Island Year (2013), Nicky Deeley, (C)
FAD have hooked up with our favourite guide to the art stars of the future The Catlin Guide to give you a sneak preview of some of the nine shortlisted artists this year.
Up forth is Nicky Deeley
1If you weren’t an artist, what else would you be?
An archeologist specialising in Mayan and Aztec rituals, or a zoologist based in Sumatra, working with orangutan.
2 Can you tell us more about your work and what are the main ideas you would like to express?I try to connect to that which is intangible, un-graspable, but still present in us, by pulling out and representing uncanny images, or situations, from mythology or subconscious dream landscapes. For the Catlin I have created an extract of a dream landscape, that was also inspired by staging in theatrical spaces and the narrative pace of Kabuki. I perform four costumed characters, each slowly enter the installation and spend time there, almost acting like a seasons. There is a fifth character who is like an observer, who records the passage of these completed seasons by creating a drawing to mark the completed cycle, and the collection of drawings will grow as the exhibition progresses.
I perform each cycle several times a day, it is a slow process, so each visitor to the gallery may see something totally different to another, depending on their patience and when they arrive during the day.
3 How do you start the process of making work?
I visit museums, read mythology and anthropology books, draw empty rooms and fill them with things, and go into the countryside.
4 Do you consider the viewer, when making your work?
Of course, I want to include them. How will they move in the space?, what will they feel invited to touch?, what will they feel intimidated by? How can I seduce, repel, or comfort?
5 Name 4 artists that have inspired your work?
My peers and emerging artists, Leah Capaldi, Miriam Austin, Rob Bellman and Joanne Peace.
6 What defines something as a work of art?
Do you think about it afterwards?…does it rattle your bones?
7 In times of austerity, do you think art has a moral obligation to respond topically?Art has no rules and that is trying to impose one, what is topical to one person is not to another. A lot of people are indeed speaking about financial/social matters but also a lot of people are talking about memes of cats wearing toast!, dig deep enough into both of these things and you’ll find interesting meaty stuff to work with. Its all topical….
8 Anytime, any place – which artist’s body would you most like to inhabit?
The bodies of the entire cast of The Muppets in that final operatic, arm waving shot of the opening credits.
9 What was the most intelligent thing that someone said or wrote about your work?That it’s not about answering questions, it’s about deepening the mystery.
10 Which artists would you most like to rip off, sorry, I mean appropriate as a critique of originality and authorship?There are three Japanese films which left me speechless. ‘Hausu’, Nobuhiko Obayashi, ‘Onibaba’, by Kaneto Shindô and ‘Kwaidan’ by Masaki Kobayashi. They are three of the most brilliant films ever, go search them out ladies and gents.
11 Do you care what your art costs? State your reasons!
To me? Or to others? It’s a great feeling to sell work, for people to decide it is some thing they wish to have in their lives, and it’s feels amazing to put food on the table through the strength of your ideas. It can also cost in other ways, like not going to the park with your friends, to instead sit in your studio and finish something.
12 What’s next for you?
I will be editing the film of ‘Island Year’, my performance piece for the Catlin, and collating all the live drawings I made as part of that piece to eventually make an accompanying book to the film. After that I am excited to begin work on a large immersive theatre experience which encompasses the whole village of Lismore in Ireland, and uncovers the history of a group of unique mythological beasts from the area. This will be made with the support of Lismore Castle Arts and presented in March 2014.
13 How will you spend the £5000 if you win?
That would be super. I would fill in the hole of my MA study overdraft, buy a nice camera so I can start to make films of my characters, and take my sweetheart out for a big Japanese dinner.
See Nicky now along with the other nine nominee’s at The Catlin Art Prize 2013 Londonewcastle Project Space 28 Redchurch Street London E2 7DP artcatlin.com
Open 2nd – 26th May 2013