I’m working on a series of paintings that explore the relationship I have with landscape. I have two ways of working which run side by side; first of all, a series which I have been working on since 2012 which I titled ‘Willow Lands’. These present close up willow, hanging like a curtain over an abstract background. I started these when a previous body of work, the ‘foam bubble islands’ had come to a close.
In conversation with Barbara Howey
Barbara Howey: What are you working on at the moment?
Amanda Ansell: I’m working on a series of paintings that explore the relationship I have with landscape. I have two ways of working which run side by side; first of all, a series which I have been working on since 2012 which I titled ‘Willow Lands’.
“One day, when working on an oil painting that was going nowhere, I spotted a bag of cement on the floor of the warehouse that was my studio. I mixed up the cement and plastered it over the oil painting. Surprisingly, the cement, when sealed, took paint well, and had the added tactile dimension.”
“I have developed my practice provoking these imperfections in the surface to form paintings that take on the tension and stress… the exciting part is at the point when the layers are left to dry and they are allowed to break and crack. At this point the works have a life of their own, they are beyond my control and are in a transition process of forming their own identity…”
“I am always looking for a balance between saying as much as I want to, but not too much. Not overworking. Not it becoming too decorative, or for the sake of itself. There are times when I will go charging in, but I will force myself to wait a second, step back and realise no more is needed…” Katherine Russell talks about scale, space, colour and drama to Marguerite Horner in this interview.
“I still use the white of the canvas to come through the layers, because that’s how paints work, that is how you get air… if I painted a black, the black never had any air in it, it was dead, so then I would go and look at old masters, and if you go really close you find you can see the grain of the canvas it’s actually put on very thinly, the thickest part of that canvas will be the white highlights…” Marguerite Horner considers the many influences on her work in this wide-ranging interview with Claudia Böse.
“When Robert first told me, I booked a train ticket to London to check out the space to see if I could see my work in it. As soon as I walked in I could see my work living, sitting on these walls here, next to these icons. Icons on one level are ideological vessels, they carry quite a lot of weight with them… I feel mine are also ideological vessels too. So I think they feel at home here.” Claudia Böse considers in what ways she is and isn’t a ‘German’ painter in this conversation with Matthew Krishanu.
“I think increasingly I feel that I am a painter before I’m an artist in a way, and before I used to think of myself as an artist who paints – or even a person who paints… painting is very very different from video art and installation art, and it has its own history, and it has its own feeling… you’re constantly asking ‘why paint?’ and ‘what is it that painting does differently from anything else?’ ” Matthew Krishanu reflects on using religious iconography and its place in painting today, in conversation with Simon Carter.
“As soon as you stop and really start to consider the world, it is an extraordinary and strange place. It is that moment when you are caught out by how something looks; when you look at something and it is almost as if you are seeing it for the first time… Obviously painting is a cultural activity and we learn ways of seeing but it is that kind of immediacy that it is about.” Simon Carter reflects on the radicality of landscape painting in conversation with Nicholas Middleton.
“I realise that other people may look at my paintings and just think they look like photographs but to me they never quite do…” Nicholas Middleton in conversation with Barbara Peirson teases out the relationships between painting and photography in his work and gives some background to his recent solo exhibition ‘Provisional Cities’.
Barbara Peirson talks to Simon Carter about painting and acting and considers the influences of the East Anglian lansdcape and the work of Alfred Wallis…