How did you get involved in art?
My involvement in art stems from my mothers bohemian background. Listening to her stories about her aunt, Pip Benveniste, and her mums 'Pink House' in Newlyn, kept an early interest in art alive for me, dad wanted me to study history.
Where did you study art?
Locally to begin with, my B-Tech teacher Liz Dickenson put me on some programs at the Tate St Ives. This was my informal introduction to the modernists that flourished in Kernow. After that I studied for a BA in Mixed Media Fine Art at The University of Westminster. I loved being in the big city, as a kid I visited regularly, but living there was a very different experience.
What are your main inspirations in your work?
The overall inspiration behind my paintings is just to explore the medium of paint, using tools and devices that, say, a poet, might use with words, metaphor for example, or maybe even irony. However, since moving back to Kernow, it'd be rude to ignore the countryside and its unique colours. I've defiantly moved away from the inorganic palette I used in the city. Beyond that my inspiration can stem from almost anything. Recently a friend and I have been turning animals into contemporary caricatures, things like chavs and the internet seem to be a common theme at the moment, just because I think the arts (generally) are are good at ignoring them. Maybe deliberately, but I suspect its more to do with the controversy that surrounds them and their lack of aesthetic. I think its fair to say my paintings aren't safe in that respect.
Are there any new areas of art you wish to explore?
Yeah, plenty, I'm just not sure what they are yet. It seems I've always got more ideas to pursue than time or money to pursue them.
How do you find having your own studio?
After the small space allotted to me at university, having a space the same size as one I used to share with another 6 people, all to myself is just great. I had a studio in Brent in London for a similar price in my first year after my degree, but it was tiny by comparison. So yeah, to have a view like the one I've got here and to be so close to home is perfect really.
How do you tend to use the space?
I get up to all sorts of nonsense in my studio. I've had to do small bits of woodwork and painting for my dads windows, build plinths and shelves, I pretend to be a framer sometimes, drawing/doodling happens a lot there, I dance there, cry there and eventually, after walking the dog, get round to some painting there.
You are getting involved with an upcoming exhibition, Can you tell us more about that?
Yeah, so my two up coming shows are sort of linked together with the same ridiculous theme of '...throwing traditional ideas of modernity in the rear view mirror of a metaphorical transit van.' that phrase popped up in a brain storming session at the studio with some fellow artists. We liked the idea of 'Transit' as it relates to how we all felt about moving from '...the daunting void of a blank canvas...' to our own unique final products. The shows, named Transit Pt.1 and Pt.2, are both in Kernow, and are my debut shows in the Duchy. Pt.1 will be at the Porthleven Life Boat Gallery on March the 21/22nd, and Pt2 will be at CMR Gallery on Back Lane West in Redruth July 11th to the 14th.
To check out more of Merryn's work visit http://merryntresidder.weebly.