Tell us about your work in the current Art Systems Wickham exhibition?
With this new work, I set myself a project to respond to the landscape from a different perspective and only using chromatic black. In the past I have viewed the landscape from afar, this time I wanted to get up close and personal - a micro vision. The original concept came from seeing Ray Arnold's Western Mountain prints.
The current artwork in the exhibition Responsive with Grant Vercoe, is a continuing investigation into coal and its impact. This exploration of mark making paintings started with artworks in exhibitions A Dirty Business and Black Harvest with Peter Tilley and Andrew Styan respectively. I wanted to also approach the paintings differently, by subtracting the medium rather than adding the medium to various surfaces. To deconstruct and reconstruct over many layers and hopefully give depth to the works. The organic mark marking that forms elements of abstraction are a meditative method of painting, trying not to over think the paintings, but to let them ebb and flow and fall into place. A silent way of painting with no conversation.
How long have you been an exhibiting artist?
I have been exhibiting since 2004. The first exhibition was a couple of weeks into a Diploma of Fine Arts at Newcastle Art School / Hunter Tafe Campus. I have been exhibiting ever since, in both group shows and solo exhibitions at a local and national level in Australia.
Where did you go to art school?
In 1988 I went to Cleveland College of Art and Design in Middlesbrough, UK. I studied a foundation course for two years before heading to London to study at the London College of Furniture. After a long hiatus of non-art related activities, I enrolled into a Diploma of Fine Art in 2004 at Hunter Street Campus. I continued through the Advanced Diploma, then onto the Bachelor of Fine Art at University of Newcastle in 2007 and was awarded a Masters degree in 2011.
Is drawing an important element to your art making process?
Drawing is an important part of my practice, particularly in the initial stages when planning out compositions before the medium takes over. Drawing/mark making is the foundation of all my artworks. It is these marks that initiate the conversation.
What is your advice to emerging artists?
I would get a good foundation of practical training within the visual arts, which the Newcastle Art School (Hunter Campus Tafe) has to offer. This will broaden your artistic techniques, knowledge and exhibiting experience. Always believe in yourself, even if others don’t. If this was an easy pursuit, everyone would be doing it.
Lastly, listen to your teachers/mentors and be prepared to work hard nearly every day (we artists need a day off too) and keep a visual journal.
~ interview Ahn Wells
Andy exhibited at Art Systems Wickham with Grant Vercoe from 12 - 21 August 2016.