I met Steph through a talk she did with my friend Cora in which they spoke about love and loss, I remember being in a shit mood when I went and I left with a spring in my step. Hearing them both speak so openly about these topics was very inspiring. We went on to become friends and bonded over (in my case self diagnosed) ADHD and the struggles of making work when your mind can be all over the place.
Do you find it difficult to be vulnerable in your work like maybe there’s more at stake? To me, your practice is a total reflection of yourself and you are quite generous with what you give to the viewer. I have found with my work that the more vulnerable I am often the more people can relate, but then its much harder to talk about the work in person because it means really opening up. How do you navigate this?
Yeah I think when people ask me on this it makes me realise how fundamentally the making of my work has been to expel feelings or process them and to try and create a future for myself that holds less pain. I kind of am only beginning to realise it means that I am being vulnerable in public. I don’t necessarily feel that in control of the work which comes out so it means I will then carry on talking about topics that actually maybe don’t help me emotionally in the long term. I feel like I’m moving away from it feeling so raw to make things as I’ve recognised it hasn’t necessarily helped me grow like I hoped the practice would. I find writing much more cathartic and like this process actually works as opposed to visuals and so I’m moving more into that type of creative work.
Yeah I know what you mean, I get that! I think because I am dyslexic I always had little confidence in my writing but am trying to understand ways of involving it in my work, I think I have a mental block about justifying it as art. Do you find it hard to give your writing the platform you want it to have and can you relate to this?
Can totally relate to that being dyslexic too! I realised at the start of this year I didn’t feel that proud with a lot of the visual work I’d made as it didn’t feel honest enough and actually the stuff related to writing I did feel good about. I guess to be honest I don’t necessarily associate it to my art practice. I think I feel far less comfortable as a visual artist and in the kind of structures of an exhibition. Also, the work that gives me the most inspiration/excites me/that I actually invest in tends to be books, poetry, theatre, films and I guess maybe like walking based art practices. Even if I really like the visuals of an artist, I’d probably spend max 15 mins in an exhibition of theirs. If it was a performance however I’d happily spend 3 hours watching. I guess I’m trying to figure out atm where to place the writing/what I consider myself to be as I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error career and education wise from fashion styling to illustration to curation, at one point I thought I wanted to be a menswear designer !
Yeh I totally understand that, there's something about words that give me more clarity than anything else even if it's just a starting point for something. I always envy people that have a natural way with language, like they can say everything in just a few words.Theres definitely something in the fact that for a performance people are required to listen and that helps you focus? Anyway, lots to think about! And I would definitely wear your clothes if you ever decided to go back on that! Thanks for ya time!