As you may have seen, ArtAttack has been interviewing a number of fantastic artists discovered at this year’s The Other Art Fair, London.
Bridget Davies, who’s interview follows below, drew us in with her elegant and evocative ink works of glamorous women, which in many ways feel reminiscent of another era.
We spoke with Bridget to discuss her artistic practice and delve a bit deeper into what has inspired her very specific and recognisable style.
ArtAttack: How did you become involved in creating art and how did your journey with figurative art [specifically] start?
Bridget Davies: I do believe it began when I was a child, and I liked to make paper dolls, all with an array of outfits to fit any occasion. It was taken more seriously when I was taking my fashion degree, and we had a visiting lecturer who worked as a fashion illustrator. I’ve always loved drawing the human figure/life drawing, both of males and females, but this was different. I developed a strong fascination for fashion illustration and drawing (I collect books on this subject). I’m not sure why… maybe it is a prolific blend of the different elements that come together, to produce a successful painting; competent observational skills and draftsmanship, good graphic awareness, and the playful playful, flirtatious narrative.
AA: I have noticed most of your works surround the subjects of women, elegance and class – Is there a particular reason for this? Why not men?
BD: I paint mainly women, primarily because I am one and there is an element of self-projection in my work. I also try to set a mood, using feelings from my experiences and encounters to form the personalities of the women. Although I’m not preoccupied by the constantly changing face of fashion, the silhouette and detail of woman’s fashion, especially evening wear, offers and inspires me more than that of men.
AA: There is a strong sense of fashion illustration involved in your work. Are you interested in fashion outside of art? If so, is that a main influence for you?
BD: I’m not really inspired by fashion per se, as more by the feel of the fashion from bygone eras, usually that of the forties and fifties when this classic ageless style and beauty is still recognised in the fashions of the time. I am inspired enormously by the elegant and beautiful fashion drawings by illustrators of this period. I am more concerned by the general feeling and composition rather than getting literal details correct, and I do look to the more innovative fashion designers who create such beautiful shapes and structures for overall look.
AA: Why ink over any other medium?
BD: I love the journey that is taken by ink. The ink envelops my figures, swirling and cloaking them in its’ fluidity.
Imagine the colour and ink dancing on/off the paper as you paint. This is what I see when I use ink, as it seems to have a life of its own. I don’t know whether it is freedom or fear that I feel before I embark. It can be a fast and simple process but I have to be in a certain place emotionally to accomplish what I consider to be a successful painting. There is a certain amount of control that needs to be executed, knowing how or when to place the water on the paper, how long it should be left to soak, should some be removed, etc. and then, sometimes with a little help, it is the inks turn. It is a little like a partnership working together with the ink… we both have our roles and responsibilities.
I also think the ink used with water is a delicate medium, with its unpredictable edge and translucent qualities; it reminds me a little of how impulsive, volatile and fragile the human psyche can be.
AA: Have you got any future projects/plans line up that you can share with us?
BD: I’m continuing to work on my `Trapped’ and new ‘Late for the Date’ series, and am creating some triptychs and pentaptychs.
I am also delving deeper into ideas that were created during an artist’s residency in Venice, looking for my own personal utopia in conjunction with sleep, and insomnia, the latter being more of a dystopia, using a photo-luminescent finish to give the painting a presence in the dark.
– India Irving
Fore more on Bridget Davies, visit her WEBSITE.