Alice Eaton– Hello!
Morgan Tipping – Hi!
AE– So how is your residency going at the University of Bedfordshire?
MT– It’s great! I’ve been welcomed into the Photography and Video Art department, I’ve been working with Gemma Marmalade. She helped me by encompassing the students interest, to do a little timeline through dance project. I’ve also been in on a couple of Crits with the first and second years so its been really useful to see their work and to be able to contribute to that as well!
AE– Have you discovered something new by doing your residency here?
MT – It has been really interesting, I haven’t worked with students at BA level before. It has been interesting speaking and working with students on the workshop that I did. I gave my talk, some students came up at the end and gave some really great feedback so I’ve been given the opportunity to have different responses to my work. For example one film I made is me on a tractor in Slovenia and one of the students happened to be from the Former Yugoslavian Republic, the film is about stereotypes and chauvinism, so it was really interesting hearing her accounts of her experiences and how that related to what I was making. There has been lots of interesting new developments.
AE– How would you summarise your practice?
MT – Chaotic! I teach so quite often things pop up though teaching and teaching 6th Form colleges and that’s another reason why its been good here because speaking to students has given me different perspectives on ideas that I’ve been having. I use a lot of humour, I use bathos, I work with failure and I’m interested because of teaching and the education system being largely about insulating yourself as a teacher and your students against the idea and possibility of failure but as an artist, as a creative practitioner, that’s part of the creative process, that you are on the verge of failing all the time. So in a nutshell I think that’s what my practice is about, about dealing with failure, moving it forward, using humour and actually seeing failure as a potential new direction as opposed to a full stop.
AE– Do you have any artists that inspire you?
MT– Oh, loads ! Jeremy Deller, Martin Creed, the first artist whose work I fell in love with was Jean Michel Basquiat. Quite a range of people! I see a lot of exhibitions at the moment, the last one I went to see was a women who makes painted collages, I can’t remember her name. I came across Marlene Dumas on at the moment who I was really heavily inspired by when I was doing my degree, less so now. In terms of their working practice, Jeremy Deller who has a socially engaged practice.
AE– Do you have a favourite medium when you work?
MT– No, I mean even though I make videos, I’m not very technically accomplished, I’m not maybe interested in making flash films, it’s more about the idea. Also I’m interested in human error and how that both has a charm and is important so even if its a painting, I guess I’d steer away from photorealism, I like the human hand being present in every art form.
AE– Do you have a favourite place or environment to work?
MT– I really need change, I really need to go places. Even if you don’t make work when you’re there, I think its both going somewhere different and being able to have some distance from the culture, both your immediate and broader culture. Having a pause and having some space from the culture that you are working in is really good in terms of reflecting but going somewhere also puts new energy in. You pick up a different rhythm when you’re in a different place and thats also really useful! So change is good, new things are good!
AE– If you had to give a piece of advice to students leaving the University this year what would it be?
MT – Don’t give up! I know that’s a really cheesy thing to say but a few people along the line have said that to me and that’s even in really dark times when I’ve been in dead end jobs and for a while I was squatting, really struggling financially. If you make the work that you need to make and you keep going with it, eventually people will see you’re committed to what you are doing. Be open minded about the different ways in which you can make a living. Students who leave university now are more advance compared to when I left, I didn’t have a website, I didn’t have an online portfolio, I didn’t have any of those things. Have faith in the fact that if you’re doing all of these things you will find a path or many paths that are right for you.
AE– Thank you! So what have you got lined up for the near future?
MT– More teaching positions so teaching in a couple of colleges in London, teaching life drawing. I’ve got a touring group show that I’m organising at the moment around primary schools, inner city schools. So the idea being that if a lot of those children don’t have access to the arts through regular art lessons which is frequently the case, those periods are taken up with stem subjects, we take an exhibition to them. That’s sort of the next big project.
AE– So here are a couple of quick fire questions! Black and White or Colour?
MT– Oh man! Both have their purpose! Yes I think both, both are different in terms of what you wear, in terms of images you make.
AE– Digital Processes or Manual Processes?
MT – Manual is more instinctive but digital is really important! Both again!
AE– Art Nouveau or Arts and Crafts?
MT– Arts and Crafts
AE– Favourite Artist?
MT – Jeremy Deller
AE– What music are you listening to right now?
MT– I’ve got really scattered music taste, some of my music taste is really teenage. I’m listening to this DJ special request which is a really dark and experimental drum and bass but I’m also listening to this guy Gas Lamp Killer who plays rock and hip hop and all sorts!
AE– That’s about it thank you!
MT – Thank you for having me!