Tag Archives: Interview

Ray Martin – Artist

I managed to grab a few words from fantastic local painter Ray Martin on his journey with art and his inspirations.

studio

                                                 (Above recent work by Ray)

Tell us a bit about your journey with art?
I believe art is inherent, although, until nurtured cannot become more than that. There are many forms of expression, from literature, to music production from which any person can choose to pursue, but personally, I am satisfied most by creating visually. That is not to say that I always knew I was going to end up creating the paintings I do now, and that is also not to say that I will be creating the paintings I do now in fifteen years time. Creativity, in my eyes, is very much a journey. An exciting and surprising one at that. I came to art school 5 years ago, fresh and also naive about the world. Art school is a brilliant place, because it has few rules. It gave me the time and confidence to experiment with my creativity, to learn more about the world outside of Chester (my hometown and shell), and to meet wonderful people. It was quite late on in my degree that I started to paint, and although I have always been drawn to, and created 2D images, I felt for a long time that it was less exciting than some of the other things going on around me. I began to work in sculpture, performance and installation in my first years but I wasn’t truly satisfied until I picked up a paint brush. It wasn’t an immediate fit though, there was a lot of frustration and a stack of terrible work but at some point it did click. I remember the breakthrough painting very well, I was sat at my space, surrounded by a huge (and horrific) mural painting I had created from one of my dreams and I was also working on a small board I had primed the wrong colour (a bright, thick orange) at the same time. I was lazy and didn’t cut the board down to the right proportions first, so just masked it off and started putting in a few loose landscape-y marks. I had a group crit. soon after and unsurprisingly the mural was ignored. There was something much more interesting in this small painting that I had approached, unintentionally, unconventionally. My eyes were opened a little bit wider from then. Since then I have been discovering more and more about the technique, the history of and my personal language within painting. Every new painting, or series is an education for myself and I can’t wait for the next time my eyes widen.

How would you describe your style of art?
My paintings place themselves in the middle of different area. They not entirely figurative, nor abstract. They depict the natural landscape but appear very unnatural in their use of hard-edges and overly-saturated colours. Some are the size of a post card, and others I have had problems removing from buildings. It is the meeting of different visual languages that I find most intriguing.

raymartin

Can you name some things that inspire your art, pieces already finished or works in progress?
The landscape imagery I use is found online, in books or magazines I pick up in charity shops. I guess I am initially inspired by these images; the placement of the photo on the page.

Are there any characteristics of Manchester and its scene that inspire or influence your works?
That’s a funny one as my worked actually stemmed from a rejection of Manchester. I don’t deal with the grey weather too well, so my escape came in the form of my resource books. Don’t get me wrong, Manchester has a beautiful, subtle lighting but I’m not one for translating subtleties. It’s also quite hard to find a place to yourself here, it’s a vibrant city. Back in Chester I used to have a few places I’d go to and know that I could have time alone. On top of a 5 story car park, or a mile down the cycle path. At the time, I didn’t know Manchester so well, so felt claustrophobic. I guess that has something to do with why I moved away from painting people and urban spaces. Even though I rejected Manchester’s scenery you cannot help but take influence from small things that surround you. I get a great deal of my colour choices from shop fronts, peoples clothing or posters around the city. My feeling of Manchester have changed since. I’m intrigued to see how this changes my work.

Any artists (of any genre) right now that are catching your attention in the wider culture of arts? UK, Europe or the rest of the world?
I found a really exciting Parisian painter online recently, Matthieu Clainchard. He employs the palette and formal qualities of video test screens into large public and gallery installations. The work is interesting to me, as it highlights how images can manipulate our perceptions.

matthieu-clainchard

(above Matthieu Clainchard art)

Are there any movements, events or projects going on in manchester right now that you would recommend for local aspiring or working artists in the area?
Check out the ‘Real Painting’ exhibition at Castlefield Gallery, on until the 2nd August. I loved it!
“the exhibition emphasizes the essential grammar of painting, considering not necessarily what a painting means but what it ‘does’”…(Castlefield Gallery)

Do you have any particular or personal goals that you are aspiring to right now with your work?
Absolutely, I’ve used what time I’ve had since graduating to really evaluate what kind of artist I am. I’ve had to remind myself that although I may not be in the studio every spare minute, painting, it’s okay. At the end of the day, graduate life is difficult for a creative. Creating a way of working that is sustainable is very important, as I want to be doing this for a long time to come. I am currently researching ways I can be involved in arts education, whilst applying for funding to work on my own practice. In terms of my work I have realised I need to be more delicate with my surface prep, like I was in university as it makes an enormous difference to the quality of work I make. I also need to use more brown. I don’t use enough brown.

Are there any exhibitions coming up that will be showing your work at?
Yes, I have a show at Sugar Store Gallery at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal in November to coincide with the Kendal Mountain Festival.

Interview by Yemi Bolatiwa

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Interview with Twisted Tubes

With the event coming up on the 24th April @ 1 Primrose Street we thought is was about time we caught up with that crazy bunch of brass players they call Twisted Tubes! So you are the Twisted Tubes what was the decision process behind the name?

It was pretty much picked on the fly to be honest! We had a couple of hours before our first gig to pick something.. so there we go! We like it though, it’s pretty catchy and describes a little bit what we’re about. Especially Josh, he’s really twisted.

Who is the leader of the pack?

Elbow. He’s always very quiet and bides his time. He rules through a mixture of fear and intimidation.

What were the names of your first band projects you were part of?

There have been so many! We’re all still part of other projects and bits and bobs, which is great as it lends itself to ,making our tunes more interesting and varied - all the guys bring something different to what we do as a group.. As cheesy as that sounds!

If you were on a dessert island or stranded in Witho library what 10 tracks would you take with you?

The theme tune from ‘Ski Sunday’. On repeat. A thousand times.

Sticking to the theme…. On the desert island if times were hard Who would be the first member of the band considered to be BBQ’d and why?

Definitely Dom, our singer and Bari player. He always smells great so he’d be first on the fire.

Where did you all meet?

We all met in music college in Manchester through one way or another. Me and Josh actually met at band camp when we were 14 and have had a destructive but loving relationship ever since.

What are your main influences?

So many! Big ones are Basement Jaxx, YoungBlood Brass Band, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, a vast multitude of Hip-hop and funk and of course Queen B herself, Beyonce!

How do you approach writing music?

We lock Dom and Josh in a room and don’t feed them until they’ve written 2 tunes each. No, they’re our writers and both extremely talented.. it’s a pain staking process and they do a fantastic job. Lots of tweaks are made in rehearsal but it’s always very close from getting the first draft to being happy with the sound.

How are you finding the Manchester music scene?

Manchester has been great to us. It’s obvious to say but there’s loads happening and there always seems to be something bigger round the corner. We’re still finding great new venues, nights and generally interesting projects here, so long may it continue.

Any new Manchester bands you think we should check out?

Glowrogues are my pick, seriously talented guys led by Jim Molyneux on Drums. They’re a powerful mix of funk, drum and bass hits and some incredible musicianship. We’ll be doing some projects together with them later this year so keep your eyes peeled for that! Of course our friends at Buffalo Brother and our homies Salutation Dub Collective, who will be tearing it up as only they know how on April 24th with us!

What is this year looking like for the twisted tubes?

Big things in store. Lots of festivals and parties in the summer and somewhere in between that we're releasing an album and planning our first uk tour for the winter.. Wish us luck!

What tips do you have for budding musicians out there?

Don’t do it, you’ll never have a nice car and you’ll drink every day!
We would say try as many things as you can, it’s very dangerous to catalogue your skills andmusical preference early in your career. I speak for the guys when I say that many of us would never imagined finding themselves in a band like this, with a good few us classically trained!

What can punters expect on the 24th?

You can expect a mighty of hedonism, big tunes and a blistering headline set from the tubes, with premieres of our 5 latest original tracks. You really shouldn't miss it

So there it is! Thanks for your time guys and some useful advice. I am off to crack out a can and pick up a tuba… To check out more you can read the groovement interview with yours truly and to grab a ticket for you and your mates you can hit up party for the people. See you in Ancoats peeps. Big thanks going out to Daniella Jaine for the photos and Rob aka Doodlendrips for the art work..

An Interview with… Rachele Whatever

The line-up for tonight’s (Tuesday 11th March) line-up for Solomon’s LIVE at Solomon Grundy’s includes Brighton-born, Manchester-living soundstress Rachele Whatever. I caught up with her ahead of the gig to get to know the woman behind the guitar…

 

Here’s how it went down:

1. How’d you get into music?

My gran bought me a guitar when I was 16 and it started from there. I used to get lessons from an old punk, but I never practised so I’d go and play him songs I’d made up instead.

2. Who, or what, inspires your music/sound?

My lyrics are generally quite topical or social commentary – I’ve never been able to write love songs! I have a song about dogging, one about crap jobs – a lot about politicians 

3. What social message or experience does your music try to evoke? 

I spent my teen years in Brighton – there was a lot of the free party vibe left over from the 90s and still a lot of “political” music then, and that’s the scene I started out in, the DIY punk/ska scene and the free party scene and I guess the Do It Yourself and question authority stuff has just stayed with me.

4. What is special to you about Manchester’s music scene? 

I like the way there’s little suburbs in Manchester with different crowds – you can play a city center gig one night then the next night be in Levenshulme and be playing to new people.  I’ve found in Manchester the best thing to do is start a night yourself.  I launched an events company with my friend Craig called Galivantes and our main club night is Swing & Shout – a 2 stage event with bands, DJs, jam sessions, swing dance lessons, face-painting and crazy décor… We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had so far. We started as there wasn’t much scope for gigs in the reggae/gypsy/ska punk scene and we wanted to offer well attended and paid gigs for bands outside Manchester.  The next Swing & Shout is on 19th April at Underland

5. Any particular gigs/releases that we can look forward to from you? 

Yes – I’m releasing 5 tracks with my jungle punk opera band Neghed through Ancoats based label Longevity Records. 

6. If you had to sum it up, what’s the Rachele Whatever dream? 

Lol me and my friends have a pirate ship stage with a 20k soundsystem – my dream would be travelling round the world to festivals with it performing and putting on events.   

 

Sounds amazing – can I come with you Rachele?!? Find her on the interwebs at these sites:

facebook.com/RacheleWhatever

facebook.com/pages/Neghed/231779143580775

and have a listen to some tunes below…

 

***Catch Rachele performing TONIGHT at Solomon’s LIVE from 7pm***