An interview with our artist Chris Wilmott

We interview Chris Wilmott from St Albans, Hertfordshire

Please describe your artwork style
Figurative

What’s your background?
Business then art. Technology and water then art and water.

How long have you been an artist?
10 years

Who or what are your biggest influences?
All people are the same so far as the oceans are concerned. The oceans will impact people irrespective of their ethnicity, beliefs, political affiliation, or other classification. As does Covid-19.

How have you developed your career?
My work is research led.

That lets me write about my work. In my essay “Developing a visual language to communicate climate change” I write about Norwegian artist Kittlesen and environmental activism, developing ideas for the Not-Romantic.

It also lets me reference science, but I do not illustrate science. Science communicates the qualitative. That is inadequate for mobilising change. Science instead should present itself qualitatively. In painting.

“How to make painting less toxic to fish” is part of my research.

Which current art world trends are you following?
Environmental art. Covid art.

Where do you do your work?
Studio and Study. I write word sketches, poems, to start a project. “The sea is deep and full of fish but that maybe is not a wish” launched the Fish Series. “The sea is deep and full of fish, but they too wish, to socially distance” is the next development.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society?
To make matters of importance visible to society.

What techniques / mediums do you use?
Oil. Sometimes pure pigment, acrylic or wax. Always lots of medium.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed?
The content

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?
In the zone. But painting is not necessarily about gestures.

What project are you working on now?
Fish & Social Distancing. For IMPACT. The Chaiya digital exhibition about the impact of Covid-19, around the world, on families, society, health care and beliefs.

Fish and Zurich. For CLIMANOSCO 2020 climate science and art conference.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
Chaiya Art Awards 2020 Winners’ Exhibition, postponed to 2021.

Where do you find your ideas for your work?
Imagination

Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
Fish IV, #1

How do you know when a work is finished?
A painting is never finished, it only rests.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
The Artists Assistant by Leslie Carlyle

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
Colour because it is fun

Additional Information
Someday I would like to collaborate with dancers, puppeteers, musicians and poets. Exploring the words for the symbols in my paintings. Making a performance for children.

The UNESCO Decade of the Oceans 20201-21. Important.

To see more of Chris’ work see: https://www.chriswilmottart.com

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