So tell us a bit about yourself?
I am originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland but I have been living in England for the past five years, and London for the past 6 months. Growing up in post-Troubles Belfast meant that I was surrounded by deeply entrenched gender roles and attitudes towards sexuality and women's bodies were, and I believe still are, archaic. However, I am currently working on some exciting visuals with the London-Irish Abortion Rights Campaign for the upcoming referendum in May (all my Irish people - check hometovote.com to see if you're eligible to vote!).
How would you describe your work?
One of my friends told me recently that they think there's a lot of attitude in my work, which I would agree with. I think there's a mixture of anger and humour in everything I make. My work is usually very personal, whether it appears to be at first or not. Its usually a reflection of real life experiences, something that has happened to me or a friend. Sometimes this is a struggle, though. There is a part of me that wants to share everything I am and everything I've experienced with the world and the other part of me says "No, its mine".
What materials and disciplines do you work in?
I studied Illustration, however the course was very open minded, we weren't encouraged to be commercial Illustrators strictly drawing for publications. It was all about story telling through whatever medium you wanted and this is exactly what I love to do. I enjoy being someone who can do everything. For my degree show work I developed the concept, sourced the models, styled them, took the photographs and edited the images. I graduated feeling a bit lost as my friends were able to say "I am a ____" and I felt I didn't fit into a category, but now I see this as a positive.
How do you integrate this in regards to your work?
I don't force myself to make anything, I've never been able to just churn out art like machine. Which is good because it means the work Im producing is coming from genuine feelings, emotions and experiences. But not so good when you need to make money..
What projects have you worked on recently/are working on at the moment?
My friend Tracy Sada and I have just released the first episode of our podcast, Tracy Daisy Demos. We talk about art and music and life but also play musicians demos and unfinished work, as well as our own. Were really interested in documenting processes and making works-in-progress visible. You can listen at soundcloud.com/tddlive and if you would like to send us some of your music, finished or unfinished, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracy and I have also recorded an episode for Girl Jam, a podcast founded and ran by my amazing internet friend from Sydney, Ancika Mester. Our episode is the first to be released and will be on Australian radio next month! To be one of the first to listen, follow @girljampodcast on Instagram.
Where do your influences come from?
I am very inspired by the combination of art and music. 80's and 90's music videos are a huge inspiration. A few of my favourite videos are Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club and Love of my Life by Erykah Badu. I love when musicians take on different characters, make cultural references or move through periods of time in their videos and Erykah loves to do this - like in her video for 'Honey'. My parents are artists and my dad now owns a record shop, so I grew up surrounded by his floor-to-ceiling record collection in cardboard boxes and ikea EXPEDIT units.
What is your personal philosophy in regards to art?
I watched the Netflix documentary 'Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World' recently and someone said in it - the only thing an artist should care about is making art. It sounds dramatic but I believe you should only be making art if you have a burning desire in your heart to do so. It should feel like an instinct, like nothing else is an option. I love the internet and there is so much positivity on there, but its so hard to avoid all the bullshit we have on there too, especially in creative circles. I deleted Facebook a few years ago for many reasons but mostly because it felt like a big competition. Comparing yourselves to others is one of the worst things you can spend your time doing and when it comes to making art, this can stop us from creating anything at all. What I'm trying to say is: be in it because the act of doing it brings you joy, not because you could meet this person or get this many likes from posting a photograph of it.