Monday, 7 September 2009

Artist of the Week - Carol Naylor

Carol Naylor is a textile artist living and working in Chichester. She will be exhibiting her work at the Brighton Art Fair in October.

One favourite living artist? Why?

Howard Hodgkin, for his quality of colour, wonderful brush strokes and the way he captures the luminosity of light

One favourite historical artist? Why?
Its very hard to pick just one, but it must be Picasso, because he went where no one else dared go and constantly reinvented himself

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
I knew from the age of 6 that "art" was all I really wanted to do although I couldn't possibly define anything at such a young age. At 18 I went to Goldsmiths having intended to do painting but specialised in textiles which I felt offered me textural, graphic and painterly qualities that I
personally couldn't achieve at that time with paint. A lecturing career and family meant putting my own aspirations on hold although I always did my own work, often experimenting with different media, but I have been a full time self employed artist since 1997.

What place in the world has inspired you?
Covarrubias, a small medieval town in central Spain which is surrounded by curious hill/mountain formations, plus the constant changing of crops makes for colour combinations under strong light that I've not seen elsewhere

Do you work best on your own or in collaboration?
Probably alone, although I do like working with other people, especially when they are outside the field of textiles. Any exchange of ideas is important to me as I don't think anyone can work in a vacuum

At age 15 who influenced your style?
Gauguin and his use of colour. I remember I simply couldn't believe that a tree could be painted bright orange as I hadn't seen any like it in Hastings where we then lived!

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
I don't, I do what I feel is right for me

Who would you say buys your work?
Lots of private collectors, also hospital trusts, education authorities, but generally people who love colour, as that is what purchasers refer to the most.

How do you set about starting a new project?
Everything I do comes from observation or experience, so drawings backed up by notes, photos to jog my memory if necessary, and then its straight onto the canvas. I find there is often a real time lapse in between the first idea and when I eventually start to work it out

Where and what is your studio?
I work from home in Chichester, a former bedroom that has been converted into a studio

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I think I do, although making work can be all absorbing its important to find time for people. I love travelling as well and see this as being the one main link beween what I make and who I am.
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Would you rather be doing something else?
Not unless it means some good red wine consumption which isn't easy to combine with working on a pretty nippy sewing machine!

Are their other fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?
I would like to work from museum collections on specific projects as history has always been of interest to me

If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be?
I simply enjoy seeing my work well displayed on clean walls and with good space around it, so I really have no particular preferences.

Most overrated artist/maker?
Tracey Emin although I do admire her ability to get her work seen across so many different spectrum.

Where do the majority of your inspiration / ideas come from?
Land, water and light, sometimes architecture.

Where did you train? Favourite / least favourite aspects of training?
Goldsmiths School of Art. I loved the fact that when I studied there textile student/painters/sculptors were seen as one year group. We shared the same art history programmes, went to galleries and museums en masse etc which made you feel that what you were doing was valued. I hated learning the different techniques though!

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
2009 Borderlines at the Forge Walberton West Sussex
2009 Summer Exhibition SDC Gallery London
2009 Designer Crafts Mall Galleries, London
2008 Borderlines one person show, toured -NEC Birmingham, Alexandra Palace,
London, RDS Dublin, Conference Centre Harrogate
2008 Fabricate Rye Gallery

My work is also currently represented by Primavera in Cambridge, and at Art for Offices in London.

Any other relevant information?
I toured New Zealand in 2008 as a guest lecturer, which was an amazing experience, and I have begun to explore ideas from the landscape there. I also co-curate an annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in January for the Socety of Designer Craftsmen, formerly the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society whose founder members and exhibitors included William Morris. This is challenging and exciting as we work with many very fine applied artists across different media. It stops you being precious about your own work and I think we still carry on the philosophies of what was a very influential group of artists.

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