Tuesday 25 September 2018

Q & A with Tori and Charlie Day from Studio One Gallery

"Jo Mama's Alphabet Show" is a group exhibition that opens on Saturday 6th of October at The Studio One Gallery in Wandsworth Plain. The exhibition features a different artwork for each letter of the alphabet. Some of the work that is being featured hasn't been exhibited anywhere for a long time, some aspects of the show are memorabilia or preciousness possessions that are just on loan to the gallery and not for sale, and there is also a generous helping of brand new paintings that have been made especially for the show. Tori Day is the artist representing the letter 'P' and Charlie Day is representing the letter 'B' Now read on...
Where did you two meet? And How long have you been running Studio One? C & T: We met at an Open Studios event at Collective Studios nine years ago. We fell in love, and married in 2014. We have been running Studio One Gallery there together since 2013.
Tori, what can you tell me about your painting of a Proper Coffee Pot? All my paintings are of real objects that mean something to me personally. I bought this pot whilst we were on holiday in Norfolk, in a village called Holt. It’s a fantastic place – very old fashioned and atmospheric, and full of antique and vintage shops. I love the basic design of this pot. And I love how disproportionately sturdy the handle is. The lacquer on the handle and the sheen of the copper of the pot are really seductive. I painted it as a challenge to myself to see if I could ‘do shiny’ well enough.
Charlie, what can you tell me about your self portrait as a bear? It was part of my ‘Bad Painting’ period. It just came to me as an image, a poor, forgotten, broken bear. It was later that another artist told me that it was clearly a self-portrait!
How would you describe your gallery and Wandsworth Plain? Is your gallery easy to find? C & T: Our gallery is possibly the smallest, wonkiest in London. Set atop a gorgeous Georgian building, there are no right angles at all, and anaglypta wallpaper, and we love it. We cleaned and varnished the wonky floorboards by hand – the most enjoyable 3 weeks work! It is so easy to find, if you don’t mind taking an overground train (!) to Clapham Junction. The 87 bus to Wandsworth from there terminates literally at our doorstep. Easy peasy.
Do you prefer dancing or swimming? C: Dancing. Not that you would know that was what I was doing! T: Dancing – but only because I can’t really swim. I can’t dance particularly well, either but I’d probably get points for trying.
What are you optimistic about? C & T: Our upcoming exhibition, There Must be a Song that Doesn’t Remind Me of You, at Gallery 35North in Brighton! It opens on 11th October…
Whose films have given you more pleasure over the years a) Spike Lee, b) Jim Jarmusch c) Sofia Coppola? C: Jim Jarmusch. T: Sofia Coppola. Lost in Translation is one of my absolute favourite films.
Who would play you in a film based on your life? C: Vic Reeves. T: Someone who could do a really good ‘worried and hungover’ face.
Charlie, what do you like most about Tori’s paintings? I like the fact that, although there is so much knowledge about still life painting embedded in each of her works, they are very much ‘portraits of objects’, as Tori says. I particularly enjoy her latest collection of miniature watercolours of our collection of CDs, including the price labels, scratches and often paint splatters from our studio.
Tori, what do you like most about Charlie’s paintings? His figurative stuff from a few years ago (when the bear was painted) I find so haunting. It’s full of tragicomedy, depicting scenes of a quintessential Englishness with both wit and sadness. A reflection of how each of us feels – vulnerable and ridiculous. His more recent abstract landscapes are uncanny in their ‘almost thereness’, which as scenes we can all relate to, yet cannot specifically identify, make them all the more intense.
What are your favourite books and records? C: After reading an awful lot of ‘art bollocks’ for both my BA and MA, I enjoy nothing better than losing myself in an Agatha Christie. Honestly, there is a good reason she is the best-selling fiction author of all time! Records – too many to mention, but we have been listening to a lot of swing and big band music recently, I suppose to get away from the shitty modern world we are living through! T: My favourite books are the sketchbooks I completed when Charlie and me first got together. I’ve uploaded lots of what I did over the years: https://www.flickr.com/photos/artyfish/page4 when we got together it was one of the most intense periods of creative output for me. I was so enthused with making art. It was non-stop. I was constantly drawing, it was brilliant. As far as published books go – I’ve read so very little it’s embarrassing. I rate Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks as a corker. And The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan is brilliant. I went through a period of reading books ‘one should read’ but found this to be more of an exercise of duty rather than enjoyment. I do love a good old fashioned dictionary, too…
How often do you paint? C: Not often enough! T: Ditto. We used to paint more often didn’t we. Then we got a dog….
Jo Mama's Alphabet Show is open to the public during the first two weekends of October 12 till 6pm

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