Friday, April 20, 2012

Interview with Beth-Emily and David Fooks – 'They are Visible'

Exhibition runs from 28th April - 22nd May

Beth and David, what is the concept behind 'They are Visible' and what can people expect to find in your joint exhibition?
Our exhibition 'They are Visible'  is based on the gaze, whether it be a subconscious or a conscious visual connection. The work sets out to meld the visible gaze of the depicted elements, with the emotional gaze of the viewer.
Beth Emily mainly focuses on elements relating to the natural realm. The primary focus is on the disposition and connection between the predator and the prey. The crossover tempestuous gaze exchanged.
David Fooks translates contemporary fashion photography and popular imagery, into a purely aesthetic dialogue between the viewer and the viewed. Using the viewers gaze as a mirror to the subconscious dilution of personal aesthetics, and cultural aesthetics; and notions of beauty and the ethereal.
Although the intention of both artists in depicting the gaze is quite different, the overall aim is the same: to connect and absorb the gaze of the viewer into the visible story created by the imagery.
You can expect to find artworks in the exhibition that subtly suggest or hint at the above notions.

How did the collaborative process work? 
We worked by finding a general idea and based our individual concepts around this. This was achieved by working on individual pieces and by working on a few collaborative pieces as our individual styles lend well to both of these treatments.

How would you describe your individual artistic styles?
Beth - I'm inspired by old traditional craftsmanship, especially botanical illustrative works. I like to mix old traditions with new media and meld soft and hard elements together. I also love to incorporate white space as it gives the composition breathing space.

Dave - My style is strongly shaped by the watercolour medium, with its organic movement, softness and subtleties. Similar to the way a musician will develop a new piece through an instinctual process of improvising on sounds in which they involve an emotional connection, my images usually shape themselves through the same aesthetic emotional instinct.

Do you both work in different mediums? 
Beth - We basically work in the same way, from how we build up a concept through to how we tackle it as a finished art piece. I tend to use a build up of different mediums, they can vary from pencil, graphite pencil washes, watercolour and my favourites medium at the moment gouache. Dave uses mainly watercolour and enhances the details by applying other finer mediums such as watercolour pencils and china graph.

Dave - We both have a history of trialling and incorporating digital methods also, as we both have a graphic design background a lot of those digital techniques and compositional ideas have been carried across as important tools in our current processes. But I think for me, watercolour is my primary medium at the moment.   

What are your influences, how do they affect your work?
Beth - My greatest influence is nature – its sublime beauty and our connection to it. With my artwork, my primary goal is to bring its presence into the forefront of peoples awareness even if it's in a subtle way. I'm also influenced by abstracted thought, textures and partnering soft and hard elements. I tend to fuse these influences together and construct concepts around them. 

Dave - My visual influences are drawn from a wide range of sources; from mass exposed popular imagery blogs, fashion photography,  and contemporary Illustration networks, through to natural elements, sublime landscapes, and the textures of intricately woven fabrics. The inspirations are gathered and processed very instinctually, and compiled as an illustration of an almost subconscious cataloguing of my own aesthetic background, which then present with their own movement, emotion and an open ended narrative.

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