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Tyler Watson - New Blood

To help give further insight to the artists featured in the New Blood exhibition Broadway Gallery curator Kris Day asked each artist a series of questions on their practice, how their work was affected by the lockdown and what they think galleries should be doing to help support early career artists.

Could you tell us a bit more about your practice?

My practice quite simply aims to bring a new modernised understanding to traditional subjects in painting. I aim to find mundane places and objects from my everyday life that seem to subconsciously represent my daily rituals and routines. I want to bring the mundane to higher esteem and push forth the importance of the overlooked.

As an art student working through the pandemic please tell us about some of the challenges you faced during this time.

Motivation. My motivation towards studying was just not there at times, when studying we all know there are areas of a course that won’t interest you, so whilst working from home and via zoom, these things become even more of a struggle.

But what I missed the most was being around other creatives, bouncing ideas off one another and making the ‘struggle’ of a tough painting fun. All artists approach their work in different ways, and being surrounded by this really elevates your own work, and that was missing. 

All artists were forced to adapt during the lockdown, do you think these circumstances effected your practice in any way and did you manage to find new ways of getting your work ‘out there’, such as online exhibitions?

I think the biggest change that happened within my practice was my focus being forced back inside, the ‘landscape’ paintings I had previously made were now subtly being presented through interior compositions with glimpses of the outside through windows. I wanted nothing more than to be outside finding new inspirations and discovering new places, but I chose to find the elegance and storytelling of a landscape within the home. 

Throughout the lockdown I took part in many online exhibitions but the idea of exhibiting exclusively online seemed to change the work, the surface and structure of my paintings had become digital and flat. I truly embraced the idea of showing online and appreciated the effort galleries were making in order to keep showing new art, but there is no feeling quite like standing in front of a piece of art, in person, in the flesh, it just can’t be duplicated digitally. 

Exhibitions such as New Blood aim to support early career artists by exposing them to new audiences, but this can only go so far. Is there anything that galleries could, or should, be doing to help develop your career further? 

I feel that the best way to get new artists involved in exhibiting; is through open calls, salon exhibitions and other formats such as magazines and newsletters. I also think that galleries should work alongside with other galleries across the country and tour exhibitions/artists to present their work to new audiences in new locations. 

Are there any new projects you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?

I’m currently working on a series of paintings that reimagine the ‘interior’, I’m now getting to a place where I’m extracting the mundane objects which I’m drawn too and placing them in new, invented spaces. 

These paintings aim to feel recognisable, in some ways nostalgic, but not quite ‘placeable’ in your memories.