Tuesday, 18 October 2016

@Wagwanhomeslice AKA Lydia Greenwood: Interview

Glitched by me (yh i know good work right?)

I first found Lydia Greenwood while scrolling my recommended friends on Facebook (monday nights are lonely), when I saw pink hair and clicked 'add friend' faster than I think I've ever moved before. Lydia, AKA Wagwanhomeslice is an artist from Morecambe, Lancaster who paints in faded colours and takes killer selfies for her army of Insta fans (homeslice-ettes?). Being the keen creature I am, I bagged an interview with her within seconds of my request being accepted. Check it out below:

When did you start making art, and what was your early work as an artist like?

I first started drawing and getting "creative" from as early on as I can remember. The earliest memory was in reception when I used to draw- I got so many compliments, and getting compliments about what I had created sent such positive feelings that I carried on from there. I guess I first started getting serious about being an artist maybe before college until now? With big gaps in-between where I literally did nothing due to mental health problems which I had to focus on. My early work was totally crap but some people liked it, it was very different to what I do now.

What theme/idea do you try to portray the most in your work?

I've kinda been working on simplicity as my theme throughout my work recently. I have done loads of stuff where I have just repeated patterns, shapes, colours and objects. It has a sense of calm about it. Moving away from home has helped me with my work, it's hard to take time out of a busy city and move onto an island which has a total of 420 people on it. It's definitely had an effect on my work - things can be simple. You can find minimalism aesthetically pleasing. This is the message I want to give through the work I am producing, nothing needs to be looked at too much or thought about too much. It can just be there in front of you.

Is that what you want people to feel when they see it? like a calm happiness?

Yeah! completely! and just simplicity! What you see is what is in front of you. And on the other hand, I'm not wanting people to feel any emotion when they look at my work. I don't want people to look at my art and have emotions from it, I don't want them to look at it and try to work it out. I just want people to look at it, and take a sense of calmness and take that moment to not even think anything, just to enjoy my work.

What's your favourite thing to paint? do you paint colours you see in your head or whatever is in front of you?

It used to be people, then it changed to objects, and now it's just whatever is in my head and what I imagine. I choose every single colour in my head that shows up and pick whichever one looks right. none of my drawings are perfect, I repeat those imperfections.

Do you have a plan before you start each piece? or do you just set up and do whatever you feel like?

I always try to set things up but I never do. The final piece is always the opposite of what i wanted it to look like. I never stick to the same colours as I "planned" out to be, so for a long time I have just been doing whatever I like, throwing colours at something and other things that are hectic.

What are you working on at the moment? and is there any one thing that has massively impacted your style?

I'm working on contributing to a zine about mental health and having manic episodes. I did an abstract piece not that long ago and stitched into it which I found really effective and I have too much thread! I'm also working on an exhibition I'm going to have in london, it's going to be called "uninvited",  about how my brain is just in my body but my body isn't actually invited to my thoughts? but my thoughts are just inside me? I also want to work on a zine based on this before I do the exhibition to give people an insight on what to expect.

I'm gonna start working on some more internet based ideas, the internet ~in general ~ has inspired me loads and taught me so much! I feel so accepted and involved in the arts scene on the internet and it's full of proper cool girls who support each other! It's totally inspiring my work and when I feel really disenchanted and disconnected from reality I can connect to my wifi. The only thing I can think of that has inspired my work is me, or myself on the internet. Mostly just me. I always look at other artists and work online and go to the Tate or exhibitions when I can, but I never seem to take what I see and put it in my work. Maybe I do subconsciously? But most of my inspiration comes from myself, what I'm like as a person, my brain, and my life.

do you think mental health is a big part of art and the process of creating?

I think art for me is sometimes a solution to deal with mental health and put my energy into something if I have the energy. As an artist I also feel it does get in the way a lot and warps my sense of social vision of stuff, but maybe if I wasn't this way my work would be different? So it has its pros and cons, you have to try to make a positive out of a negative and believe in yourself which is sometimes really hard to do.

You have to learn to self care - making art is the number 1 thing to do to take good care of myself and make myself feel better. Some of my college work, especially doodles in my friend's sketchbook that she recently showed me are so dark and twisted, whereas now they are more bright and more about the fine detail rather than something "out there", but there is still quite a lot going on in my recent pieces.

But going through that dark phase means that you released it which is great, because so many people bottle stuff up and there's no outlet. I think it's why tumblr is so full of sad teenagers.

I think tumblr is good for teens, it's good for them to talk about their feelings and maybe to not feel so alone with them. It's when you start romanticising depression and anxiety, that's when you have a problem.

What do you think would happen if the internet disappeared? Would we all lose touch and become really secluded or would we find another way to connect?

Totally find another way to connect. I love the internet but I'm not saying it's all about the internet... I think the internet social groups I have now would still be connected, just in another way. Maybe more meet ups or organising zines at someone's place.. Making ideas on a park bench for an event. There's loads of stuff you can do! I love making art IRL and on the internet. The artists that make internet art now would just do it IRL I think.

Check out Lydia's art on tumblr, instagram and twitter

My song of the day today is A Friend From Argentina by Anthonie Tonnon, enjoy :)

Glitching it