Artist Interview with Catriona Robertson

Portrait of Catriona Robertson in front of a white tile wall.Location: currently living in London
Job: Instructor at Central St. Martin’s

 

 

Tell me about your medium and your work.
Mostly, recently, 3-D sculpture. I work a lot with lights. My paintings relate to current 3D sculpture. Right now I’m really into the bamboo. I go into the forest to collect bamboo. I had a mini-explosion when I got here gathering material then seeing what forms it would take.

What is your current project?
I saw people using bamboo everywhere for all sorts of things. I’m interested in using bamboo as a structure.

**We talked about Catriona’s current bamboo and cement sculptures and that she’s pushing the limits of how tall she can make it and different processes for creating finishes and colors. She is also doing a series of mixed media collages in green using cut bamboo for printmaking. I forgot to photograph it. 😦 **

Tell me about the metal and light sculpture:

The metal is from a local metal scrap yard dealer. It was really interesting to see what happens to the metal, seeing it all piled up. I’m really attracted to circles and shiny things.

Why did you choose Shiro Oni?
I was looking for a place far from London, a quiet place where I could focus. I wanted a challenge with language and a rural area.

So what do you think of it here?
I liked the festival.* People are really welcoming. I particularly liked the lights [on the yatai or floats for the festival]. The train is easy because the stops are announced in English but the bus is hard. It can be difficult to get materials.

Check out more of Catriona’s work at www.catrionarobertston.co.uk.

catriona-robertson-6-webCatriona’s End of Residency Show is on July 7/25-26 at Shiro Oni Studio
370-1401 Gunma Fujioka Onishi 529 Japan
http://www.shirooni.com/about/directions/

How to Get to Shiro Oni From Tokyo (train and bus)

  • Tokyo -> Honjo Station 本庄駅 on JR Takasaki Line (I like to take Shonan Shinjuku Liner because it goes straight to Honjo)
    • fare about 1660 depending on originating station
  • Use South Exit.
  • Take the bus which stops in front of the 7-11., bus leaves about once an hour
  • Get off at Onishi Yubinkyoku Mae (鬼石郵便局前)**. Bus fare is 660 yen.
  • Walk about five minutes to Shiro Oni Residency main building, Kinuya.

*The Shiro Oni artists in residence practiced and prepared with their Onishi neighbors pulling the yatai (festival float) and playing taiko for the Onishi Summer Matsuri

**If you use a train navigation app you can enter the kanji and it will give you the departure times for the bus from Honjo.

Artist Interview with Daniela Arias

Daniela Arias at work in her studio in Kotoriya

From: Patagonia, Argentina, currently Buenos Aires

Currently: Illustrator for graphic design and editorial.

 

Tell me about your work and your medium?
I started in graphic design and moved into illustration. Mostly I use water color and pencil on paper. I like lines. I paint as if I’m using drawing material.

I love illustrating. When I imagine something it’s like a comic. I imagine things in panels. I think I don’t communicate very well. What I do is like a bridge. If I have a pencil I can draw and I feel like people can understand who I am or what I am thinking. But I think whoever is making art is doing that.

daniela-arias-5-webInteresting Point that Daniela Made During Our Discussion
We make what we make to understand who we were before this moment. What makes us the way we are now.

Why did you choose to come to Japan.?
I’m a big Japan fan. I wanted to come to Japan for ten years. I really like that in Japan people talk about anime and manga and it’s not just for children. Even adults have a favorite Studio Ghibli movie.

Why did you choose Shiro Oni?

I decided that when I come to Japan I wanted to have a real taste of what it is like to live in Japan. I like what Shiro Oni is trying to accomplish. It was great to participate in the culture here. I’m in the matsuri (festival) not just taking pictures of it.*

daniela-arias-1-webWhat are you working on now?
I planned to do an illustrated travelogue. After meeting local people. I changed my idea. I want to make short stories, fantasy-style recollections of my travels. I also want to do some portraits–not a real life style. I like drawing people the way I remember them.

Find out more about Daniela’s work on her website:
www.behance.net/dani-arias

Daniela’s End of Residency Show is on July 7/25-26 at Shiro Oni Studio
370-1401 Gunma Fujioka Onishi 529 Japan
http://www.shirooni.com/about/directions/

daniela-arias-4-webHow to Get to Shiro Oni From Tokyo (train and bus)

  • Tokyo -> Honjo Station 本庄駅 on JR Takasaki Line (I like to take Shonan Shinjuku Liner because it goes straight to Honjo)
    • fare about 1660 depending on originating station
  • Use South Exit.
  • Take the bus which stops in front of the 7-11., bus leaves about once an hour
  • Get off at Onishi Yubinkyoku Mae (鬼石郵便局前)**. Bus fare is 660 yen.
  • Walk about five minutes to Shiro Oni Residency main building, Kinuya.

*The Shiro Oni artists in residence practiced and prepared with their Onishi neighbors pulling the yatai and playing taiko for the Onishi Summer Matsuri

**If you use a train navigation app you can enter the kanji and it will give you the departure times for the bus from Honjo.

Artist Interview with Teresa Currera

Theresa Currea at her desk.

 

Based In:  Columbia
Job: Full time artist with a tiny studio in Bogata.

 

Tell me about your work and your medium.
The majority of my work is with cut paper and different aspects of drawing, working with space and layers incorporating 3-D elements. I also do large size drawing and makes 3-D fabric versions of my illustrations.

Theresa Currea illustration cut out work in progress.

Why did you come to Japan?
In 1989 or 1990, a full package of Japanese shows from Japan came to Columbia about travel, food and entertainment. This has influenced my generation but older generation sees this but doesn’t understand the influence and don’t like it. Japanese artists have had a big influence on artists in Columbia. I always wanted to come here to see why. Isamu Noguchi, Takeshi Murakami, Hayao Miyazaki. I’m interested in Japanese paperwork and Japanese paper.

Why did you choose Shiro Oni Residency?
I won a prize to get money to attend a residency. I had one opportunity at the moment and wanted to go as far away as possible.

Interesting Point Theresa Made During Our Discussion

The artist has one question and tries to answer it with different methods and materials. This is the most important part for an artist when travelling to find different ways to answer that question.

What is your project here?

I started in January 2014. It’s inspired by the structures that living creatures use to protect themselves–camouflage, shells, hair, exoskeletons.

illustrated paper cut-outs on a string.Explore more of Theresa’s work on her website:
www.teresacurrea.com

Theresa’s End of Residency Show is on July 7/25-26 at Shiro Oni Studio
• 370-1401 Gunma Fujioka Onishi 529 Japan
http://www.shirooni.com/about/directions/

Going To Shiro Oni From Tokyo (train and bus)
• Tokyo ->Honjo Station 本庄駅 on JR Takasaki Line (I like to take Shonan Shinjuku Liner because it goes straight to Honjo) (fare about 1660 depending on original station)
• Use South Exit.
• Take the bus which stops in front of the 7-11., bus leaves about once an hour
• Get off at Onishi Yubinkyoku Mae (鬼石郵便局前). Bus fare is 660 yen.
• Walk about five minutes to Shiro Oni Residency main building, Kinuya.

Artist Interview with Rukhe Neelofer Zaidi

rukhe-Neelofer-Zaidi-2-webFrom: Lahore, Pakistan
Currently: University Lecturer, Art Curriculum Director for large school system.

Tell me about your work and your medium.
I started in gouache/tempura. I changed because it was difficult to preserve the work. I changed to acrylic. I want a 2-D flat effect. I use a gouache approach to acrylic.

I first started by doing figures from above angle but recently interested in flora and fauna. I was inspired to change from figures to plants, when I started my own balcony garden. I most use my houseplants to create jungle scenes.

rukhe-Neelofer-Zaidi-1_webWhat’s your project here?
I’m working on a four-panel painting of a landscape (composite) inspired by the screens (fusuma). I’m really inspired by these leaves. I’ve never seen them before.

Why did you choose Shiro Oni?
I came because I’m interested in Japan and on the map, this looked close to Tokyo.

Local Inspiration/Observations
Japanese people are politest people on Earth, but reserved.
Communal living aspect is tough for me. I’m not sued to it.

rukhe-Neelofer-Zaidi-5bw-web
After talking about creating art curriculum and teaching we talked about challenges for art in schools in Pakistan. Rukhe said the biggest lack for developing artists in Pakistan is the lack of art curriculum, museums and galleries. Art in school is sometimes considered a “free period.”

 

Find out more about Rukhe’s work on her her Facebook page.
___________

rukhe-4-webRukhe’s End of Residency Show is on July 7/25-26 at Shiro Oni Studio
• 370-1401 Gunma Fujioka Onishi 529 Japan
http://www.shirooni.com/about/directions/

How to Get to Shiro Oni From Tokyo (train and bus)
• Tokyo -> Honjo Station (本庄駅) on JR Takasaki Line
• fare about 1660 depending on original station
(I like to take Shonan Shinjuku Liner because it goes straight to Honjo)
• Use South Exit of Honjo
• Take the bus which stops in front of the 7-11., bus leaves about once an hour
• Get off at Onishi Yubinkyoku Mae (鬼石郵便局前). Bus fare is 660 yen.
• Walk about five minutes to Shiro Oni Residency main building, Kinuya.

 

 

**photos by Lori Ono at Shiro Oni Art Residency

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