The fabulous Fuschia Ayling is exhibiting at Sh! this month. Last night, Fuschia herself was in store for the Preview Party, and we got the chance to ask a few questions...
Sh! - "Hi Fuschia! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself."
F - "I am a 21 year old fine artist and photographer, currently living in Kingston but originally from Cornwall. My work focuses predominantly on the female nude, using mainly myself and my girlfriend as subjects.
I am interested, amongst other things, in exploring the connection between the public and the private - how a glimpse into the actuality of a situation can be seductive suggestive and yet utterly subjective, the viewer was never actually 'there' - the realm of fantasy is engaged with and the details are left unspecified. Having exhibited at Sh! early last year ("Art in Pubic") and been nominated for Erotic Artist of the Year at The Erotic Awards in 2012, I am very excited to be showing my work at Sh! again this April ("Fuschia Ayling :: Details Unknown") - this time as a solo artist.
Since you last saw me my work has evolved and I feel as though I am now making artwork which is both personal, at times conceptual, but is also more accessible to a wider audience - I suppose the key to that lies in the fact that I am now happy in my personal life and as an artist!"
Sh! - "Describe yourself in three words."
F - "That's difficult... I suppose I'd say that personally I am 'honest', creatively I am 'passionate' and visually I am 'eclectic'."
Sh! - "What inspired you to start making artwork?"
F - "I think creativity is instinctive, however in childhood it was my father who inspired me to look and draw and express myself creatively. He is a painter and therefore I had access to materials and understanding that art is fundamental to life, as well as being a valid career path. As I matured I defined my own areas of interest and my work began to lean towards the confessional and erotic."
Sh! - "How would you describe you style?"
F - "My work is often intense or unexpected - generally it involves the exploration and depiction of the female form, sexuality, intimacy and identity. Stylistically it is varied, but I enjoy black and white photography, body painting, documentation of performative work... A word that crops up a lot when talking to others is 'edgy'."
Sh! - "Tell us a bit more about the exhibition at Sh!"
F - "Fuschia Ayling :: Details Unknown comprises 17 new photographs, many of which were taken in collaboration with Louise Raines, my girlfriend and fellow photographer. The body of work involves projection, body painting, scanography and conceptual erotic portraiture. Working collaboratively with Louise has allowed me to explore my subject matter in a new way - at times the work is playful, at others aesthetically engaging, challenging or feels as though the viewer is being given a glimpse into a private situation. The body is central to each piece - sculptural, tactile, revealing or elusive - a celebration of the female form and an exploration of where, for me, art and sex collide."
Sh! - "What inspires you as an artist?"
F - "How I experience love and my own sexuality is of huge inspiration, also the way in which the human body is a tool for communication - the myriad messages that can be conveyed or suggested by a tilt of the head or the engagement with the camera. I am also inspired by ideas to do with immediacy - things hidden or revealed, barriers and windows between the subject and the viewer - the use of transparent materials such as plastic or the glass surface of a flat bed scanner when flesh is pressed against it. All the tactile succulence of skin and the figure, the wet trail of a drip of paint or the contrast between flesh and fabric..."
Sh! - "Who inspires you as an artist?"
F - "Working with Louise is very inspiring, being able to discuss ideas and processes with somebody who shares similar appreciations and understands my way of working is refreshing and motivating. In the art world at large I take inspiration from artists such as Ana Mendieta, Elke Krystufek, Carolee Schneemann and Tracey Emin."
Sh! - "What are you working on at the moment?"
F - "Currently I am continuing to explore projection within my images, experimenting with site specific work where images of the body are translated onto trees and interiors. Again this is to do with layers of image, this time the body is a transient element within a physical situation instead of the body being the surface onto which other forms are projected. I am also devoting time to writing a dissertation about female identity and self portraiture."
Sh! - "Any words of advice for aspiring artists?"
F - "A lot is written about success and commercial viability, but for me I think it is most important to simply love what you do - if you yourself are passionate about your work, if you have something to say or something to share, then that is worth far more than critical acclaim or monetary gain. Of course, identifying an audience suitable for your output is important - but other people are far more likely to be enthusiastic and supportive of your efforts if you make connections, are flexible with your goals and when an opportunity presents itself you find the confidence in yourself to take it. Creativity is therapeutic rewarding and exciting - it is also a very personal process, first and foremost you must do it for pleasure!"