Portraits Band – Georgia May Vocalist

Portraits are a Newcastle Neo-Soul band with a strong Jazz and Hip-hop influence. Georgia, the vocalist and Jamie the guitarist of the band have grown from writing music as a Duo into a full band with a Drummer, Ben, Double bass player, Adam and Saxophonist, Thomas. 

This interview is based on the vocalists, Georgia’s prespective.

Tell us a bit about the band, how did you start off?

We met through a combination of Studying at the Sage Gateshead and via mutual friends, on the music scene. We all get on so well musically and socially, the lads are all hilarious and make the experience of working together such great crack as well as being amazingly talented musicians and creating material we’re so excited about.

What’s your background in singing?

I’m pretty much a self-taught musician, I’ve never done singing grades or many private lessons but I did study music in school then onto college. I am now at University on the Sage Community Music degree. 

I’ve been singing professionally since the age of fifteen when I started out with a world music/function band called Soznak, they often busk in Newcastle City Centre. When I was singing with them we played at Mouth of the Tyne Festival, Durham Brass Festival and other local gigs as well as busking every weekend – this was great experience to kick start my career.

Since then I progressed into writing my own material, lyrics and chords. I would play acoustic guitar and sing as a solo act and also in a couple of bands and with accompaniment along the way. Generator were very helpful in supporting my musicianship I made it onto their Urban Music Training: VOX course where I worked with a producer and wrote a track which became my first proper release across platforms. Since then of course we’ve established Portraits and now my songwriting is developing and I can share the process of composing ideas with my band mates.

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Photo by Matt Flynn

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What would you class your sound as?

This is always a tough question, probably for most artists, but we’ve settled with branding as Neo-Soul for those who don’t know, Neo-Soul contains ‘elements ranging from jazz, funk, hip hop and electronic to pop, fusion, and African music. 

It has been noted by music writers for its traditional R&B influences, conscious-driven lyrics, and strong female presence’ – Wikipedia definition. 

I think what is interesting about our band’s performing sound is that the main focal point isn’t always me (Vocalist) all of us write the music together and we want to not only tell stories with our music but also create delicious and interesting instrumentation. So there are a lot of layers of sounds, as well as the 5 main instruments (Voice, Guitar, Sax, Kit and Bass) we also feature Jamie (Guitarist) on Linnstrument, me on Piano, Thomas (Sax) on Percussion and Sample Pads and the Guitar and Sax both go through pedal boards which adds to our sound and brings the electronic/trip-hop element.

When sitting down to write, what’s your starting point or do you usually already have an idea?

As the lyricist, for me words tend to come first then melodies develop over time with support from the bands instrumental input. My lyrics are fairly personal about experiences that happen to me and I know from feedback that people can really relate to the stories. Whether it’s struggles with my mental health, or feelings post break up or even just love for my best friend. The lyrics seem to flow naturally once I get started, often I’ll be driving home listening to tunes then just think of a hook line about the way I’m feeling or a passing thought then I’ll repeat the lines to remember them and write them down when I get home. Sometimes lyrics have stemmed from writing letters to friends or exes about situations we’ve fallen into and I sing lyrics of things I find would be hard to say directly to someone it’s easier to make it in a song and hope maybe they’ll hear it someday.

What influenced your sound? Does this have anything to with where you’re from?

I guess we’re heavily influenced by the music we love to listen to. I grew up listening to a lot of 90s Hip Hop and R&B, my favourite MC is Guru from Gangstarr. I love his gravelly raw vocal and Gangstarr’s lofi beats have such a chill vibe, listening to their music takes me back to being in primary school with a minidisk player and huge headphones listening to Above the Clouds ‘…where the sounds are original’.

 I haven’t found many artists who we necessarily sound like and we really do want our sounds to be original in a world full of all sorts of music. I do take inspiration from loads of vocalists, particularly strong black female singers who I look up to, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and India Arie who I listened to growing up… when I got into Jazz I admired Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. That’s only touching on my vocal influences, the band sound is also inspired heavily by the likes of D’angelo, Kamasi Washington, Nate Smith, Badu and again many more.

The Neo-Soul scene in Newcastle is kind of in a progressive stage and we are hoping to increase it, which inspires us to cary on doing what we do and add to it and support it. With local venues like Hoochie Coochie showcasing similar artists and bands to us and helping the scene grow, with a love for good music!

Name some artists who you couldn’t go without? 

I mentioned earlier the artist we are inspired by so all of those names are relevant, also I love to listen to Haitus Kayote, The Internet, Amy Winehouse, Fatoumata Diawara, Mura Masa, Loyle Carner, and loads more I could mention but they’re who came to mind.

What should we watch out for/expect from you? Any future project ideas?

Watch out for our upcoming releases, follow us on Spotify and Subscribe to our Youtube channel and mailing list to get the latest updates but basically we’re planning to release the rest of the tracks we recorded in January at Loft Studios, keep gigging and expanding our networks and tour all over UK, hopefully further. Next year I’ll be in my third year of Uni and organising an event, which Portraits will definitely be playing.

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 Portraits are very excited to be playing debut gig in London on 15th June, at Pizza Express, Holborn, which is renowned Jazz Venue hosting amazing talent. This will hopefully be a stepping-stone for them to play and tour further in future sharing their music. 

https://www.pizzaexpresslive.com/whats-on/portraits – Tickets are available now online.

Their next gig in the diary in Newcastle is the local stage at Americana Summertyne festival at the Sage Gateshead on 20th July. They currently have 3 tracks released on Spotify and all other platforms and the leading track is available on Youtube. 

They’re almost ready to drop their next 3 tracks along with another video that they’re in the process of arranging and shooting but this should be available next month – keep an eye out.

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“For anyone reading who hasn’t heard us already, please listen to our music, to put this all into context and I hope you enjoy it..”

Portraits Website: http://portraitsmusic.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqbtVwG-tNg

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6gMDmgLUxtPXoXyD42UbDe?si=w-BVkfG0Q7yEL8KW3aVoTw

My personal favourite track –  Siren 

Portraits Members 

Georgia May – Vocals

Jamie Jingles – Guitar

Ben Fitzgerald – Kit

Thomas Dixon – Saxophone

Adam Cornell – Double Bass

Xanthe Bonsall – Surface Pattern Design

Xanthe is currently a mature student returning to education after a few years break.  After she left school, she completed a BTEC in Fashion & Textiles near where she grew up in Nottinghamshire but was unsure what path to take after this. She then moved to Leeds to work for an engineering company and a few years later had a baby at 23.

“Having my daughter inspired me to dust off my sewing machine and I started making some bits of clothing for her as a hobby. This then developed in to making them for my friends children, this then turned in to full blown small business after a few months. It was very successful but extremely hard work, as I had to balance being a full time stay at home parent with also being self-employed and working during nap times and in the evenings.”

She decided it was time to go back to education, and managed to get a place on the Access to Higher Education course at Leeds College of Art. This helped her to narrow down what direction she wanted to take and what she actually wanted to do with her life in terms of a career. She is now completing her first year of the Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern design degree at Leeds Arts University.

“I credit my daughter with giving me the focus and determination to push myself to go back to university. It was a scary decision to make and it hasn’t been easy”

Some of Xanthe’s homemade pieces on her beautiful daughter Sylvie! – Taken around the time of Xanthe having her business

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“My practice is inspired by many aspects of my life.”

Being a huge fan of anything vintage, particularly the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s era’s, Xanthe takes lots of inspiration from these decades – especially being a huge fan of 70’s disco! There’s always a retro influence within her work, even if it’s something as small as a certain colour palette that she decides to experiment with.

Xanthe expressed that she is extremely lucky to live in the village of Saltaire, which is a world heritage site just outside of Bradford. It’s a Victorian model village which was purpose built for the workers of the textile mill to live in. Her favourite part of Saltaire is all of the different windows on the terraced houses, which have taken place in some of her work.

“I have the amazing Salts Mill just a few seconds walk from my front door, and also a massive variety of independent businesses and other local artists and designers living around me who inspire me daily. I’m also within walking distance of the moors and so much beautiful natural scenery.”

Having lived in Leeds City Centre for a long time and still loving being close to the city – she finds taking inspiration from both the urban and local natural landscape to be a really interesting mix.

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“I want to be in the position to start doing some freelance work or set up a business again after graduating”

In around 2 years time Xanthe will be graduating. Her original aim when she started her degree was to learn how to design and print her own fabric which she could then use to start manufacturing childrenswear again – But after having learnt so many new skills and fallen in love with so many different processes, she can’t say for certain if she’ll ever go back to sewing for a living. Setting herself some ‘mini goals’ to achieve over the next couple of years, she hopes to get so some print fairs and get involved with some local events such as Saltaire Arts trail.

Being self employed is something she is drawn towards because of the flexibility and it worked well for her, especially having a young family. Making her feel “lucky to live in an area with a few different creative businesses.”

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‘I’ve fallen in to a bit of a routine when starting a new project, after recently figuring out what works for me creatively.”

Usually, she starts off having a good think about the theme and concept she wants to begin working on, and make a list of places she can visit to gather research and inspiration – planning some day trips, taking her camera and often does a few quick sketches too. Xanthe is  constantly snapping photo’s when she’s out and about, “as you never know where your next bit of inspiration could come from.”

Slow crafting techniques, such as paper cutting and collage usually kick start off her visual development. Being a big fan of creating texture within her work she tries out lots of different processes to create this. Usually her next step is to scan in all of her work and carry on the process digitally using Photoshop.

Working digitally is also a process that Xanthe incorporates into her way of working, she finds it easy to try out different things in CAD without it being so permanent. Often she will keep working digitally right up until producing a final outcome, or use Photoshop as a tool to then go back to working in a more ‘analog’ processes, such as creating images to then hand screen print.

“I love experimenting so I’m keen to try and mix up my routine a bit once I start the second year of my degree after summer and see where it takes me.”

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“My favourite project I’ve worked on this year was a wallpaper design, which I hand screen printed for my final piece.”

Looked at tropical plants for inspiration and mixing it up with a 70’s influenced colour palette, Xanthe created this beautifully vibrant and fresh design on paper, with the idea that it would be used as a wallpaper. Xanthe has tonnes of prints like these that didn’t quite make it to her final hand in, due to slight miss prints (nothing too major) so if you’re interested in a print then keep an eye on her Instagram as she will be doing a sale of left over miss prints for a bargain price soon!

Email – Xanthereanne@gmail.com

Instagram – @xantheprints

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Having not done a lot of screen printing before this project it was a bit of a learning curve for her and her practice but she really loved the process and is something she would like to explore further. This  botanical theme was carried over into another of her projects that she has just finished working on – but with a contrasted in theme, looking at textures found in the city to create a series of abstract prints.

She also looked at including a bit of illustration towards the end of this project, which is entirely out of her comfort zone. “I surprised myself by loving the final result!” This has prompted her to push myself more often and be more experimental within her practice.

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“I have such a huge list of designers who influence me, so it’s hard to narrow it down.”

‘Bold and Graphic’ are words that best describe the work that Xanthe loves and inspires her and includes designers such as; Camille Walala and Atelier Bingo. One of her favourite things to do is to go to local print/craft fairs to hunt down and discover new designers, recently going to the Hepworth Print Fair in Wakefield she gathered lots of inspiration and also bought a couple of prints from Hattie Clark, whose work she absolutely loves!

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Knowing Xanthe myself I know how passionate she is about her practice and how driven she is to do well for both herself and her young family. Being only in her first year at university Xanthe’s work displays a high quality and lots of thought behind her projects.

This is only the start for her so keep an eye out over on her Instagram @xantheprints where she regularly updates on what she’s been getting up to.

 

Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to email me at georgiacampbelldesign@outlook.com for a feature or any queries! 

 

 

 

 

 

Will York – Really Nice Pills

Will York also known as ‘Really Nice Pills’ has recently had a pivotal point in his Fine Art practice. After studying Art and Design at College and then Fine Art at University he struggled to engage himself until the last few months of his education.

Although he struggled to engage himself, Will was confident in where everything was heading with his practice and career, he recalls that perhaps he was maybe ‘too confident’.

He was getting regular opportunities though the music scene in Leeds and began to make some important connections in the art scene too. He even turned down several opportunities without checking them out properly. This turned out to be quite a big mistake.

Going through the struggle of finding yourself as an artist what advise would you give aspiring or artists in general who are struggling to be satisfied with their practice? Its so important to enjoy your practice. If you don’t enjoy it what’s the point? If you feel your work is becoming stagnant then change your medium and start experimenting.  Turning 25 was an important milestone for my creative practice. It was quite scary and made me feel like I had wasted a lot of opportunities and burned too many bridges along the way. This year has been pivotal.

Performance Paintings – His new and ‘improved’ practice

Will describes his paintings as being a by-product of stress and the lack of direction that he felt. Now he views them as an expression that doesn’t exist in an audible language. He always wanted to express something chaotic and aggressive yet beautiful and the performances are a product of anxiety – he got so stressed out and anxious at his own exhibitions he had to find a way to expose himself and grow not only as an artist but as a sociable human being. His recent works are expressionistic. Previous works are immersive. He has always been fascinated in creating experimental and emotive works regardless of medium. He gathers inspiration from ‘Anywhere and everywhere’. he believes he spends much more time thinking than doing, and feels that its very important for him to designate time for critical thinking. Usually his starting point is through build scenarios in his head, and then to do some experimentation.

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His new practice has not only opened doors for him but has added multitude of new dimensions for his thought process and future plans. Will doesn’t want to reveal any big plans at the moment bit he is aiming high!

Does collaboration interest you? It does interest me. As long as I have a mutual understanding with my collaborators it can be highly beneficial to combine skills.

Being a practicing artist is completely automatic to Will, he sees it as a way of life, a way of seeing and a way of thinking. ‘You can not turn it off, it’s exhausting’

As a practicing artist Will feels that having a job on the side is important, especially when coming to a crossroads in your practice. ‘I always make sure that if I do have a side job it has to be the absolute minimum commitment without starving to death or becoming homeless. The only way to create a balance is by working harder and sometimes compromising. More often than not this will be your social life.’ 

https://www.facebook.com/ArtByWillis92/

https://www.youtube.com/w1llyork11

Emily Lynch – Lonely Spaces

Emily recalls always been fascinated by photography pretty much ever since she picked up her first camera – for a couple of years she has been making conceptual films but reverted back to photography which she is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh.

Street photography is something she had looked at for awhile, looking at Cartier Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment’ for inspiration. These works evolved into looking less at people within street scenes and more looking at the architecture and composition of a Street Scene.

 

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Emily is now simultaneously working on two projects – the one promoted on the collectivef8 page is entitled ‘Lonely Spaces’ – through her study of History of Art as part of her joint honours she became near enough obsessed with surrealism through the lecture series, in particular Andre Breton’s idea that aspects of a typical ‘surrealist’ documentary style photo can question time, space and reality.

This was something that Emily wanted to mirror and having grown up in and around London she wanted to produce a series of photos that counter your average vision of a capital city and also can come across as melancholy and reflective.

What Emily had envisioned for her project ‘Lonely Spaces’ had really come across in these powerful images. At first glance this bustling city almost looks abandoned with the scattered litter and empty streets – Not what we envision a typical scene from London to be, she’s captured it beautifully.

 

When initially recording for this series she began to delve into abstract architecture as a focus which is what she exhibited at her end of year exhibition entitled ‘Urban Abstraction’.

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Preoccupied with abstract shapes, bold lines and definitive contrasts of colour and surface which transformed everyday buildings into strange forms, she would pick out unusual shapes and matching colours and forms from the images she collected and present the images as a diptych so that two completely separate images would fit together purely by chance – like a jigsaw. This was despite the fact that they had been taken in completely different locations/times/lightings/under different circumstances, the images would connect through similarities in the objects depicted or shapes being created between subjects and tiny details.

The concept of this project to me is really interesting, how she is looking at taking similar images of similar subjects, which subsiquently seem to come together and fit. The nature of these photographs give a really interesting element – for me this makes the imagery all that more beautiful and interesting to look at.

Instagram – @e.lynchphotography

Collectivef8 Instagram – @collectivef8

Amber Brown – Photographer

Recently I have had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely Amber Brown, who is also part of the collective ‘Collectivef8’.

Her ‘Every Cloud’ project really stands out to me, how she has decided to work back into those beautiful images she’s able to capture and be experimental on another level other than within her photography practice.

Briefly explain what you do/what your approach to Photography is.

Hello! I’m Amber and I’m an aspiring photographer based in Northumberland, however in my second year studying at Edinburgh College of Art where I also have an interest in collaboration and curation.

Most of my work concerns the notion of home in various aspects over a social, political and personal promise whilst I continue to learn and explore traditional analogue processes. I really cannot praise the therapeutic process of developing my own film enough and how wonderful it feels seeing it come to life step-by-step.

 Explain your current project ‘The Coming Soon Land’

‘The Coming Soon Land’ explores both structures within development and the overgrowth of environment as a factor of postponed development in an unnamed town subject to the lift of tourism. It discusses the prospect of social housing, particularly the growing ambitions of mass unaffordable housing during a crisis nationally where infrastructure is lacking. This often results in a bleak, uneasy, overgrown landscape which becomes unkempt and untouched many years, which is what the images illustrate. The project is shown in exhibition format as two large prints and an artist’s book which I am working on at present to become a more accessible, easily distributed zine.

Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?

I really enjoyed my previous project ‘Every Cloud’ where I took analogue images of the sea in my hometown and painted silver leaf into them to create discussion of preciousness and the fishing industry. I guess that incorporated taking on the role of a painter too, which is something I’ve always been rather shy about, and so was quite experimental. Personal projects seem to grab my interest most, and so ‘The Coming Soon Land’ is one I feel most passionate about and one which has made me grow technically as a photographer, so I would like to continue it further.

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How do you educate yourself to take better pictures? Whose work has influenced you most?

We’re always learning; every exhibition or new discovery feels like educating! It’s always productive to get constructive feedback on work and I really enjoy reading about photography. Recently, David Carson’s book ‘Fotografiks’ really helped me in grasping how to make my book layouts more creative.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Ah, a good question – probably knowing the amount of techniques there actually are and that there are actually facilities to try these new things if you search around enough!

From your point of view, what makes a good picture?

Definitely its ability to evoke emotion and a dialogue with the viewer. All of my favourite photographs are definitely ones that are emotionally powerful or hold social or political layers.

Since the photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date or go with your own approach? What do you do to always keep up with the times while still maintaining your own ‘style’?

This is really interesting as since starting my degree, every single one of my projects has been analogue based. I still use digital to test alongside and for projects outwith; while I do scan my negatives, most of the equipment I love using is years older than me so I definitely prefer to go my own way. However, I do read photography magazines and keep an eye on new pledge projects, especially ones that are creating new analogue equipment. For example, I absolutely love Intrepid’s 5×4 and 8×10 large format lightweight cameras which I’d love to invest in one day – a blessing in disguise for a not too physically strong photographer like myself!

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Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?

You’re right, it’s wonderful that photography is so accessible on one hand as accessible art is something I feel strongly about. But also, with such a high amount of imagery floating around, it’s probably hard to filter it into categories outwith curated websites for photographers. There’s definitely a difference in how serious the photographer is about their work, the way it’s shown, what they do with the work and whether that connects directly as their source of living.

Who influenced you the most? Is there any other photographer that you consider as a kind of idol?

Excuse the coincidental name, but my main inspiration at the moment is the Amber Collective who run the Side Gallery in Newcastle. Both on a photographer and curator level, they have such an expansive archive, which is very inspiring. I have a good handful of favourites – Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Tish Murtha, Rodney Graham, Sally Mann – and am still discovering more and more but the Amber Collective is a group I really admire in their work to document the working class within the North East. It was a shift of perspective to salvage the past, and areas which were drastically changing.

In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?

Not so much avoiding, there’s a lot I’d be open to trying or working more on but atmospheric landscapes and documentary works are definitely what I love working with most. I used to shoot a lot of gigs in my spare time and more portraiture, which I hope to do more of but everything seems to blend into one regarding time. I don’t tend to separate things as they usually take up my free time anyway, which isn’t a bad thing!

Would you class photography more liberating/restrictive than other art forms?

In itself, photography is definitely a very liberating art form in its nature to share and make viewers aware. I’d like to argue that it’s not artistically restrictive at all, but then each form of art is only as restrictive as you make it. Photography doesn’t restrict to the size of a computer screen – although this works for some pieces – and can go so much beyond the perceived typical size of an image in ways of presenting.

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What will be the future of photography in next 20 years? We have seen an extreme shift in the photographic tech and styles in the last couple of decades. Where will it be in future in your opinion?

Oh! I went to a really great lecture by Simon Baker – photography curator of the Tate – as part of Stills’ 40th Anniversary events. And there was a discussion there that in future, there may be more intertwining between analogue and digital rather than a separation. I guess that means to me that the two will somewhat be seen as very equal. We’ve already seen more analogue products being proposed and making their way to the market, so I hope it will continue to develop in that way and digitally we’ll keep seeing amazing technical progression.

Where do you see your career going?

Ideally, I’d love to finish my BA at ECA and head back to the North East to do a Masters in Gallery Studies and continue my own work. I’m definitely a bit of a home-bird and would love to contribute to the North East art scene in future, but will hopefully figure the goal out on the way!

Any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

Yes! At the moment, I’m working with fellow artists on an all-female photography group in Edinburgh called ‘Collective F8’ in organising and curating an exhibition in September. We’ve just had our end-of-year exhibition so are taking a small breather but will be starting a crowd-funder soon to raise money for the opening and to publish a photographic zine. You’ll hear from us soon!

I’m also very excited to be showcasing at Alnmouth Art Festival this year!

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t mentioned?

Yes sorry, a little pitch! One opportunity that may benefit any established or budding photographers. I’m on trial as an ambassador with the wonderful Picfair, who are always looking for photographers to work with! It’s essentially a platform, which sets photographers up so businesses can use their work – and you get paid exactly what you want to get paid for your work, no funny business at all. We recently had one of our young photographer’s work on the cover of the National Geographic, exciting stuff. All you have to do is trot along to this link below and start uploading your work!

http://www.picfair.com/contribute

 

Contacts

amberbrownphotography@outlook.com

www.amberbrownphoto.com

Facebook: Amber Brown Photography
Instagram: amberbrownphotography

https://www.instagram.com/collectivef8/

Meili Paints – Expanding the idea of painting

Ameillia Franks paintings are a true celebration of art. Her work has a vibrancy and painterly quality. Although her colour pallets are usually unplanned before hand they seem harmonious in the way they are positioned and layered in their forms.

Ameillia Franks paintings are a true celebration of art. Her work has a vibrancy and painterly quality. Although her colour pallets are usually unplanned before hand they seem harmonious in the way they are positioned and layered in their forms.

Based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Ameillia studied at York College until June 2017 where she specialised in Fine Art. She then continued her studies in Fine Art at Leeds Arts University where she has expanded her practice to combine Sculpture, her love of painting and sculptural forms very much go hand-in-hand.

I caught up with Ameillia to find out all about her work and what we expect to see from her…

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Whats your background?

Art has always been a part of my life but I started to study it more seriously at York College where I specialised in Fine Art and now I’m currently studying at Leeds Arts Uni.

What made you decide to go down the path of Fine Art?

Funny story; I couldn’t decide to specialise in fine art or textiles so my friend wrote each of them on a piece of paper, I chose the hand that had fine art in it! I still have it!

Why do you do what you do?

Really, cause I love art and doing what I’m doing but I guess it’s a kind of release for me.

Tell us about your practice. Where did it stem from and how has it developed?

Well I used to like doing biro drawings but always liked painting too, at College I discovered my love of Abstract painting accidentally when making an artist book – painting from photographs abstractly. But now I’ve moved onto sculptural sort of paintings. I like to think of it as sculptural paintings, not painted sculpture.

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Who and what inspires you and your practice?

It’s always hard to say what inspires me but I think mostly from things I see around me, shapes and forms that I subconsciously extract from everyday life.

What does your work aim to say? What does it aim to address/express?

A lot of my art work is about form and colour and the power of it and trying to expand the idea of what a painting can be, so I like people to feel something when they see it and make up their own mind on what they think it could be portraying. I do research into Psychology etc. and find it interesting how our brains will either be challenged with the shapes you see but can also subconsciously recognise the shapes and associate things with them.

Either way, you’re engaging which I love!

Would you say your work comments on any current social or political issues?

My work isn’t really political at the moment but I’m wanting to possibly add some of that sort of stuff into it in the future.

When approaching a new project/piece of work what is your initial starting point?

There’s lots of ideas always flying around my head so when it comes to a new project I might start with an idea but I often struggle with thinking of an initial idea so usually I just start painting and that always gives you the ideas eventually. I just go with what feels right at the time and keep on developing it into something I’m happy with. Or try too at least!

How do you work?

I work very instinctively, I don’t really plan the actual shapes or colours I paint. However, if I am cutting shapes from wood I’ll usually have an idea of what type of forms I’m wanting to achieve.

Who are your biggest influences?

I can’t think of any particular influences right now but I definitely take inspiration from other artists and just the every day world and people around me I suppose! And I have creative friends who like to encourage me to push myself.

What are your goals and ambitions for your practice in the next five years?

The dream goal is to be able to pay the bills from making my art! But I have no exact plan, having my own business would be cool or even being an art therapist maybe? So I’ll just keep making art and see where it takes me! It might take me down a completely different root who knows, but as long as I’m happy doing what I’m doing. – It’d be nice to make a mark on the world somehow.

What role do you think the artist has in Society?

I think the role of an artist in society is important; to show people new things and to spread the creativity! Creativity is sooo important.

Name three of your favourite Artists

Too many favourites but 3 artists I like are Aaron curry – I love his sculptures
Yayio Kusamas – her coverings of a full room is so cool! And Thomas Nozowkis compositions in paintings are lovely.

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Although Ameillia and Meili Paints are only just starting out in the creative journey I get a strong sense from her that there is lots more to watch out for.

Follow her Instagram – @meili_paints

Creative Sphere Instagram – @gc.creativesphere