Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Interview with Carolyn Saxby- artist from St. Ives

Hi Carolyn, thank you so much for answering to all my questions!!! I am so courious!!!!

How did you first discover art?

I have always expressed myself through art … but over the years in different media.  I have always kept sketchbooks full of things I love and things that make me happy.  My love and appreciation of colour came from keeping these books.  They are full of images I have collected, poetry, words, reflections, art and textile experiments … a real mix of things that I love to look at.  I have always enjoyed art and since moving to St. Ives I have more time to look at the work of others past and present.  I enjoy visiting galleries and seeing a diverse range of media.  My own expression is through textiles and abstract paintings and I continue to collect images and original pieces of art which I keep in my sketchbooks.

How does art help you celebrate your life?

My art helps me celebrate my love of nature and my appreciation of all the senses.  To be able to smell the sea and seaweed or the scent of a honeysuckle blossom, a rose.  To be able to see and understand colour and look closely at detail, to be able to touch the veins on the back of a leaf or the rough texture of a stone or shell or piece of cold granite, to taste a wild strawberry from the hedgerow, to hear the sound of the sea pounding on the beach or a blackbird singing evensong.  These things find their way into my work through text, found objects and stitch and celebrate my life and love and appreciation of my surroundings.

How does your work tell your story?
I may walk on the beach and enjoy the quietness, the peacefulness, the light, the sound of the sea, the smell of seaweed, the glint of sunlight on the water, finding a special shell.  The weather may be dramatic and the skies interesting and colourful.  A fishing boat may catch my eye, rust patterns and peeling paint.  I may walk up the lane and the hedgerow will sing to me.  I love birdsong, berries, seed heads, leaves, the colours of autumn.  I capture the moment with colour, textures, words, threads and beads.  A story evolves around the season and time I spend on my own contemplating and noticing things around me.  I like to walk alone and gather little bits of nature and take photographs.  These are my stories.

What does your work say about you?

My work is a reflection of my whimsical outlook.  I am a romantic and I like pretty things so my work comes out a little rose tinted.  I love to look closely at things and record details and textures.  I love colour and my work is a combination of the study of colour and texture and a reflection of what I see and how I see it.  They are evocative and often contain words that I love that reflect my thought process.  My work expresses my love of nature, my love of the beach, my love of light, colour and texture and time for reflection.

What inspires you?

St. Ives is a constant source of inspiration for me in my work.  I am inspired by the colours of the sea, the sky, beaches, lichen covered rooftops, pebbles, seaweed, shells and beach finds.  I use found objects from the beaches in my textile work which I attach by sewing.  I sketch and paint seascapes and sew hearts that are full of  seaside textures and treasures.

I take aspects of St. Ives that I love such as lichen covered rooftops of the Cornish cottages, the cobbled streets and the pier.  I use photographs of these elements and beach finds such as shells, pebbles, sea glass, seaweed and the flotsam and jetsam that gets washed up on the beach (driftwood, string, plastic, metal, found paper) in my work to create evocative seaside pieces.  They have a whimsical, rose tinted, nostalgic feel to them.  I also incorporate vintage photographs from time to time and inspiring text.

I am also inspired by the work of other St. Ives artists.  I love to create abstract paintings and textile pieces inspired by paintings and poetry.

Did you grow up in St. Ives and how is it to live at that place?
I grew up in Berkshire and moved to St. Ives in 2002 after enjoying many holidays and long weekends in St. Ives every year.  We have a cottage that is 200 years old that we spent some time renovating.

We chose to live in St. Ives because it is a seaside town that never really closes over the winter.  It is not really seasonal as many Cornish seaside towns are.  It is quieter in winter but the facilities are still available

I love St. Ives in the winter when it is quiet and peaceful and the light is still bright and inspiring.  I love St. Ives all year round.  In summer the town is a buzz with tourists on holiday and it is an exciting place to be.  In September for two weeks St. Ives hosts an arts festival of music, poetry, film, arts and media which is so wonderful.  I enjoy watching the bands and visiting the studios of artists that are not open at other times of the year.

What do you love about St. Ives?

St. Ives is a very beautiful and inspiring place to live.  I love the beautiful beaches, the light and colours of  St. Ives, the sea, the sky, the wonderful art galleries and craft shops.  I enjoy many walks in the countryside and on the beaches.  The climate here is mild and is warm for the most part of the year, with fresh air and sea breezes.  I like that there is no air pollution so the skies are clear at night.  The moon, stars and planets are clearly visible at different times of the year.

It is a sociable place to live with many activities and groups to join, a cinema, theatre, art groups and clubs, exhibitions, beach picnics and social groups.  There is something for everyone.

The shops offer interesting arts, crafts, jewellery, ceramics and homewares that are quite often made by Cornish artists.  There are wonderful restaurants and cafes offering traditional Cornish food such as Cornish pasties, fish and chips, seafood and Cornish ice cream and clotted cream as well as traditional old fashioned sweet shops and chocolate handmade in Cornwall.

There is a strong sense of history to this Cornish town which is constantly being recorded at the local museum, a very interesting place to visit, and at the local archive centre and much of the “downalong” area is as it would have been hundreds of years ago with cobbled streets and higgledy piggledy cottages.

What are you doing on a simple day?

On a simple day … a typical day … I work on my textiles.  I walk in the countryside or on the coast path down into St. Ives.  I visit an art gallery.  I do a little beachcombing.  I take my camera everywhere and quite typically take over 100 photos a day then spend some time selecting my favourite shots and playing with Photoshop.  I upload a photo to Flickr most days and spend a little time on the computer.  I read and cook and spend time with my family.  This is a typical day.  Sometimes, when the weather is good I work in the garden … but always in the shade.  I don’t like to get too hot.  I burn easily in the sun.  I love the peace of the garden and the sound of birdsong.

Shop with Carolyn Saxby

Love Stitching Red

Carolyn Saxby Mixed Media Textile Art