Friday, 29 October 2010

Feature on Design Event : NIGHTSHADE : THE ART OF STORYTELLING with Amy Dover

Helen Stevens/SurfacePhilia reports on Nightshade : The Art Of Storytelling @ Design Event, for Arts Thread.

Design Event is Newcastle and Gateshead’s' largest yearly creative festival, which runs over the course of eleven days every October. The festival delivers an annual programme of design based exhibitions, talks and events, helping to support and celebrate creative talent across the North-East of England.

We visit one exhibition ‘Nightshade’ which see’s the collaborative introduction of three talented artists; Emily Forgot, Amy Dover and Alaric Hammond. The small exhibition individually explores each artist and the coherent theme of storytelling between the illustrations. The work on show suggests “violence and animalism, masked by childish playfulness, mysticism and beauty” Each piece is presented entirely in black and white, collectively rejecting the use of colour making the pieces “immediately timeless in context, simultaneously suggestive of past, present and future”.

Artist Amy Dover gives us more insight into the exhibition and her work.

Is it the first time the three artists have exhibited together? Yes it is.

Living in different parts of the country, what was it that brought you together initially? Alaric brought us together to produce this show; he felt a link between our work, as well as the black and white theme.

Having visited the show, there seems to be an intensity which sits amongst the art. Are there other key elements which you feel link the three different styles of work? I think all the pieces have a narrative and a mystery, which links them together.

Do you have any plans for future collaborations as a trio? Not sure to be honest. It would be nice to take the exhibition to another audience somewhere, as it was only on for a short time.

Have you benefitted from working together? Its always interesting to find out how other people work and approach their practice. And its always nice to be associated with such interesting and talented artists.

Now isolating you now as an artist, what is the most important aspect of your work? And do you try to portray anything through your art? I like to tell a story, as well as express relationships with the characters in the pieces. I like people to be intrigued, and to make up their own mind about what is going on. I also take a long time on each piece and put everything I have got in to it.

How long have you been a practising artist for? About two years. Since a gallery approached me, not long after graduation, which offered me a contract to sell my work.

Based in Newcastle, how strong is the creative community there? Do you feel there is a lot of opportunity to develop creatively and become a recognised artist? Yeah, I think there is a big community up here. There are always events and exhibitions going on. There are a lot of galleries, both national and privately owned. The city changes constantly. As well as the Internet being a valuable tool to get work notices. It’s always interesting to get fan mail from the States or Germany. I also spend a lot of time in London, and of course there is always lots going on down in the big smoke.

What has been your most exciting project or achievement so far?
Oh I’m not sure? I suppose each new project is exciting, I love what I do.

Read the feature on Arts Thread:

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