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Studio Me artists Joshua Henderson & Veronica Watson reflect on their first exhibition.

published by The Bluecoat

As our exhibition Studio Me draws to a close, we look behind the scenes and hear from artists Joshua Henderson ...

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Interview with Portfolio NW artist Dave Evans

Fri 26 July – Sun 15 September daily 10am – 6pm. Free

EXHIBITION: Portfolio NW

Rebecca Chesney, Tadhg Devlin, Dave Evans, 0point3recurring (David Henckel, Dan Wilkinson & Leon Hardman), Hannah Wooll, Kai-O Jay Yung

The Bluecoat’s next exhibition Portfolio NW celebrates creative talent in the region by bringing together eight North West-based artists all creating new specially commissioned works.

Here's an interview with one of the artists, Dave Evans.

What is your background as an artist? Where did you study?

I studied sculpture at University of Wolverhampton then did and MA in fine art printmaking at The Royal College of Art. In between these I worked in the advertising industry - doing stuff for the internet, programming, animation etc, so my background as an artist is varied to say the least. It's good though, it gives me lots of reference points.

What are you planning for your show here? What are themes you explore in your work?

I'm currently using simple materials in my work - paper, wood, wool and string, stuff you can buy anywhere. I try to then really work them in the studio - try to change them, or draw out something interesting about their nature. Today I've been rolling and hammering a huge sheet of paper - 4.5 x 2.5m. It's taken me a couple of days but it's really turned into something else - I'm not quite sure what yet - but I like that. Recently I've been inspired by b-movie stage sets and 60's and 70's science fiction TV like Star Trek and Space 1999. First it was the moonscapes - mostly made of painted scrunched paper, but lately I've been looking at the computers, the huge fake things with lights flashing all over. The actors press random buttons so purposefully, like they're making something happen, pretending that there's a functionality there when there is blatantly none. I love that thin line between something being absurd and nothing - and super complex and futuristic. There's a great movie called 'Dark Star', an early John Carpenter film, where consoles are made from muffin trays and ice cube trays and there's an alien made from a beach ball. I just have to be careful not to get too carried away...

How has your practiced developed in the last recent years?

The move from 2d to 3d was obviously significant, although it feels as if I'm still exploring similar language - I still use paper and something akin to a frame in the modular 'plinth' constructions the work is presented on/around - there's just more scope for experimentation with materials and objects in space. Due to the way I work, I feel I can be more spontaneous with sculpture than I can with printmaking, which is important on a creative level. I've also become more comfortable with using autobiographical references - the materials I choose often have personal resonances that I want to explore.

What does it mean to you to be commissioned to make work for the Bluecoat?

It's been really exciting to have the opportunity to make and show work supported by the Bluecoat. I've been going there since I was first interested in art as a kid, and I remember that it was always a challenging experience, so I want to do that justice. Also It's great to have an opportunity to make a decent leap in my work, usually it develops by small incremental hops, but with the support of the Bluecoat, and beautiful space available, Portfolio NW is a real chance to do something new and push things on into new territory. 

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Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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