Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interview for Bankrupt culture

Bankrupt culture (the urban art protagonists blog) very nicely asked me to do an interview about my work & how it relates to street art & the urban art scene......

Check out: http://bankruptculture.com/interviews/pamglew

Theres some great images & urban art on the site that I haven't seen anywhere else on the blog- they really are ahead of the game (I'm loving the Eine work).......

Anyway, heres a transcript of the interview :

Interview with Pam Glew

We are always interested in up and coming artists, particularly so when they have both great work and something important to say. Today we bring you an interview with Pam Glew, a Brighton based urban artist. Working with flags, metals, spraypaint and more, her work questions everything from the personal to global issues like US foreign policy.

When, and how, did you start, and what is your artistic background?

I remember doodling on everything I could get my hands on when I was a kid, I was always drawing, scribbling and making stuff. Art was always what I wanted to do, so I did the art school thing & ending up studying theatre design .... After uni I randomly went to a scrap yard, picked up some metal and started making artwork on copper, I was heavily into experimenting with materials, particularly decaying and ageing metal... I showed some work in local pubs and restaurants in Brighton, and harrassed galleries until they gave in and showed my work. My work then did a sea change and I started working on paper and doing more stencils, and then last year I got angry about the war in Iraq and about certain country’s dubious foreign policy, so I started using flags.

Who influences and inspires you and your work today?

I’m inspired by the news, current affairs, politics, horror films and books. Also other artists inspired me like Miss Van, Micallef, Ian Francis, street art & pop art. I’m pretty engaged with what other artists are doing, particularly into street art & urban art and like to see other peoples work as often as I can, whether its on street walls, garages or galleries.

How does street work and style influence your work for interior walls?

Stencil has been a focus in my work for a few years now, I think living in Brighton and seeing a lot on Banksy’s around the place must have had an impact. I first of all made stencils to use silver leaf, and then started using spray paint. Now I still make stencils for my little red ‘fear’ stencils, as I like the way you can make editions of work as it’s a bit like screen printing. I also think the urban decay thing has influenced me, especially in the way I use old metal, old books and recently vintage flags & fabric.

What new techniques are you using or experimenting with at the moment?

Experimenting is really important to my work, I always want to puch the boundaries between street art & fine art & try to combine elements so that the viewer is a bit confused on how things are made & I also like to make work that doesn’t easily fit into a category. I need to find new processes constantly to keep myself interested. I use dye, bleach & discharge paste at the moment, a disgusting sounding medium that reacts to heat by stripping fabric of its pigment. I also have been using bits of stitch (darning holey flags & also sewing subversive words) which is a bit of an odd direction for me.

When you are working on a new piece do you prefer planning or experimenting?

experimenting, I’m always playing.

What has been the steepest learning curve in your career so far?

ooo, not sure, probably making 2 massive perspex frames for flags for the Affordable Art Fair London, at the time I was working in a day job and I had a lot of really late nights in my studio with my very helpful boyfriend holding & drilling for me. Also going full time with being an artist was quite a shift I had to get to grips with tax and other money stuff....

How are you developing your work and what direction do you want to take in the future?

Now, I’m most happy with the work on dyed brocade fabric and also like the elements of spray paint, so I might be combining them in the future. I think strong contrast is something I want to more of.
I have seen a huge amount of horror films recently so I fancy seeing something less gruesome to get inspired!

If there were no limits where would you choose to leave your mark (and what would you choose to say)?

That’s a tricky one, but I’d love to do a piece on the pendagon

What are your thoughts regarding affordability of art for the average person?

All for it, art for all I say. I mostly buy art from etsy & have an amazing collection of work like gocco prints, screen prints and little drawings, I need art so I’m a great believer in making art affordable (that’s why I make the red fear stencils really, as they only cost about £20 which is a nice way of buying a piece that’s original but quite cheap.)

Which other artists are you into at the moment?

Miss Van, Antony Micallef, Tracy Emin, Annette Messenger, Yoshitomo Nara, Nan Goldin, Ron Mueck, Ghada Amer, Camille Rose Garcia, Katrina Fritz, Ian Francis, I could go on......

Which great question have we missed the opportunity to ask you?

why do you work on flags?

In a nut shell a comment on fear culture and the horrific but also seductive things we see on the TV screen. I use vintage US flags as they are really amazing things, after dyeing and bleaching a portrait of a screen still from a horror film, they have a good depth to them, I like the way the image seems to balance with the flag.

I would use other countries flags too, but American ones are really well made and there seems to be no shortage, union jacks tend to be a bit thin and don’t cope with my hardcore dyeing and bleaching too well. A lot of people get concerned about whether its against the law, and it does violate the ‘flag law’ in the states, but having said that I showed in Carmicheal gallery in LA recently and they had no complaints that I know about!

Finally, no question, just something you want to say to the readers!

I’ve got a solo show on at the mo’ in Brighton, “I fell in love with a Video Nasty” @ Fair Trade Gallery, Montague Place, Kemptown, Brighton. ( http://www.fairtradegallery.co.uk/) its full of my recent ‘fear’ obsession work from the last couple of months. Its part of the Brighton Festival and is open Fri, Sat & Sun until 25 May.

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