We took a month off because of some chaos here in Glasgow, The Greggs website was down, Billy McNeill died, a hectic April. So welcome back, This month we are profiling Bristol based artist Harriet Foster, working largely with oil, but also in expanded contexts of sculpture and fashion.
Have you seen any really good painting shows lately?
I recently saw the Franz West exhibition in London – which was really fun/silly and interesting. Not necessary a painter but his works cross disciplines. Sometimes I get too critical of painting and what painting is and can be and sometime being silly and making objects and works and creating is most important thing- this is what I took from the exhibition. His sculptures are really very interesting and friendly – inviting you to want to play with them.
There are also a few exhibitions I need to check out in Bristol.
1. at Bocabar in Bristol – included some painters that are based in Caraboo studios. Lots of very delicious paintings.
2. Jackson Woodcock solo show at Kosar. He has some very surface sculptural paintings. We had our fellowship together at spike island and have exhibited a couple times together with the Art collective that he runs called DOIY collective. https://www.instagram.com/
A follow up question, is there any artist from the past who you think is due for a critical renaissance? Someone who you think is underrated, who informs your work?
Auto destructive art manifesto by Gustav Metzger Is very relevant exploration especially for our current and ongoing worsening issues surround climate change and governmental issues.
I am very interested in the idea, within destruction lies creation and visa versa. Along with the idea that nothing is something. And Auto destructive art plays around with destruction being apart of the creation of the works. Gustav Metzger used acid to paint with on nylon fabrics as a protest against nuclear war. I like the idea of how the art does not contain a precious content to the artist. That it is meant to slowly deconstruct itself, and by that allowing this to happen fulfils the art works purpose.
I believe his concepts and ideas surround art being publicly accessible is one worth exploring and investigating more.
Harriets Work installed at Spike Island , 2018
Curious about Bristol, if there is a specific style or anything going on you think people don’t know about?
Yeah for sure, its an intriguing place with little secret artist cubby holes – as one would have guessed there is a lot of graffiti works in Bristol.But there is definitely an art scene and slowly more artist spaces opening up in and around Bristol. Bedminster in the south of Bristol has a lot more artist run studios and spaces opening up. As well as friends living in warehouses putting on events unofficially on. Theres also a great event at spike island called spike open studios that happens once a year.
2018 Mixed media piece with Andrew Willson
Could you talk a little about the collaborative process?
Yeah I feel collaboration is different depending on who you work with and what styles you have. The collaboration between Andrew and me I think was sort of worked by understanding how one and other worked independent. Initially I had created a diy exposure unit in my studio which we also tested out with the help of Andrews knowledge and experience in print making. so we started off by drawing images and objects which we then exposed the images on to a screen ready to screen print on to canvas. Which was a time consuming process but a great experiment. Then adding found images. So Andrew collects a lot of images from magazines so we started by selecting some images and deciding on the composition with the combination of painting. Arranging the images and colours within the space. It was also interesting as it was the first time Andrew had tried oil paints. It was a great learning process all round. Really enjoyable and made some really interesting Art and screen printings. Andrew recently had an exhibition at Kosar in Bristol.
Recommend to check out his instagram –
How about a lighter question, Tell us about a guilty pleasure, like an action movie or a pop record, something dumb that you’ve been into lately?
To be honest I have been very busy with Art and also working. Spare time is quite valuable. hehe. I have just completed an online residency with Rung a digital and online website platform for artists. I’ve been teaching myself how to create animation gif’s on photoshop timeline. Ive also been working on paintings and getting ready for my Solo show which is opening on the 3rd of May at Gloucester Guildhall till the 31st of May. If your about check it out! Also just had fantastically exciting news, that I have been accepted on to a residency in London with AucArt. A live-in residency in central London for 6 weeks starting from the 12th of May. Many exciting things happening.
Thank you very much for the Interview
May, 2019, Interview by Ben Duax