don’t have room to move so yeah so i really love to play with the work you know you said there but kind of taking pieces i mean it’s literally kind of like stripped the body apart rip the body apart eyes are a massive thing in my work i think years ago i first really started noticing the introduction of eyes and my work and it wasn’t really until other people started to comment like oh why are all of these eyes in your work and i was like oh you know there’s lots of eyes in my work it was sort of like done on a more subconscious level and then i started to really notice that i was always going to the eyes and i guess i kind of see the eyes as like an entrance you know it’s almost like a you know it’s a window into whatever is going on and the rest of the image it gives a connection to something human and even you know when you look through my work characters can appear alien-like or they’re so strange but there’s always the nod to the human it sort of gets back to like i like the weird i like the absurd i use i use the word absurd and my work all the time and it can be as absurd as it needs to be so i’m okay with that yeah you seem to have a lot of beings shall we say that our maybe legs join together and then they’re just covered in eyes there is something a bit i suppose it’s almost like maybe a child’s drawing of an alien or something you know when we would imagine creatures from outer space and things that’s quite fun it could be me and my research background but when i see lots of eyes i think of surveillance and i think of watching and the paintings looking back at me and things i mean what would you say about that yeah i mean i think it’s an interesting comment i mean i am a watcher i am somebody who looks at people you know i look at the world i look at the different spaces that we kind of all cohabit um i watch and perhaps it is a little bit of a nod to you know that sort of idea that within my practice like i’m looking at all things all the time that sort of gets back in my mind at the minute to kind of the ideas of identity and stuff and whilst we can define ourselves as one thing of the other i sometimes find that very problematic because we live in a world with so many different types of people what i mean by that is like i like looking at all of those different types of people i don’t need to be in one space or the other it can be right down to kind of like the most hateful people i also enjoy watching that because i feel like i learn a lot from that and i feel like i can take into my work and it’s the power of the artist i guess you have the ability to talk about challenging things or strange things or you know whatever you have the power within you to put back out whatever you want and have a real conversation with society and with people you know the world you mentioned as well i had a good day around on your website and you do mention that about you’re looking at the individual but you’re also trying to look at broader society in that work would you maybe have any examples from your work that demonstrate that kind of idea that do both at the same time you mean looking at like an individual and looking at a scenario i guess yeah yeah what are you getting at when you point out that you’re looking at society and as you say there’s so many different kinds of people and you’ve got so many different shapes of being in your work i look at them a lot on instagram and i think well oh that’s a funny looking creature oh but it’s looking at me and maybe it’s thinking oh what a funny looking creature yeah maybe they are live somewhere i don’t know yeah i guess you know the a lot of kind of my work will come from a lot of it does come from my own experience and i guess i’m thinking now back to 10 years ago i first went overseas and i started talking about this a lot and i’m moving away from talking about it now because it was a period of my life where it happened and i had a remarkable kind of like introduction and learning around my work but you know that very kind of explicit white man role within a black society really became a prevalent conversation in my work because i went to kenya originally as a volunteer but throughout that experience i became entirely connected i mean i looked at what i think originally i didn’t understand the i was naive i guess because i was just like oh i’m in a new part of the world i’m meeting amazing people and you know i’m seeing an amazing space without really understanding the intricacy to do with black white culture and you know white man or you know uh whatever privilege means you know but indirectly a lot of that started to come into my work so it’s a huge conversation for eight years of my life was this massive learning around you know me as a white man in a black society and what that might meant and white privilege and then of course today we’re seeing huge you know it’s always been there but like that really huge black lives matter movement which is so important and you know this so kind of my work would comment and has commented on sort of things like that you know and also you know i’m gay so like my work kind of quite often you know looks at homosexuality or identity you know for uh for of a better kind of term there and like right now um it’s the february 2021 it’s our february each year is lgbt history month so i’ve decided this month i am actually going to explore avenues around what it is because i don’t know if i necessarily think about it all the time because i’m i don’t care to think about you know the fact that i’m gay it’s just not a for me it’s like not something that is an issue but it’s like for me i’m like i want to learn i want to kind of put in so like yeah so i’m creating kind of i’m also kind of like doing a bit of research at the minute and then i’m imagining that lots of characters and situations might come out of that but we’ll see but yeah so i kind of dip in another as sort of as and when or whatever’s presented i mean i think that’s kind of a great thing about the world today is you know you’re reminded quite often of what’s going on because of social media or if there’s a specific time you know that is being celebrated or commented on i will link into things like that as well sorry i kind of maybe went off in a bit of a full up that’s fine that’s what this is all about take a walk with your ideas so just to try then to tie that in with the different approaches to practice that you make so if you’re dealing with those kinds of ideas quite big ideas about human and identity and seeing and and looking and watching and then you’re working across painting drawing collage print making and you say you’re going to move into animation which will be amazing because if you can give life and kineticism to those images because some of them do feel like they’re in mid-stride or something you know so it’d be amazing to see that come to life i mean do you have any ideas on how the different media that you work in how that informs maybe the sorts of things and topics that you’re getting into in your work yes i mean i think early in my career early in my thinking i was like i’m a painter i’m a painter i’m a painter and early on i mean i’m still in love i’m actually probably more in love with painting now than what i’ve ever been i think part of that is to do with now that i’m really starting to understand the material really understanding what i need to do on a canvas and i’m also reaching much better results much more quickly so like there’s just this fundamental love of paint that kind of exists within me and i knew that early on i mean going through school i gravitated towards painting and drawing i love drawing as well um and then i left and of course through college and through foundation it was painting and my my own shoes were always painting and i was like right i have to go for a painting and drawing degree because i didn’t want to go back into like find applied art degree because i don’t want i don’t need to waste another year so i went into a painting my degree was actually in painting and drawing it was one of two left in the uk at the time so i went to england for that part of me always kind of put that label on myself at the beginning so i don’t know if i was as open or as receptive to other avenues within my practice continued with that you know painter painter painter and then it wasn’t literally until i went i was over overseas i was in kenya and sort of been in kenya and i think was the second time i was in kenya i literally went to an organization to introduce myself called kuna trust and the next day i got an email through offering out this printmaking course to the public which was like in woodcut print and i was like i’ve been really wanting to introduce a print technique into my work and therein lay my introduction to print and it was uh and it was good cut and i just absolutely fell in love with that process which made me then go and investigate other types of printmaking so now within my practice i you know also i have i still use woodcut funny it hadn’t been one in a while i was literally said on myself yesterday that i really want to do a new woodcut so i would sit and downstairs i’m kind of thinking around that night but i still do the word cut monotype because it is very painterly you know so gain gets back to that kind of notion of painting you know and then things like a little bit of etching or a dry point and that would be kind of what i focus on i’ve learned other things as well but i’m just not as interested in things like screen print or litho or things like that so that was my introduction into print and then as my practices started to grow i just naturally started to become so much more interested in other things last year collage became this massive part of my practice where i was just like this is really cool just like ripping stuff up and sticking it down and building layers i’m sorry cyanotype printmaking was another process where i really became attached to that but i was using cyanotype in a very very painterly way so i was actually making the solution and painting with the solution and exposing my drawings or my paintings to the sun and then that’s what kind of creates the center type and then i would work over the top and that’s kind of how the collage came in i would work over the top of that in drawings and then i was like starting to rip stuff up and then i made this massive this time last year i began making this like 28 foot piece of work it’s rolled up in a room there but uh yeah so it’s kind of like it’s led me on and then yeah and then also with the animation now i’ve always been able to visualize my characters moving and i’ve almost wanted to be able to look around them i’m making them from the side of the front but i’m kind of like what do they look like from behind i don’t know my mind’s eyes like what way is this going to go i don’t know but in my mindset it’s kind of you know i’m going to see them from all ankles or spaces you know which would be interesting yeah that sounds really exciting exploration to do you seem to have been really prolific in the past year certainly i mean following you on instagram you’re always putting up new things that you’re working on and exploring and stuff and it’s so great to hear that you’re still energized and you’re moving into these different areas with it i mean i was wondering because it’s come up a lot of course it has with people i’ve been speaking to recently how anybody’s had to adapt their work in the past year and i know that you’ve done a lot of community work in the past would you like to talk a bit about that you know because your own practice seems to be really ticking off lately but the other part of your artist life how are things going there with that sort of work yeah it’s i mean i think the whole chronovirus experience for all of us has been so remarkably individual and different for everybody and i know for me it’s been a very interesting time but you know i like the rest of like dipped in my mood i had an extraordinarily difficult year last year in many ways but what i realized was one of my main difficulties is when you’re an artist and you’re making the other side of my work thankfully is community arts and i get to be able to pay my bills usually through community arts and then i get to spend the rest of my time in the prep so my whole life is consumed with art and i love the community arts having that kind of stripped away last year so abruptly was a kind of shocking and i was like wow you find yourself in this space that is just so unusual and i realized that for me you know when you don’t earn heaps of money and you’re kind of like keeping things going along on a very thin line than wire as it is and then you have that stripped away it was extraordinarily difficult to come to terms with like how am i going to be able to cope through this period of time because i literally find myself with no income and not getting any reduction in rent or anything it’s just like so like the bills need paid your grant needs paid you know you need electricity or food so for me i was like right well how are we going to kind of like how am i going to do this thankfully the arts council came out with their support and i appealed of their first round of funding and i literally wrote a project that was to be delivered online so it was exploring these new ways of working and looking at hard work as an artist and i am glad to say that i delivered over the space kind of three four months a remarkable project i mean i’d introduced into my own practice previously the idea of what i call sky drawings that are kind of like i’ve been making cutouts basically and they’re little pieces that you would find in my paintings of characters or eyes or whatever but i had been photographing those so they are cut outs i color them black or spray paint them or i have used kind of like an oil stick and then i drop those i hold out at arm’s length and i drop those but i photograph it at the moment where the sky is literally kind of framing the drawing and they turn out to kind of be like they look just so impactful and so interesting and i was this is great so i could maybe try and do this as a community project so i wrote a community project and thankfully you know eastside arts helped me to advertise that and i managed to get about 15 people onto the program and over the space of the few months i delivered this really class like i mean really class project where they all made quite large drawings and then one so what what i did was i got them to all create i did the sessions like this at home on zoom and then when they finished their drawing i either collected or got them to post me their drawing i took their drawing and i made the cutout from it and then i went around places right they spell fast and photograph them it was just lovely look like i mean i’m still in love with lots of the imagery that kind of come out of that and i would like in the in the future when things have been up to you put on a little bit of an exhibition around it or things like that so for me it was like looking for ways to kind of do stuff and then start it up with a little bit of work again towards december but then that’ll cancel with new lockdowns around christmas and well that came in a boxing day so i find myself still with like work now although february is looking like we’re going to try and do some more online stuff with the likes of c chord down in bangor to talk about kind of my work as an artist through that and kind of my um i’ve always been somebody who is making so i have tried remain busy this year i’ve had my moments of like you know there’s been times where i’m not but i find for me that you know my studio like i think as an artist you have to make the work if you are if you’re a mecca if you’re a creator i mean you have to do the work you know if you’re calling yourself an artist but you’re not making the work i don’t really get it it’s okay look i know i know we all work at different speeds i don’t mean to kind of like i’m not trampling over people there but for me i know that my approach to my thinking around being an artist is that if i don’t make this work the work is not going to exist you know or what’s in me is not going to be out where it needs to be so i kind of try to keep myself active am i trying to be there but also i have been very fortunate to have my studio space which is private so i’ve been able to go there i’ve been able to work and not see anybody i come back to the house and not see anybody just being this kind of like exchange where it’s isolation but i had my space to work because i would not have been able to work in this house so i’m quite you know i’m somebody’s always making and i draw every day and you know i i kind of think i like to keep myself busy because there’s a lot going on in this brain you know so i have to try and do it somewhere gosh that’s brilliant it’d be great to then hear if those new projects work out okay for you i really hope they do it was a real joy seeing a lot of the images again on instagram of the sky drawings and i really recommend people go and check those out because they’re really lovely thing to sit and look at i think would you like to talk a bit about some of the exhibitions that you’ve had in the past in the before times because you mentioned being in kenya and you have had some collaborative exhibitions is that right in nairobi and then you’ve exhibited quite a lot in northern ireland as well in different places so would you like to talk us through some of those and i’ve written down borrowed tales and life and other fictions and i ask you do you believe in miracles just even the titles of your exhibitions are quite intriguing i love titling my exhibitions i really do it’s like do you know i literally just the other day i have decided that i’m gonna i’ve started compiling the list of every title of my exhibitions because i wanted to have a look at what i i went back to the very first exhibition i put on which is through university and it was called unprotected and then i came home when i had a first exhibition in belfast in 2009 and i can’t really remember the title of it but the next one was called yesterday’s news and then that one i asked you do you believe america so that it’s nice to kind of like look i love titling my exhibitions but the title is always in reference to the work that i’m making or what’s going on in the work or my mind at that time it’s not always kind of like the title of a painting or whatever it’s just sort of almost like generally summing things up i love putting my work on in exhibitions i always organize two events with openings because uh well the first one is the opening which is kind of like that you know that you have to do that and then the second i always organize now um i organize a talk with my exhibitions and i love to talk because you get a group of people there that actually want to hear about the work and they want to ask you questions and i just i love that experience i don’t really enjoy openings and i don’t even really enjoy openings of other artists work you know i would prefer everyone spend time with the work later on but don’t get me wrong i do go you know and support my friends and support people but i think just that you know the preference in me is to go and really enjoy the work or enjoy hearing about the work i’ve showed ever since leaving university i threw myself into my practice whenever i came home so i actually lived away for like six years and then finally came back and i’ve been here ever since i’ve been home like 11 years now and decided to move home and get roots and get a space here where i was grinding myself a little bit but i right from the year after arriving home i had my first exhibition and a gallery it’s like clues called safe house gallery which was on donegal street in uh in belfast there and wonderful eccentric man called donnie burke was the guy that kind of uh offered me the first space then i did live the help of that gallery but that was kind of a nice thing it was nice right i’m going to put on work my work was really terrible you know like it was really bad painting hands up you know we all go through these kind of process but the ideas were great paintings were bad the ideas were great i had that show and then i had a second show in that scene gallery in the next year and then it was the year after that 2011 that i first went i had just this mad year of just people dying jobs ending i had a car crash you know i’ll not go through everything that happened was just like this year’s stuff and i kind of cleared off then i was like right i just want to go and do something for somebody else so i kind of went and did some volunteering in another country which happened to be kenya but what that did was it ignited in me everything about what i loved in the world and everything about what i loved in people and ignited this kind of like real investigation into who i am and where i am so ever since then i was back and then i had my first big exhibition in belfast which is in the waterfront hall and that was in march 2012 so 10 years next year and i filled that whole upstairs space with work and i was making like five and six foot paintings i still met large paintings now but it was just so lovely to be making the size of work that i wanted to make and it was all about kenya it’s all about my experience there a real mix of work and i did portraiture and i did you know abstract pieces in that and then lots of figurative stuff too that began in this real interaction and play with me in and out of kenya and it was like i went back as an artist and then i came home and i made another exhibition which went on display in lisbon in the island art center and that was 2013. and i applied to the museum in kenya so there’s the national museums of kenya to display the work that i had made over the previous number of years that was accepted and then i found myself back in kenya in 2014 for my first exhibition in the national museum there which was a really wonderful experience just wonderful every time i was there it was very very different but taking the work that i’d needed and you know i always remember like lydia galavu who is the curator there she still works the most wonderful woman she came up to me after had hung the work in the show and she said you know looking at your work it’s like you wouldn’t necessarily think that you were a white artist that always kind of stay with me because like i’m always interested in this idea of what identity is and you know i think it’s like there is color in my work and boldness and character and whatever and i was like i find it such a compliment and it was just such a it’s such a lovely time and i had a lovely you know lovely feedback from that show and it was just it was nice it’s validating for me like this is the type of artist that i am and this is what i need to be doing so yes i continued with shows then both at home here looking sort of more local sort of spaces and then john patrick and then arts art center and lots of spaces like that then i went back to kenya i ended up organizing an exhibition at home here with my woodcut teacher who uh was kenyan so john kamani and off the back of that lydia at the museum had wrote this very brief message under some posts on facebook saying kenya 2.0 question mark or something like that and i was like so there’s the seed that’s all i needed for to plant that seed which grew into another wonderful flower for me so then i went back and found myself back conducting more research so i went back the year uh what year was that 2016. i went back to kenya again and this time i removed myself from the investigation so it was nothing to do with me so i took a camera i went for a month two well i think two months but a month i spent a month and a half i spent kind of collecting imagery or not imagery imagery and oral voice recordings and i recorded stories so i went around people i knew loads of people that i didn’t and i asked them to tell me a story there’s no prescribed theme it’s interesting kind of watching how people struggle with kind of some people like i’m going to tell you the longest biggest story and then someone like what do you want me to tell you you know it’s like it was interesting kind of like watching that but it was so open but what i wanted to do was on purpose remove me from i wanted this to be entirely yes it was going to be a white man’s kind of visual remaking of stories but i just wanted to listen to stories and that made me realize my interest and love for storytelling and storytelling through my work so yeah so i went back then had joined exhibition in kenya in 2018 which was that show a game of john comany but i put on that show with all of that work with the oral kind of stories and then i came back and i had a show here called borrowed tales which you mentioned and that was all those wood cuts so i actually made 88 i recorded idiot stories and i made 88 pieces of work one piece of work for every single story that i recorded and i put them all on display so it was lovely it’s a lovely exhibition that’s such a lovely thing to hear about really i think i saw on your website you’ve described your painting process as a process of storytelling as well so it’s really lovely to hear about how you reach that do you think that’s something that comes through right across your work that their stories contained in your images yes i think more so now than ever because you can look back at my work from 10 years ago and see everything that’s going on night i’ve started to create this world and everything that i make is contained within that world you know i’m recalling certain images of yours i’m thinking it’s like you’re getting a fragment of a whole landscape and a whole thing that’s going on in this how would you respond to that you know how would you flash out some of those ideas i’ve realized now that storytelling is much more integral than what i maybe even really understood it to be i view my work as this world that i’m creating and that everything that i make and put into that is adding to that or a discovery of a new piece of that world i mentioned earlier on but it’s a very broad world you know so it’s almost like i’ll make things and then all of a sudden there might be crossover years later or i’ll revisit so i kind of make lots of characters in my work that signify certain things and then they’ll come back into my mind or they’ll crop up later on i mean there’s been a couple of characters so that there’s one that i call rainbow wife he’s this kind of blind character i don’t even he’s blind in the original one but he’s been blind later on but the original character was just this very kind of solemn not beautiful character you know he’s just kind of very dull in a sense but inside his mouth was this rainbow space and then he sort of existed at a show that i put on in the offer a show i put on in the ulster museum not the austin museum sorry the ulster hall years ago and that was his introduction but he’s always kind of cropped back in so i then couple years later took him on a journey and actually explored who his character was so still today you know i i’ll revisit him at times he’ll kind of like come in there’s another character called all eyes i mean i did this um other drawings recently that were incorporating this character and just covered in eyes and that kind of character wasn’t born out of this idea of being able to see all things at all times and i’m not saying these characters are all me but they certainly can be sometimes a reflection of me um or of elements of my psyche or the way i see things so i’m somebody who i feel i’m able to look at many things and hold many things even i don’t have to agree with them all but i’m able to see them if that makes sense um quite a perceptive person so a lot of my work is kind of i’ve realized that there’s this overarching kind of story behind a lot of it and i don’t need it to be some i don’t need to be a story book where it is like this is what the story is i want the viewer and i need the viewer to see and deal with things how they need to deal with them i in the last six months have i used to title i thought i’m just this morning like editing images for a new book and i realized that last halfway through last year a mentor i had a couple of years ago was like you’re titling all of your work and you’re giving the viewer everything the viewer needs you know he was like what about untitling your work presenting your work in an untitled kind of way so that sat with me for a while and then i began to introduce that into in my work halfway through last year where i was like but i’m just not putting a title with this so what it did was kind of like take away you know my meaning and just allow the characters of the situation to stand on their own so it was an important kind of moment but i’m also ready to be titling the work again but also to kind of like start to not be as direct with the title or to give a nod something where it’s not as specific or it is not as definitive as kind of giving everything that you need does that make sense to sort of yeah so it’s kind of like for me you know there is a lot of i’ve realized a lot of power in storytelling and even what i’m doing now in my research and in my own investigation as i’ve gone right back to what mythology is and then within mythology what creation myths are and i’m actually in the process of investigating various creation myths that have existed throughout human history in all different cultures and what i’m doing is i’m taking pieces of that you know whether it is modern day creation myths or egyptian creation myths or whatever the creation myth is i mean these slug characters keep coming into my work and i read this creation myth recently where you know these slugs fall from the sky and they create this foggy marshy area and then from this the first humans came to be and i’m just like this is thrilling you know it is the part of storytime is the power of art for me that is what my work is people will look at my work and they’re like what is that or you’re mad or i’ve had i’ve listened to it all over the years i don’t really care either but it’s like i’ve listened to it all but i always think if you take the time with any artist you have to be interested obviously in what they’re doing to want to invest it up but certainly for me when you start to investigate what my work is and what my practice is there is a whole lot there you know there’s a whole lot of world and you know a whole lot of world to see and there’s a whole lot more still to come out of me you know but we’ll see hopefully i do love your slug and space images i think they’re really cool and i read the other day bugs have four noses um or four kind of like things to smell from so i just like loving that it’s like i started the painting last week you know with a slug with like and i’ve taken a human nose but obviously yes that does not have a human node but in my painting so it’s like that’s what i do i hear things or i see things or i read things and i just if it resonates within me in some way i kind of like to kind of spit back out in a fun way i take the piss i think a little bit you know a lot of you know i do jest but i think with that humor it’s a way for me to navigate this world that we’re in and i like to laugh and i like you know i want i guess a little bit of that to kind of come through in my practice as well yeah i think you definitely need the bit of joy in there and i think to embrace the strangeness the absurdity and let it make you smile and put those blockers to that stuff away i think it’s really important so you mentioned there that you’re working on a new book project what big projects have you done before and can you tell us a bit about what’s coming in the future absolutely so um partially kind of through this lockdown thing i was like right i don’t have access to you know our normal kind of way my normal way of doing things where sort of putting exhibitions on or traveling with my work or whatever obviously that’s all on hold and it’s very difficult to sort of plan so i was kind of starting to think in my mind just like well what other things can i do through this time that’s a keeping me busy keeping me active so i have been drawing every day now since the beginning of 2017 so i’m actually into my fifth year of drawing every single day i have not missed a day maybe one day but i have not really missed any you know many days and actually now i kind of i do a couple of drawings a day and that is kind of a lot of what you’re seeing through that kind of feed on facebook or on it on instagram you’ve got this sort of like it’s almost like a digital gallery for me and it’s a space to kind of do sketches and put ideas so the book project this will be my second book so my first book it’s called world view from a white picket fence and that first book was drawings from my first year of drawing with digital media because i moved into using an ipad to draw with never used digital media before always was pretty anti-it and then i was like we’re living in such a digital age why am i not beginning to introduce that into my practice you know it just seemed silly but then i realized that i was making all this work and it was getting lost so there’s something really ephemeral or transient about things get lost in instagram or forgotten about or they become some sort of like old dusty relic in the bottom of the basement for me that i find that i started to find that very problematic so i did this first year of drawings like i really want to make a book and put some of these different drawings in the book so the first book was all black and white images and then the second year from 2018 i started to introduce with black and white images and color images into that digital drawing so i’ve realized it’s been three years since i made that book and i was like can i make another book so it’s trying to get the money those these things kind of cost money and things are kind of always they’re quite tight at the moment but i’m looking for ways to kind of bring this into life and i’ve literally just gone from 2 000 images 2000 images to 88 images maybe slightly more about 90 images and i am like i was like how do i out of this time because then what i did was i went through back through that history that catalogue and i laughed and i thought these are great drawings but nobody gets to see them and i don’t get to hold them so i kind of really wanted you know i want to be able to hold the work you know i resonate with books my books everywhere in this house i love art books i love reference books i love being able to kind of like delve into different artists in different days so that’s for me you know i kind of want my work in that sort of format as well so they’re self-published i’m self-publishing a self-published uh the first one i’ll be doing the same with this one but yeah so i’m kind of just cracking on so doing a written piece for it myself i’ve invited inviting another artist to kind of do around the piece as well you’ll get a bit of text and thinking behind the work of the drawing but yeah so hopefully later on this year i might have a digital launch party for a new book but we’ll see how exciting i love that idea of holding the work that’s so nice such a lovely way of thinking about it keep us informed if you do have a digital launch that’ll be so fun when you’re talking earlier about gallery openings and things it just made me realize that i missed that you always need to go back and look at the exhibition again but it’s about being with the people isn’t it and i i do miss a good belfast opening oh it’s such strange times yeah and i just miss being able to go and do those things anything cultural you know like we know that kind of the culture is like just one of the things always the hardest hit but it’s hopefully something for the future for all of us yeah definitely we’ve got through a lot and you’ve been so so generous about talking about the personal aspects of your work and your practice and everything is there anything that we haven’t touched on yet today that you would like to mention maybe kind of thinking around advice or you know what it is for younger people i certainly think for young people even going through university at the moment what a very difficult difficult difficult time it is it’s difficult for everybody but you know i know i have friends went and doing masters at the minute and you know we’re in the mainland uk and i mean it’s this storm you know of uncertainty maybe do a little bit discussing around kind of like what it is to advise artists or you know or advise people i always kind of think make your work which is a big advocate of really encouraging people to kind of like make and do the work that they need to be doing so you can if you’re in somebody like you’re in university whatever just make the work i think you can become so consumed by what’s happening and how that’s affecting you that you forget that you’re an artist you forget that you’re making so make the work you don’t find your way in your pathway through that maybe i’m walking no i think that’s really so helpful that’s a really excellent point to make is just do something every day just try to do something even if it’s just a little sketch or cutting up bits of paper whatever it is just do something that proactivity i think’s really really important and i think even just in terms of your mental well-being yeah absolutely yeah i think for anybody even not just anybody at school or college you know it’s engaging in the arts and engaging in that kind of activity is extremely beneficial and it really is a form of therapy you know when you kind of engage in something for 15 minutes half an hour a day and it really really helps so yes i mean there’s a real power behind the arts and unfortunately we’re all too aware that uh the arts get are the first to get shafted but anyway it’s an interesting time for sure but just keep making i think everybody should be making or find a space to make that’s a really excellent point so clinton do you have websites and socials that you’d like to point people towards yeah so i um i actually have two websites tonight i realized so i’ve got my main website which is clinton it’s almost like that sort of showcase of a little bit of history of my work and then i started a new website this year called orange paint books and it’s going to operate as a background to a selling platform for me so it’s a space night where i’m putting up all my work for seal because i realized through this time as well you’re relying quite often on galleries or other spaces to be doing a lot of the work for you and i was just like do you know what why is my work why am i not in charge of my work being for sale so i created and that is going to be where you can find everything i do from courses to the paintings to the drawings whatever and then pretty much the main one that i use is instagram so my social handle is clinton underscore kirkpatrick underscore artist but just type in my name there and you’ll find me that’s the main ones oh that’s brilliant thank you clinton kirkpatrick thank you so very much for your time i have really enjoyed our conversation it’s been so lovely to speak with you properly and to meet you like this and to hear all about your work because i’ve so enjoyed following you on instagram for the past a lot of months thank you thank you thank you it’s been brilliant thank you very much i got introduced to your podcast um from joanna’s one whenever she was doing the movie project so it’s been lovely to kind of follow when i’ve linked in so thank you for having me and uh all the best for the year ahead okay yeah same to you thanks we’ll keep in touch this has been a cozy peapod production with me paula blair the music is common ground by airton used under a creative commons 3.0 non-commercial license and is downloadable from episodes release every other wednesday subscribe on apple podcasts spotify amazon music or wherever you find your podcasts see the show notes for a video link if you need auto captions be part of the conversation with av cultures on facebook and twitter or iv cultures pod on instagram as well as patreon membership one-off support is appreciated at buy me a forward slash pei blair i produce and edit the show by myself and i am grateful for any support for this work for more information and episode links visit thank you so much for listening catch you next time



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