Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Florence Trust Trustees Role

Posted in Florence Trust, News by Andy Wicks on 19 November, 2012

I’m delighted to announce that I have now joined the board of Trustees at the Florence Trust as Artist Trustee. Having gone through the program in 2010 – 2011 its a great honour to be asked back to play a part in the future of the Trust. I feel my time at the FT was a turning point in my practice, where my work developed considerably and I left with the confidence from the experience to continue onwards. This was down to a mix of the stunning St Saviours environment, a strong and close knit group of fellow artists and the time to push forward my practice. For this reason I was always willing to give something back, as it happens this role enables me be involved in the program in a more official capacity.

As a former residency artists I will act a link between the current studio artists and the board of Trustees, I will also be working on setting up the Alumni group to make the most of the large network of artists who have been through the residency. I have been working on the social media side of things, an area the Trust has so far resisted entering. We now have a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter account as well as a blog. These will be used to share information on the activities of the current studio artists both in and outside of the studios as well as alumni exhibitions.

There are many great stories of Florence Trust artist’s successes and I hope that through these new strands of communication we’ll be able to share them, in turn promoting a fantastic arts charity who 20 years in are still growing and helping artists from around the world develop their practices. I’m looking forward to using this role as an excuse to visit the studios more often, getting to know all the artists and have a hand in the future of the program.

Leanne Bell Gonczarow and Ian Gonczarow – Moscow There and Back

Posted in Artists, News by Andy Wicks on 26 August, 2012

Leanne Bell Gonczarow and Ian Gonczarow have spent the last 5 week in residence at OMT Gallery, part of Enclave in Deptford. Having just returned from living and working for the past 3 years in Moscow they have been using their time in the gallery to reflect on their experiences within a tough political and economic environment. The resulting work is now installed in the gallery until Friday 31st August.

Tuesday – Thursday 10 – 6pm and until 8.30pm Friday as part of South London Art Map’s Last Fridays.

Enclave UNIT 9
Resolution Way

I have agreed to follow on from Ian and Leanne as 2013 Artist in Residence next summer. I plan on taking advantage of Enclave’s proximity to Deptford Creek and the Greenwich Peninsula to further investigate this raw and ever changing part of the Thames bankside. I’m looking forward to having a base from which to explore this area in more depth by foot and sail/rowing craft (TBC) to produce a body of work which will result in a solo show at the end of my time in the gallery.

OMT Gallery Work in Progress (July 2012)


Leanne Bell Gonczarow – Time Trickles Here, 2011

Ian Gonczarow, Victory Day – 2012

New Studio – Deborah House, Space Studios

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 5 April, 2012

Keen observers may notice I wrote a similar post back in December (Back to the Studio) when I took on a sublet following months of studio wilderness. But this time its different. Rewind back to the final days of the Florence Trust residency where myself and a number of the artists sat down with plans for a shared space and a continuation of the energy that we’d created during that year. We had some false starts along the way, seeing spaces with real potential which for one reason or another fell through (some at the 11th hour).

Having spent a year in each of my 2 studios previous studios, followed by 4 months in the recent sublet I’d had enough of moving around or using the temporary nature as an excuse for not having the correct set up. I guess for me this idea of the perfect studio could mirror someones desire to make a good home; having all your belongings around you and spaces which appeal to varying sides of ones personality, or in terms of a studio, space to work in multiple disciplines. The luxury of space at the Florence Trust (doubling on my previously studio square footage) was one that I wasn’t prepared to give up. I want to invest in my studio, for it to be big enough that my work isn’t compromised and that I can grow into it over time and not feel the need to upgrade when a big project comes along. I recently brought Sanctuary – Britains Artists and their Studios, a huge book interviewing 100+ artists in their studios, i’m interested in how different set ups work for different types of practitioner and have been making mental notes of things that could work well in the new studio.

I’ll be sharing the studio with Alan Magee who I was at the Florence Trust with. A multi disciplinary artist who I recall introduced himself by saying he does everything but paint. And now that this painter is dabbling with sculpture, photography and printmaking its going to be an exciting to watch things develop.

Alan Magee - I think I can Sculpture; Clothes drying racks & ratchet strap, 2011

The new studio is run by Space England’s largest provider of studios with a community of around 700 studio artists. Alan and I will be sharing 550sq foot of studio with plenty of natural light from skylights and window it offers flexibility, storage and space for work to live before being unleashed. It needs a lick of paint on the walls and floor as well as bit of storage built which will keep us busy for the coming weeks as we slowly move bits over.

New Studio

New Studio

On the note of developments its probably a good opportunity to mention one of the first major projects I will be working on in the studio. I’m going to be making a site specific sculpture as part of WW Gallery’s Patio Projects, a temporary public art commission which sees a sculptural work installed at the front of their space on a residential East London street. The piece is going to be 3 metres high and constructed from found wood, ideally driftwood with which I will be using to make a sculptural realization of one of my painted river mooring construction (or should that be a recreation of the original structures?). I’ve wanted to work with wood for some time and am excited to seeing how this will turn out and gauging reaction.

Mock up of Sculpture (looking out across Hackney Downs Park)

Andy Wicks – Interview January 2012

Posted in News, Writings by Andy Wicks on 29 January, 2012

Here’s a recent interview I did for Claudio Parentela’s blog, you can see more interviews here

Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born on the southern edge of London, a world of commuters and slightly wider streets. I spend most of my time in east London these days where I have my studio practice and do a bit of technician work.

How would you describe your work?

I’m interested in the city and the role it plays in our lives. I enjoy walking paths and looking for things that others may miss, subtle oddities in the environment that take my imagination. My current body of work has taken River Thames mooring structures (dolphins) as an motif for a forgotten past, one of the remaining elements of the River’s (and the city’s) shipping heritage. Still rooted to the mudbanks but gently rotting away with the movement of the tide. There’s a form of romantic longing and storytelling held within these structures for me. The paintings I’ve make as a result walk a line between the heavy ugly brutality of their construction (rotting and rusting colours) and a simplistic beauty in their form.

Did somebody encourage you to become an artist?

I wouldn’t say one person did as such, but growing up I enjoyed playing with art materials. I would always be painting and drawing on family holidays even from a young age. While at school it became apparent that the only subject I really cared about was the art lesson so I just took each opportunity to study further until I got to the stage that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite medium?

I work mainly with oil paint and use resins to create a flat layered surface to work on to. I enjoy the constant discovery of the medium, the way it can be manipulated to perform in numerous ways on the same canvas.

Generally speaking, where do your ideas come from?

The world around me informs my ideas, often from walking somewhere with my camera and having an appreciation for the undervalued.

How long does it take to complete a piece?

With long drying times especially using resin I usually have a few canvases on the go at once. They can take anything from a couple of weeks to few months. I don’t tend to come back to unfinished pieces, if they aren’t working for me I move on to something that has more potential.

Who are your favorite artists…and who are some artists you are currently looking/listening to?

My tastes are split down the middle between ‘clean’ abstraction (Tobias Lehner, Thomas Scheibitz) and a more out their ‘messy’ approach (Albert Oehlen, Anselm Kiefer). I guess I should also say I’m particular into German artist if that wasn’t already apparent… I’m also into the work of Gert & Uwe Tobias who are known for producing large woodcuts but their output also includes sculpture, collage, drawing all tided together through interest exhibition design.

Are you represented by a gallery? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

I’m not represented but try to be proactive when it comes to exhibiting opportunities. I had a painting in the London Art Fair recently and have two group shows coming up in April/May, both are the debut exhibitions for new project spaces in South London; Collectible at Zeitgeist Project Space in New Cross and Past and Present at Occupy my Time in Deptford. I’m also looking forward to making my first sculpture which will be on display at WW Gallery’s Patio Projects in July, which is part of a public art commission series.

Do you have any ‘studio rituals’? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

I prefer to get into the studio early and ease into the day by looking at what I’ve been working on, I also need to get in early as I know I can procrastinate with my ritual of catching up on the news so I try to build that into my day. I usually have music playing while working but don’t feel that I need a particular sound to get me in the mood for work, if I’m in the mood I’ll get stuff done, the music just keeps me going.

What is your favorite a) taste, b) sound, c) sight, d) smell, and e) tactile sensation?

A hard question to answer.. a/ taste is best when when unexpected flavours work together but I like spicy things b/ the sound of the sea, seagulls & a gentle wind blowing c/ an uninterrupted landscape of rolling hills and openness d/ burning coals (or the non romantic answer – hot tarmac & petrol) e/ cold soft powdery snow.

Do you have goals that you are trying to reach as an artist, what is your ‘drive’? What would you like to accomplish in your ‘profession’?

I push myself to be better, to enjoy the journey and grow with each opportunity. I am very driven and like most artists I never really switch off, but at that level of involvement with your own practice and the surround artworld you have to love it to keep the level of energy up.

When have you started using the internet and what role does this form of communication play for you, personally, for your art, and for your business?

I suppose I am part of first home computer generation (a child of the 80s) . I was an early starter with websites and actually brought my domain name in my mid teens while at school to show my developing art activities. I now rely on the web to communicate what i’m up to and have found Twitter to be a great tool for networking, I also blog regularly and use Mail Chimp for exhibition mailing list. I find using a mix of social media and websites keeps me connected and up to date with goings on and helps get my work to new audiences (such as being asked to take part in online interviews!).

What do you obsess over?

Career, life/work balance, quality of work produced etc. Its all to easy for an artist to get obsessed by everything but generally I try to keep a balanced head and get on with it.

Do you have prefered working hours? Do you pay attention to the time of the day or maybe specific lighting?

I recently did a year long residency at the Florence Trust (a charitable artist studio program in a Grade 1 listed church in North London), while there I worked full days up to 7 days a week. An amazing experience but not possible for a sustained existence living in an expensive city. I’m a freelance art technician so now have a mix of odd days off in the week, evenings and weekends. I prefer an early start and have full days but realise I have to make do whenever I have the opportunity.

Do you do commissioned works?

I’ve done a few bits for friends and family but even those I found stressful and incongruous with my usual way of working.

Any tips for emerging artists?

A visiting tutor said to me on my foundation that the only reason why he didn’t get further with his art is he didn’t have the energy for it. At the time I was worried I didn’t have the drive and determination to make a go of it but I knew I enjoyed making work. Over time I saw people around me get opportunities and have some form of success, as a young artist a group of peers is an invaluable thing, a great motivator and education in the workings of the system. Don’t expect too much too soon but love what you do and observe others. Don’t wait for opportunities but create them – organise shows, studio groups, meet people and engage.

Your contacts

Londonist Article

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 8 January, 2012

The Londonist have written a small article on my work as part of their London artists series, which looks at artists who take the city as inspiration. You can see the article here

Back to the studio

Posted in News by Andy Wicks on 12 December, 2011

After a self imposed studio exile since leaving the Florence Trust in the summer I was delighted to collect the keys for my new studio over the weekend. In that time I’ve viewed, written, read, installed and even brought art, everything but make it. The break was much needed at first, after an intense year in the studio I wanted time away and also needed to get my head down and earn some money. But the last couple of months have really made me aware of what I’ve been missing. The times when I wasn’t working, when I would have usually been in the studio felt wasted and with December being notoriously quiet work wise I jumped at the chance to get going again.

In my blog entry summarizing my year at the Florence Trust I mentioned plans for a shared studio with a couple of fellow FT artists. Those plans are still very much in the works so I see the current studio as a stop gap for a couple of months until we get the green light to move in. There will be much more information on this in the new year but in the meantime it feels great to finally have a space where I can go and try things out. I spent Saturday afternoon moving a few bits of equipment over and messed around with some block prints I made at home during my exile. At the time they didn’t feel as though they were going in the right direction, but having a space to view them in and work into them was perhaps all I needed?

With a work in a couple of exhibitions at the moment and a few shows lined up for early 2012 it feels like good timing to get making again. Watch this space..

December – Upcoming exhibitions

Posted in Exhibitions, News by Andy Wicks on 29 November, 2011

I have work in a couple of exhibitions opening in the next week. If you’re in the area make sure you take a look.

Phoenix Magazine – Interview

Posted in News, Writings by Andy Wicks on 24 July, 2011

Andy Wicks with Fred (2009)

Photography: Loren Lazić-Duffy

What do you get if cross Facebook with an art gallery? The answer might well be Rise Art, a community based art platform that offers up and coming artists the chance to sell their work, and fans of art the opportunity to purchase original pieces at affordable prices from as little as £50.

Co-founder Scott Phillips, explains, “Rise Art helps anyone discover amazing work from a curated selection of talented artists. We work with top emerging artists, as chosen by our community and Board of Curators. Working directly with each artist to produce exclusive, original prints in strictly limited quantities’. Owning a piece of genuinely inspired and beautiful art has never been so easy or affordable with pieces starting at £50.”

Phillips continues “Whether you are a first time buyer or avid collector, Rise Art helps you discover and connect with a wide array of emerging artists in a fun, social platform.”

Words: Chloe Di Chiara (Phoenix Magazine, July 2011)

Andy Wicks, Alma Haser & Dai Roberts

Andy Wicks
Graduated from Middlesex University in 2006
What sort of person would buy your art?
I imagine someone maybe a young professional. Someone who engages with the city and urban landscapes but also wants something a bit more vivid and expressive.
What media do you use, what is the process?
I work in oil, but it’s very much a two-part process – my paintings consist of a background that dries for two weeks. Then I do a lot more desk-based painting, with much more detail, the top layer is a lot more flat.
What has Rise Art done for you?
They have been great. Making a print edition in collaboration with them is quite unique. Since then they have been quite good at backing me and promoting my exhibitions and just looking at different ways to connect with a market and the wider art world.
What have you been up to since leaving university?
I’ve been practicing and I haven’t really taken a break – I worked for an art framing company and met a lot of artists. I would recommend any kind of job to a student that can get your near to artists!
What’s next for you?
At the moment I am doing a year long residency at The Florence Trust [a studio space for selected artists set within a Grade 1 listed church], hopefully there will be opportunities from there.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Just look at lots of exhibitions, find out what you like and enjoy, and start to develop your ideas and try things. When you’re young it’s good to not be too defined at that stage.
What inspires you?
I guess my current work, it’s very urban and about the city in a very abstract way. As part of the process of researching I walk along the river Thames with my camera.

New Paintings – July 2011

Posted in News, Paintings, Website / Blog update by Andy Wicks on 23 July, 2011

Here are a couple of new paintings completed near the end of my time at the Florence Trust. These both featured in the end of Residency summer show which finished on Monday (18th July). A few more new pieces can be found on my website along with these, click here to view them. I’ll be writing about the exhibition and thoughts on my time at The Florence Trust soon.

Andy Wicks, Katia, 122 x 100cm, Oil on canvas, 2011

Andy Wicks, Maria, 2 canvases at 89.5 x 56 cm, Oil on polyester, 2011

Fold Gallery – Japan Relief Auction Images and Amount Raised

Posted in Exhibitions, News by Andy Wicks on 23 April, 2011

Its been a couple of weeks since the auction but I thought I would post a few images from the event. I’d forgotten how slick and well hung the work looked in the space, a real feat considering they only had a day to get everything in the space and onto the wall.

As well as having my 2 works sell I managed to pick up a great Guy Allott print to add to my growing collection, with artists donating and bidding on the work of others there was a lot of friendly competition which made a great fun night.

This one night event raised an incredible £2178.12 for the British Red Cross, Japan Tsunami Appeal all from a couple of hours of bidding. Well done to all those involved in putting together a success event and making lots of money for the cause.