Thursday, August 18, 2011

Featured Artist: Ashley Fiona

Ashley Fiona creates small and tactile pieces. Her work is very utilitarian, however this does not override the real sense of character and quirky charm a lot of Ashley's work inherits, a real favourite here at Breathing Colours!   

What started you working as a ceramicist?

The affair started in my first year at uni in 2006, where beginners (including myself) were asking me for advice on clay making skills and techniques... I couldn't answer them at first (I had to ask myself why they were asking me!). There was something more to this seductive material that I had to know more about myself... The discovery continues - Which is part of the beauty of the medium, the potential for discovery is limitless.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My memories and my environment.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Precious keep-safes with a quirky twist.

Tell us a bit about your studio. Do you work alone? Share your space?

My current studio is my lounge room coffee table! My house mates share the space... Does that count?

 As a ceramicist do you have a favourite mug you have you sip your morning tea/coffee out of?
Yes, most definately! I eat and drink almost always from my hand-made collection, it makes whatever you are eating/drinking so much more enjoyable. Hand-made food out of a hand-made bowl, life's simplicities make me smile. For tea I love to drink out of my Sandy Lockwood salt-fired mug and for coffee nothing beats my large porcelain mug by Rosa Chan.

I know that ceramics isn’t your only creative outlet, can you fill us in on your 52 weeks project?

52weeks2011 is a photographic project Vicki Grima and myself are currently working on. We (or you, if you have a suggestion, we welcome suggestions!) set a theme for each week and take seven photos based on that theme. It keeps us busy workers creative on a manageable level... And very much on our toes work-wise. It's an enjoyable creative tangent in contrast to my clay making, it also inspires my ceramics, they compliment one another.

 What’s next for Ashley Fiona? Travel? New work? Inspirations?

 Ideally travel... But that will have to wait for now as new work is being made (yes, in my lounge room on my coffee table) for an exhibition at the end of the yearn titled The Narrative Knot at Manly Art Gallery (December 2011 to January2012). Currently, I have an exhibition of my entire Honours work from 2010 at Hawkesbury Regional Art Gallery titled Human Condition which continues to 21 August. This year is shaping up to be busy and busier... Which is always a good thing for an artist!

Be sure to come in and check out her new pieces (a few pictured above) here at Breathing Colours as well as her blog 52weeks2011 and be sure to have a look our suggestion, 'texture'.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Featured Artist: Roxanne Lillis

Roxanne Lillis is a much loved artist here at Breathing Colours. She creates subtle paintings, using a 'soft' pallette of colours and when viewed, her work produces a very strong presence. Roxanne's paintings range from landscapes to figutrative and may vary in 'genre', but they all inherit one thing - Roxanne's very distinct style.  

What attracted you/got you started painting?

Picture books, sketching books, colouring pencils, art in galleries and books, and the smell of oil paints….. 

What is your first painting memory? Was it something you painted; a painting that inspired you?

My first painting memory, other than pictures in books and in galleries was being given permission to have free rein with my bedroom walls. I painted huge murals from ceiling to floor.

What inspires you?

The world around me: Colours, shapes, composition. Art books, journals, galleries, Reading art theory and history, Travel, Art mediums, Music, Teaching senior students, family. Everything revolves around or has some connection to my painting.

What is your favourite colour pallet at the moment?

At the moment and usually, it is high key, I use a limited pallet to mix a wide range of hues. They are usual subtle. I enjoy working into wet paint for a tactile finish or working over dry using different glazes.

How would you describe your aesthetic?

I work in oils, using the formal conventions of painting within the still life, landscape and figurative genre. However,  I endeavour to maintain a conceptual undercurrent/dimension. At the moment this focuses on the poetics of place and belonging and the tension between belonging and isolation. My works are usually semi abstract in style.

Tell us a bit about your studio space...

My studio place is an open loft in my home. It is full of art books, journals and different materials and medium. It is warm and convenient as I enjoy the connection and noises of family while I work. Alternatively, when family are not around I listen to music. My house is on 6 acres of virgin bushland and the scenes from the windows can create a quiet and contemplative atmosphere that is also conducive to painting.

Any chance we can get a sneak peak of your work for the upcoming
exhibition with Loren Keir?

Be sure to check out Roxanne Lillis' and Loren Keir's exhibition 'Tied and Bound' 16th - 27th August. The offical opening to be held on Saturday the 20th of August, 4 - 6pm!