“A lot of my work responds to the museum environment, as well as private curatorial spaces, so I employ these processes, like collage, that mimick the curator’s role of ‘collect and condense’.”
When and where were you born?
Where do you currently live and work?
Illustrator and artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland
How long have you been practicing your craft?
Just a couple of years thus far.
What inspires you?
Largely for me it’s about having experiences. Going to museums is always an important part of my week. As is walking. I spend a lot of time perambulating in Edinburgh’s suburbs and edgelands, pausing in these anonymous spaces for drawing and thinking. Collecting is also a huge element of my practice, though I enjoy looking at others’ collections more. My biggest inspiration in the world of design and illustration has for a while now been Isidro Ferrer. When it comes to art, give me a big helping of Dieter Roth, Sigmar Polke and Gabriel Orozco. I’m also a Kurt Vonnegut superfan and will never tire of Neil Young.
How would you describe your style
My work is quite process-based, working mainly through found photographic materials, drawing and printmaking, but also recently exploring the qualities of heavier materials like wood and plaster in my personal practice. There’s a strong sense of flattening in my work, of playing with pictoral space. During a brief point in my studies I became really sick of drawing, so I turned to collage as a means to quickly take imagery from the world around me and mash it into the page. That’s the big appeal of printmaking for me; the squishing and the squashing. A lot of my work responds to the museum environment, as well as private curatorial spaces, so I employ these processes, like collage, that mimick the curator’s role of ‘collect and condense’. What characterises my work visually is a strong sense of space and composition, an inventive and sometimes dark playfulness, and a senstivitity and love for the many shades of black.
What has been a defining moment in your career?
I think maybe I’m still waiting for it to happen. Earlier this year I was invited to take part in a residency with a risograph studio in Edinburgh. That was great. A solid month alone in a room with a printing machine and free reign to use and abuse it. I was really able to have that extended period of time with one process to explore how it could be used and what it meant to me and my practice. It all culminated in a solo show called Contents Insurance featuring sculptural and printed works on on paper and board.
What are your future plans?
Currently I’m planning to get back on the commercial horse after spending the better part of a year working on my personal practice. But having said that there a couple of projects I’ve recently started just for me, and that I’m hoping to get finished by the end of the year. One has the working title ‘Events of the Year in the Family’ and it’s all about my family and my childhood, dealing with ideas of memory and personal growth, and tracing my personal history up to this point through objects. It’s probably going to be in book form.
Can you leave us with some parting words or advice?
If you haven’t listened to Arthur Russell yet, go check him out.
All images copyright George Douglas. All rights reserved.