The Edge Gallery

Interview with Karen Shapley

Here is our next interview with Karen Shapley… Find out what really inspires her!!!!

1. Describe yourself in five words and how would your friends describe you
(in five)!!
In five words I would describe myself as energtic, quirky, humourous, serious enthusiastic
friends would describe me as enthusiastic artistic a bit wacky  a horder and hopefully fun!

2. Your art concentrates mostly on landscapes and portraits what drives you
to create these images?



3. What is your favourite type media to work with and why?
clay and textiles.
I love the imediacy of building with clay, you can create something reasonably quickly with clay its flexible, fairly generous and allows me a certain freedom with form. Textiles I love for their tactile quality they add another dimension to the work enable it to become a sculpture rather than just a jug.

4. What type of processes do you employ to create your work?
With clay I use slabs of clay embossing with texture ,use of coloured slips and sprigs to add further detail. Vintage textiles are stitched and pressed and stuffed , using bonding of layers and frills to create  detail.


5. What and where are your favourite art galleries to visit?
I love the V&A the ceramics department with all its crazy ceramics. We used to be so inventive and imaginative adding flowers and palm trees to vases and jugs. I also like the textile department upstairs where you can ponder quietlt the old embroideries and stumpwork. Its old fashioned and allows you to escape the tourist and draw and marvel at old skills.


6. Are there other contemporary artists who captivate you right now? Whose
work inspires you?

I have always loved Juilie Arkell’s work it has that freedom to make items that have a childlike quality if thats what I want  attitude, as well as being humourous. I also like Tilke Schwarz for her observations on everyday life and her skill as an embroiderer. Also the french artist marie Ducate juts because of her inventivness and sheer determination not to conform…there is a theme appearing here!!!


7. What do you think the future has in store for your work, do you have
anything new you are working on you would like to mention?

I am working on a new collection and ethos called ‘Find nomore’ I have taken to vintage in a big way as well as upcycling . i scour charity shops and ebay for my clothes altering to fit and adding personal detail loving the quality of old tailoring. I have a new collection of characters which will be half ceramic and half textile . My work has always embodied the found fabric or objects loving the quality of the old . So its about finding no more as my clothes so you will find no more once one is made it is unique with its own person . Fabrics and details no longer available once used.


8. Where do you go for inspiration?
I find inspiration from collecting old ceramics, objects found in charity shops. Research on old ceramics and the craziness of past objects made. New work revolves more around story telling and creating something unique.


9. Where is your favourite place to create?
In my head , I am a day dreamer and can disappear into my own thoughts once inspired by something I have seen!


10. Do you have a favourite piece you’ve created? If so, why?
Yee Ha  he is not on show as yet. He was part of an exhibtion I did in the Spring at the Form Gallery. He is a donkey pulling a truck. He has ideas of granduer and  wants really to be a horse in the wild west hence his name yeeha. However  the sign on the truck says go slow as he is a donkey who goes slow ( there was also a clock in the truck and time often goes slow!)


11. What’s your ideal working day?
Walk my  jack russell cross Poppy in the woods dreaming of the character i am about to make. Arrive at work about 10 and then work solid no breaks till 3 when I will go home have food cuppa tea before back out for a walk thinking of the day …..


12. What would you like to be working on in 12 months time?
I am not sure I dont plan that far ahead. My work develops so I keep an open mind and let me see what unfolds next!


September 20, 2011 - Posted by | Exhibition, Fairs, The Edge Gallery | , , , , , , ,

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