I'm a curious type; I like to know what informs an artist. Who or what do they look to for inspiration? How do they work? Each month I will be asking an artist I admire a few questions, first up is Megan Fatharly.
Megan, I've been following your work for some years now, one of the things that impresses me most is your willingness to experiment with different mediums in your art practice, would you say that experimentation is important to you?
Experimentation is fundamental within my practice. It's what keeps my creative energy engaged. I think there is a willingness but it is more of a need to experiment with different materials to really understand them and incorporate them into my visual language and practice if appropriate. When people ask how and why I experiment so much, it's only really then that I actually think about how it impacts my way of working. I have a curious mind and art helps me learn and see the world in my own way. In recent months I've been playing (dabbling) in ceramics and working with incorporating digital laser cut elements to my work. I think it's so important to not let the fear of something not working out stop you from experimenting. It's a constant dialogue between my way of making and the material I'm using.
What draws you to printmaking in particular?
I have always been interested in using materials in combination with each other to manipulate them and change how they are perceived. This means at times I can get so engrossed in working I become manic. I first found printmaking in my foundation and was introduced to it through my tutor at the time (John Howard) and the technicians who were very patient with my constant questions about the process. Printmaking is a methodical process with a clear step by step process and from that the maker or artist can manipulate it in their own way. Printmaking slows me down, it has enabled me to really learn and adapt the process to my own way of seeing and working. I get excited by the process everyday and will often spend many hours in the studio experimenting and just enjoying the process. The smells, the environment of a workshop is where I thrive because the process is physical and conversational. There is a certain element of control that I am able to change.
You are currently studying BA (hons) Drawing at Falmouth University, what is it about Cornwall that drew you to study there?
I was born and brought up in Edinburgh and North Berwick which is by the sea. I think ultimately this is why I stayed after doing my foundation year at Falmouth. I wasn't going to originally. I was destined for LCA to do Surface and Textile Design. Falmouth is a small town dominated by students but has a creative scene. The pace of life here has done me wonders as someone who is always doing. I think a place like London would really take it out of me as I would clash with the faster way of life.
I'm an avid outdoor walker and sea swimmer and being by the sea means I can do this all year round. While Falmouth is where I live and study, I find it difficult to be somewhere so small because of how it's changed in the last 4 years. I love places like Lizard as I have wonderful memories of walking and drawing with my dad.
What artists (living or dead) inspire you?
Ian Hodgson - his output and consistency is genuine but each piece has so many emotive qualities.
Kayleigh Harris - a fellow BA drawing student whose interests and practice is similar to mine. On our course it can be sometimes difficult to justify our more ambiguous and process led work. She was always there to talk to in times of doubt (and still is). Her work and fascination with line is so exciting.
Rosanna Martin - who is a ceramicist and rock appreciator. For the last 5 months I've been working and learning basic ceramic and clay skills from her. Her ability to create tactile and colourful works makes me excited to continue playing with the material. She's given me a new space to explore a new process.
Joseph Beuys, will always be an artist who changed how I saw things. I first saw his work in Berlin and was struck at his narrative with material. I'm itching to get back to Berlin soon. The architecture and lines of the city really inspire me.
Instagram is a great creative space for finding and talking to new creatives.
Tell me about your studio or creative space.
My studio consists of stuff piled up in an organised chaos. I am a messy person and this is reflected in how I see things and am quite sporadic as a person. I often work very quickly so make a lot of work which I make to fulfil anxious energy but it often gets lost amongst the jungle of paper stacks. I need to get better at looking back at work I've made in the past and reflecting on how certain elements could be moved forward.
My desk is probably more of a dumping ground for work and I need to utilise it better. I don't like working at a desk, the floor or standing in the print room seems to do me fine.
You travel a lot, sometimes it seems like you're always aboard a train on your way somewhere, is travel important to you in life or your art practice?
It's so important. I love to explore new places and get so stimulated by the outside world. On trains I've formed projects where I leave art for people to find and engage with which has changed the nature of how my work is communicated. It's more intimate and interesting. I also make and leave sketchbooks to encourage drawing and mark making. I use Instagram to document my art and travels and it's given me a community I can explore not just on my own.
Also, I'm a fidget so always being on the go feeds my energy.
What aspirations do you have for the future?
I don't know to be honest. I'm hoping that my degree show work is picked up or appreciated by people who will allow me to continue my creative journey. I'm terrified about graduating and losing facilities like the print room which is a second home to me. I think come the degree show it will be about adapting and embracing opportunities and people who see something in me.
Finally, where can people follow your work?
@meganfatharly on Instagram
@megasinegg on Twitter
@Behave.Collective on Instagram
Up coming exhibitions: degree shows @ Falmouth from May 19th 2018.
Thank you to Megan for being my very first interviewee, I think we can all wish Megan the best of luck in her upcoming degree show and future as an artist. If you would like to support Megan and her practice then give her a follow on social media and start a conversation with her. It really does make a huge difference knowing that there are people out there rooting for you, especially when you are a recent graduate.
If you'd like to take part in my artist interviews series then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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