Thursday, 24 March 2016

Interview with artist
Eleanor Bedlow

Eleanor Bedlow creates imagined structures and landscapes beyond the restrictions of reality. Imaginary cities that occupy her mind are formulated into models and then into drawings. Fragmented land and cities are used as an allegory, conveying the turbulent relationship we have with our current and past surroundings. The imagined world is constantly evolving space both though nature and human intervention. The drawings are a snapshot of this world.

Eleanor Bedlow grew up in Kagawa, Japan before moving to London. She studied observational drawing at The Royal Drawing School in 2008, after gaining a degree in Fine Art from Falmouth College of Arts in 2005.
'Bones' Oil based pencil on paper
by Eleanor Bedlow

Interview with Eleanor Bedlow - 27/02/2016

Tell me about when you decided to go “pro”. When did you decide to dedicate yourself to your art. Give us an example of what that meant to you. (What pushed your artwork from amateur level to professional?)
I can’t think of a decisive moment when I made a decision to be an artist, but I can think of many occasions when I have decided to stay being an artist and to keep pushing my work forward. I work part time as a freelance drawing teacher. I enjoy teaching, which works well with my studio practice. Teaching means there is a constant dialogue with different perspectives on drawing which feeds into my own work. I value the freedom to take up residencies or concentrate on specific projects. I reference landscape and urban structures in my work so recent residences is India and Tuscany have been valuable in the development of my work.

Please state which St Cuthberts Mill papers you use and why?
I mostly use Somerset Satin white. I often work with a wide tonal range so when choosing paper I look for a paper where I can achieve a mat black to very soft subtle marks. I also look for versatility. I can use somerset for drawings as well as when etching and monoprinting. This versatility worked brilliantly when combining printing with drawing techniques.

Model by Eleanor Bedlow

How does the use of these papers enhance your work?  
It means I’m working with the paper rather then against it. The surface of the satin white is just right, so that I can to make some areas tonal but with the texture of the paper showing through. I know the paper really well now so can predict how it will reacts to different mediums.

Is there an artist you admire, did they inspire you to be an artist yourself?
There are many artist I have looked at who inspire me. I would pick Georges Seurat as an artist whose drawings have influenced the way I use mark making and tone together.

Do you remember the first painting you did that you were really proud of?
I remember making a painting in primary school in Japan of a woman picking rice that I was very proud of. I was lucky to experience art education in a Japanese and English school learning very different approaches at an early age.

'Column' Pencil on Paper by Eleanor Bedlow

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
With my landscape pieces, I like it when the audience starts to imagine living in the lands I have created and the problems that might face the people occupying the space. I remember a young girl being very concerned about how the people would get to and from a city perched on a tall rock formation. She decided there was probably a lift system within the structure.

What are you working on right now?
I create installations so that my work starts with drawing from observation. I recently made a city using clay to then poured plaster into the road. The plan was that the drips that fall down the side of the land would then support this net structure of the roads once the clay city was removed. I’ve ended up with a spider like form which I am now working from.

Work in progress
by Eleanor Bedlow

What’s the one painting you’ve painted that you will always keep?
Some of the sketches I have done while abroad I would never sell as they take me back to that place and time when I look at them.

What advice would you give to yourself, the artist you were 10 years ago?
To take every opportunity to learn new skills.

Work in progress
by Eleanor Bedlow

We'd like to thank Eleanor Bedlow for doing this interview with us - 
To view more of Eleanor's amazing work head over to her website!

For more info about Somerset paper:

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