Alice Eaton – Hello, how are you?
Georgia Lucas Going – Good, Good thank you
AE – So how is your residency at the University of Bedfordshire going so far?
GLG – Its going well, I mean most residencies are very self directed anyway so its all up to you so if its going to go well its because you made it go well if it isn’t its because you haven’t come in enough and made yourself work. So yes, good!
AE – Have you discovered something new whilst being here?
GLG – Discovered something new.. I’ve had time, through doing this residency I’ve had the luxury of time which is something you don’t normally have so throughout the luxury of time I’ve been able to kind of go more in depth in computer programs that I wouldn’t normally use, simply because I don’t have them on my laptop. Thats been new so I’m lucky that many of the computers and the facilities there. So thats probably the newest string to my bow. Mainly Photoshop skills.
AE – So I had a look at some of your video work but how would you summarise your practice?
GLG – I’d describe myself as a contemporary artist full stop but I think before I got dragged into being described as a multimedia artist but that has only been recently and I understand why. When I studied fine art we weren’t grouped we were just fine art and now for the last two or three years people have tried to group into painting, printing, drawing and media and Ive never really though of myself as a media artist, this is just other people categorising me as media, like I mentioned earlier my photoshop skills are really self taught, hit and miss, I work with mistakes purely because Im learning. So I describe myself as a contemporary artist, facing topics of the internet, mixed heritage, class, wealth, lots of different things, family, a lot of my inspiration comes from my family and the town Luton itself.
AE – Do you have any artists that inspire you?
GLG- Yes! There is a women called Candice Breitz, she is amazing. She done a video when she went to Japan and she only knew 100 words of Japanese and some of them were Toyota and Pikachu. So she got these Japanese actors together and got them to recreate a play using just the 100 words, its surreal, its mad, its funny but she’s a huge influence! Santiago Sierra, he’s another huge influence, his work is very much about ethics and I’m really interested in that, what you can get people to do for you. His work has a lot of controversy around it. Those two are amongst my top five.
AE – Great ! So I see you do a lot of video work, but do you have a favourite medium?
GLG – I’ve only really started doing video in the last year so thats why when I describe my practice now, I’ve learnt that Im just a contemporary artist because before that it was a lot of sculpture, I also draw as well but I don’t tend to show them very much and I’d create installations and sculptures as well. Do I have a preferred medium, no, I would say that installation, sculpture, video and performance art are all kind of on par with me. At the moment now that I’m in a place where there is a studio, lights, cameras and all the computer programs, Im making the most of doing the video because I wouldn’t be able to do it to the level I wanted to if I wasn’t here. So in the last two years Ive done two residencies, here and in Leeds so I’ve just done video.
AE – Do you have a space or environment where you like to work?
GLG- Good question! Well I don’t have studio and I never have hired a studio which I guess can be different to other artists. Purely because I’ve never been able to afford it and I’m not going to use the excuse that I’ve never found the time because thats not true. You will find the time. Sometimes you are really exhausted and you can also be allowed not to make artwork. There was a time when I didn’t make artwork for nearly a year because I thought I was too busy but I’ve learnt that even if its just an hour a night you can do it, even if its in front of Eastenders. So do I have a favourite place? I kind of flit between, I like being in really busy environments, I don’t necessarily like being around other students but mainly because I graduated five years ago. I think now I’m used to being in environments which I choose, but another thing which is when I hear students now complaining about the space or not using the space until like a week before the deadline. Basically I think space should be taken away from them, if your not in the space making the work you don’t deserve the space. You don’t realise how lucky you are. So I’ve kind of learnt, going back to your question, I will work anywhere because I have to adapt.
AE – If you had to give a piece of advice to students leaving the University this year, what would it be?
GLG – It would be start connecting, emailing with artists now. Even if its just an email saying you are interested in shadowing them or coming to their studio and be prepared to work for free obviously ask for travel and a bit of lunch money because most artists will do that because they understand how hard it is. But basically do all these things now whilst you’re young whilst you don’t have mortgage to pay, kids to pay but start connecting now because as soon as you graduate then you will have to be fighting against thousands of other artists, so try and be clever about it. Try and sort out internships like placements, shadowing even if you cant go through the normal route with art jobs and everything, find the emails of the top 20 artists that you like and personally email them. Do things like that. Support one another, its a huge thing, I know its like very competitive in this field but this is what can make you. Taking photos for someone else for their exhibition, and giving it to them that way people might appear in your videos if you do performance art. The way I get people to help me with my work is a lot of they do something for me so I do something for them. So without it I would be stuck, so help one another, work with one another. Social media is a huge one even though it may seem a little bit embarrassing, tag everything, spread the word. Make a really nice website, take your time as well with how aesthetically it looks, how your work looks. Take time but get it out there but take time tweeking it, updating it. Get on Twitter, get on everything basically stay connected. There’s a book actually, Austin Kleon called Show Your Work, its basically how to get discovered. We have the luxury now of being on the internet, 20 years ago it wasn’t this easy, you can now literally go on youtube and set up a video blog, get a blog. We are our own PR people, we’ve got to use it. I know a women on social media now, my age, whose in one of my crying videos, she’s now got 5000 followers, has been in Marie Claire, Avida Magazine just because she started doing mixed race hair reviews and people will pay you for that. She’s doing really well just because she put the work in.
AE – What have you got lined up for the near future?
GLG- Ive got an exhibition called The Generation Game by TMT which is based in Luton so it will be in The Hat Factory so thats next month and obviously the exhibition here. I’m curating an exhibition in the market and then I’ll be doing my masters in Fine Art in September, I’m not sure where yet, I’ve been accepted to a place but it may be London or Amsterdam.
AE- It sounds really busy ! So here are some quick fire questions just to finish up! Black and White or Colour ?
GLG – Colour
AE- Digital Processes or Manual Processes?
GLG – Digital Processes
AE – Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts?
GLG- Art Nouveau
AE – Favourite Artist?
GLG – Santiago Sierra
AE – And what are you listening to at the moment?
GLG – I was just listening to Peaches, F the pain away
AE – Thank you very much !
GLG – You’re welcome