Saturday, 7 September 2013

Artist of the Week - Teresa Winchester

Teresa Winchester is a printmaker and painter.

What was your journey to becoming an artist?Well, I've always been passionate about drawing and stories and somehow over the last three years these have come together in a way that feels like the proper path for my work. I studied printmaking at Goldsmiths but over the years have had limited opportunity to pursue this while teaching although did teach screen printing when working in London. Turned to my painting for a long while, had exhibitions and an open studio in Surrey. Then in 2006 decided to leave my job as Head of Art in Redhill and to move to Brighton. Back to the seaside where I'd lived as a child. From reading stories I got involved in telling them studying with such master storytellers as Ben Hagarty and Hugh Lupton. Soon after I found BIP [ Brighton Independent Printmakers ] where my love of printmaking got rekindled in a big way. Here I have been able to work on my lino prints on the lovely ancient Columbian press.

Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?
I now work only as an artist and it's wonderful. Before when teaching I was balancing the two and it was hard.

One favourite living artist? 

Paula Rego. Her narrative is fascinating together with the mood of her images. Often sinister and unsettling, full of imagination and rarely easy viewing. Her work is always fresh and vigorous, her drawing masterly. Extraordinary stories which in recent years are becoming more and more disturbing.

One favourite historical artist?
Hard to choose but Samuel Palmer is always amongst the favourites. His mystical moonlit scenes glowing with light I find totally magical.

If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?This is a difficult one. For the reasons above I think Paula Rego would be fantastic. However another choice would have to be Ana Maria Pacheco, an artist whose work I find very powerful The narrative in her assemblages and the way it leaves the viewer wondering. It s an aspect I like to have in my work. Ana Maria also gives ancient stories a new twist and at times places them in a modern context even using contemporary journalism to enable this.

Who is your style icon?
Vivienne Westwood.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
A Thousand Splendid Suns. But at the moment I'm reading A Fine Balance/ Rohinton Minstry and I think this book will affect me more deeply. Especially as I m off to India next week.
Film? Heaven knows. I love films.

Last gig you went to?
The Roving Crows at the Festival at the Edge.

How many hours do you waste on the internet each day?Well I don't think I waste any hours on the internet but then I'm probably kidding myself. I'm always looking things up because I've got an endless curiosity, especially about all the places I want to visit in the world. And one question leads to another and so on.... And then I have a fairly light touch on Facebook and Twitter.... And buying obscure things on line is so easy too....

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?Well I've flirted with the idea of living abroad quite a lot. I'm passionate about travelling and deeply hate our cold winters and lack of sun. I thought about buying a house in a hot country but came to the conclusion I would then be stuck in that country when in reality I want to see the world. Also I know that I love the varied culture that we have in this country, the arts, music, exhibitions, cinemas and museums. Brighton is a wonderful place to experience these and we're so close to London. So the answer would be Brighton but with lots of plane tickets to warm exotic destinations during the coldest months.

Where and what is your studio?This is both at home and at BIP in Kemptown. At home I work where it's both the lightest and the warmest. So probably the conservatory in the summer and near the wood burning stove in the winter. There in my chosen spot I'll work on my designs, transferring them to the lino and spending many hours cutting them out! Then off to BIP to print them out on the Columbian!

Do you have a good work/life balance? I don't see my work as s part of my life. I'm constantly making little sketches from my imagination for my prints alongside drawings from life in my sketchbook which I take with me all the time. I draw faces constantly especially while on holiday so that the sketchbooks are like visual diaries to me. And when I'm working on my designs/blocks they tend to take priority then so maybe the balance gets a bit warped as I'm quite driven to see the image come to life! Not a black and white answer I m afraid.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?Passionate

What would your dream commission be?
A book illustrate some kind of fable written by someone with a poetic vision.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Heaven knows... A foreign one so I could visit another country!

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