Monday, 19 March 2018

Introducing Imogen Frost

135 artists are taking part in "Inside Job" which takes place on the 7th and 8th of April on Level 6 of Tate Modern. Over the next few weeks The Rebel Magazine will be chatting to some of the Tate staff who are showing their artwork. Today it's the turn of Imogen Frost
Q) Where did you grow up and what kind of education did you receive? "I grew up in a small town in Warwickshire and studied photography at Stratford Upon Avon College. Many of the processes and skills I learnt there are key to my practice now. Initially I went to Kingston University to study photography but dropped out and went to Birmingham Art School to study Fine Art between 2011 - 2013. The discussions with my tutor, Janet Hodgson, were such a huge inspiration and many of the artists, works and literature she introduced me too still influence my work now. We were encouraged to ask questions and allow the medium to come after, which gave me the opportunity to explore new forms such as sculpture, moving image and installation. I then switched course again to study Visual Communication, still at Birmingham, so I could specialise in photography and allow myself to become immersed in the process again (and make more regular use of the darkroom!!) I graduated with a first class degree in 2015 so although it took me a while to find my place, I feel each course and the people I met along were integral to my journey."
Q) How long have you been working at the Tate and what's the best show you've seen there? I’ve been working at Tate St Ives since May last year as a Visitor Assistant and also joined the Programming Team in January. Having this cross over between visitor engagement and working behind the scenes is great. I also deliver exhibition tours which is wonderful for helping others connect and learn about art in a more direct way that provokes such fantastic discussion and exchanges of ideas. It’s a really unique and rewarding place to work. So many exhibitions stick in my mind, Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern in 2012, Wollfgang Tillmans exhibition last year and his tank room performances. The Muybridge exhibition at Tate Britain and the Salt & Silver one too - so incredible! However I think the best exhibition I’ve seen is actually the current exhibition at Tate St Ives, Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings curated by Laura Smith.
Q) What can you tell me about the work you're exhibiting in the Tate Modern show? Since moving to Cornwall last year the light, the magic and the ancient of the West Penwith landscape has bewitched me. So much beauty and wonder, your senses are overwhelmed. The unique history of the modern art movement and the unusual, powerful characters that have walked these lands, Barbara Hepworth, Ithell Colquhoun, Aleister Crowley. I feel all of this is being channelled into my work. This series shows a story of isolation, paganism and dreams. Illusory, surreal night time scenes for the viewer to connect to in anyway they imagine. The process is equally important as the subject. Allowing negatives to gather dust over time and then showing off these imperfections to draw attention to the image as object. Each print is later coloured with an emulsion created from beetroot. Framing the image with a baby neon pink frame that’s contradictory to it’s natural properties. Slowly this colour will fade by the time and light it’s exposed to. This colour is a direct representation of femininity (or one we involuntarily conclude it to be). Questioning the traditions of gender in art, landscape and technology.
Q) How can people find out more about your work - do you have a website or do Instagram? Website: imogenfrost.com Instagram: @imogen_frost "I also have 3 published riso printed photozines that are available through Rope Press, Artist Supermarket."
Q) Is there anything you have to declare / do you have a favourite quote, thought or joke you'd care to share? ‘If the eye is an organ that functions by light, then what are leaves if not eyes? And think how many are watching you’ - A quote from ‘Not for Gain’ by Daisy Lafarage I saw this film just a few weeks ago but these words have been stuck in my mind since.
"Inside Job": An exhibition of art by Tate Staff will take place on Level 6 of the Blavatnik Building of Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

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