In Conversation with…MF
We talk to multi-media artist and Arts Central resident MF in the latest of our ‘In Conversation…’ interviews.
What medium do you work in?
I generally use materials that represent the social fabric such as paper, tarpaulins, house paint. I’m more likely to be found in B&Q than the local art shop. My brushes are actually power tools and cutters and scrapers which are used to alter materials.
How did you get into art?
I worked in business for 30 years but have always loved looking at art as an antidote to the prosaic career environment I found myself in. I only started making art about a year ago after a difficult period in my life prompted me to find a creative outlet.
How would you describe your work – what are your influences?
My work is visceral rather than cerebral and is as concerned with the removal of material as much as its application. I have no interest in art as decoration and am more attracted to abstraction as a place to communicate ideas. Artists I return to include Mark Bradford, Clyfford Still, Jack Whitten, Matthew Barney, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Jose Parla, Helen Frankenthaler…..
What inspires you?
If anything inspires me it’s that act/process of making. Being lost in the moment is a really under-rated state.
Tell us about a recent project
I recently exhibited a series of very large works at OVADA in Oxford. that dealt with individual and collective trauma. I used waxed cotton tarpaulins that have resonance as similar material is used to construct the tents in refugee camps the world over.
What do you most enjoy about being an artist?
The fact that anything can be art and the only restrictions are my own scope of vision and ambition.
What do you find most challenging about being an artist?
The same as the response to the last question.
If you could choose a piece of art by a famous artist to take home with you, what would you go for?
‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Hieronymous Bosch, painted around 1490 but it looks like it could have been painted in the 20th Century. I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time with it in the Prado Museum in Madrid and it blows my mind every time I see it.
If money was no object, what art materials would you love to acquire?
If money was no object I’d have my own warehouse studio and a team of assistants. I can’t think of any materials that are out of reach financially.
How has being an Arts Central Resident helped you?
Getting my first studio and then moving into an even larger space has been invaluable to my development. I am now able to work on a much greater scale and do lots of messy experimentation without distraction.