Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interview with Artist Dominic Proust

Exhibition runs from 31st March – 24th April

What's the concept behind Misemono and what can people expect to find in your exhibition?
Misemono is a Japanese word for a sideshow or a type of small, temporary carnival. The exhibition will include a number of new and old pieces.

What are the mediums and processes you use to create your works? 
Most of the pieces in this show are watercolour and gauche, though I am a keen printmaker. I usually do a number of drawings before I paint or print. Sometimes I'll have an idea for an image already finalized in my head, but it seems the subject goes through quite a few changes as I re-draw it. I'll often do a sketch and leave it for a few years until I work out what I was trying to say with it, then I refine the idea. 

What do you enjoy about working on a miniature scale?
I've always worked on a small scale. I relish losing myself in detail. Most of my subjects are understated, seemingly insignificant in most people's day to day lives. I think the scale helps get that across. Miniature things can be quite arresting in a gallery environment. 

How would you describe your artistic style?
An immature, crude version of the kind of illustrations you find in encyclopedia (I love those). Also, I have a life-long interest in animation. I'm sure a lot of the films I've seen have had a significant effect on the way I illustrate.

What are your influences, how do they affect your work?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from the Japanese Zukushi prints. These prints particularized things as varied as animals, toys, and theatre characters. I'm also greatly inspired by the idea of a cabinet of curiosities. Cabinet of curiosities were kind of personal mini-museums. They contained objects from around the world that were yet to be identified or scientifically catalogued. The specimens were often false or incorrectly categorized. 

In essence, what inspires me is the natural world, in particular animals. I'm fascinated by Symbiotic relationships between animals and the relationships humans have with animals.