Where do you make your work?
I mostly make my work at home, in my flat. Some of the work showing, eg the prints, have been made in classes I’ve been to, where I’ve had access to a printing press. And some has been a mixture of both. For example, the collagraph and drypoint prints I usually start at home by making the plates, and then have inked and printed them in class. I attended some wonderful classes through the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association). They’re an amazing adult-learning organisation who have offered classes since 1903, with the aim of creating “A better world – equal, democratic and just”. Sadly they’ve had a lot of funding cuts over the last couple of years, particularly for their arts courses.
I made the bicycle lamp at a class I used to go to at Greenbank College.
I love the solitary aspect of art-making – having that space for myself to make something feels very nourishing. But I’ve also really enjoyed the social aspect of making work in a class situation. And trying things I wouldn’t have tried at home.
How did you get into doing what you do?
I’ve just enjoyed making art since I was a child.
Why do you make your work?
I make my work for lots of reasons. I love the feeling of making – that absolute absorption in something where everything falls away and you’re just ‘in the moment’, creating something. I find it therapeutic at times. It calms and soothes me, makes me focus, takes me into a different mental, emotional and physical place. Some of my work might have a ‘message’, for example the print of the bear and the gun. It’s a playful piece but is also me wondering what would happen if the animals fought back against all the sh*t we humans inflict upon them and the lands they inhabit. Some of the last wilderness is in Alaska where a lot of bears live and it’s being fought over for oil now. So I was thinking about the bears protecting their land by taking up arms.
I also make work as gifts for people. And with my photography I make it to remember experiences I’ve had in my life.
Sometimes making (visual) art can help me to think about things in a different way, can help me to resolve something or just express something that I might be finding hard to express verbally. It can shift something inside me. If I’m not feeling well, mentally or physically, making something can help me to feel better, or different.
But being ‘creative’ isn’t just about ‘art making’ – it can take so many forms I think.
Art is a form of ‘play’ for me too. Connecting with the child-like and just enjoying messing about and experimenting. Being intuitive. Enjoying something for no reason except to enjoy it.
Where can people find more of your work?
I sometimes post art and photography bits and bobs on my Instagram page. You can find me @sal_spokes
Thank you Kitty’s for giving me the opportunity to show some of my work here and be involved in your exhibition!