SQUISHYS + INTERVIEW

by Daisy Collingridge

I talked to London artist Daisy Collingridge about the limits of the human form, cat videos and her ‘Squishys’ characters. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

I like to call them the ‘Squishys’ although I doubt that is a recognised art movement. They are characters that I make on impulse. For me they are a joy to make, a joy to inhabit and my hope is to bring others a small dose of joy too. If you had to place the ‘Squishys’ in a category it could be ‘performance sculpture’.

My education is in fashion design so I have had experience handling textiles and fabric manipulation. We were encouraged to think more as artists than designers at college so this step in to ‘art’ is not so surprising. My main medium has been fabric for a long time.

However, I’m also an illustrator. I use pen and watercolour for that, but it’s a very different vibe!

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

A vet as a kid, toyed with being a body builder then an athlete. But no one is surprised I've ended up this way!

Who/What inspires your work currently?

My work is derived from experimenting with different fabrics. I have a big collection, which I like to get out and play with. Manipulating and handling fabrics tends to spark new ideas that I will run with to see where they take me.

However, what with it being the time of year for resolutions about being a better person. I’m going to be a better artist. I’m reimagining day one of art school. I’m revisiting the old sculptures at the British museum and the Tate. I’ve been looking at the dynamic sculptures of muscular men fighting snakes, fighting each other etc. (e.g. A man wrestling a python by Frederic Lord Leighton). I hope to capture the dynamism and movement in my next body of work. Studying anatomy is also a valuable lesson as well. Dance performance and life drawing are ongoing inspirations.

We, as a species have always been fascinated by the body in which we inhabit. The idea of what the ‘body beautiful’ is changes over and time and through different cultures. I’m curious about the limits a human form can take. Whether that is from training and control or the opposite or something out of control.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Reddit/TV/Movies...?

Does cat videos sound like too much of a cliche? In truth I really do love an animal documentary. David Attenborough is a hero.

What do you have going on in 2019?

I am going to be exhibiting at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London, Harrogate and Dublin in the autumn. Hoping to make some fresh work for that, along side running my fledgling illustration company! It’s going to be busy! Eek!

SURREAL ART + INTERVIEW

by Sara Birns

We talked to Santa Cruz artist Sara Birns about oil painting, stupid memes and mind versus body. Enjoy!

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How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?

My work plays with the physical body and the disconnected mind. Bodies age, mutate, get sick, and decay while our minds would prefer otherwise. I’ve worked with acrylic and water colors, but nothing gives me the realism I love like oil paints. I also use colored pencils when I’m not in my studio, the control I get with them gives me chills.

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to make a lot of money haha. So I went into tech and kept art on the side. I realized that wasn’t going to work for me... so I changed paths. I’m much happier with a small income if it means I can put all my energy into art.

Who/What inspires your work currently?

My mentor Christian Rex van Minnen is a HUGE inspiration. I also get inspired from experiences that make me uncomfortable in life, details of the bodies, and random amazing artists I see on the web or in person.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Google/Reddit...?

Psychedelic philosophers such as John C. Lilly and extremely stupid memes and gifs I find on Instagram. I don’t watch many shows but when I do I watch Tim and Eric, adventure time, and other surreal humor shows.

What do you have going on in 2019?

This year I’m working on mastering the oil painting old masters with the help from my mentor. In the process I’ll be completing a body of work (10-12 pieces) to apply to art residencies.

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INTERVIEW + TEXTILES

by Yrurari

I had the pleasure of interviewing Icelandic artist Yrurari about her life in art, an upcoming NYC installation and breaking with normality through knits. Enjoy!

How would you describe your current work? Have you ever explored other styles/mediums of art?
In my current work I focus on the possibilities of knitting. I have been fascinated with knitting since I was 9 years old and somehow it has stuck with me. Textiles in all interest me and I do have a BA in Textile design so I learned various methods in my studies, recently I also got interested in weaving and I'm hoping to maybe try out some loom-work in 2019. I also love theatre and enjoy going to any experimental performances and just anything weird that crosses through our regular ideas of our society.  

Did you want to be an artist growing up? If not, what did you want to be? I think I've always wanted to become some kind of artist but just recently understood that maybe it will work out, it's a very difficult thing staying true to yourself and also making money out of your art for living.  

Who/What inspires your work currently?
These days I'm working on my project called "Þættir" or "Episodes". The idea is to just create something with a machine knitting technique I've been working with since my graduation project. The idea is to just research, improvise and try out all ideas that come to my mind trying to bend and stretch out this interesting technique, creating sculptures that break the view in the room it is placed in. I think my inspiration is mostly humans and their surroundings and what we think is normal, then I break it up. It is a recurring theme in my work but in my work with creating sweaters, which is where my knits all started, I had the idea of making something that goes around in our everyday life, like sweater, into something weird, so the person wearing it is like a walking exhibition space for my creations.

What are your favorite things to watch or search for on YouTube/Google/Reddit...?
I watch TV-shows a lot. Recently the TV show The Good place has been a major factor in my life and I always go straight to listening to their podcast and reddit them after each episode, it's definitely the most interesting thing happening on TV now in my opinion. I also just like everything fun and comedy and watch a lot of sketch shows on youtube and google every fun person I see appearing in movies and shows I watch.

What do you have going on in 2019?
I'm going to try to open a web-store and try to finally start making a living from my art! And next thing planned is staying in the window of the Textile Art Center in Manhattan all of February, I'll have an installation there with a temporary work space of my project "Þættir". I'm extremely excited about it and just to go to NYC for the first time and experience some interesting culture! Then I'm also planning on creating a knit workshop for upcycling sweaters and I also have some knit-pattern booklets in the making now. 

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"Þættir

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TEXTILE ART CENTER NYC

FEBRUARY 2019