Saturday, 15 November 2014

Studio Snoop: Suzy Sharpe

This is fast becoming one of our favourite bits about blogging!  We get to talk to artists who inspire us and get a unique glimpse into their studios and methods of working.  This month we visited Suzy Sharpe.  You may remember we did a Snoop on Bethany Robinson, well let us introduce you to her Mum...

Suzy and her sweet dog Sausage

After a much needed mug of tea we stepped out into the drizzly November day to Suzys studio, a converted barn in the Cornish countryside. 

The Barn Studio

Her art spills outside into the environment

Can you tell us your story through art so far?

I was born in Manchester and grew up in Stockport,  after school I started a foundation course at Stockport College, but for a variety of reasons didnt complete it.  I then went on to a career in Financial Services until I had children.  We moved to Cornwall in 1995 and since then I have been intermittently studying, Access and Foundation Degree at Cornwall College, BA Fine Art at Plymouth, PGCE and most recently MA Illustration:Authorial Practice at Falmouth. I have exhibited quite widely with the largest show being at the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre.   I also get involved in projects whenever I can, most recently the Ghosts of Gone Birds 'Live Art Studio' in which we were asked to resurrect extinct species of birds for a day whilst being viewed from a birdwatching hide by members of the public. 

Inside the studio

What are the main inspirations in your work?
Birds, animals and the complex and symbiotic relationship between humans and animals.

A piece in response to the BP oil spill

And nature comes back into the studio

We loved you MA Authorial practice pieces, can you tell us more about this project?

This was the culmination of 2 years of intense study into our relationship with animals.  It seemed the more I looked the more difficult it became to see anything positive in this relationship from the perspective of the animal.  The paintings explored this in often contradictory and damaging relationship as I tried to consider it from the perspective of the animal.  I wanted my humans to walk in the shoes of the animal and I wanted the audience to question what this maybe like, just for a second!  

Read more about Suzy's MA practice here.

We got to see Suzy working her magic on the press

How do you use your studio?

I use my studio as a place to make a mess and not have to tidy up,a place to think, storage space and a place of focus...although it is usually too cold in the winter and I have to retreat to a spare room in the house.

Ready for printing!

Paints and bones 

We loved all the magazines

Throughout the month of November Suzy is taking part in a 30 art challenge where she paints, draws, collages or prints three images a day every day in November. Most of the paintings will be for sale at £30 plus P & P with 1/3 (£10) split between her 3 favourite charities which are Mousehole Bird Hospital, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Compassion in Wild Farming. 

Find out more about Suzy and her artistic practice in Cornwall visit her:

Thank you for reading, and remember if you have an artist (or are an artist) whose studio you'd like to snoop on send us a message ( or comment below.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Radio 1 Rescores Drive

Last week saw the result of Radio 1 Zane Lowe's ambitious project of rescoring the movie Drive premier on BBC3. 

As huge fans of the original movie & soundtrack we were apprehensive to hear this new interpretation of the film, both as fans and as fellow creatives. The concept of taking a 'completed' piece of cinema and prompting artists to reinterpret and respond to it in a fresh way has certainly captured our interest. 

Curating this project must have been an incredibly exiting but daunting task for Zane Lowe. We believe that there is a great amount of credit due for such an undertaking. We think that he has created a brilliant alternative soundtrack which can stand alone from the original. 

This exciting project has really inspired us. Although the rescored version has taken heavy criticism online, we at midsummer nights feel that any project promoting the creative exploration of artists can only be good. If nothing else it has inspired artists and bands to create some wonderful new material which otherwise may not have existed. 

Measuring the soundtrack against the original, to us, seems obsolete. It was not created to better the original, only to act as an alternative. This is often common place in visual curation and we applaud Zane Lowe for putting together a soundtrack which reflects his interpretation of the film. A couple of our favourite tracks from this soundtrack were contributed by artists like Bastille, Eric Prydz and Bring me the Horizon.

We were really impressed with this project, encouraging artists to cross over disciplines and collaborate in new and inventive ways. This is a value we hold as a high priority here at midsummer nights and we have several projects in the pipeline which do exactly this. More information about Zane Lowe's project and creative process can be seen in the video above: