The Muse Gallery
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Sunday, January 26, 2020
269 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1LR
The Muse Gallery

We welcome our new residents from some of the best Art schools and Universities in the UK. From January to June, recent graduate artists: Hugo Lami, Cecilia di Paolo and Rory Watson are working on site at ‘The Muse Gallery & Studios, as part of the 2020 residency program.

For further information on our residency and other programs, please check our website:


Cecilia di Paolo 
Q. What do you think the role of the arts is in society? 

Painting, sculpture, music, photography, literature and many more affect the viewers by opening their minds to new opin- ions of specific topics and themselves.
Artists share their views and translate their minds into pieces of work, that describe themselves or their view on society.

It isn’t only about the making of the beautiful, aesthetically pleasing piece of work, that creates a sense of beauty. It is a way of conversing and instilling values, while generating strong emotional reactions and discussions.

Q. Why do you want to be an artist? 

It is all about communication. I deeply research and get in- volved in a specific topic or area of society and the only way to share my findings is through photography. I enjoy being part of the creative industry, being surrounded by people that, in the best way, do not think and see the world in the normal, usual way.

Q. What would be your ideal life? 

I do feel I do not have a final answer to this question, however I would love to spend my days on different creative projects: challenging commercial work and fine art work. Focusing on how to best recreate my visions and telling stories.

Q. What’s the best show you’ve visited this year and why? 

With no doubt ‘The Future Starts Here (100 projects shaping the world of tomorrow)’ at the V&A. This specific show really showed me how advanced Humanity is, and what the future holds.

100 objects, 100 stories of what those objects will do for us. It really fed my creativity and my will to make more work to make those stories into images. The title of the second part of my current work came from that show visit: ‘The Anthropo- cene’.

Q. Who and / or what is your greatest inspiration? 

My main inspiration is everything that is around me, people and events. I am interested in the odd, the weird and the dif- ferent in humans. I create work from their stories, habits and what people love.

Q. Why, when and where are you most productive? 

New spaces always keep up the inspiration and the excite- ment of creating new work. Specifically for photography, any new location holds new stories and new images.
Q. Do you have faith in humanity and why? 

I have faith in the people that surround me.
Instead of loosing faith in humanity and doing nothing about it, I fell about starting yourself to make a different, small ac- tions that will build hope.
Hugo Lami
Q. What do you think the role of the arts is in society? 

I believe that the role of the arts should be to educate and re- shape thought and rupture cultural preconceptions.

Q. Why do you want to be an artist? 

It’s a choice of commitment to know myself better and the world and culture I am inserted in.

Q. What would be your ideal life? 

To be able to live solely from my artistic work and have the op- portunity to reach large audiences around the world through ex- hibitions.

Q. What’s the best show you’ve visited this year and why? 

Antony Gormley’s show at RA really moved me through the light- ness of the materials and the heavy (or deep) spirituality of the artworks.

Q. Who and / or what is your greatest inspiration? 

My work is inspired by contemporary mythology, social inter- actions and the use of technology in contrast with the natural world and ancient civilizations’ culture.

Q. Why, when and where are you most productive? 

I am most productive when I start my day early and did all the research needed to start my projects beforehand. The studio is the best place for my artistic practice but every now and then I take some days off to rest and think. I always try to have at least one thinking day per week.

Q. Do you have faith in humanity and why? 

I have faith in some part of humanity. We are all different from each other. There will always be good and bad people. I believe it’s important to not generalise the meaning of being human, because this can lead to a reductive and corrupt interpretation of what a person can be.
Rory Watson 
Q:What do you think the role of the arts is in society? 

I see the arts as a means of communication, whether its’ emo- tional, political or a demonstration of excellent craftsmanship. I personally like to use the arts to initiate debates about the fu- ture of our society in relation to the digital; how we engage with it, and how its’ affecting our future. There’s an interesting uncer- tainty when looking at what is to come, and the capabilities of the digital world fascinate me.

Q: Why do you want to be an artist? 

Being able to do what you love, and have it as a career is what I always considered a dream. I have always loved being creative, its an endless competition against yourself. There is no end, no right answer, and that is what keeps it so annoyingly entertain- ing. I have never been one to consider working in the nine to five office environment, I like the freedom of being able to take my work wherever I go. I like seeing new places, living in different areas, being an artist enables me to do that. Of course working for yourself is challenging, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be en- joyable.

Q: What would be your ideal life? 

There have been many unanticipated events which have taken my life down a different path, and I think if you have an end tar- get, you’re not allowing for the excitement of this spontaneity. Of course there are things which I am trying to achieve now to make my life closer to ‘ideal’, such as being able to spend more time in a studio, and see more places and countries around the world. But if I keep pushing myself, I’m sure many unexpected things will keep my life exciting and eventful.

Q: What’s the best show you’ve visited this year and why? 

Every year I try to go the Frieze Art Fair due to the diverse art- works you can see all in one place. My practice isn’t limited to a specific medium, so being able to walk around a large space and see so many artworks to inspire me is amazing. For exam- ple, this year I got to see an interactive work by Dan Graham, a painting by Glenn Brown, and a bronze sculpture by Mark Man- ders – all of which have influenced my ideas for future projects. As my work touches on the subject of how the digital is influenc- ing the art market, it is also interesting to analyse the trend of the artworks galleries have selected for exhibition.

Q: Who and / or what is your greatest inspiration? 

I don’t really have a specific individual who I would label as my greatest inspiration. Perhaps seeing my family all accomplish success in their own specific fields has given me the motivation to try and be the best I can, at what I love doing. I suppose you could also say my curiosity towards the future world we will be living in is an inspiration – We’re living through a radical change where the exponential growth of digitisation is constant- ly changing our lives. Rather than seeing this as a concern, I guess I am excited about how this will affect me and the world I live in, which is why I think an element of this excitement is reflected in the artworks I create.

Q: Why, when and where are you most productive? 

I prefer to have a separation between my living space and work space to be the most productive. If I can label a place as a working studio, then through entering that space, I am in the right mindset to be creative and stay focussed. Throughout my studies at university, I was lucky enough to have a studio within my uni as well as a basement which I transformed into a studio space at the house I lived in. But since having moved house, I prioritised finding a space I could use to upkeep my level of productivity, a residency for example… I’m definitely a night owl in terms of when I’m most productive. After completing all my daily tasks, I am then able to work into the early hours of the morning, losing track of time and not thinking about anything other than the projects I am working on.

Q: Do you have faith in humanity and why? 

I find this question hard to answer. It’s not as simple as answer- ing yes or no, sounding pessimistic or naive. But I would prefer to live my life optimistically rather than having no faith in hu- manity throughout it.