Outside In artists – in their own words
Intuitive Visions: Shifting the Margins at Phoenix Brighton
Partner Project with HOUSE 2015
Outside In provides a platform for artists who define themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation.
Here, they describe their work, in there own words:
It is almost as if I live my life to create beautiful art; inspiration seems to come from everywhere. I do not wish to control the progression of my work but rather to allow the flow of spontaneity to lead the way, as if I am on a journey of discovery. With the blind drawings I start with a blank piece of paper, close my eyes and draw a head. I then open my eyes and add colour.
I doodle on pieces of paper, inspired by everyday life; sitting on the bus, looking out of windows. These drawings are the basis for my textile pieces. I like sewing as it is tactile and homely. You can say quite serious things and disguise them in a homely way. I often pick up materials from charity shops; fabrics that already have a history of their own. I then stamp, spray and sew to give them a new life.
I have been creating visual art ever since I was young, with more productive periods interspersed with fallow times. I am a colour obsessive, as well as a ‘magpie’ for images, textiles and metals, plus beach and street plastic flotsam. I rarely pre-plan a piece, but work very quickly and intuitively with the available recycled and found materials, very often to create a piece that will decorate – or be functional in – a particular area of my living space.
The medium I use most is batik because the process is so experimental. I never know what I’m going to end up with and I really enjoy the actual process of doing it. I start from doodles, always experimenting with batik, paint, dye, bleach; whatever I can get my hands on. My influences are everything I see, feel and experience, as well as other art forms including graffiti, music, dance and sculpture.
I find the only way to arrive at something new is to actually start the process of making as I don’t like to plan what I do. I always seem to end up using the drawing with a sewing machine technique on fabric as it enables me to produce the figures that are in my head. Making for me is like a meditation in which you can lose yourself for minutes, hours or days.
Michelle creates her work in the Project Art Works studio, and in recent years has refined a dense and highly personalised approach to making images. Working methodically across each canvas, section by section, she creates colourful and complex worlds; each with a distinct logic and meaning that connect to her own life. Michelle starts by building layers of patterns, working from left to right and top to bottom, before selectively filling the shapes with colour.
After becoming involved with illicit substances in my early twenties, I found myself expressing what was going on in my mind by making art; one piece after another. I found the intensity of what I was producing was a reflection of my subconscious and what I was feeling. I usually find that once I start on a piece, I might leave it half way through and begin another. It all depends on how I feel.
Jonathan Kenneth William Pettitt
I usually begin with an image in my mind, then as I work, I find different things coming in. I see things as I go; angels, fairies, gnomes. I’m inspired by spiritual things, as well as other artists including Paul Klee, Picasso, El Greco, Bosch and Dali, and the stories of Rudyard Kipling, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein. I use acrylic on canvas, and encourage the viewer to see joy and hope, and sometimes a lesson.
I work in pencil and enjoy making 3D models of my images in papier mache. I find inspiration from copying images, so when I saw the image of the predator dinosaurs in a book, I drew all of them. My art work is a personal process for me and sometimes I make work based on stories that I am writing. Drawing makes me happy and I would like to do more of it.