Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Artist Inertview: Amber Stenning

What is your name: Amber Stenning

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist: I am primarily a self-taught artist (with a creative bloodline!) however, I have attended several classes in fine art and completed a course or two in graphic design.

What is the style of your pieces: Mostly contemporary abstract but this can vary greatly depending on my moods.

What is the medium in which you work: Anything I can lay my hands on to express myself… generally speaking, I mostly work with acrylic & spray paints, texture pastes & charcoal.

What started you on your path as an artist: My mother is a brilliant realist artist in her own right & I was greatly inspired & encouraged by her to pursue my own creative path. I always loved to doodle & paint in my spare time, but I did not take my painting seriously until I realised the opportunity of escape it provided to me. I embraced the ability to release my emotions within each piece I created & I have never looked back!

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: A pulse. Art is my life-line… it brings me great joy & happiness & gives me the will to carry on.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in:  My work itself is actually quite diverse, but I am very interested in mixed media sculptural artworks which I would like to explore more.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: I have been involved in several group exhibitions as well as one solo showing. I’ve usually been quite involved in the production of the exhibitions themselves & like to focus on the entire ‘ambiance’ - lighting, music, food etc & not just the artworks themselves. It is important to set a fun & social, but still intimate & personal mood for people to look and engage together over the works.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in: YES! I definitely have my painters ‘uniform’, which being the messy hands-on artist I am, it has become a work of art in itself! I generally wear a dark pair of King Gee overall pants which are now covered in colorful handprints… & I have a collection of about 4 or 5
T-shirts that I like to wear whilst I’m in my studio.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist? (Not) being taken seriously as a career artist. Too many people still look to artists as ‘hobbyists’ and don’t appreciate the hard work that goes into pursuing and trying to make a living from our passion!

What is your favorite sandwich of all time:  Wow… um, where does one start?! If in doubt I always resort to the classic combination of Roast Turkey, Cranberry, Camembert and Watercress…. With nice fresh, thick, crusty bread.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: Less is more. I finally figured out that I need to spend more time creating one or two high quality pieces rather than putting less time and emotion into several more. I have poured a lot more of my ‘being’ & ‘soul’ into my pieces & it appears to be paying off.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead: Even if I forced myself to narrow it down this list would still be huge! From my earliest memories of admiring art, Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo & Salvadore Dali always spring to mind. More recently, in keeping with my street art fascination I really like Sam Flores, Pete Doolittle & Blaine Fontana

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: Again, this is too hard to narrow down however, I did see several pieces by Banksy whilst in the U.K which I thought overall was a pretty awesome experience! J

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: I have 10 fish, 3 cats & 9 rats which I share with my partner. The rats are more my thing… they actually inspire me greatly watching them scurry about building ‘nests’ and so on, but I have no idea what they think of the mess I create! My cat Stryker likes to join me in my studio…. he reclines on my velvet chaise and watches me as I work. I reckon he thinks it’s pretty cool! Hahaha.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I am in the process of trying to organize another small group exhibition…. Hopefully by the end of the year. In the mean time I currently showing some of my works at ‘LUSH Fresh Food & Coffee’ (Mt. Hawthorn W.A)  

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