Hi Kathrina, thanks so much for taking time to talk to us, to get started, we would love to find out a little bit more about you. How long have you been painting?
I have loved painting and drawing for as long as I have used crayons and spray paint.
Where did your creative practice start, did you study art at school? Has this been something you have always been interested in? Where did it all begin?
I didn’t go to art school, however I studied graphic design at an Arts University. Really it began much earlier when I was a hyperactive kid who loved painting, and then I grew into a rebel graffiti teenager, and from there kept growing into the mixed media medium I currently work in.
One of our favourite elements of your work is your technique of layering patterns and texture within the painting. We would love to find out a little bit more about what inspires you and this layering process?
I think my passion for layering comes from my early stencil work and graffiti, and is comprised of a mix of techniques that I’ve been exploring for many years. I’m very experimental with materials, and often find different things to add layers to my pieces.
Scale is often a factor in your work, creating large paintings and murals. Do you find the sense of scale when working that big liberating, or does it present its own set of challenges?
I love working on large scale artwork. Creating the big shapes requires using my whole body, and I really enjoy the process. It’s also really fun to drive big machines like cherry pickers and scissor lifts!
Do you work collaboratively and if so what is your favourite element of this?
Not generally, although I have collaborated with other artists in the past, including The Minaw Collective, but is not something that I do often. I do however love painting around other artists who are also working on their own pieces, I thrive off the sense of community spirit.
We love your bold use of colour, do you have a favourite colour pallet to work with or does this change depending on the portrait?
My favorite colours to work with are black, white, red and sepia, with a dash of fresh blue, although recently I’ve been experimenting with different colour pallets in the name of variety.
What are some of the challenges you work with and overcome when working outdoors and on a mural-size work, as opposed to painting in a studio or traditional gallery setting?
The weather can be challenging if it’s raining, windy or even extreme sunlight, but it really just affects the time it takes to finish it. It’s more liberating outdoors, and more intimate in the studio, and both are enjoyable.
Street art is arguably often seen as a socio-political statement, do you see any of this in your work? Are there certain contexts or messages that are emitted personally for you when you paint?
Yes, certainly, I paint what I perceive in the world around me and my experience of it. ‘The eye of the Nagual’, a witness of the world.
I used to try to portray all the natural and human made disasters happening around the world, as the injustice was filling my heart with anger and frustration, and at the time I thought the solution was to express it that feeling in my art. However as the years moved on, I realised that the key message I should be portraying in the face of all this adversity, was love.
Now I believe that bringing calm and serenity can inspire positive change far more effectively, as opposed to creating images of sadness, separation and disempowerment.
How did you find out about Noisily? Have you been in previous years?
Through friends, I haven’t been before and it totally surpassed my expectations. There was so much creativity in every corner of the woods, very inspiring!
We believe that being a live painter there is a certain degree of interactivity between you, the artists, and the festival-goers passing by. Did you have any magic moments with this year’s woodlanders?
Yeees! Love it! Completely! The people were so open and so happy, that was one of the most interesting live paintings I have ever done. The location was also great for a mural and people for passers by to engage throughout the process.
What was your favourite part of being a live painter for Noisily 2019?
The interaction with people!
Do you have any advice for budding young artists who want to get started in creative practices?
Do what you love the most, follow your heart, overcome any fears and doubts you may have, and trust the process.
What’s next for you? We would love to find out about any upcoming projects or what you have in the pipeline?
I have a solo exhibition in San Francisco at the First Amendment Gallery, and after that another exhibition at the Mexican Embassy in Ireland in August. I’m very excited about these projects. At the moment I’m travelling in Latin America to gain inspiration for these shows.
Noisily 2019 was a feast for the senses, and once again the art played an integral role in the epic execution of our best edition yet.
We decided to look back at some of the most inspirational installations that came to Coney Woods back in July, and with our 2020 Art Application afoot, hope to inspire those artistes hoping to join the fray next year.
Tell us a little bit about how are all started working together? Have you always operated as a collective crew?
We’ve been running parties and a small festival for over 6 years. We’ve always gone overboard on the decor and concept design, building interactive playful environments.
We would love to know more about the individual roles within the collective, each of your skills/ responsibilities and why you guys work so well together?
Rosy is a neuroscientist by day, she brings her quirky genius to every aspect of the design.
Deniz is a maker that can tackle any challenge. Whether it’s writing software for microcontrollers or designing objects for fabrication he simply makes the impossible happen.
Louis Morgan works in the energy sector but has a passion for music production. His strong drive to understand and utilise new technology coupled with his understanding of music composition enables him to fun and beautiful generative sonic environments.
Ewan is a mathematician by trade and fully dedicated to the cause. His calm and methodical approach has been essential to the success of so many of our endeavours.
Joss has a serious job by day but at night he puts away the suit he wears as a disguise and lets his passion for fun and creativity loose on the world. His skills with fabrication are incredible and his enthusiasm for silliness is unrivalled.
Louis Shambles is a data scientist by day and the founding member of the typething collective. A jack of all trades he brings together the expertise of his team to pull the typething creations from imagination into existence.
When did you decide to start working with festivals? Has this been something you have always been interested in, or do you come from more traditional arts background?
Our passion for art has really been fostered from going to and throwing our own festivals. Our work centres around facilitating play and positive interactions between participants. We see festivals as a place where we can let go of everyday behavioural norms and get silly, have fun and make connections. Our work builds on these ideas to make festivals more than simply something to experience music and art and invites everyone to get involved in the creative process.
For anyone who wasn’t able to join us this year, please can you give us a description of MissTree?
Look out for glowing orbs suspended from the trees, a wisp of mist and some magical sounds. If you find a keyboard, see what it does. Experiment and play, there are hidden gems if you read between the lines.
What interested you in pitching for Noisily Festival, have you guys been to the festival before?
We’ve heard so many positive things about noisily. The variety of music and woodland setting grabbed our attention. Though we’ve not been before we are expecting a great crowd!
The piece mixes media, an installation that involves light, smoke and sound… Have you always worked across multiple disciplines like this? Or is this a new exploration for you?
We love playing with new mediums and these are all materials we’ve worked a lot with in the past. Smoke is great as it turns air into a canvas for working with light. Bringing together sound and light has always been essential for really immersive experiences. Something magical happens when you pull in more senses all working together. Designing the interaction is also a key part of this. Using a keyboard and physical knobs and switches keeps it tactile and brings in another one of the senses into the equation.
What are the advantages of working collaboratively like this, as opposed to an individual artist?
We all bring so much to this installation. It really just wouldn’t happen as an individual exploit. Plus the whole point is to bring people together in a shared experience of creation and that extends to us as a team too.
Have you discovered any challenges when creating this MissTree. And how did you overcome them?
There have been so many hiccups and obstacles it’s hard to count them all but we have a really dedicated team of problem solvers. We leave plenty of time for play and experimentation and try and learn from our mistakes. One installation took much longer to set up than expected we only just made it before opening. So now we are much more thorough with our prep and planning.
Artistically, what’s in the pipeline? Have you been inspired to make any new work? Can we have a sneak peak for what’s in store for Typething?
We’ve been playing with new mediums using lasers, bubbles and things that go bang. A piece we’re calling The Mega Synth Playground is also in the works.
Orb : Izzi Lombardo
Artist/ Collective Name: No collective name as of yet! Still pondering.
Contributors Names and Roles:
Izzi Lombardo: Capitan and designer
Willo Bloomfield: Engineer and designer
Jessie Cotton: Maker and dancer
Luke Williams: Maker and performer
Orb – Kinetic Installation
Hi Izzy, thanks for taking the time to chat to us, first off it would be great if you can chat a little bit about the team, who are they and how did you start working with them?
Hey! So Will and I studied product and furniture design together. We started living together in our last year which is when I met Jess (his partner!). Luke and I met when I asked him to be in a film for some of my products, they were a bunch of abstract toys and he was so wonderfully weird that we just never stopped playing! We are all a very creative bunch so just by being in the house together we make stuff for fun.
It would be great if you can explain everybody’s role in the team, what do they do and how does that contribute towards the finished piece?
Will is our engineer, he does the computer stuff; renders and figuring out all the crazy angles involved with making a 2.5m Dodecahedron! He is also a great carpenter so he is seeing the project through from its conception to it creation. Jess is helping Will figure out all the maths as well as making the inside seating. Luke is our construction guy, he’s sorting out materials for the outer form and getting the whole thing together. I’m captain of the ship and also create the inner suspended dodecahedrons!
So where did the idea for Orb first come from? Is it something you envisaged before applying for the arts grant? How did the Noisily help you to realise this work?
I work a lot in helping other events and installations come together. I have always wanted to create installations and I have had the model of orb hanging in my room for months. I just really wanted to bring something from my mind into the real world for others to enjoy, when Noisily came along it’s allowed me to do this!
Please, can you give us a description of your piece that featured at Noisily this year, including materials, technology and concepts?
So Orb is a space to get lost. It’s a 2.5m tall dodecahedron, which is sort of nest on the inside. There are two dodecahedrons hanging from the inside that can be spun. It’s completely hypnotizing and we hope to be creating a space for pondering the infinite and exploring your mind. The outer shape is wooden, it can be entered from one side. Inside are suspended two dodecahedrons inside one another that can be spun. If you spin them just right you can get them going in different directions and it’s very hypnotising.
One of our favourite aspects of your work is its movement, at Noisily we have always been actively seeking kinetic sculpture and installation, can you explain to us a little bit about how your piece moves and operated?
When you are inside the very centre of the shape, it is filled with the dodecahedrons from the roof. They are mounted on bearings that rotate on a pole to allow them to spin perfectly inside one another.
What was your main interest in participation? How did the viewer play an active role in Orb?
I really wanted the viewers to be able to spin the shapes themselves, I feel like being able to get your hands on moving things to play with them is just wonderful. By controlling the movement you have your own very individual experience of the piece.
What are some of the challenges you have overcome along the creative process?
Well, a big one has been trying to graduate and finish our degree at the same time as doing this. Our workshop is also being closed for work so we already had to change some plans for the piece to allow for this.
Have you worked on a project on this scale before?
I have worked on other people’s projects, building and getting them to come to life but none of my own. It very much feels like our baby!
Often filling in an application can be daunting, if you are more of a creative soul rather a literary one, do you have any advice for those looking to apply in the future for a Noisily Arts Grant?
It is definitely scary. But just go for it! When we applied we had a loose idea of what we wanted to do and I think though the process of talking with Noisily we have changed and developed the project a lot. So don’t feel like you even need a fully formed idea; as long as you are willing to put in the time and love for it, everything will be fine. When I get stuck I just think about how amazing it is going to feel when are all sit down in it for the first time and turn all the lights on!
After the piece was such a success at Noisily, have you made plans to take the piece on tour? Do you have any other festivals lined up that would like to take the work to?.
We are taking it to our friend’s festival next year and we put on our own little shindig, but nothing big just yet. We have plans for next year but this summer we were just finding our feet after graduation!
You have visited Noisily in previous years right? What is it that you like about Noisily and what inspired you to get involved artistically?
It’s just such a wonderful community. I have some friends who have been involved with the festival before and i just wanted to get involved myself. I always wanted to call myself an experienced designer. Giving other people a new and incredible experience though my creations. Noisily just felt like the beautiful supportive family we needed to get our work out there.
Ford Bacon : Lotec Blossums
Artist/ Collective Name: Ford Bacon.
Contributors Names and Roles:
Ford Bacon: Creative & technical
Elisabeth Bruetschy: facilitator
Cai James: Install technician
David Barker: Install technician
Lotec Blossums – lamp installation
Materials: Conscious use of affordable low impact recycled materials where possible. The Lotec blossom petals are machine cut from a lightweight recycled polypropylene twin-wall sheeting. The light source is a long life low power consumption chip onboard RGB light-emitting diode. The dual base is a recycled plastic repurposed basket.
Ballast 5kg of play sand in hemp bags. Outdoor/Indoor 240v.
Technology: The use of contemporary computer-aided design-based manufacturing processes along with lightweight materials and advances in low powered LED technology to allow for creating a simple infinitely replicable piece.
Concept: The Lotec blossom: Created as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Combining the timeless beauty of the Lotus blossom with the technological progression of the current era. The arabesque repetitive geometry symbolize the transcendent, indivisible and infinite nature of the universe.
How did you get into art/ light installations? Has this always been your practice or did you work in other areas and disciplines throughout your artistic career?
I have worked within the performing arts for many years with a background in the creative arts. Working with light is a continuation of a theme. To me light has always been a source of wonder. The interplay of light, & shade. Living in a world of visual awareness with creativity as a means of communication. Paint, print, draw, sculpt, absorb reflect or create. Light as the language of the retina. For many years I created carefully controlled environments of sound. Working with light is a way for me to explore a different form of expression.
Do you usually work collaboratively or independently? How does this change or alter your creative process and realised pieces?
For a piece to be mine I work independently. Then if required take it to my network for ways to enable production and scale a team as required. Collaborative pieces once defined need clear direction with a strong concept my ideal is a group of artists with different skills who together create the synergy that lifts the work beyond that of the individual.
What we love about your work is the volume of pieces that work together to create the overall vibe and aesthetic, do you usually work on this kind of scale?
I wanted the scale to fill large spaces, inspire a sense of wonder, with the symmetry & repetition as the meditative space, a visual mantra. Yes scale adds gravitas..
How did you find out about Noisily? Had you visited the festival before?
I had never visited before. Though I do have many acquaintances and friends who hold Noisily dear to their hearts.
What is it that drew you to want to work with us?
A friend forwarded me the arts application at just the right moment.
Artistically, what else in the pipeline? Have you been inspired to make any new work? We would love to know a little more about what you have in store?
I really want to work with re-purposed materials as substrates for print media, applied diffraction gratings dichrioc films, holographic media at the same time using similar hitec/lotec low cost solutions to production processes.. One of the ways I process is t o slowly accumulate stuff.. Stuff that can be eventually reach a critical mass the becomes recombined into a unified structure.
Matt Smart : Sculptor
Artist/ Collective Name: Matt Smart, Sculptor
Contributors names and roles:
Matt produces large scale 3D works, and leads installation.
3 sculptures on connections with earth and one another, in 3 remixes: pagan, spiritual, and the solidarity of collectives. Each is about the size of each of us.
Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First of all, please tell us about yourself and your artistic practice?
Hi Noisily, thanks for inviting me. Sculpture is my main medium for sharing thoughts, when words start to trip over each other. I make outdoor sculptures. Pieces that don’t need a roof, because communication through art is a freedom, more than a gallery thing.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Bioresin is the best: healthy and safe. It’s plant-based, and even better than polyester resin for strength and workability. So, as you can tell, I work in resins mostly. Bioresin is still expensive per kilo, and poly resin is still brilliantly malleable for most fibreglass work. I love the way you can overcook it when casting, to create sparkling crystals. I also like working in clothes – by which I mean re-purposing clothing materials.
Earth is a really satisfying medium. I’ve gathered molehills to make earth-coated environmentally themed pieces that look like they are rising from the soil. Jesmonite is great for colours, and Cassini plaster is gorgeous. I’m starting to use clay in new ways for me… Clay feels thematically like using earth but in a plastic way like resin. That probably sounds silly to folk who originally come from the clay side of sculpture. I hope my naivety with it will yield novel results.
Have you always worked in sculpture, or have you been involved in other disciplines?
I used to write. Briefly I had a tiny fan club in France, which surprised the heck out of me. And I painted for about six months, but got disillusioned because one of my paintings sold, and I got requests to paint the same thing. Imagine if you’re a musician and people love one of your songs and never listen to the rest. I did four copies, then put away the brushes. I ran an art gallery in South London for artists with diagnosed mental health conditions – talented expressive people, who struggled to represent themselves commercially. It did well for them. But what I learned most from it was how to approach artists and their work. Nowadays I rarely feel I have anything to say in 2 dimensional art. If sculpture is 3D, and painting is 2D, then writing is perceived linearly: writing is 1D. Music, I think, has no dimensions. It’s part of the substrate. Fundamental.
As a sculptor, would you say you come from a traditional visual arts background?
Hmmm. I don’t know what that means. I did a degree that included fine art. Well, I did something like it for 3 years. “Studied” would be a bit strong. The degree was art, drama and psychology: a course designed so you can forge artworks or tickets or passports or whatever, and understand the thought process of those you’re fooling, and act your way around it. I’ve always cherished visual arts. Academically I’m published in psychology and psychiatry. Wearing suits I’ve worked in enterprise and the environment – energy portfolios for small economies, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
When did you start working on festival projects, I know you have been involved with other festivals as an artist in the past, where did you start and why did you start festival work?
In 2014 I did Shambala, which was really lucky. I was so un-prepared for festivals. A friend pointed out that I’d brought tools and bedding, but no food or drink or money. Fortunately, a lot of people fed and watered me as I grew.
I got into festivals because… I’m useless at sitting back, and there’s a connection between people that music is part of, and so is art and landscape, architecture… a line of vision, a sky above in day or night. So much around us is connective, and with forms you can express that, and be a part of it – contribute to it. Same as with any other art forms, or just with a smile.
I’ve done bits with Supernormal Festival, admittedly not always invited. Festival 23 is probably my favourite so far – a small fest, based on Discordianism. We’ve not done it again – and I doubt it could be quite as synchronous.
Please can you give us a description of your pieces that were featured at Noisily this year, including materials, technology and concepts?
Sure, there are three pieces, all roughly human sized. Two are human figures and one is a giant fist arising from the earth.
There’s ‘Pagan Angel’. She has wings, horns and antlers. She’s resin, fibreglass, cloth and tree. Basically she’s there to celebrate pagan roots and cheekiness.
‘Growth’ is the Earth fist, painted with hands. It’s bioresin, fibreglass and molehills on a wire frame with some cross-bracing. It’s about how the word “Growth” gets stolen from us if we let it. We’re led to believe that we must all strive for “economic growth”. “Growth” used to be about fields and woodland. Agrarian growth, rather than turning land into real estate to inflate the economy. I can get pretty animated about this stuff! So the fist is earthly resistance. The hands painted on it reflect cave art. Hands sprayed on cave walls are the origins of writing, and it fascinates me how we got to hieroglyphs, then letter symbols and words, but now we have emojis which are an international return to symbols looking like the thing they represent. Written language is, in some senses, reversing. The fist itself, of course, is a symbol. There are also alien hands on there. Because it would be ace if prehistoric tribes met aliens and made friendships with them, and bonded through shared rituals – just as tribes come together in summer in the woods!
The bronze and colourful hollow figure is called ‘We Met One Day’. It’s about how we can admire people from a distance, without getting to know them. We can see an incomplete version, hence the holes and gaps in the figure. And the mask. Summoning the courage to dare to talk to someone you find amazing. And accepting that your golden view of their perfection is not the real person. We should not think that adulation is the same as respect or friendship or compatibility, just as distance…. I think that it is important to understand feelings and physical geography, and to appreciate the real person. “We Met One Day” is a Soko song. I heard the song just after I had made the piece, and the title fitted.
We had the pleasure of exhibiting a couple of your pieces, do you have a favourite? Either because of the creative process or finished result, why is it your favourite piece?
The creative process of ‘Growth’ is huge fun. I go out in the morning hunting molehills, and bring them home in bags and buckets, then dry the earth in wooden trays. To get the surface to be hard, and look like earth, you have to wait until the resin coat is nearly starting to gel, then you hurl handfuls of earth into the resin, so it embeds in there. You really have to pound it in there. More and more layers, using coarse earth at first, and ending with handfuls of fine dust. There’s a lot of technique to it, and it’s helluva messy. You end up leaping around yelling and grunting in a dust cloud.
I like ‘We Met One Day’ partly because I don’t think the concept works in the finished piece, and I kind of enjoy failure’s embarrassment! Though I also think that it does work, because hardly anyone will see in it what I do. And that is the concept of the piece: how rare it is to meet someone and find a precise understanding and balance with them, while both of you are being yourself. When the masks are off, and you have shared weaknesses as well as strengths, is it mutual love?
If I have to choose one… It’s either ‘Growth’ or ‘We Met One Day’. I’ve lived with them longer than ‘Pagan Angel’. We have history!
How did you find out about Noisily and what inspired you to apply to work with us?
The ethos. And the music. And the beauty. And that it’s in woodland, which is my favourite setting for festival moments. The fresh air, and the way sound travels and absorbs, and how lights play in the night. Also I guess I love the bare earth of woodlands as much as I love grassy fields. Not wishing to sound too gushy, but Noisily is top for me this year. Some mates told me about it, and some other mates – people whose taste I trust. You guys take the arts side seriously, as well as the music and workshops. If you look at what I get involved in, you’ll see that’s important to me. Musicians respect fine artists and crafters, same as builders respect musicianship. Something I really love with festivals is how we all communicate a bit differently: how musicians talk, and how painters and installation artists do. And physical performers. Around the fire, our habits of communication are still slightly different, and also vary by genre and culture. The arts and music styles of Noisily should make for some gorgeous choreography in how we share tales and ideas – wisdoms and friendship.
How did you find the application process? Do you have any advice for artists seeking to pitch their existing work for future opportunities?
Applying was very straightforward. Advice… Work hard! Speaking purely about sculpture, festival applications are usually a pleasure, because you are not being compared with painters and photographers. Most commercial art gallery applications processes limit you to one image per piece, whether you’re a painter or a photographer or a sculptor. While a single photo is fine to show the viewer what a 2D painting looks like, one image cannot convey all sides and angles of a 3D sculpture. Galleries work with a much more passive audience: the viewer just stands and looks at the wall. But festivals live in movement and shapes. Festivals get it, and Noisily clearly does.
What are some of the challenges you face, traveling around with your work… Also, how do you overcome these?
I drive an ambulance. The challenges are being mistaken for an ambulance. Though a couple of weeks ago I did use it as a passenger ambulance for real. I was visiting a kiln in a wood, and a runner waved me down. He had twisted his hip, and I helped him into the back and drove him back to his car. Nice guy. The Funbulance isn’t fast, and that’s a good thing.
Do I get asked to carry other people’s stuff? You mean, like amps and bags of costumes, and guitars, and everybody’s tents and bedding and provisions, and a huge gong? No, never.
Have you ever been inspired to work collectively? If you could collaborate with any kind of artist, what practice would it be and why?
I’d like to collaborate with a musician or a duo to explore shapes and themes. Music makes soundscapes, and often the emotions and messages in a song are similar to what a visual artist intends. The curves and pitches and sweeps of a sculpture can be metaphors for how your life can go through twists and highs and lows, split choices and consequences, and returning to a previous point to try another curving path. That principle could be put into an abstract form, or a human figure, or anything. And it doesn’t have to be a literal or direct comparison: simply turning the score into a 3D shape would probably not capture the emotions!
I have sculpted the logo of a record label, and it would be nice to do something where a sculpture was developed with a piece of music, so they cross-inform. It could go both ways. I mean, a piece of music could be based on a 3D form. Wave forms, thought forms…
Also I’d like to work with musicians in a psy-trance experimental way, or maybe kind of trip-hop or psych, by doing some sculpture live as a performance while they are playing. The sounds of the sculpting work could be mic’d and go through pedals and a synth. Essentially as percussion with Dada-like irregularity I guess. Though there’s a lot of experimental work which falls the wrong side of indulgently unlistenable. At Upfest I did live casting and moulding in front of a wandering audience, and a lot of people would stop and watch for quite a while – the pouring and swirling of colours. Maybe cos I dance when I sculpt!
Recently I recorded some spoken word with a musician who I deeply respect. It was about when me and my dad nearly got buried in a Russian forest. Hopefully that will become a piece, once some difficulties are resolved.
I had 5 litres of white emulsion poured over me in a field once, and stayed there unable to see for 3 hours until it dried enough for me to open my eyes. That was with a theatre troop.
Finally, are you working on any new work at the moment? Can you give us a taster of any new sculpture coming soon?
A slice through the earth, showing geological layers, like archaeology shown as the side of a book. Or the stages of human evolution in 3D – that cartoon image of primitive man evolving in stages into homo erectus then into homo sapiens. I’ll do a 3D version of that. But with women instead of men.
Frankly, I don’t know.
There are two particular things I want to do soon. One of them will be completed in 2019. It’s the top of the human form, depicting our interaction with nature and urbanisation. On a human head, streets and factories would look like crystals. Most of what we build is squares and rectangles, yet we have no right angles in our bodies. Walls are an invention. You know that idea that we “perceive things through frames”. Even that idea of “frames” evokes a rectangle. People like to have an angle on things, but there are no right angles.
It’s gotta do you good to get your head out of the rectangles, and immerse in nature. And throw some shapes. That’s something to love about Noisily.