Teresa Grimes – 6/June/2014
On starting the session I gave Teresa an extensive introduction to the overall work, my processes and the individual works displayed for her.
Editing came up during conversation whilst Teresa was talking about purity of artist’s work; meaning giving a clearer focus to the viewer about what the work is about.
We spoke about collage, painting on panels ie not canvas etc, quality of surface, solo shows, accompanying publications, Contemporary Art Society, regional galleries; and she said she thought I was a colourist.
Teresa also said that with the competition out there against a number of disciplines and mediums, painters have to show a strong style; that the subject matter did not necessarily matter but that people want an aesthetic experience.
She was clear about the work which she was most attracted to and ones she was not so interested in. Similarly to Francesca Gavin, Dust was one of her favoured individual paintings whilst she was also interested in Drift which hints towards abstraction with the gap for or negative of the figure.
However, she did say, and I am always aware of this, that just because it is an opinion of a mentor/talking head or someone else you don’t have to obliged. She said; only do it if it feels natural.
Drift. 2014. Oil paint and graphite on pigmented gesso board. 42 x 30 cm. Sarah West
When viewing a work in development Teresa held up some of the Fragments against the wall and in different viewing positions which was quite interesting, as I have also been thinking about displaying them in this way.
When turning to the professional development part of the bursary about half way through Teresa’s visit we started with a question she posed via email. Before the session Teresa had asked me to think about my aims for the next year and 5 years; we spoke these through on the day, as she likes to know the individual artist’s aspirations – a way to enable her to tailor the session.
She questioned, through the studio activities, if I had thought to do something else, removed from normal to free up; in the session I answered no and have subsequently remembered that last year I did start up etching again as I realised the translation of the works that I was producing then could work well in the dense black medium and I wanted to experiment further with the techniques which I had used during my degree. I did this at the Working Men’s College in Camden and got my first few prints into Bite Artists making prints, Mall Galleries, London. However, overall I feel I do know my process and within this I still allow for a lot of openness in the work especially in relation to the new developments I am pursuing in relation to displaying the work.
She said, looking at my C.V, it was good that I had shown so much, including abroad. She picked some examples and asked me about how I had got the exhibitions or opportunities. This lead us to talk about artists’ networks and the importance of keeping links with peers and people you meet when exhibiting.
Teresa commented that I was obviously very dedicated and that the a_n Bursary was a great time to shift the practice and its outlook slightly and to really keep questioning ‘is it the absolute best?’ of the work. To learn from looking at it in this way and surveying it -being critical of the whole thing.
Rounding up the session, Teresa prompted to keep networks up, keep applying for opportunities, working hard and continuing to show as much as possible.
Teresa Grimes – Director of Tintype Gallery, London