December’s Artist of the Month is London based artist, Joanna Gilbert. Joanna is currently studying a Masters of Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and has previously shown with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolors. Her work has been shortlisted for the SWA and Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize.
Joanna Gilbert uses spray paint and mixed media to express what she terms ‘urban emotion’ – a reflective internalization of emotions communicated through gestural expression in a cathartic process.
Joanna’s work is also on show within various corporate offices in and around the UK and she has recently completed a dynamic mirrored Perspex sculpture for Allied World, situated within the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch St, London as well as in ARTIQ projects including White Oak Underwriting, Centrica and AFME.
We sat down with Joanna to find out more about her work. Read the interview in full below. Joanna will also be taking over our Instagram from 18th – 22nd December. Follow us on ARTIQgram for an exclusive behind the scenes of her work, process and inspiration.
Take us through the lifespan of creating a work of art.
Think, Be Curious, Write, Conceptualize, Sketch, Listen to Music, Start.
Transcribe Text, Mask it out, More Text, Mask it Out, Paint, Spray, Paint, More Text, Step Back, Observe, Paint, Refer to Notebook, Tweak, Paint, Text, Mask. Think, Last Marks, Step Back, Done? More? Done.
What artists have influenced your practice?
I first started painting architecture inspired pieces as a result of seeing a book on Zaha Hadid. I have also been influenced by Rauschenberg, Malevich and Kandinsky. Current artists that influence my practice are Howard Sherman, Jose Parla, Jel Martinez, Heather Day, Katherina Grosse and Bisco Smith. There is a real blend of Russian Futurists to Abstract Expressionists to Street Artists.
How has your work developed over time?
I started with a love of architecture, an appreciation of the reflective materials used and the futurist form. These shapes were reflected in my works. I reached a point where I felt the angles and geometry were too polite and formulaic. As a result of the Abstract Expressionist show at the RA, I wanted to loosen my form and enjoy making marks in gestural expressionistic ways. My inspiration moved to the walls on the streets instead of the buildings on them – researching into the constant conversation of change on public domain. The idea of freedom of voice through art and communication in a spontaneous manner.
How do you see your art as a part of our society?
My recent body of work is exploring the tension, confusion, uncertainty and fragility of the self and attachment needs in today’s world of IRL (in real life) vs URL.
The on-line self is the fantasy, it’s the perfect life.
The off-line self is the behind closed doors, the reality. Life outside the bubble. The worry, the pressure, the comparisons, the choice to either self-search, self-destruct or self-repair.
This internal dialogue is the basis of my art – the battle between what is real and our image of what we are told should be real.
Has any place or environment affected your work?
Since starting to study a Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea I have had the pleasure of meeting so many talented peers. Learning of their work, their process and their ideas. It has resulted in a number of collaborative pieces and as a result the work I have produced is constantly in a state of progression, feedback, resolution and progression
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
I would have to be my 8 inch Lascaux paint brush! Oh, and my sketch book, notebook, golden paints, spray paints, my Macbook….
What advice would you give a younger you?
Start Now! And don’t stop! Go with your intuition. Explore and research ideas. There are no wrong ones, just experimentation. Trust yourself. Help others. Go to art school. Express yourself. Don’t be scared. You are good enough. Whatever it is, you deserve it.