Irvine and Noble – Interview

Andrea recently spoke with Jamie Irvine and Kyle Noble, to discuss their upcoming artwork that they will be exhibiting at Naked Aye Art this April.

Jamie Irvine and Kyle Noble are a duo, who each input their own styles and reactions to the visual challenges set by the other, creating an organic and ever evolving narrative.

The Engagement - Irvine and Noble
The Engagement – Irvine and Noble

What are you showcasing at Naked Aye Art this year?

J: Kyle is away so we didn’t get the chance to do something new so we’ve had to go through our back catalogue of work and see what fits. I guess we had to go through it with a fine toothcomb and match this creepy theme which I think we’ve done. We picked some creepy somethings anyway.

K: Oh yeah, they definitely fit like a glove. We chose images which clearly fit the brief. Some of our work is surreal and wacky, and light-hearted to a degree, but most of our work is pretty subversive and dark. We are going to make them bigger for this show, they are going to be scaled up, so they will hopefully have the impact of being a big wall drawing almost, won’t they?

J: Yes I hope so. It should be cool. We’ve done big drawings before but we’ve never blown our drawings up to this scale, so it will be interesting to see how they look. We don’t know how they are going to turn out. That’s something exciting for us, to see what we end up with.

What mediums do you use?

K: So what we always use are pens and paper. It’s those tools and then the medium of our shared mind, the process of us being together, working together, drawing and sharing in the experience of making. Through all of this, coming up with something original, unplanned and very spontaneous. There’s a sense being closer to the immediate act of image making .

J: In Kyle and I’s individual practices, we each make highly detailed work. Spending a while on a particular image for a period of time can be quite clinical, and a sterile environment, whereas this can be quite chaotic and with pens all over the table. You get to relax a bit more and not be as precious with an image. I mean, I think it still holds the same merit as what we do in our own work, but the more spontaneous, free flowing style, that we have kind of adopted, or been adopted by works well and great imagery has come out of it. And yes we always work with pens, their marks strong and immediate, if we could get some kind of deal with Staedtler for their 0.05 pens that would be really good because that’s what we use. We could be like the face of Staedtler. Maybe from this we will hit the big time!

K: Yeah and adverts for Staedtler.

J: Yeah videos, billboards and the sides of buses.

K: Oh for sure, we might be the Staedtler gurus…

What’s it like working with each other?

J: He’s a nightmare! Horrible!

Laughter

K: We bring out the worst in each other.

J: That’s true. I guess we became friends at university through our art. We didn’t meet and become friends through just chatting to each other. It was actually our tutor Dr Norman Shaw who said to each of us ‘you should go and see this guy and his work at his studio’. We didn’t know each other. We met each other as artwork first. It think the first time I went to your studio Kyle, you weren’t even there and it was just like walking into somewhere where a bomb had gone off.

Laughter

J: Such a mess. I mean I started wearing gloves when I was drawing that’s how clean I wanted to be but this place was just like paint all over the walls, paint on the floor. I mean everything had something painted on it. Everything that he was doing was full colour and everything that I was doing was monochrome. I was like, why has he told me to go and check out what this guy is doing? It is nothing like what I am doing! Then I realised there were underlying similar inquiries. Now we are kind of like creative partners. Partners first, then friends after which is quite unusual.

K: Yeah at the time I was into making chance based paint patterns and trying to find mirrors into my mind through hallucinating over the suggestive forms and marks in the paint. Jamie was exploring deeply his mark making through automatic drawing, his mind would kind of fall out through pin sized pen work. Something along those lines drove us together and we started drawing together eventually. At the start I kind of felt that I was stepping on Jamie’s territory but of course it was all cool. We went to Amsterdam, didn’t we? That’s where it all kind of began. You got that travel award.

J: I don’t like to brag about it. I got a travel award to go to Amsterdam and Kyle came with me, we did a lot of drawing there.

K: That’s where the drawing started.

J: Did it? Yeah that’s where the drawing started. Yeah, and it was good there, it was very relaxed and gave us a platform where we could draw together without time based distractions. It was almost like a little drawing holiday.

K: Usually when we are working together it’s like we are sharing a kind of journey into madness for a period of time. Any suggestions Jamie makes with a pen, I will elaborate on which in turn are developed by Jamie. We kind of go into this tunnel which in many ways is quite child like. It’s very spontaneous and very free, we’re not really thinking of the after effects of what it is we’ve made. When I’m drawing on my own I would maybe work for half an hour and then start to slow down, but when we’re together and we’re sharing this vision, it has a real pace to it and drives itself forwards.

Norman's Harvest - Irvine and Noble
Norman’s Harvest – Irvine and Noble

How has your style changed over the years?

K: It’s become more detailed hasn’t it?

J: Yeah, we also understand what each other motives are and now have a lot of imagery we can reference as part of our own visual language, we have recurring characters and scenarios that we like to pull out of the old dusty hat. Yeah, it’s become more detailed. I guess the works have become more graphic but sometimes we look back at the old things and there are similarities there. Our work together has evolved, it’s got better as we’ve kind of grown together.

K: Significant changes to the way we worked happened after art school, l went back to Aberdeenshire, and Jamie went back to Fife, we wanted to continue our work and defy the distance, so we started posting drawings to each other, in fact we posted two sketchbooks backwards and forwards. Later I went off to Taiwan for a year and Jamie was living in Glasgow at that time, again we bridged the distance, this time across the world. I think that’s when more detail and rendering of surfaces came up and some more complex imagery. Currently we try and have some pieces that we work on individually and when we meet up we exchange them and have a good session of making new work there and then.
What do you think the key elements are in creating a good composition?

J: If we had the answer we would probably be selling it.

K: I would say, to me, looking back at all our works we have done there’s been an element of simplicity there and a kind of symbolic element too. For me, that makes them successful, instantly connecting work. However, I also do the kind of sprawling, endless mind patterns that come out. My statement on that is sometimes it just happens. It’s just a strong simple to read message really. What would you say?

J: Yeah I like that. It’s hard to say really. I don’t think there is really a set rule because everyone would do it. It’s hard to tell sometimes, you come out and think yeah that’s great but I guess it’s just an opinion and what people decide is good.

K: It kind of like a visceral connection to the image it’s like a childhood response or something. It can be a really simple image or flash of an image and they’ll know or not. I don’t know, like it activates something deeper inside me.

For more information visit: http://irvine-noble-blog.tumblr.com/

Or follow them on Instagram:

Kyle Noble

Jamie Irvine

 

Salt Maries Deep End-Irvine and Noble
Irvine and Noble

Jamie and Kyle’s work will be on show at Creep Me Oot, from April 2nd – 16th 2016, Gallery 1, St Margaret’s House, Edinburgh.

Creep Me Oot – Opening Night

Creep Me Oot – Visual Art Exhibition

Interview with Tessa Berring

Andrea recently had the pleasure of chatting to Tessa Berring, to discuss her upcoming work she will be exhibiting at Naked Aye Art’s next show.

Based in Edinburgh, Tessa is a creative whose work has featured at the Embassy Gallery and the Scottish Poet’s Library.

I was wondering if you tell me a little about what you are or planning to showcase at Naked Aye this year?

I am showing some collages and doll sculptures based on anatomical woodcuts.

Is there any particular themes you pursue in your work?

Naked Aye is all about the figure, and what I find most interesting about the fifteenth and sixteenth century anatomical drawings are that scientific anatomical awareness is still in its infancy. Drawings from that time blend science with imagination and decorative imagery. I like the blurring of these disciplines.

What is your creative process like?

It often starts with an image, or a piece of text that somehow captures my attention. I make work quite quickly, it sometimes feels like the process of trying to remember a dream when you have just woken up. You need to do it immediately or the image vanishes! I always feel my most successful work, or the work that I feel happiest with, is work that has a lightness about it – a quality of something just materialised.

Is there a particular medium you prefer to use in your work?

I love paper. And I love sewing – and sewing onto paper. Some of the pieces in Naked Aye are fabric based dolls, but paper is my favourite material to work with.

When did you consider yourself an artist?

I find I flit in and out of considering myself an artist. Sometimes I prefer the term ‘maker’, as I have always considered myself someone who makes things. I suppose I feel like an artist when I feel fully engaged in a creative project, and when I know there is something I absolutely have to make right there and then and nothing will stop me!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Do small things as if they were great things.

If you could have any artwork in the world what would you most love to have?

Oh my. I would love to play with Alexander Calders’ Circus.

What are you most looking forward to at Naked Aye this year?

I am looking forward to meeting up with all the other artists and seeing the responses to the Creep Me Oot theme. The energy behind this show has been wonderful to feel part of.  I hope do call in and do some life drawing too.

 

Mary Trodden and Fee Scroggie Interview

Andrea recently had the pleasure of chatting to Mary Trodden and Fee Scroggie, to discuss their upcoming work they will be exhibiting at Naked Aye Art’s next show.

Based in Edinburgh, they were both recently part of Out of Sight, a group exhibition of 12 artists.  Their works were an exploration of the realms of instinct, paradox and dreams, not too far from the Creep Me Oot theme of the latest Naked Aye exhibition.

Andrea met with them in Whitespace gallery on Howe Street, in the surroundings of their recent show.

What are you showcasing at Naked Aye Art this year?

M: For Naked Aye Art, I am planning on showing paintings from a series that I made after I came back from Prague.  When I was in Prague I saw an exhibition of symbolist art, and a lot of the paintings were about how technology meets nature, so it’s quite kind of satirical. One of the paintings was a photo of a motorcar driving down a road in the dark, and then there was a couple of fawns come up (half man, half goat) in the road, so it’s like this collision of culture and new technology.  In the same place there was an exhibition of medieval Christian art, and a series of paintings on the advent of Jesus.  There was actually twelve in the series so I did five.  They all include a significant part of the story of Jesus’s birth and tribulation, but really they’re not of him as a person. In mine it’s about psychological development.  All the paintings are stages of psychological development. They’re all oil painting.

Mary Image 1
The Annunciation – Mary Trodden

 

F: Are they all the same scale?

M: Yeah they’re all the same size.  I did them all together one after the other.  I really like, sort of graphic drawings, so the way I draw is very linear and geometric.  The way I paint is kind of illustrative I would say, whereas Fee is always in a fight with the paint, and I am kind of constructive.

F: You have more precision.  It’s just a totally different way of approaching it.  I have to completely destroy mine constantly, and Mary is always building it up.

What are you planning to do Fee?

F: I have a painting of this strange shimmering woman appearing out of the splatter of paint mess.  I always like to produce new work for shows which can sometimes be a bit tricky because you can end up working right up to the last minute and then you don’t have time to reflect on them.

There is something about this show because it’s about creepiness and darkness and my work is naturally a bit creepy.  The fact that I’ve got an excuse to ramp that up makes me very happy and excited.  I normally work flat on the floor, where I like my paints to be really drippy and really messy.  Then I make a mess pull out the image. If the image comes out too far I destroy it again and pull it back out again and destroy it again.  Some people might not see an image at all, they might see something completely different but I like ambiguity.  It’s a strange balance between illusion, and not too much of an illusion.

I like to make people to work to see it.

Fee Image 1
Fee Scroggie

What mediums do you use?

F: I like to use, because of what I’m talking about in my work, quite natural mediums.  I like to use natural pigments.  Equally I do use readymade oil paint, because it’s lovely and creamy and it feels delicious.  I’m very excited as I got a melting wax pot for Christmas, so I can start bringing in beeswax because that’s a great binder for pigments and a great ancient way of doing things.  I’m really interested in materials so I like to bring in things like sand, chalk, dust, dirt and all those sorts of things.  I’m looking forward to do more with natural material.

What would be your dream project?

M: Well I’m actually doing my dream project the now.  I’m working with friends and exhibiting work with friends.  I think art is like your life and it comes out of influences in your life. I sometimes forget about things like that, but when I’m in situations like something like this, I realise how lucky I am.

How has your practice changed over time since art school to now?

M: It’s brilliant coming out of college because it trains you, and now I’m good.  I’ve got a regular pattern and studio.  I’ve always being involved in making art, I just feel that I am properly an artist.

F: You have to earn it though, don’t you?  You can say you’re an artist but if you haven’t done anything for two years, then you can’t call yourself an artist.  You’ve got to be actively working, once you’re climbing the mountain, and then you can call yourself an artist.  It’s hard graft no matter how talented you are.  It’s amazing I didn’t realise that for quite a long time, I thought I could pull off something.  It does maybe look excellent for maybe a month, but if you look at it for two months there’s maybe nothing it that.

M: It’s a weird thing for me because I think you have to have suffered a blow.  I always knew I was an artist, and I knew I could go out and make things happen.

There is potential to control your own career.

Have you ever had a really memorable response to your artwork?

F: Where someone was physically sick?

Laughter

Good or bad?

F: I had quite a memorable response to my degree show, where you get comments and an awful lot of people left comments.  I was looking back through it a year ago and people left comments like; what happened to you, you need help?  A lot of people even asked if I had ever thought about Jesus.  There was a lot of people that heartfelt genuinely felt that I was a really troubled lass.  The work was quite dark and it was about dysfunctional love.  It was dark, and I put out all my sketchbooks for people to look at.  There was a lot of these horrible mono prints and strange clothing that I had made myself, to keep people away from myself.  It was very sort of prickly kind of work, but I thought it had a really good black humour to it, and I thought it was quite tongue-in-cheek.

M: Yeah, definitely

F: Yeah it was dark but humorously dark.  I made things like sweeties with wasps and nails in it and voodoo dolls that could be touched with gloves with razor on them.  All these daft things. It was dark but humorously dark.

Fee and Mary’s work will be on show at Naked Aye, Creep Me Oot, the exhibition runs from the 2nd – 16th April 2016, at St Margaret’s House.

For more information on Fee and Mary’s work please visit:

http://marytrodden2.wix.com/mary-trodden
http://www.feescroggie.com/
https://www.facebook.com/feescroggie