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by A L H A U S

Interview by Caitrina Coady


Firstly, congratulations on your new collection. Why 'Survival & Bliss'? It’s clearly inspired by nature, but what in particular do you want your S/S 2017 Collection to say?

I titled the whole collection against 'duality' and balance. I felt that the time I was painting it my life was very starkly dual aspect. High highs and low lows. Everything including change seemed to have two sides. Super intriguing times of excitement and change but challenged by feeling I was just getting by or that I wasn't tough or brave enough. There's always bliss but sometimes you have to figure out how to survive it to get to the fruitful part. 

It even applies to a painting, I have to paint a base for the blissful colourful part to survive on. In some ways I really love the idea of duality in everything. 

Why art? Why do you do what you do?

I have always been creative and dabbling in all sorts. It started professionally really out of a time of need. I had just come out of university with an economics degree in '09 at the peak of the economic crash. I started painting pop art for trendy hair salons and boutiques and managed to make a bit of money as graduate schemes seemed to have shut shop. 

How has your style changed since you started out?

When I started out I painted pop art which was very "inside line colouring" and not essentially me. Now with having evolved and braved painting how I want to and what I like, the impressionism has taken over and I'm a lot happier and feel freer in my work. It feels bouncier, lively and more carefree. 

What do you enjoy most about commissioned work?

Commissions can be tough as I need to pour someone else's thoughts and ideas onto canvas but still have myself in the work. But in the end it's always super rewarding when I know buyers are happy with their own unique piece. Especially when I receive follow up pics of the work en situ in their homes. Best part of the job! I also enjoy the little relationship I build in communication with those who brave a commission, it can be quite light hearted and lovely. 

How important is your online presence for connecting with your audience? Is social media important to you?

My name is my art. If my name isn't out there and people don't see my work I wouldn't have an audience. It's tremendously important to me as an artist. My online presence has allowed me to reach a global market. Physical galleries demand so much and I think online allows art to be a lot more accessible to anyone. I think it's removing the perceived 'pomposity' around art and that can only be a good thing. Social media definitely allows an easier path to an audience and again makes it more accessible to folk who may not have normally considered original art! 

What’s your favourite saying?

Not a saying as such but an extract from 'A Movable Feast' by Hemingway. 

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."

I like the thought that you always have a very few solidly good people around you no matter what others may be like. 

Golden rule you live and / or work to?

"Stop being so precious". I'm trying so hard to keep my heart open and not try and control everything to the way 'l think it should be'. I'm learning that there is no such thing as should be. It just is and that's the beauty. I think it's so easy to get caught up in life worrying what we should be doing, or how we should be acting as partners, parents, in our jobs, what life should be like etc etc. Comparison to others is very toxic. I'm trying to let go of comparison and life expectation. 

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to?

Can I say Cy Twombly three times?? Haha. I also adore Monet and I love how turner can make light so captivating. 

How do you see your art evolving in future?

I'm never really sure. I try not to over think it or plan it too much as I fear the forcing a projection can take away my free style movement. It's a tough one. I have the projections daily but I try to quiet them and not pressurise where I want to go. Kind of like trying to live in the moment. Pretty hard to do but I will always keep trying!