How ‘personal’ is ‘personal’?

Producing a painting or indeed any piece of art, however natural or innate the artists’ ability, can be a deeply personal thing. Cranfield’s Rachel Rowe finally sat down with Painter & Musician Angus Joseph (BUOY) (who studied at Central Saint Martins, London and Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris) between his exhibitions and work trips to Berlin, Paris and London…. at Hartley Farm Shop near Bath… to ask if painting is personal for Angus…

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‘Making a painting is extremely personal to me. It is instinctual and impulsive. It comes from an organic desire to create. That bit I can’t explain. I guess I just have an urge within – To put pen to paper, paintbrush to canvas, finger to key, to fiddle with anything that isn’t bolted down and doodle on anything as yet undoodled!’

‘My paintings aren’t made to express strong, emotive messages as such. My paintings take inspiration from geology and the landscape, but they are heavily abstracted so people see and feel very different things when they look at them. Colour, form and composition have a huge impact on me. It takes a long while before the painting is balanced. I often rework paintings many times before I am happy.’

What do you look to if you need particular inspiration?

‘The landscape has always been the biggest source of inspiration for my painting. I am fascinated by land forms, rocks and the effect sunlight and weather has on a landscape. This is coupled with the inspiration from collected printed cuttings found in books. A majority of paintings are initiated when I find a surface that is particularly inspiring on a page of a book, often aerial photography. I am a massive hoarder of things, which is why I’m hoping that someone reading this might feel inclined to donate a large 25 room mansion…’

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‘There’s definitely a difference in the way I create my visual and sound work. I paint because I feel a pull to do so. An urge to produce. I write lyrics to say something about how I feel about something or someone. I string chords together that fit a mood at a pace that seems fitting. Both processes are effected by my mood. When I am feeling a bit down, I find it more difficult to muster the strength to create. However, when I do I always feel better. It’s therapy.’

‘My music at present is written by building up tracks using a loop pedal. I start with chords and then layer over a beat using the same keyboard. The lyrics come naturally, although it usually takes time before I’m totally satisfied with the way they sit. I often have many different instruments in the loop and I definitely have my favourite sounds, like I have my favourite colours. At the moment I am in love with this Pad sound that phases in and out. My favourite colour is halfway between yellow and orange.’

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‘The purpose behind the music is to share in an experience with whoever is listening. To convey my feelings or emotions at a particular time in the hope to share a connection. Even if my lyrics are not listened to, there is often an emotional response when they hear me play. I hope it’s for all the right reasons… There’s definitely a connection. Again, I hope it’s ‘personal’ for the listener too. They don’t necessarily have to be present for that connection to take place. It is just another art form for me, and I think that the Art is harnessing a method to create the connection between the artist and the viewer.’

Is it primarily paint and music?

‘No, I also work a lot with collage, where I work more quickly. I bulk cut out lots of different imagery in many different shapes and lay them out. I then piece them together one by one. Turning the shapes around until they fit. Composition is weird. You just know when it works. I often think of each piece of paper as a character or a member of a band or orchestra. They each have a different part to play and when they all sit comfortably they all sing in harmony. The glue is my medium here.’

So when you paint, what is it you aim to create and why?

‘My aim with my paintings isn’t to convey a particular emotion. It is left open for the viewer to reflect. The colour, shape and form is suggestive enough to fall into them.’

And is there anything in particular that inspires you?

‘My biggest influencers are probably people; musicians, artists, creatives. People who are virtuoso in what they do. People who don’t do what they do for anyone else but because they have an innate need to do so.’ ‘Love is probably the strongest human emotion and that has been a catalyst to paint, write lyrics or sit at the piano and play. It doesn’t have to be romantic love. The love of a friend, family member or inanimate object or imaginary scene is enough to make me write, however people have a massive impression on me and I guess they manifest in my work somehow.’

For more on Angus’ work or to find details of forthcoming exhibitions go to www.b-u-o-y.com and follow on Instagram @b.u.o.y

 

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