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Artist in the Spotlight

Hello everyone, this feature is a little bit special because I had the pleasure of interviewing the winner of the 2020 (first ever virtual) 'A View from Your Window' competition, local artist, Katie Trick. The competition was made virtual due to the safety restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, and the theme was decided to reflect upon the several months spent at home; encouraging the artists to create something beautiful that stems from a rather trying time for us all. I believe that is such a thought provoking sentiment, and we were so lucky to have so many delightful entries. A huge congratulations to Katie for winning first place due to her "outstanding work and concept of the theme." Congratulations also to Claire Hutter (second place), Maria van-Tintelen (third place) and highly commended Victoria Flynn for her perceptive use of colour.

If you would like to learn a little more about the inspiration behind Katie's winning entry as well as her creative processes then please read on and enjoy!

*Make sure to read at the bottom as I leave details about your votes for the People's Choice Award.

Q. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your virtual competition entry?

A. So I entered a painting I finished just before the first Lockdown, it’s called ‘they said it was

nice outside' and little did I or any one know what was about to happen and a view from the

window would be most people ’s connection to the outside. I always paint views through, Landscapes framed.. I think it s sometimes a disconnect to a place I’m painting, or other times wanting to glorify somewhere.


Here is Katie's winning entry, 'they said it was nice outside' for those who haven't seen it already:


Q. From what/whom do you draw your artistic inspiration?

A. It can come from anywhere really, and I just sort of catch bits that I find exciting and save them up. Sometimes I don't exactly know what I'm going to do with these things but they will sometimes creep into the work. It can be anything from something I've seen when walking, something popping up on the telly that I'll take a photo of on my phone, a random picture, a song, a gardening programme, a scene from a film, a pattern on a jug, a shape... I've never gone to a specific place to find inspiration. Obviously, there are so many artists and designers that inspire me - but I think artists build up their own personal archive of random things, things that mean nothing to others but it's all part of the process of making work.

At the moment I think the landscape around me seems to be driving my work more than anything else. The mountains that swoop down into Port Talbot, to the sea. My train journey to the studio in Swansea. The view from my house. The work I'm making is becoming more and more personal.


Q. What motivates you to get up in the morning?

A. I have to have a coffee otherwise I'm like a dragon. I'm not really a morning person.


Q. How would you describe your artistic style in three words?

A. This is actually a really hard question; I'm going to stick to one. 'Hopeful' (to me anyway).


Q. How have you been creatively passing time during the Covid-19 pandemic?

A. When it first came around and we were put into Lockdown I had a bit of a panic as I was no

longer able to work at the job I had at the time but I thought, I’ve now been given the gift

of all the time in the world to make work which is so rare. So, I started drawing and

drawing and drawing and it has just sort of rocketed my work and my hunger to make

paintings.

So now I try to draw every single day, even if it's something small.

Also, at the beginning of the summer I was lucky to be involved with the Elysium gallery led

affordable studios scheme which meant that I was able to get a studio (for the first time in 4

years woo hoo) for just £10 a month!!! It was made possible through funding from the Arts Council of Wales and has been a blessing really. Having the ability to be working alongside

other artists in Swansea it really is amazing. So my time is split between working from

home and painting at the studio.


Q. Did you always want to be an artist?

A. I think I have... When I was really little, I remember my nan buying me a watercolour set and we'd sit there painting. I was always encouraged by my parents to do whatever I wanted to do - and with the encouragement from teachers throughout school. I've just always swung that way. I mean, I'd be the worst accountant!!


Q. What is something you enjoy getting up to in your spare time that isn't to do with art?

A. I'm about to make myself sound like an old man. But I love going for walks, nosing around charity shops, I love cooking, I love eating. I don't know really; I haven't got like an interesting hobby or anything.


Q. What advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there reading this?

A. Oh bloody hell, I don't think I'm at the stage to give much advice - as I need it myself. Maybe there's one thing I've realised in this last year - is not to feel married to the work you're making, change your materials, try things you don't feel comfortable with.

I've been struggling for years feeling like the work I was making was really stiff, boring and obvious, and sometimes I was afraid to try something different.


Q. Do you have a favourite artist/piece of art?

A. It would be impossible to commit to just one, so I'll name a few that I love.

Pierre Bonnard, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Nash, Tal R, Matisse, Graham Sutherland.


Q. Do you have anything exciting coming up that you are enjoying creating/excited to share?

A. There are a few things that I'm working on, or working out in my head, but definitely ideas to start once this pandemic calms a bit and I'm able to get in the studio properly. One of the main things is working from some of the drawings that I've made this year - scaling up and really concentrating on painting. I'm also starting to experiment with framing and painting wooden blocks - almost putting them together like a jigsaw. So, we'll see what will come of that. I'm just going to keep working, keep making things.

Thank you so much to Katie for taking part in this interview! I don't know about you but I personally loved getting to know Katie a little bit better, and I think a lot of her sentiments are so spot on. I hope you can get back to your studio soon, Katie!

Congratulations once more to Katie, Claire, Maria, Veronica and every single artist who entered the competition; I know the judges had a difficult time making decisions as the quality of work was so outstanding.

The winning entries and a selection of other entries will be on show in the Gallery during the Spring 2021. In the meantime, if you want to check out the exhibition of the entries then head to the 'Virtual Exhibitions' page of the website. Scroll to the bottom of the exhibition page and be sure to select your favourite entry for the People's Choice Award!

Thank you for reading, stay safe and see you in the next one.

Lowri and the QSG team.

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