Andy Wicks Paints Blog

Deptford Residency Interview (part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Wicks on 25 August, 2013

Residency Interview 2 – August 2013 by Emily Mahon

The Doldrums opens Friday 30th August 6-9pm and continues until 28th September.

It’s the 6th week of Andy’s residency at Occupy My Time Gallery on the Enclave block in Deptford; after a fair bit of walking, plenty of reading, lots of sanding, and a few visits to Little Nan’s bar.. a jetty has appeared in the gallery!

Its all very exciting, I’m able to walk the length of the gallery on the indoor jetty to my Interning den, I’m already excited about the fun I’ll have invigilating on a Saturday.

So I ask Andy:

When did this appear?

Andy: It’s taken 11 days to build which involved a lot of sanding and cutting but its been enjoyable to work on and I’m pleased with how its looking. I didn’t start making until the 5th week of the residency so its felt good to finally get stuck into some physical work. It’s been funny to watch people’s reactions from the window change now there’s a crazed man in the gallery singing and dancing with an electric sander.

I think my relaxed approach and joking about not having enough time at the beginning meant a lot of people may have doubted my intentions.

So did you have this idea from the beginning?

Andy: I knew I wanted to do something different from my usual studio practice and installation was definitely something I liked the idea of.

How were the first few weeks of the residency then for you?

When you come to a new place it always takes a while to settle in and to become adjusted to the space so its hard to start making work straight away. I spent a good month just reading and exploring Deptford as I wanted my research play a large part in informing the work I made. Leaving it until week 5 to start making did create a bit of pressure, but I think I worked well under it – and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

So on creating the jetty inside the gallery space, how did that work extracting it as a form. Did you make sketches, or paintings to accompany it?

In terms of form its just an approximation to give a nod to such structures without being a pastiche. The dimensions are shrunk down to work within the gallery space as an intervention while acting as a platform from which to take in the rest of the exhibition. I’ve looked at Thames mooring structures (Dolphins) in my paintings so it’s a form I’m familiar with.

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Andy with the wood used to construct ‘Jetty’

 

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An old Jetty on the Deptford foreshore

So through creating it in the gallery, do you want the audience to just take the essence of the jetty or really interact with it, almost like a play piece that it seems to suggest?

The piece is intended to be used by the viewer, offering a path through the gallery while also elevating them above it. The Jetty could be seen to represent the journeys I’ve made in and around Deptford, taking this idea of movement and direction into the gallery space.

What other work are you planning to show with the jetty?

It’ll be accompanied by at least two other works, one will be photographic, and the other documentation of a walk and gesture I’m planning. I’m still not sure how the latter will be realised in the exhibition as I see the walk itself as the work but I will be charting my movements and capturing images of the act.

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Documenting in the gallery

Have you found any particular stage of the residency more or less enjoyable? The making or the research for example?

No it’s all been equally enjoyable, I’ve realised that in the past I’ve not always spent enough time getting into my research, so its helped me revaluate certain things.

Do you think the experience has reinvented your practice?

I came into the residency knowing that I wanted to do something different. I was confident of being able to deliver technically however I was conscious that it wasn’t simple about the residency and exhibition, but rather a chance to shift my practice and possibilities. Its too soon to say what this time will do for me in the future but I’m pleased with how I chosen to use it.

Do you feel having a show that focuses on a specific place like Deptford and being situated next to a host of galleries at Enclave has given you a duty to make work of a certain type or style?

There’s definitely an intensity that comes from creating the work in the same place i’m exploring, I wouldn’t say being around the other galleries has influenced the work I’ve made but it has opened me up to differing uses of the space. The sense of community has added to the experience and I’ve enjoyed having dialogue with the others at Enclave.

What do you hope people will take out of the exhibition? Is there a play element?

I would like the viewer to engage with the exhibition and individual works and if there’s something in particular that captures them, then there is a lot more reading and investigating they can do. People tend to choose where to live based on transport links and affordability, while not necessarily being aware of whats on their doorstep. In the relatively short time I’ve been in Deptford I’ve picked up so much and have become very fond of the area.

The Jetty could be seen as playful, its an interactive piece which people are encourage to ‘use’.

E.M

Beached – Sculpture voyage and install

Posted in Exhibitions by Andy Wicks on 15 July, 2012

My sculpture ‘Beached’ has been installed at WW Gallery’s Patio Project for the last week exposed to the same harsh British summer we’ve all been subjected to. I prefabricated the sculpture in my studio and instead of hiring a van decided to transport all 50 foots worth of timber the 30 minute walk from studio to site by hand. Roping in some muscle for hire we broken it down into parts, strapped it to a couple of dollies and started our journey. Below are some shots of her maiden voyage through to reconstruction at the Patio Project.

Beached is viewable 24/7 at 30 Queensdown Road, London E5 8NN until 29th July.

Many thanks goes to the generous support of Alan Magee for his logistical prowess and muscle along with the keen eye and steady hand of Marion May for her excellent documentation of this wacky adventure.

Sculpture Studio – ‘Beached’ Patio Projects work in progress

Posted in Exhibitions, Writings by Andy Wicks on 21 June, 2012

A little while ago I mentioned an upcoming project which would see me create my first sculpture as part of WW Gallery’s Patio Projects, a temporary public art program. Each month over the past year an artist has been selected to install a piece on the front patio of WW former gallery space in Hackney Downs overlooking the park.

Here are a couple of the previous projects to grace the site –

Lucy May – Three Hundred Pounds of Heavenly Joy

Kirsty Tinkler – Face Off

For Patio Project #9 Andy Wicks has created ‘Beached’, a towering sculptural assemblage and minimalist recreation of the mooring structures which can be found along the banks of our city’s river. ‘Beached’ takes its initial inspiration from the visceral materiality of these wooden structures: which stained by weathering, rusted and rotten, evoke the history of the central artery of London’s trade industry.

Metaphorically ‘salvaged’ from the beaches of the Thames, the driftwood of our forgotten industrial past finds itself re-imagined, stripped back, reassembled and beached on a domestic patio. Removed from its tide-washed context, and juxtaposed instead, with the architectural language of such residential anomalies as recycling bins, estate agent signs and trellis fencing.

Erased of barnacles, ropes, algae and the other ephemera of its romantic riverside associations, ‘Beached’ becomes an inexplicable object in this residential landscape.

Over the last week I have been working non stop on ‘Beached’ and I’m glad to say its now complete. Moving chunky 3 metre long lengths of wood around the studio was a bit of a challenge but I soon found I took it in my stride (albeit a very different type of studio session compared to handling 30 x 20 cm canvases!). For a couple of days the arch of the form was hanging somewhat precariously from the beams of the studio roof but suddenly with some high altitude drilling and a couple of bolts it became freestanding and a real sight to behold as it towered over me and the rest of the studio. Whilst not wanting to reveal too much of the final form, below are a selection of more ambiguous shots of the work in progress. The sculpture will be unveiled on Thursday 5th July 6 – 7pm and will be on display to the public come rain or shine through to 29th July.

WW Gallery Patio Projects – 30 Queensdown Road Hackney Downs E5 8NN

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)