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OCA MA Fine Art: In conversation with Lisa Richards - The Open College of the Arts
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OCA MA Fine Art: In conversation with Lisa Richards

The OCA MA Fine Art team have been working with their students to undertake some student led peer interviews about their work at MA level.  The focus of this was for students to construct the questions and answers and select work that they want to discuss and show.

Hear from Lisa Richards below;

Do you have any advice for the younger you?

As a chronic day dreamer, I love this question but I’ll try to stay on topic! I guess the big one is to get assessed for neurodiversity – that would have made a huge difference. Something about not giving up on your dreams, too. I stopped making art for a few years, but discovered that I need it in my life. Finally, trust yourself. People will come and go, so worry less about what others think. 

Have you ever experienced ‘artist block’ and the self doubt that often accompanies it? If so, how have you been able to resolve this challenge and what are the practices that you have found work to give you momentum again?

I should probably check with other artists, but ‘artistic block’ makes me think of a lack of ideas. I have an over-abundance of ideas, but struggle to organise them and decide which to work on and which to park. But my inaction can sometimes be beneficial, as I’ll often realise a better way of doing things after thinking it through. So, giving myself as break and letting things evolve and emerge at their own pace.

Often the words shocking, weird or confusing are words that individuals can have towards art they don’t understand. How do you as an artist hope to avoid this or do you feel that these qualities can sometimes have merit?

I used to love shocking, weird art – both making and viewing. I wonder if mine was actually a cry for attention, though it also helped me process a lot. Strangely, I’ve completely moved away from shock, in the same way that a moody character might appeal to a teen but not a grown up. I almost feel pity for the creatives still feeling the need to shock their viewers. In my more recent work, I’m actually hoping to make something more accessible. I want my paintings to be calming and uplifting – perhaps in reaction to my older work. I don’t want to wallow anymore. There’s enough misery in this world, so I’ll focus on joy.

What are you finding out/working on right now?

Four little bracketed words in an article recently, “(used for canvas bleaching)“, set me thinking about whether I could take colour away from my canvas before adding to it. I thought/hypothesised/hoped that bleached canvas would show a colour wash more brightly. So far, the results have been a little more subtle that I wanted, but I’m experimenting with different bleaches and ways of applying them. I don’t think my husband is too impressed with the smell! 

Which artists inspire and influence your work and practice?

I am very guilty of finding most of my inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. Betty Franks, Andrea Garvey, Kellee Wynne Conrad and Svetlansa all paint beautiful, colourful abstracts. Historically, I’ve always loved Rothko’s use of colour, and Klimt’s tiny details. Alice Sheridan & Louise Fletcher host my go-to podcast on life as an artist.

Find out more about OCA MA Fine Art here.

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Posted by author: Michele Whiting

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