Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Great Outdoors - Interview with Chloe Bonfield

1.Tell us about your practice as an artist?

The general umbrella of my practice is illustration but I love working in video and installation. I am trying to balance making more commercial work for clients alongside exploratory work that informs my practice and style. This can be a tricky business but has really put me through a big learning curve. Learning to not be too precious over my own work and getting towards having the sense of professionalism that I want to be inherent within my work.

Generally though I love exploring things around me, researching things past and melding the two together some how. I love folk tales and traditions, strange little obsessions and languages made from pictures that everyone can understand no matter who you are.

What is your work for 'The Great Outdoors inspired by?

The main narrative for this work started after a trip to Norway where I went for a lovely walk in big forest where you could pick wild blueberries and heather, and also swim and drink from ice cold and clear glacier lakes. It was really magical, there were even toadstool mushrooms. This trip inspired a sort of exploratory mini comic involving a male and female character. Throughout their little journeys they are always apart and sometimes just not present at all. It became another kind of melancholic narrative about these two, John and Suzanne. They have been to some other places now which are on the blog of the comic. For this show I am trying to explore their world 'post them', so looking at what artefacts, tools and jewellery they may have had in their world if you were to find some evidence of it in our world. This includes some drawings depicting how they view the places that they visit.

Have you got a particular memory of the great outdoors that you would like to share?

Well apart from the forests in Norway, I can't really pick one because I am constantly surprised by nature. I know it sounds cheesy but it is completely true. I suppose a really good recent memory is spending time in Devon on the weird sandy flats and dunes around the burrows, and Instow. Odd man made concrete and old bits of boat next to salty sand. Everything sort of looks either completely orange or grey. It's very satisfying.

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