ArtAttack had an amazingly successful day at The Other Art Fair and were fortunate enough to identify a talented group of artists willing to give us their time to interview them, in order for us and you to understand in more depth their practice and concepts behind what they create.
I hope you have taken the time to read my previous interview with Dance Photographer, Cody Choi, and now I would like to introduce British Artist, Will Teather. Teather is known for creating images that reveal a unique imagination combined with a mastery of traditional skills. Teather is influenced by magical realism, which is a mutual inspiration between his work and my own photography, leading me to have a personal interest to interview him.
Teather’s work looks into everyday situations with an alternative view, delving deep into our thought processes and stretching our thoughts and interpretations onto his works. We viewed his latest collection of paintings and spheres, in which Teather intends for the viewer to see his radical take on realist painting.
If you find our interview intriguing and his work fascinating, you can take the opportunity to visit Teather’s latest show at Underdog Art at London Bridge this coming week.
ArtAttack: How did you become involved in creating art and at what point did you realise you wanted to make art your career?
Will Teather: I have always enjoyed creating things and living in my imagination. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of making art. I remember sketching out a white wax drawing of a swan and being encouraged to paint blue poster paint over it, which then evaporated miraculously to reveal the image- I must have been about to start primary school. I still use swans as a motif in my work.
AA: Your work often seems to sit somewhere in the realm between reality and fiction, to what extent would you agree with this interpretation?
WT: Totally- my work draws upon the extraordinary within the every day. I like to create a sort of ontological ambiguity where you’re not exactly sure what is going on or how the image has been made, despite the realism of the image. I have always enjoyed a sense of spectacle in artwork. I have created fictional characters in the past and tried to convince the public that they really exist. I have even offered money for said characters to come forward and reveal themselves. In a sense, if people believe they exist, they do.
I used to read a lot of magical-realist literature, which plays with our belief systems to create impossible events. Who says the world is round? People used to be put in gallows for this kind of rhetoric, because it is quite obviously flat.
AA: You work primarily with paint – how would you describe your artistic practise?
WT: I’m always stumped by this. I try to let others who appreciate my practice do that these days. I do have a manifesto though:
Art should be powerful
Art should offer transcendence
Art should make us see the world differently
Art should provide other worlds
Art should make us excited
Art should offer us extraordinary spectacles
Art should embrace its inherent artifice
Art should offer escape
Art should reflect the human condition
Art should learn from its past
Art should exist in the present
Art should be beautifully made
Art should open conversations
Art should be revelatory
Art should be emotional
Art should ignore its limitations
Art should reinvent clichés
Art should be daring
Art should not be fearful
Art should be for everyone
Art should not be boring
Art should be enjoyable
Art should not be a science
Art should be clever
Art should not be academic
AA: In your ‘Infinite Perspectives’ works you paint on spheres – can you explain the significance of this?
WT: I think they are the most art historically significant project that I have undertaken- because it deals with the depiction of space in a different way, and is perhaps a radical take on realist painting, an inherently traditional art-form.
The initial idea was creating immersive paintings on the inside of spheres that people could walk into. I then thought about impossible viewpoints like the centre of a flock of birds and how it might be possible to adjust the perspective of the painting according to the curve of the canvas. The images reflect the differences between our eyes and a camera. As we scan a space the perspective constantly shifts. Our eyes rotate so we are constantly combining viewpoints into a seamless image. These paintings are meant to reflect that extraordinary reality.
AA: Have you got any future projects / plans lined up?
WT: Yes, I am developing innovative ways of presenting the spheres and am in the show New Masters at Underdog Art, London Bridge, opening 12th May. I have a one man show opening at Norwich Arts Centre 24th June. The same month I will also have works at the Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead.
– Charlotte Webber
For more on Will, visit his website.