Below is an extract of an interview written by Sharmane Rabusa from Colourbox Studio.
What has led you to choose a creative pathway?
I don’t feel like it’s a choice. Creative expression is a necessary part of my life, just like socialising or exercising. I have worked out that I am nicer person if I have it in my life. I only started to consider it a serious career alternative after all storage options had been exhausted and I thought to myself: maybe I should try and sell some of this art work that I am creating, as I am running out of room!
In your ‘I like pretty things’ series, there is a particular piece, where your subject is depicted with having puppet strings. Why did you decide to have her in puppet strings? Also, specifically why is there only one?
There are many strings and only one woman. Women are often pulled simultaneously in many directions, across many stereo types, such as the seductress, the mother, the career woman, the virgin saint- hence the many strings. The model’s stance, which I observed in a popular brand’s advertising campaign, struck me as awkward and unnatural. She is stiff and inflexible, making her look like a doll. The aim is to de-humanise the model, as she is only there to make the items she is wearing look good and has no purpose or value other than that. So I decided to exaggerate her doll-like qualities to bring attention to this point. I exaggerated her awkward stance, gave her a wig-like hair style and painted rosy cheeks on her and a vacant expression. The string was added to hold up her doll-like arms. Finally, I added cute little bow ties to make her look more naïve and helpless.
We know that you are inspired by Gustav Klimt’s work. It specifically seen in your collages, what makes you resonate with his work and how has it impacted yours?
I love pattern. I assume it’s the accountant side of me that is attracted to repetition and order as a way of organising the world. I also love portraiture. What appeals to me about Klimt is that he is able to combine figurative painting with elements that are decorative. He is able to remain true to the representation of the sitter as well as capture an aura of something magical and fantastical through his use of colour and pattern. He combines realism and abstract in a seamless manner.
In reference to ‘The cocktail hour’ what was your process in creating this piece? Did you sit near the ladies and watch their interaction? What was it about their presence that made you want to put them in your art?
I appropriated that image from a vogue photoshoot set in Paris from the 1920’s. I loved the intimacy of the two women- it seems like the kind of friendship in which comfortable silences can exist and it reminded me of my two best friends. I decided to modernise the image, bringing it into the here and now, as well as add some pattern.
What is your favourite art project that you’ve worked on and why?
Whatever I am currently working on is my favourite thing. The truth is that I get most excited about starting something new. Every blank canvas is a new opportunity, with unlimited potential and no mistakes in it………yet!