Audiovisual Cultures episode 116 – Folk Art with Bethany Stead automated transcript

hello and welcome to audio visual cultures podcast I am your host Paula there today I have the greatest pleasure of speaking with Bethany Stagg it's about practicing across different media exploring issues and themes around gender sacks class mythology folklore bodies and awkwardness and what it's like being a member of Newbridge and the wider arts community and new castle I think Bethany as an example of a thoughtful and emotionally intelligent RT career artist and I'm sure you'll get a lot of our conversation this interview was originally recorded back in January for the Sox radio residency at the new bridge project in Newcastle upon Tyne Newbridge as an artist led community established in twenty ten that supports the development of creative practitioners of many kinds through the provision of space exhibitions on defense they particularly encourage collaborative ways of working and community involvement as well here Bethany is one of their more recent members and it's getting established and her practice a massive thank you to our patrons over at Peachtree on dot com forward slash AP cultures if you're interested in hearing the original broadcasts of these three past episodes including caption enabled video versions join us at the by P. as he's here for two pints fifty a month or equivalent wherever you are many thanks as well to all our listeners and to those of you sharing episodes on social media it's a great help and really appreciate it please stay also gives a good rating wherever you're testing as this helps others find the show and if you write some nice feedback your testimonial might just get featured on our website which is much improved thank the funding from our patrons for night enjoy this chopped with Bethany stead S. any stats thank you so much for joining me I been really enjoying learning about your work recently and I really appreciate you speaking to me for the Sox radio residency at Newbridge under worries thank you it's lovely to be unbiased and lovely to meet you strong gains still fascinate and what ways do you tend to describe your practice as an artist not really the one thing I struggle the most with the jingle of awestruck with is to describe the practice yeah I have I always have a description of my website it's always a work in progress it changes all the time %HESITATION probably say it's multi faceted love there I say which in my case kind of sounds cool it's a bit all over the place I definitely got sky brain but in an organized way it's not I did a lot of different areas or try to you when I get the time I would mainly say I work in sculpture and ceramics my medium span across also the different ones though such as drawing painting woodwork and textiles I cost myself as a working class queer artist and I'm really interested in craft and folk call and looking at these underrepresented skills and this work this overlooked and exploring the class sex and gender of the people who engage in these practices yes I'm trying to highlight doc by using these skills myself we're trying to learn them quite often yeah one part of my practice is that most of the work I create is inspired by surrealism mainly because of the world building aspect of that and then they skate prism to enter another world that's solely your own %HESITATION can be for others too so I think yeah that's that's why I'm really inspired by surrealism and also explore a little bit of animism and to promote this %HESITATION looking at the symbols and not and trying to highlight the importance of storytelling and symbolism I'm really interested in inter generational storytelling so am I stoned from different generations down to my generation down to younger generations and and how really important I think that is and the writing of those stories and for us to write stories and shad them as a form of therapy and then I suppose the clothes a lot off all of these different interests the so many more but has brought me to work with people in general so I'm a facilitator but also ask most of our %HESITATION I still as well I have to work the different jobs that slightly unrelated but I try to make it as relatable as possible so I work with people in my day job running groups activities %HESITATION fishing impaired people and then I work on a freelance basis to as a facilitator with community groups underrepresented peoples and I like to do %HESITATION this to contribute towards accessibility opportunities mutilate and radical spaces that's brilliant that's really wonderful very details yes I've been enjoying pricing for your website and a lot of your work I think particularly your sculptural work but I think across all of it feels very talks tile it can feel the traces of ye they're embarking scoring sends the cross person check that goes into a lot of it feels right talks file suit I take it you enjoy the physicality of working with the auction materials in your hands and I'm guessing all you have to show yet a lot of it is about the process sometimes and the people that I meet through that process and communal making as well so I really enjoyed just the act of making a lot of the time it doesn't always have to result in something beautiful and yeah definitely the tactility and touch especially with clay and sculpture in general I think that's why I lean more towards sculptures because I like to be able to touch things I like to be able to feel it within my presence rather than two D. based works just don't feel as president I mean anyway I think what I've been protecting the struck by is a lot of your work where you're combining a body parts with the vessel of some kind I think as a woman and that some may I tend I tend to face is a woman you know stop it's a really striking type of image on this very low debts and stop the service area that you're trying to poke out to Fenton explorer yeah yes social so like the body as a vessel the body to carry things carry a lot of weight Harry this creates carry anything but I'm also really interested in the ancient use of these kind of vessels and and this kind of way of like this sort of decorative vessel that uses body pops is been long being used there full I find that really interesting I think a lot of the time it would be towards godsend I like to celebrate god's I think people might have worshipped and etcetera yes Sir I'm I definitely do lean towards those kinds of politics with the vessels I suppose what would you say you've been working on quite recently and a recent I think we can be flexible bye bye that means weekly or monthly or the past few years is there anything particular you from working on and do you have anything coming out I know again that's very tricky because the grind is constantly shifting on her wrist at the beginning of twenty twenty two yes so what what sort of stuff eating hi yeah so I just go over the batch making so many ceramics so I'm starting to teach myself to make more functional functional west tional pieces that people can buy because aka find a way to make money from my all in some way and as much as I hate to rationalize asking costume anyway go go sometimes not be anyway but one of the quickest ways yeah I've been learning not and learning and not a lot from not so I've been making a lot of functional pieces because I had to %HESITATION market still in the eighties band market and that was really interesting because I was the first time I entered the realm of craft all market and the full I was purely just making work with the idea to exhibit in a gallery and hopefully maybe someone would want to buy them but I didn't really care about the aspect of it so it was it was really different to into that kind of realm and it was nice but also made me realize I do want to try and keep those separate in some way it's also been working on and took part in that now that's why Cologne exhibition my system gallery and spaghetti factory and it was amazing that was pretty fun it was nice to be a part of something so big and such an amazing idea I don't think I've ever actually heard of of an open goal I don't know did you hear of it I did I saw a lot of posts on Instagram am sorry worst was and not as well and I have known her for awhile nice yeah it's nice to see like lots of different artists from different backgrounds coming together from the northeast as well yes I took the call and not and then just looking on my Instagram to trying and remember what I'm doing recently because that's the main place people think %HESITATION yes it will not this slightly different to the things I create is I've also been working for Kerry assaults and not charity as a youth group facilitator so we've been making up together with our youth group and Austin really nice and I'm learning a lot from that some of the things I've been working on recently would you say there's anything that you may be protecting charmed so your membership in your French your high much does the studio and projects B. S. factor into your work or have you had any experiences that you think are notable or have been useful for you the studio has been amazing I think it would be hard to say that having studio wouldn't be helpful for any all I suppose and the collective studio program is brilliant by Jen generally Hobbs not an amazing experience on not but that wasn't to do with new bridge that was because of cove it because me and it couldn't really be a collective which is sad but the most amazing thing that new bridge are doing now is still letting us be involved and the opportunities that happening on the current collective studio which is great and it's really good at them and I think one of the best things I've gone out of being a part of new bridge is the support system and the support network and I feel with the staff and all this stuff and that I can always contact them and look to them as in any career all S. as a mental second contact people for advice not officially saying that they would be my mental but everyone seems so open to passing on information and advice and helping as much as they possibly can without putting themselves out and yeah so I think that some of my favorite things about new bridges the sense of support and community and you know they just always willing to give as much as they can even sometimes in their own time when you know they're not being paid for it so I think that's a really really nice thing about new bridge yeah and then also just having a hope to see other people like when I didn't have a studio before and it was also locked down so I wouldn't be seeing people but I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see other Austin meet with their office but now it's so nice just walk into the building and see everyone and say hello and yeah that said it is a beautiful hope to be an extremely nice have you been involved with you branch for a while then %HESITATION you roughly how long have you been a member there yeah M. I. start the collective studio in two thousand and nineteen well maybe two thousand and twenty I think I've been there for about two years I think it got extended a little bit because of code and and I've only just started to feel like I can actually be a part of new bridge and if all of the community because of working I was working full time after graduating I graduated in two thousand nineteen and I think most artists go through that whether they you know you have to get a normal lifestyle opened them and most people don't have time to make calls for quite awhile so can you just start feeling like I can be a part of the community and it's really not the feeling may have been with them for that long and then I've I've known of them since I studied that because they have good connections with the Newcastle University our study so great do you have any thoughts on the arts probably more generally in new castle or the northeast that you'd be happy to share I'm just thinking of bites what may be it for yes it's a bit of an awkward term but as an emerging artist disposer RD career artist what is the big challenges you think you've mentioned some therapy just existing just being a life is one for stars %HESITATION never mind the co that situation but I am the sort of challenges that you might face but also are there any benefits to yes and what's the climate like for you at the moment yeah definitely you've got a couple and probably one of the best things that comes to my head is %HESITATION obviously like the lack of opportunities in the creative sector in the northeast especially jobs wise maybe not so much also the genies but still that as well there's a little bit of a lack of thought and that can be difficult because there's often this horrible competitiveness with your circle of friends if you are friends books of all S. stock you have to be put up against each other all the time in this also this horrible capitalistic way of looking at things and all capitalistic way of life lifted up against each other and not can be really difficult at times and it almost feels like more here than if I was somewhere else such as a big city like London or Manchester just because the way less opportunities so I'm going to know at least five or six people who are going for the same job with the same opportunity as me and I hate I hate that we have to and and it makes it difficult to talk about but we should talk about it I feel something that we should address yeah that's one of the difficult things I think about being honest here but I'm not kind of contracted with we have such a beautiful tight knit small community and I wouldn't change that because it's so nice to just know everyone and I also feel like it's very open as well although we have to compete with each other the things it does not feel competitive and I feel like people are very open to letting anyone and you know I think new castle and the art scene here dedicated to being accessible and seem to always be trying specially in the spaces diinta such as new bridge and other similar organizations the chart that I work for curious all right yeah that's kind of contracted thought nice point would be kind of nice M. if things could be more integrated like a less of a separation between people who are finalists in people who were working for me not some people who work in theaters and people who work in music it would be nice if they could be more of a more collaborative projects and how %HESITATION but anyway need funding for that kind of stuff and it's not much a PS that's great I think just picking up on your last point about collaboration across different practices different media different ways of working that's very much what audio visual cultures podcasts is qualified as in slippages and convergence across in saying so it's really great to hear a young artist like yourself talking like that you know it's really encouraging and I suppose that's that of a call to arms to everybody you might be hearing this is we need to fax us you know we need to %HESITATION Zacapa buttons be able to facilitate those sorts of collaborations happening more and I think as she pointed towards there it probably begins with hopping the awkward conversation so Frankel we want to do this so I can the forces and obeying I complete make this happen I can only make funding bodies take a bit more notice of slots I was speaking earlier say west Paul and Chris here the director's opinion a lot of our conversation he was ready them the man take the loss of your best at commercial union high speed can stay hot a building that was from the thought kind of thing and it's gone nine and what our process becoming and it's you guys sick it's had as much diminished from what it was so it's how do we rate bells and the arts but it feels like a pile as well yeah yeah that's scary not so scary thing that's happened I suppose this year which I guess I haven't related to so much because I feel very lucky to have been able to get a studio new bridge but lots of other people are waiting because they've had the studio's Justina ripped away from them in the center of town as well and its commercial union house and then also breezes while has gone right around the corner and that's really sad and I'm not entirely sure what they've gone too but it isn't it just like offices and new city development does not work well if conte as far as I'm aware and they haven't really started to be publicized anything yet because the building as it is at the moment S. and actually workable they're nowhere close to being it was open to the public yet silly everything's at a state of flux is becoming yes it's quite strange and it's difficult Senate sides and maybe there's opportunity there I feel like we need to give everybody a chance can go come on thank you we have to fight for this this is worst fighting for yeah yeah sure I agree the city is changing and it's changed so much since I've lived here I've lived here six she has not already seen it it's just becoming definitely way more commercial and it's about consumers consume you know be in the city center and shopping gives you I. N. eat and stay for longer with all of this fancy furniture that I'm putting on on the different streets in new castle and I feel like I'm not tapping into that already great creative scene that they've got yeah that they could be talking into mall because they don't really pound signs and not because I don't I don't it's a stop loss and we feel very lucky to be able to have a studio and sorry for the people dot com how one of the moment and hope that people can still keep creating in anyway possible BASF where can listeners find dates more by Iraqi mentioned we've been mentioning your websites would you be happy to just say that I hate for people yeah M. the website is just W. W. W. dot Bethany stats dot com I mean I'm not the best updating at I'm still getting to grips with all of that side of things and yes Sir it might not might not be updated very often but they mainly you can find most of my things on Instagram and lies just best stats underline so I probably update on the most I find Instagram tiring sitting it almost feels necessary yes it can be quite a smog you have to be your own marketer as well it's like you're saying it's part of the current economy the straight answer call debate I have some other way said podcasts and other work that IT constantly promoting yourself is quite to taking and it feels gross as well I don't know about you I just feel doing yeah anyone who follows me on Instagram it would I want people to know that I don't particularly love the self promotion but like having the Instagram in the first place it feels necessary sometimes are just to get yourself known it's not amazing for mental health no the also actions I was just gonna mention on mental health I need to change how people were wanting and help with mental health as artists I know that the social network are offering a lot of free mental health all workshops for us lots of mindfulness sector this is a brilliant thing that's also something that and would be worth talking about as well as a group I'm Paul often don't know if you've ever heard of it the social network I think I've heard roughly about it recently but I don't know very much a piece feel free to expound on the eight so it's a network of all I start work with people socially socially engaged practice work with communities and myself and another officer via Boston they're an amazing illustrator you should check them out yeah they have wonderful lack we are going to be organizing is soon meeting absolutely anyone who's interested Republican appetizing Instagram probably Newbridge emails all over the place hopefully and it'll just be for people who want to come along and hear about the organization they often have a lot of cool different projects going that you can get funding floral you can write to them and create your own projects with them yes so ingrained we're gonna DO seeming fast and I'm going to do an in person meeting that's going to come later yes to anyone who wants to listen about being socialized when they all one who when they would like to be one and kind of share all I can ease of thought because it can be sometimes difficult being a freelance facilitator %HESITATION freelance socialized and not knowing who to turn to you when you come to a difficult situation participants could be telling you information confidential information and you don't know how to deal with so it's good to have that support network of all S. people who've been in the field for a long time and know what to do about that and can offer maybe some younger socialized up nice yeah I'll be sharing through new bridge and Instagram wonderful well that's brilliant thank you for adding last year again very important issues there with I'm very interested in where art practice intersects with activism as well so I think those sorts of areas are really important again T. talk more by age and said it takes seriously and to get support for so long yeah I really appreciate you having that and that sounds wonderful and no worries and is there anything else that we have on coverage that you're quite keen to retire or the same could be useful for people to know I don't know if you don't for this and that may be that sorry if I sounded cool quidditch also a massive part of my practice in exploration is about what Christmas is well and trying to become comfortable in not I would tell people a lot if we could all just become comfortable with Arnold quickness I'm John compatibility yes a lot just like an aspect of my practice that didn't really highlight I suppose and a lot of the physical works I make are about my dealings with Eling of uncomfortable T. inside my own body and amongst other bodies and how to deal with that feeling and how to just let it settle and be a part of those because it is a part of human nature nothing really run smoothly just the society we live and makes us feel like it I love that I love that really putting a spotlight on awkwardness but not not and that way T. C. M. C. perhaps celebrates and be honest because I think you're absolutely right and I think people feel moral courage more often than they like to be met say and I think those of us who feel very awkward and particularly in social situations it should be okay to feel like yeah it's probably become a lot more of those that feel like after the past two years as well and then the thing those of us who you are at your first and he spent many years working all C. passing as normals this is a hard hit rate will be you know you just come back and argues and that's quite difficult Sam merchant not when you've just got over yourself enough to get it right there and then you haven't been able to get away there is quite difficult said Emma so much of my life is spent on screens for two years and then I'm just going to the show that's %HESITATION someone's talking to me but they J. yeah hello yeah it's good to just try and be at ease with those horrible feelings and just take them as offline right and turn them into good things I really appreciate what you said as well as our quickness with bodies and your own and other bodies I'm really looking forward to seeing how you develop or not because you know I feel like there's for anyone who's paying attention there is more and more hi there a police body shaming and Hyatt said overcome that sort of thing but this is a bit different this isn't you know the full scale saying it's not a strong asset because being awkward it's something that you can pretend not to be but feel very deeply at sites yeah I think there's a lot there to really explore impact apart so in ready came to see what %HESITATION what all you work on Tuesday with socks yeah for sure thank you yes in the sense thank you so very much for your time I've really enjoyed our conversation I feel like we've been talking for a relatively short time but we've settled law so thank you for that it's really wonderful and that I. two S. year really great rest of your day great thank you very much and you too thank you for giving me the opportunity is really nice is actually the first time I've done this probably since university when I was forced to do it in a presentation yeah it's nice it's a cool experience to me to expand on my practice thank you grace well you're very welcome on audio visual cultures podcast anytime thank you my great thanks start again she passed the name I'm really looking forward to seeing her work develop I'm particularly struck by her Fassel sculptures have been the %HESITATION reminded me of the entrance side higher than this a few years ago when I read this writer in residence at Yorkshire sculpture international learning more about you vassals in the context of sculpture was quite a big part of our residency for me so it was really interesting to see speak set pass any python cap a reminder of so many of the issues that arise when we think about it Fassel send conjunction with female parties please see follow fascinate she's got a really great and stick around because this was quite a short conversation again and it was perfect for the short form type of broadcast at leveraging but because it's quite short for the podcast not that it really has doesn't really have a saturation which is a lovely thing about podcasting but because it is a bit short I thought I just take the opportunity at the end just talk to you but some stuff so if you're not ready entrusted spend you can skip on but if you are I you know I'd really love it if he'd stick around I wanted to talk to you and a bit more detail about our newsletter because every month I put together a free newsletter dot looks back on not months in the podcast so I really set on the last day of every month and that the Xbox at what has been happening with the podcast out months and if there's anything else I have worked on %HESITATION had published or John that is where sharing but I also make podcast recommendations every months and I'm very happy and Cayden seek 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extort money IT and that's money I don't have frankly any money IT again from patrons it is paid into the podcast in some way and the priorities really have pain recording equipment to improve design quality and have been graduating that if you go back and listen to a party or aptitudes and compare them with what I've been doing recently especially in the past few months because I've got a decent microphone night and I've discovered St Custer which has been brilliant so even the people I interview you know because a lot of these last few interviews that we've had these are people he we're just talking out their laptop you know a lot of them aren't wearing headphones and it's far better quality than what I was getting from Sam and Sam has been amazing I mean I think a lot of us can agree that it's been a bit of a lifesaver for the past two years but you know there's a lot to develop there and I mean these are free technology so I don't really feel like I can't complain about anything but my computer had been how an issue system for quite awhile and sang Coster has been really wonderful and much easier to work with when I get the files on it automatically this is just become an advert for his and Castro wasn't really intend them to talk about it but it is really great I really recommend that if you are recording any audio even if your cordon video actually there are no videos of these three recording C. slacks recordings that I've made so but Paul and Christmas Fabian with tech and with Bethany I didn't record video for those babies just the audio so there's new videos for those but mostly when I have a podcast recording that I've done online and she usually make S. serve are fine with me recording video as well our behind the scenes patrons get access to those videos it's exclusive access and I don't cost them I just know I the way I did it it's because eight pieces just be the same video recorded anyway and I would just stick out on boats with sand caster it 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H. breeding of it if you join up I don't have a huge list of people on the mailing list and probably most of those are going into junk mail because it's one of those things where it's a G. mail kind so it's not official so it probably end up in your junk mail so you have to remember that to look in your junk mail and make sure you add audio visual cultures at G. mail dot com to your safe senders I mean hopefully have soared at that alright nice for anybody who signs up night it's not just me talking about the show and I do give you a bit of a sneak peek and what's coming up in the following months so this is coming ites in April and if you go to our homepage artificial cultures dot com there's a link on the home page and there's a link on the contact page so you instead easy to sign up it's just asking for your email address I don't want any of your data if you do that so for example this comes out in April on the last day of April you look at a new Sattar that goes back over what's happened in April but %HESITATION so you'll get a sneak peek and what's coming night in may before anybody else you might be aware that I make stuff on a salad on it see so there's a discount code that you can access through this email as well if you're interested there's links to other stuff that I work on but I'm also very happy to feature what other people have done and I'm very happy to feature what made Pete trends have been up today as well I have a section where I link to my blog but at the time of recording this ramble I haven't been writing very much in my blog because I've buried and audio editing %HESITATION and working on job applications so I haven't really had much head space T. write anything for my blog and I've also been trying to work towards writing for publication as well so the blog has fallen by the wayside again so be great if you sign up for that and I I do you recommend other podcasts I have a section I recommend to poke past Simpson I finessed and J. and I mean I can't listen to all of them so you know I'm very happy for you to get back in touch you can reply directly to that email tell me but something deep in the S. and J. and if you're happy for me to share thoughts then you can have thought corner of Sydneysider the next time I love it to be more cooperative and you know if you find a blog that you're getting a lot I know of and share that with me as well or if there's an online resource or there's a you tube channel anything like that a toll I am very happy to share as well what you spend less than T. or reading and so on and so forth back recommendations might even be something we start paying very very open to feedback as well because I've just picked a stick out there thinking what can I tell you a fight and I don't know if it's landing or not because nobody ever tells me so if you've got any suggestions I'm really happy to hear from you by them yeah and I'm very happy to hear suggestions by what casts we can open the podcaster what topics we can J. I'm ready hoping that and you can come back again at some point he's on research leaves this semester so hopefully he'll have more time we can see some of our old fashions let's watch a movie and talk about a debt type practice so that's that'll be fun and even some of my previous gas I'd love to ready to eat that sort of thing with them two eight and also if you're listening and you make a podcast and you'd be happy for me to cast on it in some capacity I'm really open saying that stadium I'm ready came to talk to other people as well and bills more if the podcasting community so I think the other thing I'd love to mention %HESITATION I mentioned at the start is wild but I upgraded to the podcast website or the official cultures dot com so over excited about thoughts you it's really starting to take shape I can at the time of recording I haven't changed a huge amount but I have made bets of it pretty %HESITATION I second can he lay and hope fully just starting to make it look a bit more professional because there's just more I can day night with the upgrades I suppose I wanted to point tight as wild that I. D. offer transcripts they're not perfect there the automated transcripts that I got from a cast he hosts the podcast and those transcripts are not public so I have to request a transcript from a cast then they give it to me and my E. L. studio area of the podcast uploading bet then I have to die no debt and copyists and see a blog post and I have at times copy them into YouTube videos as well because there is a problem there awhile ago it seems have cleared up nicely but there is a problem I see you chip automatically making the auto captions and Vietnamese or Korean or Indonesian or something like that it's a really strange phenomenon which seems of come dine again so that has been you sold but they are far from perfect the things they do with even just me saying my name is quite interesting I think you can get the chest from them to be honest I don't have the time really C. go through them it takes ours there are two episodes that ta Masha episodes and the community Kovic episodes those two transcripts I did added them properly and not take certainly with the tamasha one because that was a long session with three people talking that was a long process that takes several days to addicts I don't get paid for this work so I can't give several days I I already do you stop with editing the audio because I'm very particular about editing the audio for these I have signed sensitivity and she's and so I like nice clean audio I like clean up as much as possible I like closing up the gaps because yes it takes me days maybe two caps but I don't think it should take people based on lessons headset hook I like it to be as tight as possible there's not really a huge amount of action time I'm willing to get this because although I have insurance I don't have a lot of them I appreciate what I have but I'm hardly making a living I mean I'm hardly even making pocket money at this stage what the website upgrades has afforded me is I can I take payments on the website directly and what I've done is I've set up several ways for you can very quickly just drop me a pointer fiver or whatever you want to J. via pay pal or a card payment if you just wanna throw something in the tip jar to go to words general support for the podcast because that does accumulate it will help me pay for the website pay for the dominion and that sort of thing but I've also made one where you can make a FISA pines monthly payments that is specifically towards transcripts and the idea of fast is for every five pints a month I casts fired rockets I will spend thirty minutes tidying up of a transcript but also for a subscriber you'll get early access to the transcript so you'll be able to read through the transcript before the episode comes light publicly see again already access plus I will spend thirty minutes for every five pines you know editing a transcript so that it reads properly and you can see what I things are supposed to be spelled and %HESITATION maybe paid a few hyperlinks and you know that sort of stuff so that that would be a a specific fund just today that's because I'll do it if I'm getting paid to do it but I cannot give any more free time today S. really so I guess that's where okta things tonight three just wanted to point those things all right it's a really tough climate right there for everybody and I think especially in the U. K. at the moment we're being hit hard financially a cross a lot of different areas said prices have really gone up fuel prices in Britain have skyrocketed we're not in a great way at the moment so I completely appreciate that it's really tough for people to the pay for things you know and we've all caught so many charities vying for our money it's overwhelming I do get that as well and nobody asked me to date S. I'm Jan that's off by about so I am aware of sock tape my circumstances mean that I am job hunting I can't sustain this for much longer I wish I could make this podcast my job I wish I could make it weekly and that it could be my jaw opens I earned enough said make a small living from it or at least enough that I could supplement that way other income I always was a project that just has no end point that they'll just be what it is and tell I can't make it anymore I suppose that's just where we're up with things at the time of recording and recording us in February so things may have changed drastically and the two months between recording this and the apps are coming right and also people feel that three things on the internet should be free and I feel like crap today this was to get a little bit political here I think my ideal would be some sort of basic universal income that wasn't like can't you and the U. K. if you're nesting elsewhere we have universal credit here which replaced job seeker signs a collapse a lot of different benefits including unemployment benefits and so on it's notoriously difficult to apply for it's really not enough to live off and just like J. essay you have to apply for every job owners before they'll give you any money and so it's very difficult he tries to fight and be a creative and find your way be a start up you know all those kinds of things when there's not really any traditional farming up in use for you I'm a nine actually started tests for three years ago I had some money because I had a really terrible time and it worked yes it deeply affected my house I had to resign and I was given quite a substantial pay art from that and so when I started this podcast I had quite a bit of money in savings from not that's all gone and and I am afraid of reading off my partner he is miserable in his job and what's like to try something new a night and yet it's it's very difficult to take the late when the grinds constantly shifting underneath you and you don't know where you're gonna land and I think it couple of generations ago it was maybe a bit easier to take a kind of late because you could just pick up a job again that is not a climate where in ninth it is quite scary you know I'm feeling very rest Hurst I suppose that's the backdrop to what's going on with me at the moment and I don't know what's really in store so I'm not happy notes stop bothering at the eight yeah I just really appreciate it I sent thanks a few minutes the end of this hope wasn't a boring please see check quite somewhat soft jacket Bethany's work check great audio visual cultures dot com check eight GL dot com forward slash AP cultures mind yourselves take care and a catchy next time

Audiovisual Cultures episode 93 – Being Creative with Slayer-1Artwork aka Chloe Gibson 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 okay well hello i hope you’re ready for another audio visual cultures we’re going a little bit dark and possibly gothy with this one with my very special guest the artist and shirt designer slayer one artwork who is otherwise sometimes known as chloe gibson a very warm welcome chloe how are you doing today i’m okay thank you thanks for having me on um i love the fact he said about the gothic part as well that gives me a little bit of an internal internal theme great yeah when i was snooping around on your instagram it struck a chord because a younger me sang out there so i think we’ll probably have a bit of common ground with some of your interests where bites do we find you at the moment then i live in leeds art is sort of like my passion project it’s like where is like my actual work i work as like an i.t engineer really oh wow yeah so uh when people ask me what i actually do for a living it’s always quite a drastic change yeah and plus i don’t obviously get all that gothed up before when i’m going into work so like when people at work see that i designed shirts like what well i mean we’re all more than one thing so that’s really great i think oh yeah that bright is a of life in my opinion i’ve done so much i have so many different hobbies and you know it’s important to not see them as like fans or you know like temporary things it’s like you should enjoy your hobbies and if you get really good at them you just should do them just to enjoy them like i’ve done so much stuff in terms of artwork in terms of like other sort of hobbies and i won’t say i’m amazing at any of them but you know it’s about doing it for enjoyment that’s just it isn’t it yeah it’s doing it for your own love of it and what you get out of it and then if other people get something out of that too that’s even better that’s a bonus yeah definitely so you do quite a range of different things and the one that’s probably most bringing to mind and you and you mentioned there that you do design shirts you know you design artwork for t-shirts and stuff so maybe we could start there and then we can sort of unpick all of the things that you do and do your creative life i suppose we can say it that way yeah that would be really cool also um i think to say earlier when you asked me like where i were from i was genuinely surprised that you’re like are you from yorkshire because like unfortunately i don’t have a really nice voice i’ve got such a strong yorkshire accent like it’s beautiful to me oh man it’s just i always get jealous of everyone else because i’m like gosh i sound like a nice girl who’s been punched in the throat a couple times oh don’t say that i get really annoyed when people say oh come from lee’s and i don’t like my accent it’s gorgeous to me i love it i love all reason i mean i’m a nordie from another island but you know i love all the northern english accents they’re gorgeous to me i love it on other people it’s just like when i hear myself over i’m like i’m going to hear myself from this podcast and be like

sorry so like back to the shirts i’ve been doing artwork for quite a while but i think we’ll go into that later but um shirt-wise i started just started deciding to design them in the first lockdown so about a year ago yeah that was when i was like right i’m gonna make shirts and i’m gonna do it properly it’s gonna be really cool i never really had good art software or anything and i think the first ever shirt i did it was based like i’ve not actually posted it anywhere it was based off of a canvas um like a sphinx cat canvas i did and it was like pink with clouds behind it and a white cat in the middle and i read through that design and i printed it onto some white shirts and tie-dyed them just to see what it would look like see how people would receive them and like i still have a few of them and you know a few of my friends like us from and stuff but that was the first sort of drive i had to do shirts and it was like it was only like a little while in that i really came into my own with the designs i sort of wanted to do because i knew that sort of tie-dye wasn’t really me it wasn’t my style or my passion but it was like it was a step forward and obviously from then i was doing so you know i think i started off doing like uh ram skulls and you know different stuff like that i like i like my designs to be quite minimalistic in a way but also like it the sort of like detailed in a minimalistic way like you know there’s a lot of stippling going on there’s a lot of sort of small hints and i’ve always been really into that i just thought i didn’t you know it’s not like a money project for me at all it’s definitely a passion one just the fact that people like my shirts enough to want to wear them the fact that there’s people out there just wearing my stuff is amazing because i’m like oh gosh like you must really like it you know you don’t have to like people who don’t know you don’t need to you know don’t want to impress you just like oh i think it’s really cool and i want to buy it yeah they are quite distinctive oh i spent many hours as a teenager going to quite gothy shops and metal shops and stuff and you know hooking through the t-shirt racks and everything and they can become a bit generic you know and your stuff is so bespoke and although you might say very broadly there might be quite gothic themes darkness death maybe something to do with possibly the occult or something you cats with three eyes and all sorts of stuff there’s something still a bit different there’s a distinction to them i think the drawing element as well like you say there are details there that you can notice where do the ideas come from for the types of content in the drawings that you do and the prints that you do it’s actually quite weird when i say they just come to me it’s not like i’m just like walking down the road and i get a sudden bow of inspiration it’s like you know there’s so many amazing artists that i’ve seen and it’s like it’s sort of you don’t realize but it catalogs in your head really and at that point like you don’t realize you’re taking it in and because it’s sort of like all around you and all that stuff for it’s like you know when it comes to i think art inspires art so you know you have music tv shows actually and all that comes together i could just be doing something completely like pointless or i could you know i could be cooking i could think oh like in my head oh you know it’d be really cool this on this shirt or having this design like this because i feel like especially since i started drawing i’ve always had a lot of ideas just sort of pop into my head or i’ll see like see like a kitten like oh i want to draw a cat oh i need to think about how i want to draw this cat and i’m like oh i want it to have a distinct style with the neon cat it’s not really as gothic i could have turned it into a really gothic design i chose to make it like neon pink and neon blue because i liked the contrast between that and the black it’s just stuff like that mood as well i’ve noticed i get really good ideas when i’m really sad and i don’t have a drive to draw them at the time but i sort of take those feelings and i write them down i project them into my artwork later on you know there’s all sorts of stuff and sometimes i just think i thought i’d look really cool or i think about maybe a tattoo that i’d run i have like quite a few tattoos but i think about a total that i’d want and then i end up making a design instead and i’m like oh no it’s perfect as a design i don’t need that yet there’s a few artists there’s someone called danny rudy on instagram i’ve been tattooed by her a few times and she’s really quite an inspiring artist as well i’d seen her stuff sort of like again like when especially in leigh’s like there’s a lot of eyes who talk to each other and share each other and i just saw some of her artwork and it was really heavily stylized and i thought it was really nice i looked at stuff and i bought you know like a turret card commission from her i got a bunch of different sort of commissions from her when it got to owed by her and just her style in general i thought oh it’d be really cool to do like sort of like a ghost i think it was just like being in a tattoo studio seeing all this artwork around me i was like oh it really caught it like a ghost design because i’ve got like a tattoo somewhat up my wrist and i was like oh i really want to do it with some like japanese writing underneath specifically it’s like a baker which is like um it’s basically a generic term for ghost there’s a lot of different references in japanese culture towards ghosts and specific names so i had to make sure that it was like the correct one and this it’s just sort of like a generalized one it’s just sort of like that in general ideas just sort of come to me sometimes i thought that was a really long-winded answer for it oh it’s all it’s a podcast

it’s great that you have that headspace and just space to be able to play around with those things well um i actually i went to high school with like one of my closest friends called marty he actually does art as well so basically when we used to live together we used to sit and well even before we lived together we used to sit and draw together and his artwork is something that’s inspired me as well if you’ve wanted to look at his instagram or anything it’s like matt is a cop or matt draws he’s got two different ones but basically i’ve seen his artwork develop over however many years we’ve been friends and it’s cool because watching him get better and watching him change his style inspires me i’ve always been quite i’ve seen a lot of my friends like i could name so many amazing artists i’ve seen progress but especially him because i’ve literally sat and drawn next to him there’s endless photos of us drawing together and you know we’d sort of play it we’d put on an album and we’d just sit there and draw them we’d both come up with really cool stuff and something that’s really cool about that is we actually bounced ideas off of each other there was a tie-dye idea the first [ __ ] idea i had i spoke to him about it it was his sort of idea to do like a tie-dye design with like you know something else we spoke about that and that was really cool because that was sort of like his encouragement anyway like even like not really consciously like definitely contributed to like what i’m doing now especially like when you’re friends with someone you think are you know like they’re only saying it to be nice but when you have a genuine creative drive it’s really good because the people around you if they have one as well it’s amazing because i can help you with it gosh i’m trying to think of other like there’s a guy called ben redfield he’s another amazing artist there’s so many i met him at conventions when i used to go like little comic conventions and stuff some of his prints were like these like minimalistic bioshock or pc prints and i remember buying one for my sister and we’re really close friends it’s amazing i ended up going to the same conventions as a seller that i met him at when i was a buyer which again is really cool and seeing his stuff has always been a massive source of inspiration for me he actually it’s his instagram picture as well again he’s just called like ben redfield art something like that he did me like a massive skull piece and it was on a giant canvas and then when i first moved it was like a moving present and he spent hours and hours on it and then it was like half black heart part pink in different places and it’s i’ve recently moved again and that’s like one of the best things that i get to hang it up on there from room wall now like this amazing like sort of abstract skull painting it’s brilliant yeah again like i went like a really long way around it but it just really helps having people around you who are creative and also honest and can help you push yourself in order to like really go forward like my friend ben actually helped me with my latest design and i spoke to him about it because sometimes i think it’s really important to like not be really self-involved and be like oh you know i wonder you know does this look right you know does this help stuff like that yeah that’s so important even if you’re not directly collaborating with each other but just that collective atmosphere because that’s how we all improve isn’t it by speaking candidly with each other oh definitely i’ve actually i’m actually like um sort of an art group with some of my friends um again i have so many art friends from so many different places all of them are amazing artists my friend rich mulholland he’s a really good artist as well and i knew him since i was quite a bit younger and we used to go over and we draw together and then you know start like play guitar with pink war on my stuff and again he’s someone else who like keeps progressing and progressing again i’ll send stuff to him we have like a little group chat that we call our family and we’re all like artists in there and again there was a guy who tired me called matt he’s really good huckleberry hank i think he’s still cold i can’t remember on the you know like when you’re talking like i can’t remember what everyone’s called it but yeah i’ve got so many amazing artists with people in my life to like really help me go forward my boyfriend’s really good as well he’s not like he does draw definitely and it’s cool because he’s like starting drawing on me quite a bit and he’s like oh i’m not that good but like he’s actively helped me with some of my designs i’ve done recently and it’s really cool to have people around you who are creative and encourage creativity rather than eat do adult stuff you need to do this all that yeah that’s it we get untrained quite quickly i think quite early on in life well that’s for kids drawing and coloring pencils that’s for kids now you have to be a proper grown-up and go to university and you can’t do those little doodles anymore and that sort of stuff i think it’s been great that there’s been a bit of a resurgence of adult coloring and people being encouraged to just sit and draw it doesn’t matter if you think you’re any good or not but just do it you know just get that creativity out of you because we all have it we just learn to ignore it i think absolutely definitely because when i started drawing like there’s always this misconception that drawing is natural talent it’s not because when i first started drawing i mean like in like not like a kid doing random drawings like i didn’t draw consciously for ages it wasn’t until the end of high school which like in terms of all my peers it was really lit and i remember being like i really love comics and i want to draw comic stuff i don’t care if i’m bad i want to practice and get better and better and that’s exactly what i did i’m not you know i won’t say i’m a perfect size by any stretch and i’ve got so much to learn and so much i could go into that’s the beauty of it because i never had this pre talent made it was all down to hard work and commitment and just really trying and i’ve done like loads of different progress pictures of stuff i’ve done when i was younger my grandma used to be amazing she used to be amazing for sort of encouraging me like i used to show her really like bad drawings like i look at them now and like they were straight up bad my grandma she didn’t even understand what most of them are because it was sort of like and she black oh it’s amazing it’s the most it’s so beautiful you’re so talented you’ll be a famous artist one day and like like she was probably one of the nicest people i’ve ever met and it’s a it was so cool to be able to have such a light as well supporting me when she could like even my shirt so i mean unfortunately she passed away recently but uh she had managed to see some of my shirts and stuff which were amazing she was saying how great at the war and it’s just it’s so cool like i’ve got you know such great support from people i mean and i have a twin sister and she’s not really into art work isn’t like drawing and stuff but she’s really into comics and she’s always been really really supportive especially when because like unfortunately not everyone is going to support your passions and not everyone’s going to be nice to you because unfortunately it’s not that nice of the world i’ll always make a point of trying to be great so anyone who wants to talk to me you know if anyone have wanted to message me about artwork or message me about anything like i’m pretty open to stuff like that i’ll help anyone but like my sister she’s amazing she’s always supporting me with my work and even then it’s like similar to my grammar it’s like i feel like i could have shown her something really bad and she’ll always look for the good in it and she’s like oh you know this is so good because of this you know she’s even like bought some of my shirts off me and it’s like oh god like you know you’re my sister i don’t want you to buy him and she’s like no i’m buying him but yeah she’s had loads of my art over the years and some of it i’m like oh god i can’t believe i did that no i love it just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean either but yeah i think having people around you who support you and people who really value you as a person and value your hobbies are really good i haven’t known to support you i think especially if you want to start drawing or you want to start you know stuff like that just watch some videos on youtube that’s exactly what i did i watched some videos of just a guy drawing captain america and wolverine i sat in front of the screen and i just sat there and did it myself and it looked i was like oh gosh this actually looks really good i look back at now and i’m like oh maybe not but at the time i was like so blown away that i was like oh maybe i can you know draw and i’d sort of like even now that my boyfriend said through the day i was just i came in and i want to do a design and i sat down in the space of like a few hours like after work i just done a design and posted it and it was like i can’t believe that you just like you did all that just then like you just came in you’re like this is what i’m gonna do and did it and it’s like unfortunately not every day is like that but that was a particularly good day that is so great to hear that you’ve got that support network that really heartens me actually to hear that i’ve spent some time in leeds and it strikes me as well that even just leads as a city is really supportive of art you know and you’ve got some really fantastic galleries you know independent ones you little ones as well as the big ones like the henry moore institute and everything you know it’s just such a vibrant place for art in general you know so it’s brilliant to hear somebody having that kind of atmosphere and really able to flourish and grow in there that’s fantastic definitely it’s i mean i can’t say you know it’s it’s sort of like been easy but um definitely being able to have people who do because i’ve had you know the opposite end of the spectrum where people sort of knock you down it’s awful and you know when i started selling at comic conventions that was a really difficult time because you get like really harsh critics at that point um and it’s like oh you know like i’m just here to sell like my artwork i’m not here for you know for i mean i’m always open to critique anyway it’s just some people are just unfortunately not very nice i think you know especially when you’re around other people you should always want to encourage people because that’s i’ve always believed in like positive reinforcement or positive positive like pushing people you know like i’m always happy to criticize someone in a positive way if someone says tell me everything that’s wrong with this i was like well i will but as long as you let me tell you what’s right with it as well but yeah it’s great and also in leeds as well one of the amazing conventions i mean it’s moved to harrogate now but thought ball festival that was like an art festival and that was one of the first proper conventions i went to i used to go like religiously my best friend and my twin sister and my friend amy as well and we’d all go and just look at all the amazing artwork and it’s something we’d planned for like all year oh gosh there’s all these amazing comic artists and writers coming oh we need to do this we need you know we need to plan this and then we’d go there and just have such an amazing time to see such amazing artwork i actually met such a lovely woman called valentina and she ended up i think i met her at thought bubble and again she was her work was so inspiring that was another artist who’s been amazing to me she ended up designing my first ever tattoo she designed it for me and gosh she was so lovely and she’s helped me with my artwork as well and she’s bought one like she moved back to italy i like i miss her all the time but she moved back to italy and she still bought one of my shirts she was like i need one of your shirts you’re like i need one so i sent one over to her and oh gosh you’re amazing yeah support advisor i think i think it’s really important and personally i try to make sure that i’ll support anyone and everyone i mean i might self-deprecate but i don’t allow my friends or anyone else to create advice to self-deprecate that’s how it works in my arts but yeah i think especially if you’re wanting to start out just don’t be so critical of yourself that’s probably the advice that i’ve given to myself even now i need to follow that advice because people think that they have to be perfect straightaway we’re in a society where we feel like we have to do everything right the first time it’s not like that at all i’m sure if i’d given opponent i’ve done any shirts and shows a lot of people probably thought they were missing out and it’s quite warming to know that people really like my artwork even if sometimes i don’t like it as much like there’s so many people out there think oh gosh you know you’re really really good i’m like ah you know it’s not like um imposter syndrome a little be like oh yeah i recognize it well and it comes up quite a lot on the podcast actually is people trying to get over that hurdle of the self criticism you know and it can be almost to the point of self losing because you’re so anxious about oh i’m not good enough i’m not ready and it’s something even me myself i have to overcome you know you have to just there gets to a point where you have to just stop preparing and planning and you have to just try it and be brave and put it out there and stop thinking about it just do it anyway exactly as you say it can pay off because even if i think that’s a really great way of putting it is even if you don’t like it yourself someone out there is going to love it oh definitely i was always uh what’s the word i was quite apprehensive even now like i only recently started etsy because i thought you know if i started it see i just don’t want to do it and then if i don’t get any sales i’m going to be beating myself up but it’s like right okay you think about this logically like i’ve had loads of sales for a bunch of different people all i’m doing is making it more accessible to more people and so i thought right about again my boyfriend did a little bit of pushing and we got some really cool photos and we’d put it all up and i was like oh actually like i’m quite happy with that and i’ve actually ordered some prints recently if a couple of my designs just to put them on etsy and sell them just see what happens it’s like if i don’t sell them it doesn’t mean the body just means that i’m not getting them out there enough and i just have to keep pushing and keep doing designs and keep going yeah that’s where you have to get into the world of the seos and how to make your stuff findable because there’s so much stuff out there that getting it findable is the issue because the audience is there for it it’s just getting to them is the obstacle but i’ve had a look around your etsy shop and i mean it’s a really well constructed shop and your photographs or fantastic even just down to details like your lighting’s really great and your posing is really great you know and um the shirts look really well on you and stuff the designs just come up you know really clearly you know so it’s a really great looking shop as well so you know you’re putting the work in oh yeah definitely uh my best friend’s mum she’s like super gothy as well and i stayed with her for a while and she was really supportive of all my shirts as well like she’s always been quite um she’s just such a force of nature as well and it’s just amazing to like her support as well like i remember i first sent her like the first sort of photo shoot with my shirt so i didn’t she was like oh you look so beautiful you look so amazing it looks so good again the rehearsal part is absolutely amazing as well with the etsy shop i was quite nervous but with the support of my boyfriend and stuff i got it i was like you know what even if i don’t get any sales at all i’ve had one sale actually recently like i’ve only like recently recently started it but um yeah i got sale through that which were absolutely amazing and i think i’ve got a good review on it but either way it’s just it’s really cool how although i technically like physically did a lot of it myself it’s like just by other people being so supportive and nice and helpful it’s amazing there was a friend of mine called james and i met who saw like roommates and then one of them is called uh mike and he’s i remember he saw my artwork um he just like sort of added around to house he saw my artwork he’s like oh i’m actually working on a on a comic i ended up thinking some comic work for him which was such a big job for me it was amazing yeah because he’s another amazing artist and it was so cool to be able to collaborate with my friends like when people see you can’t work with your friends yes you can like you as always are the right friends yes you can it’s really cool to have had opportunities just this through people that i just know and i’m always about promoting my friends or bringing them up i’ve got i’m really lucky to have a lot of people in my life who are really supportive obviously there’s so many to list but a lot of them like my friend james amy who i used to go to thought bubble with like not all them that they’re all so they’re all really i think i’m just gonna say support i feel that’s the only word i can say that it’s just weird how like incredibly supportive they all are and it’s without taking like they’ll just give support just because they can i think that’s really important and i think a lot more people should try to be like that in terms of motivating the people around you because i you know i don’t have a lot of motivation for myself sometimes but i’ll always try to motivate the people around me because i think it’s amazing like it’s sort of infectious that’s what i found creativity and positive it’s all infectious around people and if you can try and be that sort of force when you can’t it really makes a difference yeah i think that’s a really another really important point socially i think as well as being taught to move away from the kid’s stuff in verdicom is we’re also trained to compete with each other and i think what you’ve said is just so important about actually you need to ignore that because that’s really awful advice and helping each other out and taking joy from each other’s little successes you know and to be a successful artist you don’t have to be damien hirst heights and you know be able to employ thousands of people to make your work for you and be a multi-millionaire you know successful artist can mean you’re getting by people love your work and you love your work or at least you love it enough to want to keep going and that is just so special you know i think you’ve just hit a vein of something so special and it’s so great to hear about it oh man like i’ve seen it in other places as well and then that inspires me like i said about when i was getting a tail by um danny the other other day i’ve met another one of the artists there before called tasha sasha welch is another really amazing tattooist amazing artist everyone there is there’s about four people in this studio called uh craw tahu and it’s like another leads one but i’ve never been to a tattoo studio and seen people so supportive of each other because it was like tasha danny steve lauren and like literally you’re getting tired by one person and then you know other people come over and say oh you’re smashing it you’re doing really good or the last for positive feedback and i’ve just i’ve not seen such a supportive atmosphere like so strongly as well it’s not like all they’re just walking past and looking over and like oh it’s all right so they actively come over and encourage people after doing it saying oh you’re smashing that out you’re doing this really well you know to me i find that really inspiring especially like because it makes me think oh gosh like you know i want to go home and draw like you know these people are all so good like you know i’d really love to you know do something like that myself that sort of thing yeah is that something you’d ever consider because i mean some of your artworks i think if you were into doing finer lines or something i don’t i don’t know i don’t have any tattoos i’m a bit ignorant about how it works but you know is that something that probably i imagine it takes quite a lot of training but do you think that’s something that you’d want to try to do or at least design tattoos at some point as well there was a point in time where i thought you know what i really want to do and i was looking into like apprenticeships and i was making like a portfolio of different stuff and then it was sort of like a thought i can’t really i need to like give absolutely everything like i can’t just because i mean there’s not a lot of funding in terms of talking and i have you know i sort of had bills prepared and i just thought gosh like what’s gonna really make me happy like because if i do this if i do this career i’m gonna have to give it everything like i have so much respect for people who tattoo and not only that with people who are such incredible artists like some of the ones i’m lucky enough to know and god the glitch had to put everything into it they’ve had to try really hard to get where they are and it’s like is that the path that i want to take i’m like i don’t as much as i’d love the idea of it i don’t think i’d be able to do it and i’m not saying that like artistically wise i couldn’t train myself or you know i’m sure that anyone can do anything if they put the mindset but it’s like i feel like for me i feel like it might not be the right path for me i actually want to do concept art for game design oh wow and when i first applied to uni i got into one of them but the other one i didn’t it’s i failed the portfolio stage so i showed him my artwork and they said you know what you’re not good enough to come in i remember that being like such a knock to my confidence i was like oh god this was a few years ago now i was like oh god you know i’ll never be good enough to do anything and end up just getting like an apprenticeship then it turned into a full-time job and just in the it industry because you know i’m sort of like happy in that industry and i thought i can do game design on the side or i can do artwork on the side i just remember i got like a new job in the last year or so last six months and i just thought oh mum it’s so weird how different my life would have been if i’d stuck to art as a full-time career because i don’t i feel like i need lots of different purposes i feel like doing art solely although it’d be amazing i’d love to do that i don’t know if it’d be the best way for me because i feel like i get a lot of creative bursts and i do them because i’m doing other things like they sort of come into my mind as i’m doing other things but plus i’ve always been a fan of like branching out into different stuff i did a little bit of 3d modeling at one point there was a friend of mine called callum calzar he did a really amazing like 3d model of a hammer that i saw recently and gosh like it was like oh man maybe if i put a bit more time into it i could you know get close to that good button i’ve done like a little bit of 3d modelling i did some um clear sculpting gosh i’ve done like paintings on canvases i’ve done acrylic i’ve done acrylic power painting what else i’ve done like quite a bit of digital stuff i’ve done like pixel art i’ve done actually i do a lot of baking and stuff like that and i try and be quite artistic in my baking as well like i did a pokeball shaped like hot chocolate bombs and stuff like that yeah the next step is trying to make a pokemon shaped marshmallows which i did try and it didn’t go very well but you know i mean that was really cool so yeah in terms of stuff like baking or cooking and then um there’s lots of different stuff i could do a bit of spray paint i’ll make stencils i’ve made pokeball terrariums which is like little pokeball with like a pokemon inside it and like the top of it’s clear so you can see it and it’s got like loads of terrain around it and i’ve recently i’ve started doing like little designs for floppy disks and like making them into magnets which is cool my boyfriend got me some of these like floppy disk things for my birthday and i had the sticker on them for like the witcher so i thought i wonder if i could do that and then basically what i did like i got some floppy disks and then i’ve been doing like little designs for stickers and then i’ve ordered some of them in and then i’ve glued magnets to the back of them so you can have them as a magnet on your fridge i just feel like that’s like quite different and i feel like it’s quite cool as well it’s just cool you can get inspired by stuff like that that sounds classy i’m old enough to have used floppy disks back in the old days the whole retro thing i think that taps inside so nicely that’s the sort of thing that probably people would buy as well to be honest people my age it’s really cool branching out i mean i got a friday the 13th vhs like it was like a vhs set of like painted over with like friday the 13th like jason’s mask on it which i found really cool and it had like led lights in it and i’ve always been a fan of like repurposing stuff yeah i make a lot of like lamps out of glass bottles so i’ll clean out a glass bottle i’ll put like a black vinyl sticker on the front and a light in the top and it’s really cool how you can like repurpose old stuff like i’m always thinking about new stuff that i can do or new stuff i can make because i’ve suffered quite badly with depression and it’s been something i’ve had to do for quite a while and i feel like a lot of my motivation comes from doing things for other people what i found is creating things for the people makes me really happy and that’s what tends to get me out of a slump if i’m having a really rough time or like if i’m having a bit of an episode a lot of the ways i come out of it is doing something nice for someone else and motivating myself to get out of bed and do something for someone else like the other day i made a my friend were moving out so i’ve made like a cloud lamp it’s like a lamp it looks like a cloud and you turn it on it’s really cool i just i think it’s really important to like be really creative not everyone wants to be creative and that’s fine but if you want to be and you say no to yourself because you don’t think it’ll be good like that’s the completely wrong thing to do because there’s something really like humbling and some that commit you really proud of trying something new and it working out i was going to go to a pottery class before the last lockdown and all my friends said why would you want to do that i was like i don’t know i want to know how to make a mug like leave me alone you know like blacksmithing as well there’s such cool stuff that’s accessible to people now it’d be amazing to be able to just try new ways to you know how cool is it like because you know i’m used to like doing designs you know i did some designs which i put on mugs although i have shirts on my etsy a lot of times people are oh i really like this design i’d really want it on a keyring or i’d really want it you know on a mug and i’m like that can be done just ask me i’ll do it like i’m more than happy to accommodate anyone there was a lovely woman who ordered a print from me and she actually wanted one of my designs as a tattoo and asked if i if she could show it to a tattoo artist and i was like gosh as long as i’m credited i’ll you know anyone can do anything and that’s amazing the fact that someone wanted some artwork not just as a shirt but as something permanent on the body was just like absolutely amazing like and it was just sort of like a design which i thought was really cool i did it it was like the first coffin design i did like a tree and like a graveyard you know the stereotypical like just it just screams gothic and um gosh that was super amazing to have someone ask me that that was quite recent it’s really cool to be able to be creative and i think people limiting themselves just because i think they can’t do it they’re just missing out massively and it’s like when i say oh you can do anything if you try like obviously that’s within reason but like you literally like i never thought i’d be careful what i’m doing now i’m sure that in however many years time i’ll be like oh gosh i didn’t realize i was capable of doing that or i didn’t realize i’m capable of doing this and it’s just it’s a matter of just like giving it a go if you fail so what it don’t matter you’re allowed to fail it’s part of being human that’s it and if you enjoy it actually that’s the main thing because even if it turns out maybe not quite how you would imagine something might turn out if you enjoy the process of it that’s the thing that matters oh definitely like it doesn’t matter if you’re good or not it matters if you’re having a good time you could spend hours and hours you know making you know you could be sculpting something new and clean it might not look perfect but you know what you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it you should be proud of yourself for committing to something flat amount of time and putting everything into it and i’ve always found the idea of homemade gifts amazing yeah i learned how to make drama and i make sure pulling out make candles loads of stuff like that again like just sort of like a little bit of a creative pull and it’s like oh gosh i’m going to make a massive soap that looks like a skull i’m going to do that and it’s just like which i actually have done i’ve made candles that look like schools and all sorts but it’s like nice it’s that sort of creative stuff where it’s like it didn’t take a lot of talent all it takes is time and effort and obviously sometimes depending on what you wanna do a little bit of money but usually like you don’t need money to have pen and paper and draw like or anything like that and if you’re limiting yourself just because you think you can’t do it man missing out i’m telling you if someone’s listening to this and i don’t think they can do it please do it for me you don’t know me but i want you to do it excellent excellent i need to remember to take that out for the teaser that’s excellent

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as well as your own original drawings you mentioned you you’ve done a lot of comic conventions and things and i’ve seen on your instagram that you’ve done a bit i suppose we could call it fan art or card inspired by other things there’s a lot of pokemon in there but what really speaks to me is futurama and the 1990s x-men and stuff that’s my x-men you know so um i was wondering if you wanted to tell us a bit about that as well that’s got like a special place in my heart there’s like sort of traditional stuff like that there’s comics i started reading were like the classic x-men stuff the first tattoo i ever got was an x-men title yeah i’ve got an x-men title on my right thigh and i’ll wear it with priorities the cosplayers rogue at conventions as well she’s my favorite oh man yeah cosplayed is like the 90s animated version of rock that was super cool yeah it’s like i remember that because that’s what i started doing it was traditional stuff and i never really ventured a lot with colour at first but i remember what i used to do is i need to live it almost draw every night i did it like every day for a year and i was committing to it and all the time i’d get inspired by just looking at other people’s interpretations of artwork i read in a comic and i thought oh i want to redraw that or oh this is really cool and it was really important for me as well when i was learning how to draw by looking at what other people are doing and because essentially the best way to learn is by copying and i mean that in the sense of you look at someone’s muscle you copy it to draw it and that’s how you learn anatomy stuff like that you know you look at how things work together but in terms of artwork in general a great way to find your own style is to copy a load of other people’s and use it you know see how they do things see how you know the way they use the brush strokes see the way they create a drawing how they’re created and stuff is like that’s why today it’s amazing there’s like loads of stuff on youtube you can just get up i’m sure there’s lots of people doing little tick tocks for acrylic paints and stuff like that and it’s amazing how accessible you know a lot of like the stepping stones to like drawing is and like for me is sit there get my sketchbook out like right i’m gonna draw something really cool and obviously not always i drew something really cool but sometimes i do like big comic pieces and i always felt incredibly satisfied because i was like oh man i spent hours and i was on this like piece but it’s like it’s turned out so well like i did a big hellboy one and i did a kick-ass one and it’s like to me i know they’re not perfect i did them like quite early on but like gosh even now i’m like i can’t believe i drew that i drew i got a blank comic like a comic with a blank cover and i drew rug and gambit on it it’s i think it’s still on my instagram it was like referenced off of i think x-men 177 because it was like one of my favorite covers and i redrew it on a different variant of a rug and gambit and even to this day i think it’s one of the best pieces i’ve ever done it’s like hold such a close place in my heart it doesn’t matter however many years have passed it’s like oh man that’s really cool and that’s from like an internal nerdy standpoint rather than like yourself rather than bigging myself up it’s like like personally i just love it just because like i know exactly what went into it how much time and effort went into it and recently i’ve only recently started doing traditional stuff again a lot of it was a way to sort of like try and give gifts or try and get commissions and stuff had some commissions or like you know i did my boyfriend a drawing for like a christmas and stuff you know stuff like that and it was like i knew he really liked pokemon i was like you know what i bet i could draw a bunch of different pokemon unlike my sister me and my sister both of futurama and her for her birthday i got like a voice message from billy west and that was super amazing i thought how cool would it be if i drew i like bender as well and you know then she had you know like she had a bunch of different future armor stuff so that was really cool being able to like flex those traditional muscles again and get a bit of color on because i’ve not colored in ages and there’s something really satisfying about having a physical thing in front here like a physical piece of paper and like drawing on it and don’t get me wrong i love digital art digital art is amazing like you can do so much i don’t want to say so much more but you can do so much different stuff on digital art than you can you know like on traditional like if you you know make a mistake inking on traditional that’s it game over like if you make a big mistake whereas you make one on clip studio pin which is what i use it’s just control z like undo okay i can keep going yeah there’s something really satisfying about having a physical copy and having it framed i’m actually planning on doing some drawings on my skateboard decks at some point and or like wooden chopping boards stuff like that i mean i’m still sort of thinking about exactly which way i’m going to go but i’ve got like so much creative stuff like going on i made it at the minute it’s like oh man i can’t wait to share it with everyone and sure you know hopefully inspire some other people that’d be really cool um i was wondering as well coulee especially with putting your work on clothes and on all the other sorts of things you’re mentioning there is there anything in particular that you’ve learned or are in the process of learning that you think might be useful to share you know what’s that journey been like you know because you’ve you’ve mentioned that you know you’ve the improvement to the development of your time i was just wondering you know if you have anything that might be good for listeners if this ever gets to somebody who is maybe in that starting point or before that even so for me sometimes the most expensive isn’t the best quality i learned that the hard way and i remember i thought when i first started doing shirts i had to get them from this really you know and it wasn’t that it was bad quality at all it was just incredibly expensive and it was completely counterproductive because i mean you don’t do everything for money but you don’t want to be like completely indebted because of it and i remember at first i said i need to go to the best place and get the best stuff you know as long as it’s a high quality print like the place i get and printed from has a guarantee that if it fades or if it you know if anything happens you can get it reprinted and get it sent out which is what you know i’d offer to any of my customers or anyone wants to buy something and that to me is more important than spending loads and lots of money because i didn’t i wanted it to be accessible for people when i say i don’t make a lot of profit i really don’t it’s literally like it’s just enough to sort of like clean it over and for me it’s just don’t think you have to put all your money into it to make it work do your research and don’t be afraid to change you might do a design that you think could look good on a shirt and you could put it on a shirt and think oh it doesn’t look that good now but it might look good on a print it might look good on a keychain or you know i mean there’s there’s so much stuff you don’t have to limit yourself to one thing and try different color schemes i found so each time i do a design a lot of the times i’ll do more than one version of it just to see what it looks like like don’t be afraid to chop and change and change different things and if you’re a traditional artist just copy like as in get a physical copy like you know got a printer copier print off a couple extra copies and color those in or you know do inking on those ones so you can get you know your final design you’ll have multiple versions then and it sounds kind of cliche but don’t give up on things take breaks but don’t give up on him knows me a lot of times i thought oh gosh you know i’m not i’m not any good you know i spent quite a while being like you know i’m not good at i can’t do this i can’t do that and i just i regret it because i was like i was so busy putting all the start of myself i probably missed a lot of creative opportunities and there’s a lot of art that people aren’t going to see because of a result of me saw it self-loathing whereas like now it’s like you know what i sort of accept like i’m going to take a break i don’t need to drive overnight i don’t need to do this it’s like why do people do things like drawing in general they do it because it’s fun to do it because they enjoy it that’s why you should do things and then when it becomes a massive source of stress you need to think right okay i need to take a little break from that and then go back into it with a fresh head and that’s exactly what i did you know i ended up blasting like three designs out really quickly but i did sort of three minimalistic designs in one day and that was really cool because i’ve not drawn in ages i say yeah just for me it was safety so probably in a few days but um just don’t be afraid to give yourself breaks don’t be ashamed to give yourself breaks don’t beat yourself up because those breaks are exactly what you need sometimes like i found it where i could be drawing something and it could just not be going right and sometimes i just start again from scratch i’m like this is what i need to do um it happened with the growlithe drawing i did it and it looked the wrong shape and i couldn’t figure out exactly what it was i was like oh man so i had a brick went away from it came back to it and i was like okay now i’ve redone it i’ve redrawn it it was so destroying there to redraw it but i did it and it looked amazing it looked it was amazing to me it looked exactly like what i wanted which is quite rare for me to see something exactly how i wanted it so that was really cool and obviously like i got a lot of good feedback from other people like you know you draw stuff like pokemon and people get so excited about it it’s great i love seeing people like because that’s something else like it’s not even about people buying my stuff it’s people who message me saying i like my stuff i’ve got friends who tell me they’re like and it’s like that’s amazing to me because it gives me such a boost it makes me feel so good about my work and what i do it’s like oh man you know someone’s seen that and i thought it’s really good and you know it took me so much time or you know put a lot of effort into it and it’s amazing to see that people appreciate what goes into it yeah brilliant that’s really helpful can we thank you so much for that do you want to point people towards where we can see your work so we mentioned your etsy shop so you’re under slayer one artwork is that right so on etsy i’m just slaying artwork basically it’s hard because like some places don’t like certain you know like certain types of digits you know what’s the words i don’t use the word digit but it’s like characters yeah characters that’s exactly it honestly i’m just slayer one artwork no spaces slayer is in the band slayer fun facts behind the name yeah go for it so i mean i’m a massive metal fan anyway yeah i mean more sort of like death metal but that’s that’s not the point you know like player one i saw something to do like scott pilgrim which is one of my favorite comics it was like player one and they changed the name to slayer one i thought oh man that’s so like so funny especially when i was younger i was like oh it’s so cool so i was like okay that’s my name and it’s just sort of stuck but yeah so when it’s it’s slayer on artwork on um instagram it’s slayer underscore one artwork and i also happen to have a facebook page which is just like slayer dash one artwork which again it’s all it’s annoying because some of them are different but some of them don’t have certain characters but yeah that’s that’s where you can find me my instagram and my one instagram is the main place that i posted because sometimes i’ll post working progresses on my story or you’ll get to see some of my cool goth stuff on my story or i do share a lot of other art pages on there and i think it’s really important and some advice for people if you’re feeling uninspired watch a really cool film as in like watch like an animated film like you know into the spider-verse or watch some studio ghibli stuff if you’re not into that like read some comics or read books or watch a tv show there’s so many things where you could get ideas or play a game or listen to music you know there’s some of my designs which are directly based off of music that i’ve heard or you know there’s one there’s a design i’ve been thinking about for ages and i tend to think about my designs a lot before i do them and then one day i’m just like i’m doing it and then there’s a song called um possession by white chaplain that’s something where i want to do like a really cool piece of sort like a girl saw it cloning her face and it’s like again a really sort of like dark dark and but yeah i’ve got loads of stuff that i’m sort of planning on doing i just think if you’re feeling really uninspired you don’t have to draw just watch things it’ll inspire you write it down there’s no pressure the world’s not going to end if you don’t draw that night just if you want to be inspired you want to feel creative just do it just do it everything you can because if you’re going to sit and stop love it’s just you’re just limiting yourself then yeah i think you said something earlier as well about it’s quite easy to have a pen or a pencil and a bit of paper and you don’t even need to think about it just have them in your hands and just see what comes out exactly start messing about i find a lot of artists have the same problems where it’s like you sit there in front of a blank sheet of paper three ages and you’re like gosh i just want to draw i just wanted and you’re like oh man i’ve been sitting in front of this blank piece of paper for hours or you know i’ve rubbed out so many different stuff and if it gets that point my best advice is to take a break take a break make a brew that’s what i try to do or go talk to someone even though i don’t live with one of my best friends anymore my a lot of the time when we’re drawing together it’s like i’d always say to him and we say to each other take a break just take a break and then we’d come back and we’d do some artwork it’d be exactly what we wanted or be even better than what we wanted and if you don’t want to take a break if you’re lucky enough to have an artist you know friends who are out it’s like i am sending a photo of it and say does this look right because it’s not you know it’s not about like fishing for compliments or you know what anything like that it’s like something looks wrong with this and i can’t see it can you you have a better one just like you know my friend ben or he’s got a much better understanding of anatomy than me and i could draw a face and like ben there’s something wrong with this face and i can’t figure it out and it’s like oh yeah it’s this it’s like it’s not about criticizing in a negative way it’s a really positive word they want you to do well which is why they’re telling you how to fix it yeah and there’s just fresh eyes on something isn’t it yeah i mean if anyone voted to message my art page for help at all i’m really open to like helping anyone who messages me you know if anyone wants to talk about art comics i’m always i’m quite an open ear for stuff like that and if anyone’s like oh you know they want advice and i want to talk to her directly just give me a message pretty cool about stuff like that i like to really support people because i think you get the best results that’s really generous of you it’s been such a joyful hour i’ve really enjoyed this so much chloe to be honest he i’ve had a pretty tough week just personally it’s been uh you know i’ve had a few knockbacks and confidence has been quite low and stuff and i just feel so positive and so energized just from talking to you for an hour and thank you so very much for this it’s been really enjoyable for me i hope it has been for you as well oh it’s been amazing thank you i’m really glad to hear that that’s really cool and again you’re more than welcome to message me anytime as well if you’re in but super lovely i’m really glad i’ve had such a good time as well i’ve been so excited i’ve never been in a podcast before so i’m like great well for your very first one you’ve done incredibly well yeah i hope this helps get you out there a little bit more yeah it’s just so nice it’s been a lovely thing to do to meet people like you through this i’d feel like you’re another one of my little gang that i’m compiling for the coolest gang that’s what it is it’s been really lovely speak to you thank you very much for having me on i can’t wait to hear it

this has been a cozy pea pod production with me paula blair the music is common grind by airton used under a 3.0 non-commercial creative commons license and is available at to find out more listen to episodes sign up for our free monthly newsletter and to get in touch visit for extras and previews see forward slash av cultures and to support us go to forward slash audiovisual hyphen cultures hyphen podcast thank you so much for listening sharing subscribing and reading take care and i’ll catch you next time


Audiovisual Cultures episode 77 – The Amabie Project with Johanna Leech automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures with me paula blair i’m really super excited to be joined this time by artist johanna leech who is going to talk about the amabie project that she’s been working on and curating throughout the lock time period in 2020 and it’s hopefully going to culminate in an exhibition but it’s all online and you can see it on instagram so i’m going to let her explain more about it because she’ll explain that a lot more articulately than i can um huge huge thanks to our members over at forward slash av cultures for all your really valued supports if you are interested in joining and there are three tiers of membership at the moment there’s to pay what you can which is one pound one dollar one year or whatever um and that’s that’s going to get you access a bit early to the new episodes that come out you’ll get to hear it a day before everybody else and then there are a couple of other memberships there’s a behind-the-scenes membership and a star supporter which will get your producer credit on any future stuff so do take a look through those if you’re able to help out and for other ways to support uh and just help out the podcast do listen right to the end and i’ll give you some other ways that don’t involve a membership um but do make sure you subscribe you hit that button just so that you never miss a new episode and i’ll help us out as well so this one was a lot of fun to record uh joanna is a it’s a very very good friend of mine and i’m really proud of all of her work it’s a really visual episode as well so if you’re listening to the audio only i have put the link to the video in the show notes and do make sure you go and see that um because um uh joanna actually shows us through quite a lot of the work that all of the artists involved have been creating and shows us through the instagram so if you’re able to see that i’d really highly recommend it so enjoy very much and i will see you on the other side

so i am super excited to be joined by my longest serving friend and artist joanna leach hello joanna hello how are we finding you today not too bad thanks just in limbo like the rest of us i think so trying to continue on at least try and do something productive excellent yes we’re gonna talk a bit about your productivity and what you’re keeping busy with and if it’s okay can i just ask you to explain to everybody a bit about your background i mean um i mean we first bonded over our mutual love of dinosaurs and i think that’s something that’s held us very close together all of these many very long years yes definitely and it’s in my artwork you know fascinating sinclair uh dinosaurs from the world’s fair absolutely um so would you kindly just talk us through a little bit of your own arts practice and then we’re going to talk about the really big project that you’ve been working on more recently sure so i’m a visual artist based in belfast and i also work as a program manager for a local cinema and arts center so sometimes a lot of those influences working quite um across lots of different art practices and arts fields and work can bleed into my practice a little bit um so instead of kind of having a sketchbook or kind of doing lots of drawings like every day like most artists would or quite frequently my thing was to collect objects collect stories and um making notes and taking photographs so you know like if you look at my iphone now there’s like 20 000 photographs that i’m kind of constantly referring back to so that that’s my sketchbook so it kind of gives you an idea of what kind of way i sort things in my head i’m also dyslexic so it just means that a lot of the time maybe written format isn’t as easy for me and the visual stands out really clearly because of that so it just means then i can have this amalgamation kind of like my work is almost like a little museum of its own you know you could have a look at my exhibition and there could be stuff that could be historical that i find something interesting there could be local lore and legend um or there could be just an experience or a place that i’ve been to so the working kind of become things where it’s maybe like more social practice where i’m maybe using the objects in a way to perform to an audience where like the object is shown in a way where it tells a story or it itself is quite humorous and you kind of look at it and it gives you a chuckle you know like i always like the work to be familiar to the audience and very much um kind of open for everyone to interpret um so my recent exhibition would have had things like a neon sign that said guns and gold and kind of like a really um particular lovely um neon golden color and that was a replica of one that i’d seen in america and just that ideas of those two words together um is it’s quite interesting and then i had wall drawings including wonderful dinosaur um and then i had stories about the dinosaurs that i’ve done work with and collected from all around the world so i had kind of display tables which had objects as well as stories all displayed together so it’s kind of it takes you on a journey and that’s kind of always say to people like i’m explore um showing you my discoveries essentially and then there was other things like photographs from kind of um attractions or places from around america so that that work kind of stands alone quite well just as a photography as a photograph um but um and then i’ll do sometimes just really kind of scale back drawings so it just it just really depends brilliant yeah and this has a really close connection with the current project that you’re working on so you’re curating this group of work of all kinds it’s it’s cross media and it’s artists working in all different modes and from different backgrounds and all sorts of things so um can you tell us a bit about the amma bay project please yeah so amabe is a japanese yukai and ukai is kind of like a mythical kind of magical creature within japanese mythology and this particular character would come out whenever there was sign of a pandemic or else maybe something to do with um crops and um different times where you know people would have worries about things they could look towards the emma bay for um some comfort so you know she’s a mermaid character and she kind of comes out of the sea and is very kind of mystical and i was just kind of really interested in that with the internet kind of in the era that we’re in now this character made a resurgence kind of through the start of the lockdown and it just meant that there was a lot of people kind of posting pictures of her or a lot of japanese people like taking a bit of solace you know to actually do a little drawing over or stick a little picture up of her in a window and with everything that was elsa it was happening throughout the internet and in the uk we kind of had all the kind of things so like help the nhs and the rainbow kind of became this icon of camaraderie and hope for a lot of people and that came from kids in america he just did it one time and you know then people started to kind of replicate that and it kind of spread like a virus but uh a very positive one and amabe was kind of doing a bit of that it was um kind of trading on kind of um if you kind of had like hashtag a mabe challenge and when i saw that i kind of thought oh you know but what i’m really interested in is i had been to japan last year and um i have connections through flex art studios where i’m based with a really cool art space called arts ongoing which is in tokyo and i kind of met those guys and i kind of always kind of thought oh you know what like what would i do if i went over and did a japanese residency so at this time where you know there’s pandemic i can’t go to japan as much as i would love to and looking at those connections and just i think the event manager in my head of kind of going what can i do you know i can’t go into the studio and you know it’s a really hard time to feel inspired how can i reach out and make that connection between that kind of sense of this viral connection but also bringing it back to artists practices but then looking at the connection between japan and belfast and especially because of flax art studio so they’ve been running for a number of years in exchange and one of the main artists who’s a really good friend of mine um shiro masayama um he is the only northern ireland artist based in japan and i was like me and him were like sharing each other like pictures of a mabe and being like oh you know we should get everyone in flax to make an imabe and then we’re like but why should i be kind of making that quite narrow so we owned it out because we wanted to share it with three artists arts ongoing and various other things like shearer would have a lot of connections um just you know to see if artists in general who are based in japan and uh the isle of ireland um or someone you know who’s still kind of connected to ireland are still connected to japan um what would they do and to kind of make it initially like an instagram that could become an exhibition so it was just to see like what would happen so i think it was something that kind of came up between me and sharon were like hey wouldn’t this be fun to do that and they kind of grew from there

and so um with the irish connection is there was there another mythical form from from irish mythology that you were looking at as well or was it just the mlp

well originally um i was talking to um close friend um martin boyle um and martin was kind of my sounding board and very thankfully and just about the right up and like how i was going to do the call-out and what he was interested in and what i kind of thought was it’d be nice to give people that option if they don’t want to do a mabe so whenever we did the call-out we kind of had it that it was if you could create a mythical creature to protect you what would it be and surprisingly a lot of people just did do your marble and that that’s cool too i mean she’s so beautiful and of course i did one of her but um i did like that idea of looking at art mythology and it just meant then if there was japanese artists who were like you know mommy’s quite a normal thing for them they could choose to do something different or an irish artist who feels very strongly with that now we didn’t get as many kind of ones that are quite irish-based we did also get one that was a beaver which i thought was really cool because um that person was just kind of had their own reason of thinking why he could be a quite an iconic character so it is it is mainly a mob but i think whenever we’re displaying that in the gallery you know it can maybe have a couple of different zones it was originally inspired by the irish connections of saint brigid and it was like the first of february and it was kind of the start of spring and how people would kind of um make woven um crosses that you would hang up on your door and there’s these kind of ceremonies called biddy boys and it was basically like you made like an effigy like this female character who sometimes was dressed in your grandmother’s clothes and again it’s this idea of bringing forth a good harvest and and hoping for the best which a mabe does as well and and i was just like when you look at the documentation of you’re like what’s so bizarre and then it brings in connections with mummers and the idea of going door-to-door connecting with your community and making these kind of woven hats and things they’d have on so there’s one of the pieces is me wearing a mummer’s hat and you know i think that could maybe be a bit of a project on its own and i think mabi kind of took over because i think a lot of artists were making work from home and it was probably a bit easier to do that so i definitely think that that could grow in a different way but there’s only maybe a few that are kind of included within that okay great it’s really fascinating and stuff so um so shall we should we take a look at some specific examples of this and the the really wide range of approaches that all of the artists took because you’ve got animators you’ve got people working in sculpture in different ways you’ve got people here illustrators and comic creators and all sorts of people so um shall we have a quick look at some of the examples sure we definitely had a you know a wide range of people but i think i’ll maybe just start off with the original image that is mainly known about a map so this is one that would have been like kind of in the local um news and kind of documented before so i’ll just share my screen here so you can see

um so you can see this here um which is just a really beautiful image and you can see kind of the three legs coming from the sea a beautiful man of hair and um i just thought this is a really good starting point because it’s it’s also that flexibility that people can can change her into anything that she wants to be so i’ve got the instagram here which is kind of the format of showing it visually online so we have um submission from different artists to despite 25 artists including two young people that have been included and i like that because you know it’s the fact that you’re in lockdown and your children are there so i really kind of like that one of the artists is like oh you know can i include my child’s one or you know someone was actually collaborating with her niece which was really nice so um as you can see this is just a really quick thing and this is just you know like uh shiro playing around with a new app that he’s brought together but it just it just worked so well and it’s that kind of again embracing the kind of online kind of quality of that so just for the audio can we just describe what was happening there sorry um

okay so with shiro’s um video he’s using this app and um can i turn the music on or would that i think yeah you should let’s try

so um he’s just made a little drawing of an amabe which kind of pops up in this app and then it kind of comes and scuttles around the floor so it kind of like moves around on the table which is just really sweet and then um we had some more stuff that was a bit more obscure so this one here i really like because there’s kind of a description here this is by chris watt and he kind of just looks at this idea of um stories of contorted human forms or similar kind of rock faces and the natural forces and the ancient humans and bones and you know um that one there i just thought was just really nice and quite unique um some quite a skeletal image that we’re seeing and um so it says he came up with a concept for the painting after visiting melon head on the very north coast of ireland so um yeah so there’s just this skeletal form that’s it’s almost like it’s embedded in the rocks it’s against the rock faces in a bit of a kind of fetal position yeah there’s a triangle protrading from an eye that kind of an obscure kind of um things in the foreground and kind of makes it quite dream like um really kind of bright neon colors and along with this really kind of strong blue blue and white for the skeleton’s body itself which is really nice um i will just see i could go on and talk about every single one let’s just have we scroll so you can see just like some of them against each other so um this is another japanese artist um which is absolutely gorgeous um sitting on buildings on fire almost yeah so emily um she’s actually just studying um at the moment and she’s studying in london but she’s japanese and she had a couple of versions there’s a couple of versions of this one um this is a collaboration with grace mcmurray and her uh five-year-old niece oh the embroidery little embroidery which kind of has a mermaid she’s got wings um and just like a couple of sequences i like as well it’s like just you know like weak cuts of purple and and blue so paula thought you’d enjoy a bit of embroidery so just really simple one um clinton patrick and again his one is more that kind of unseen unknown character because when you talk about the japanese uk sometimes they’re literally an inanimate object sometimes they can look almost human and sometimes it can be quite bizarre so i like that his was much more free in the way that was represented here we have an artist who bid on ebay for um something that was supposed to be made from a mabby’s hair right it was a brush on the internet so his kind of piece is um and he ordered it here it is in his home and he had done a residency in flax recently so he was over in belfast so it was just really nice to kind of have people’s work so um that was that one in particular was cool like you said about graphic artists yeah i have some graphic artists in here so we’ve got vanilla doran and we have um grace farley and then i think there was and molly henry in particular this kind of one too hmm as you can see you know there’s a real mixture of things um tomohiro tomahiro to also been to flax on a residency t and it’s weird because now that i’ve been in japan i’ve seen these kind of you know this is just outside a shop somewhere but i just love as well that it’s got it’s got the mask on so this is kind of like an everyday image someone who could have stumbled across this kind of um amazing kind of sculpture and then it being put with like there’s a kind of scroll to my bed it almost looks spry painted but obviously done on photoshop or something beside it so it just supposed in the tools i think is is really interesting definitely love these little guys with their masks so it is a real mixture of things so sometimes people made things in their homes some of them have done ink drawings or used like found objects like davies here um using hair um this is the image that i had mentioned before myself the kind of bummer hat on um so there’s kind of two in the series and i had actually taken these quite a while ago back in the america or back in the folk park i think it’s the one in belfast yeah so um is that the ulster folk and john smart museum yeah no one’s else’s [ __ ] transport museum so you can go there and there are often weavers i’ll kind of show you that and then if you want to look up mummers there is um different mummers groups from around think the main ones are in antrim and they still perform wedding ceremonies and do different things when i worked for um belfast photo festival a few years ago as a director we actually had an exhibition um by jim mcginn he actually went around and documented mummers over the years and looked at folklore but also looked at the traditional music he was very interested in traditional music so he has a lot of work that’s to do with those so i think that probably had placed it in my head originally um just looking at that um and then one little miniature performance um

this is just done over zoom oh actually we do have sign for this one let’s let’s try it again

so this and another worker kind of a gif so um what you have here is um she need brennan casuals doing a live performance on zoom to me and she has put in the background um like there’s a big kind of um mummified fish in the ulster museum so it’s in the background and you’ve got the ulster museum itself so she’s put on kind of like a sequined top um a nice long wig and has like a duck bake so she’s kind of wiggling around kind of as if she’s looking at herself you know um which i think is really sweet it’s kind of like just reminds me of the internet it’s like a weird kind of tick tock but an artistic tick tock or something um just really simple um which is nice so um and then we have some ceramic pieces like chris’s um here and then the more irish one um jim rick’s was one of the first ones but this was the kind of ones i was hoping for this kind of amalgamation of irishness as well and so he’s kind of muggy mutant various um kind of characters um and jim ricks is a he’s an irish um oh forgotten the name

he lives in america but he’s an irish i wrote this down didn’t i yeah he’s an irish conceptual artist so um yeah so that’s kind of examples i haven’t got all of the work up and the last one i’ll show you is my piece apart from so i have the irish piece which is the two photographs together and then this one is a drawing that i made and it was just that kind of like cathartic drawing and because i i like tracing things and drawing them over and over again and getting them really simplified but then whenever it’s locked down and you have to like stick it to your window it’s like coming through you know trying to draw it i kind of like that lockdown process i had because then you’ll have people here who yeah maybe you can’t go out and and make things i was surprised we did get as many ceramic things as possible so some of the artists might have changed to video pieces and we also have fantastic one um by amy mcgee and she has and i’m going to use it as the opening piece for when you go into the exhibition and it’s a video piece and she’s made puppets and she tells you dma by story and it’s just absolutely stunning wow really nice so i’ll hope by the date where we do hopefully show it i will have all of them online at the moment that’s just most of them and we also have um this have a video of how to make your own amabe by a japanese artist azuri um and that it’s about 15 minutes long so we have to just kind of uh link over to that and so he makes a little paper and a where the little bake is kind of in the paper and you can make her talk say whatever you like okay so you can see like it’s already such a wide range of work and there’s still more to come yes so you mentioned um a hopeful exhibition as do you have any more detail on that at the moment or um what do you know what can you tell us sure so um pollen studios uh based in belfast um had offered to do the exhibition with us so and um quite a few of the pollen artists all submitted as well so um they’ve been really tight knit with us on the project and with current lockdown methods there are some galleries are currently open at the moment but maybe some of the larger um organizations like the mac and the golden thread gallery and for pollen then um people will probably do it by appointment we’ll have an opening hopefully november 5th which is usually like a late night art where people come out um and we have we’ll have all the safety measures in place and you can basically book like an appointment to come along so i’ll probably put you know some weekend dates in and an evening each week that people can come along throughout november fingers crossed and um if it does get put back because naturally that’s what’s happening at the moment you know it’s kind of part of the project yeah in a way because the project was made during lockdown and it means that if you have to book in for an appointment see it it’s almost becoming a performance you know you’re becoming part of the exhibition by able by being able to come along and of course then with people who especially aren’t able to uh for health and safety purposes and things come out i will have the instagram up and i’ll maybe kind of do a bit more of like um an exhibition online and kind of look at that just for kind of access to make sure and especially for the japanese artists as well that they can kind of see all the work together and for my previous shows i always kind of shoot a video where i can talk through things and just means then that people who can come can still feel connected to it and um do you think you’ll have a lot of the physical works there or will it be you know because there’s quite a lot of sculpture for example um so would it be photographs of those or will the actual workspace and do you think to show so i’ve contacted each of the artists and kind of just had a chat with them and as well like i’m kind of self-funding this and i don’t have any funding for it but obviously i’ve been supported by the arts council for years so i don’t mind you know contributing some especially my own time but also some resources so i have a small budget for kind of contempo temporary prints um for some things and then a lot of the local artists i’m able to kind of go and collect the work but i just kind of ask the artist you know what way they want it shown because some of the video works obviously will go on screens and which particular one the beaver that i mentioned um which is lovely um it’s a gif and i think it would look really nice on on a tablet or on a phone so it’s kind of displayed in the way it was meant to be viewed but yes especially as japanese artists obviously i give them the opportunity if they want to post it they can post it over and i’ll return it but you know we don’t have unfortunately enough budget to kind of get that over um but we’ll be able to reprint some of those so especially like a zoo um which isn’t a zoo and the work that had the um amabe hair object don’t want to lose that on getting it posted over so um i think a print of the two beside each other so like the internet um image of it being sold and then the image of it in the house i think together would look really nice so um actually we will have quite a lot of the artists um are up for having the drawings or the ceramics physically there and then the rest of the stuff then we’ll kind of print um maybe in like a temporary manner or i thought about have mine displayed on the window because i’ve i do often have window drawings so i think it would work really well as a window drawing as well so you know the work will change a bit in the space too

and then i suppose you it must be a factor now you have to figure out how many people you can have in a space and how far apart your things you know that sort of stuff has to maybe be considered now as well in poland’s not a huge space so that’s quite complicated yeah i think it’s kind of um well then again in the millennium court art center that i went to recently it was like one bubble per half an hour so and then it would be frequent cleaning and things like that but because i’m coming from a venue i’m already used to doing that currently for my job and work so i’m very aware of all the exciting terms and conditions and health and safety policies um all over that so i can make it as safe as possible okay well fingers crossed that can go ahead but as you say even if it’s delayed it just adds more time and possibly more overlooking from the email base to help us out hopefully i know come on guys

um that’s brilliant joanna thank you so much for that um do you is um

before i ask anything else um shall we because we had those links of scream but just for the audio and do you want to point people just towards where to see these sure at the moment no worries so to find out more about the exhibition so it’s and that’s spelt

j-o-h-a-n-n-a-l-e-e-c-h and then um you can do forward slice forward slash amabe so a m a b i e and on instagram it’s a mabe underscore project and that shows you all of the stuff that we’ve came in so between the two of those we’ll kind of have all the details we hope that we’ll create a facebook invitation page soon enough so otherwise um if you follow pollen art studios on facebook and they will then have that online i also have a facebook artist like page so if you just search for my name that i spelt earlier on um you’d be able to just kind of like my page and then those updates for things like the events and stuff will come up as well um i suppose just on this i mean how do you feel about exhibitions going online more and more because i’m personally loving it because it means i can see stuff in belfast and i’m stuck here in newcastle so um but how are you personally finding that and feeling about that as an artist i think it’s good and my previous um solo exhibition that i mentioned before um it was in millennium court arts center and it’s only you know about 40 minutes from belfast i think 40 minutes to half an hour away from belfast city center but there’s so many people who can’t drive um you’re artists mainly um i you know i didn’t learn how to drive until i was 30. so there’s just kind of there’s a lot of people here although it’s not that far away and on our transport system isn’t great that actually i realized even when i was doing an exhibition that was just outside of belfast um i did a recorded walk around of my exhibition which was called wanderlust and fantastic oddities so if anyone wants to look up you know what the work that i kind of described that showed a lot of my work was kind of like a little survey of everything i’ve done so far they can look it up online and there is like i have like a ton of photographs really good documentation and then just a little walk around with me with video and then that’s great because i can share that to people and i have artists that i work with in the states and you know even then all the people who are in belfast that just couldn’t get so there are you know three other reasons can have access to it and i think you know i discovered that before lockdown how important that was and i think it continues to be very important because there’s also even times where i maybe go to an art exhibition opening and you’re too busy kind of chanting whoever’s with you having a glass of wine and it’s quite busy and then you’re kind of like oh you know i’ll go back and then i’ll sit with the work or i’ll look at it for longer and sometimes you just don’t get that opportunity so i think the more that arts and things can go online i think it’s great but it doesn’t take away from that actual experience because a few weeks ago i mean i’ve been self isolating um quite a lot and working from home and um i just decided that when the mac reopened i went to see the exhibition at the mac and again you booked into a certain slot and it’s a huge space so you know it’s it’s a bit safer than maybe going to a small kind of gallery space and i also went to the golden thread to see their show um on the same trip and it just is like there’s no way like that buzz and feeling of going to a gallery you know it’s not as if you know all virtual stuff is going to make it worse or people won’t go out to galleries if they can look at it online that you never nothing can change that idea of just the silence of the space the concentration on an artwork the experience of the artwork being out of your house just you know you can’t you can’t it was just such an amazing experience it almost felt like i was going to a church and it was my religious experience like that’s that’s what it felt like for me was getting back into gallery and just gave my heart that little extra beat that i needed that’s you know like i think seeing art um in person will never be diminished essentially what i think yeah now that’s good to hear or is that very romantic romanticized yeah no it’s no it sounds good i totally understand you mean i imagine i’ll feel the same when i feel able to go to a gallery again um but for now it’s just not really for me and um but yes i i know the space as well that you’re talking about so i can just imagine it and it would be a bit i can imagine it would be a bit safer because they are really big rooms that you’re in um but also it must be nice to have peace in them because they’re only letting so many people in at the one time so that must be quite a nice element of it as well you feel like you have maybe a more intimate experience possibly yeah and i hope that’s what maybe the mabae project would be like because then if there’s people like you both of us are saying you know we don’t want to be you know gallivanting around with um everything that’s happening in the world right now whereas if i knew that it was just myself and my bubble going to a place for a specific time we know people have claimed it and you go in see the art and go away and like you said and have that piece to experience and for as long as you want um i think it’s really nice and um if it’s okay and you did mentioned about working at the strand art cinema as well so you’re used to that is it okay if i just ask you quickly about how that’s going and sure you know the cinema experience because that’s quite similar it’s another sacred art space that we need to protect and um how is that experience are you finding of working at a cinema but also people coming to that cinema again

like i think from i kind of had to make it kind of you know oh welcome back to the strand covert video um just to put out on social media just so people knew the experience and i mean like as far as any kind of covered procedures and things like we have every every box ticked and more you know we’ve changed our screen in times where it is and people coming in and out of the building and there’s um like special cleaning that we have like a fogger machine that antibacterializes the seats and everything never mind then you know just having cleaning stations and cleaning more so we we have that all kind of ticked so i actually have been to a few screenings while two screenings since lockdown because i know the strand is as clean as it can be and also we’re a small cinema and we’re in a rural space we’re not the city center so we’re never super busy anyway and then with we’re not particularly busy but it just means that you can book exactly where you’re sitting you’re socially distanced and so i was able to i went and saw tannen and um the other event i went to was a global film screening um which we’re doing at the moment and it was with green book and then we kind of had a discussion on kind of black lives matters and um different things like that so if yeah just give me that buzz because you know we’re kind of you know a vintage cinema um designed in 1935 so that kind of encompassing kind of red curtain feel and you’re sitting in half back seats and the experience is just so lovely and just being immersed in the film because i just thought no matter how many times i’ve watched inception um boogers for nolan i’ve forgotten half the time what happens in it and it’s because i just kept on watching it at home a few times or maybe had a glass of wine can’t remember the ending very well so it meant that with tenant i had that full attention span i went in no one not it it’s christopher nolan and you know there’s gonna be questionable things about it too but it’s gonna be an amazing cinematic experience so i did feel like i kind of said there maybe it’s because of my previously religious background but that kind of i’m that ultimate buzz of being like in your synagogue you know it’s like you know the room itself and the space and and just being spread out and and the feeling of being feeling safe because um people around you are further enough away and you just get to switch off and fully enjoy a film and i notice so many more things in green book than i did watching it at home because i missed it and the first kind of cinema release there was a few times with things i was like oh oh that’s not and i was like doing the talk afterwards like i was like i was noticing things more and i’m supposed to know more about the film so yeah i disagree if you’d like you know the experience of being innocent is never going to take away from watching those you know films on on netflix and whatever yes it is great that those um platforms are there so in the global film screenings i’ve made it that you can go on to the strands website and you can read like a resource about your green book so it has the recording of us doing the talk it also tells you that you can watch green book on amazon prime so i’ve kind of make packages afterwards and make it accessible to people who can’t go so they can still feel like they’re part of it so they can watch green book from the link and then um obviously they would need to you know pay for that or have amazon prime but then i would recommend and give links to the films that we mentioned in the talks because you always forget when you’re listening to something like that brilliant so i have resources of different films that are good to watch like moonlight um and then i have a connection with belfast which talks about frederick douglass who um you know would have been one of kind of the main people to kind of abolish slavery and he had been the belfast and that connection i had read an article about it in 2012 so i was able to like place that too so we’re in the strand we go beyond film sometimes and with special events then i can still bring in an online audience or i just give people that chance to go what was that film she was watching and then i can tell them about the original grain book and how it really was for americans um and you know recommended documentaries and stuff so um i think you should get get out there and support your local spaces if we can all stay open you know they’re closed in the south at the moment so um it’s good to support those spaces but uh not you’ll never get over that kind of cinema experience or um my partner was telling me oh we were talking about vr and he said you know you can get vr which makes you be in a cinema and then it projects your netflix film oh yeah but you have to wear a really heavy headset and you can’t it’s the smell of it too it’s other sensory things it’s the way the light is it’s the way the sound kind of almost hugs you because it’s um soundproofed and it’s all of those things you know it’s when the lights go down it’s like oh you know give a ticket you know he had all those things like um like i think uh there’s uh i was gonna say um mark cousins always talks about the romanticism the cinema but in the way he kind of describes it you know um like on how he he likes it i think he’d say like sitting in the front seat is it in a front row i like sitting in the front i like just ignoring if there’s other people i like feeling like i’m there by myself and it’s just for me with the big screen exactly well if people go to this round you might be um very small amount of people there and it will fill it likes your own screen if i could get your feedback probably exactly but the feedback you know from customers when i did that covered video and i got a couple of voxpos was one of them was like a guy who was a film student and um he was just desperately back he’s like i’ve been three times this week it’s like oh it’s so lovely and then you know it’s weird because the family audiences haven’t really came back so i think families have got so used to being in lockdown and getting to schedules i think you know i’m hoping there’ll be a time where those guys are able to come back and enjoy themselves and that bit of you know your parent as well okay you might be watching a kid’s film but you know your kids are going to be quiet hopefully beside you for an hour and a half enjoy it you know take the time for yourself to watch a movie and and enjoy it yeah it’s just worrying with so many outbreaks and skills at the moment so it’s very worrying to take children anywhere i think at the moment that’s one of the things but yeah we just have to find a way to help cinemas survive i think if we can yeah um and i think well the strand is spoiled because we’re supported because we are a charitable organization we’re supported by the arts council so loyalty burned

well just compared to maybe some of the other independents um who you know like my wage is funded by the arts council because i’m doing all this outreach and whenever it was locked down i was doing online videos and events and supporting artists and pain artists so we can kind of do that and we’re a bit luckier than some of the other spaces that might just be going on on solely the income they got in the door

right um is there anything else you would like to say put out there or anything before we go well no i think we’ve already talked about it so i had mentioned my website so if people want to see my work because they can save the exhibition at millennium court which kind of encompasses all of that and yeah keep an eye out for the amabe stuff you can get um most of a sneak break you get on the instagram at the moment there is most of the work there and so yeah so um just thanks so much paula for having me on the chat it’s been really good brilliant yeah no thank you for doing it it’s brilliant i’ve been following the project with interest and it’s such a lovely idea because it is just that idea of care and something looking after you but also a collection of people who are all spread out they’re all dispersed coming together to work on something like this it’s a really beautiful things it’s a lovely thing to be able to highlight and put out there really so thank you very much for showing us so much of the work it’s wonderful no problem

this has been a cosy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest johanna leech the music is common grounds by airton license under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and is available from episodes release every other wednesday and you can get those anywhere that you find podcasts but also you can subscribe to my own personal youtube channel if you find pea blare you can see the full recordings now that we’ve been doing the video versions as well do please share and subscribe to help other people find the show be part of the conversation with av cultures pod on instagram and iv cultures on twitter and facebook we’re always happy to hear from potential guests so if you’ve got an idea for a show or something that you’re working on that you’d really love the world my tiny bit of the world to hear about then please do get in touch i’d really love to hear from you and if i’ve invited you and i haven’t heard back from yet i’ve got an open door policy so there’s it’s never too late and um everybody’s really busy and stressed so don’t worry about it um i’m always also happy to have suggestions from listeners about topics that you something that you think you’d like to hear us try to cover i do try to make those and i do keep a list um there are loads of suggestions that have been in the past i haven’t got to yet just because i haven’t been able to access this stuff and that is partly where your support comes in so even if you want to send us a dvd or access to something that you’d like us to see that would be really helpful so i do wear all the hats in the making of this program and um so if you could support my work and you there are the memberships and patreon as described earlier on but you can also drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash p e a blair or you can give any amount so like a pound or something if that’s all you want to give at paypal dot me forward slash p e a blair and just anything at all really really helps so huge thanks for joining us i hope you really enjoyed this i loved making this episode keep well stay safe and as ever be excellent to each other and i will catch you next time