In anticipation of next week's event, I:M sits down with the 'Reclaim The Night' artists. The night will celebrate work from young female artists inspired by the movement which raises awareness of sexual assault and harassment. It will take place at the Square Club on February 8th. Want to know a bit more before it begins? Have a read of this and find out what Tatty Martin, one of the artists featured, has to say about space, music and a Netflix show that you should definitely start watching.
SO, WHAT'S YOUR NAME?
AND WHAT'S YOUR DEGREE?
WHAT YEAR ARE YOU IN?
WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS? TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m a really obsessive person, not stalker obsessive though. I’m really messy but once I get into something I get so obsessed with it. So that comes into art but even with my degree it will take me a whole term then I’ll be properly obsessed with one writer. Same with musicians. So, at the moment I’m really obsessed with Virginia Woolf’s autobiography, it’s called Moments Of Being. It’s so good. Also you know who I love right now? This guy called Max Richter, he did an album all influenced by Woolf’s works. Like his beginning track has her talking. I gave it to my Dad over Christmas thinking he’d love it and he hasn’t even listened to it though. I also really get into soundtracks. At the moment I really love the Call Me By Your Name playlist. And this new series on Netflix called the End of The Fucking World. It’s really amazing. The whole series. One of the best series. Really cool 50’s music.
WHAT DOES THE THEME ‘RECLAIM THE NIGHT’ MEAN TO YOU?
Maybe… well, I think of reclaiming the night in kind of different parts, reclaim is about empowering, not just women, everyone. And it’s about reasserting power and also I think it’s a group thing, a movement, or a community. And the night - when things happen at night they seem sometimes more powerful, they have that fear factor to it but also coming out at night, you sometimes associate the night with quiet and stillness so in connection with reclaiming the night, you think of reinvigorating it and giving it power through silence. Maybe one of the most important thing, for me, is the community feel. Especially in the past year, there is such a group mentality, no one is encouraged to feel alone if they are standing against something. There’s comfort and power in being part of a movement.
HAS IT INSPIRED YOUR ART?
Yeah, I feel maybe my art doesn’t look like the night, it’s not dark or anything, but my art kind of started with this thing about, its hard to describe, but with inner serenity. A stilness to it, about how arranging something on a canvas can make something that is harmonious. Then it did progress, influenced by poetry, shapes, I became less concerned with things like oh that has to be in the right place. It became more about my free expression through painting. So I feel my art has more to do with reclaim, reclaiming expression and reclaiming expression also on a personal level.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ART?
So, yeah it did start off more with harmony and now its more to with expression. It’s progressed. More to do with free expression and boldness but saying that I do use really pale colours but it's more about brush strokes and textures rather than colours. I use bright colours almost as like pinpoints in my paintings as to guide other parts of my paintings. It’s weird because when I do it, it feels really expressive and it feels kind of frantic but the end piece always seems calm and meditative. I suppose thats what reclaim is about, starting this whole massive movement with energy and passion in order for the end product to be this kind of calmness.
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES AS AN ARTIST?
Well my favourite artist, he’s inspired my painting for like 3 or 4 years and always been kind of my point of reference. He’s called Cy Twombly. He does massive massive really pale canvases and also includes lots of classical literature references. I just love him so much. He’s really amazing. Really beautiful. Really beautiful. And he uses colours that are maybe more thought of as feminine colours like pinks and reds but then is also really aggressive with them which I really like. I also really like Willem de Kooning, a lot of the artists that influence me are kind of because of the colours they use. I find I use the same colour palette as them but in completely different styles and with different meanings. They’re the big two.
TELL ME ABOUT THE PROCESS BEHIND YOUR ART?
I use wall paints mostly because they are really thick and they’re not shiny and they dry really quickly. Acrylic can be too shiny and wall paint is stronger, they’re also really great because if you put it on too thick they crack which I really like. I sometimes use oils, that’ll be on top and it will just be little details. And this gravel spray thing, lots of different DIY pieces. I always start on canvas and do so many layers. I do lots of sketches but they don’t ever resemble my final piece. I just do loads and loads of layers, sometimes i’ll regret putting an extra layer. To be honest, even the piece i’m showing at Reclaim The Night I’ll probably carry on working with cause thats what so nice, you can just carry on and carry on. Like the canvas for the event started off really dark, almost dark browny blue, but that's what so good about thick paints. You can't even tell what used to be there because i’ve covered it with whites.
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR FINISHED PIECES FOR THE EVENT?
It’s weirdly turned out to be more like the art I used to do. So, the background is all this white, but its quite rough, lots of layers, quite ugly. And there are these two bits of colour that are very neat. So it’s kind of reversing what I would normally do.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO CREATE YOUR PIECE?
I started painting on that canvas ages and ages ago. I don’t know. I keep on coming back to it. It’s hard to know when I even started it, it was a different painting before. It’s got a lot of paint on it.
IF YOU HAD TO SUMMARISE YOUR ART, HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN IT?
It’s all about trying to create space. It’s really similar to a final piece I did for my foundation where my painting carried on to my wall. Kinda showing it’s not contained by the canvas. It was just a tiny drop, I’d love to do that but don’t think I can really do that at the Square Club. My final piece is actually in my kitchen now, I begged my mum to let me paint on the wall.
I’d love to be an artist but I’m not sure I will. It’s the dream. No matter what I do I’ll always give myself time to paint.