RHA Learning Event

Meet our Studio Artists: Elizabeth Archbold and Jingze Du
17 Jul 2020 - 17 Jul 2021
Time:

Elizabeth Archbold

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am an abstract painter from North County Dublin. I studied for a degree in Painting in DIT and a Masters in Fine Art Painting in NCAD. I am working in the IPUT-RHA Wilton Park Studios. I sustain my practice by delivering public engagement workshops and teaching painting.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your art practice?

My practice is concerned with abstract process painting and experimenting with methods of making paintings. At the moment I am thinking about index, mark making and brushstroke. In the past I have used the hard edge of the stroke as a boundary. Now I am thinking about those edges dissipating. I exhibit regularly in group and open submission shows and have presented two solo exhibitions. I have worked on residencies in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, The Cill Rialaig Project, Ballinskelligs, NUCLEO Studios in Ghent, and most recently Loughshinny Boathouse Artists’ Studio.

Why do you make art?

It’s difficult to say. Art for me is a way of responding to what’s going on in the instant informed by experience and grounded in place. The surface of the canvas is the boundary between time and object. It is an opportunity to experiment with structures of painting and the agency of paint; to transfer the visual field, sensations and relations into colour applications. I am interested in expressing the latent through gesture and in expressions of space within the specific boundaries of the picture field.

What is a typical day in the studio for you?

 I aim to get there early and get into my painting gear. The first look when opening the door is a valuable fresh perspective. I usually make a cup of tea or coffee and survey the work on the walls. I attend to studio tasks such as applying a coat of size or cleaning paint brushes and then start painting. I find time passes quickly and if listening to the radio hours are gone. If I am working late I might listen to music for a while until I find it distracting. I don’t really have any mindless tasks, even applying a coat of size has a series of potential pitfalls and an optimum consistency and temperature to be alert to. I use the studio for a place for painting only now. In previous studios I used to prepare for workshops and do research reading. Paths may cross with other artists during the day which is always a gift.

What does it mean for you to have a studio in RHA?

 The studio at Wilton Park has provided an ideal space to concentrate on developing my painting process. It has freed up time allowing me to concentrate on making work by relieving some of the working and living demands of living in the city faced by artists.

What is the most used or important tool or material in your studio?

The inherently improvisational medium; oil paint. I use it in thin consistencies of glazes with large paint brushes, to thick unmixed brushstrokes, to applications with a small paintbrush. I use tools to take it off the surface as well. I make decisions about how to apply the paint when I am painting.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by research and experiences from my residency at Loughshinny Boathouse Artists’ Studio. My work has been influenced by paintings I saw in Belgium such as; Flemish Primitives, Early Netherlandish painting, Flemish Baroque, works by James Ensor. I am inspired by current times and how the medium of paint can respond to the now.

What is the most challenging thing for you about being an artist?

I think artists have an insatiable curiosity to investigate deeper and deeper and explore in intuitive ways. One of my biggest challenges is to limit my enquiring focus at any one time. Outside of my art practice at times not having a regular income can be limiting in life choices.

How have you been managing or maintaining your art practice during the Covid lockdown?

It has been difficult to grasp the scale of loss of life and risk to health caused by the virus. My bearings for my work were distanced by the disconnect of the situation and media saturation and closure of the studio. I continued working by making drawings in watercolour, ink, pastel, and marker. I also made some Acrylic observational paintings.

Do you have any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you would like to share?

The Arts Council of Ireland granted me a Covid-19 Crisis Response Award and I will be documenting and presenting work for this. I am also developing work towards a solo exhibition that Fingal County Council have supported through their Artists’ Support Scheme.

www.elizabetharchbold.com

Images, top to bottom: Untitled, 2020, Elizabeth Archbold Studio, Elizabeth Archbold Studio

Jingze Du

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

 I was born in Yantai, China and moved to Ireland when I was thirteen. In Dublin, I studied painting at the National College of Art and Design, then moved to London to complete a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art. These days I like spending time out in nature but mostly find myself working in the studio.

Can you give a brief synopsis of your art practice?

 Identity, power, digital cultures, hyperreality, and present-day capitalism are all considered. Most of my recent work addresses personal experiences with my identity as an immigrant in Ireland. They take an oscillating position in between various alternatives: strength and weakness; fast and slow; masculine and feminine; validation and rejection; external and internal; and conformity and independence. I’m oscillating between East and West; between different values, expectations and traditions. I’m constantly monitoring the fast-changing globalised world.

Why do you make art?

 It is my education. Through experimentation and research I can discover new things and I love the entire process.

What is a typical day in the studio for you?

 Typically starting around noon I catch up with calls and emails. I like to work very quickly and in non-stop sessions, so the work is usually planned a few days in advance. Painting tends to start in the evening when it is quiet.

What does it mean for you to have a studio in RHA?

It’s a great honour! In my school days, we were awed by its prestige. Being here means a lot to me.

Everyone in the RHA is amazing and I’m constantly surrounded by art. The building itself is in the middle of the city, close to the museums and libraries. I want to make the most out of it while being here.

What is the most used or important tool or material in your studio?

My studio only has the essentials. Everything is of equal importance.

What inspires you?

 Anything from a passage of text from years ago to an image from a movie, social media, or pop culture. Something I can vibe with and fits within the narrative and context of my work.

What is the most challenging thing for you about being an artist?

At the moment, it’s probably the idea of settling down. I have been living like a nomad ever since I started college. Each place I visit shows me new ways of thinking. It has helped me grow and become more capable of adapting and connecting dots. However, the idea of settling down is also appealing. We will see, but not right now.

How have you been managing or maintaining your art practice during the Covid lockdown?

 In the first couple of weeks, I tried to continue working as usual but soon realised that I couldn’t grow by doing that. I read a lot of autobiographies and books on current affairs and spent more time online connecting with family and friends from around the world.

Do you have any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you would like to share?

 My second show with Steve Turner Gallery will open later this year in Los Angeles. I’m also working on a solo show with Hive Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing for this November.

www.dujingze.com

Images, top to bottom:

Jingze Du, Loft, 2019, Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, Image courtesy of the artist.

Jingze Du, Sunlight In the Garden, 2020 Oil on linen, 120 x 100 cm, Image courtesy of the artist.

Jingze Du, 8PM Eastern Shore, 2020 Oil on linen, 100 x 80 cm, mage courtesy of the artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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