Sunday, Mar 20, 2016
by Lynn Gibson
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WonderStreet Interview with Lynn Gibson

We recently spoke to artist Lynn Gibson from Glasgow who shared lots of interesting thoughts about Glasgow, her work and her sources for inspiration.

Tell us a little about yourself: Where did you grow up? What got you interested in art?

I was born just outside Glasgow in 1984, the middle of 3 sisters we had what you could call a ‘colourful’ childhood, which in a nice way meant I had the freedom to do and think as I wanted from a young age, which for an artist has turned out to be incredibly valuable as it’s left me…. probably annoyingly independent and not scared to do my own thing. You need to be able to take a few knocks on this path and keep going when everyone thinks you’re wasting your time. As for the interest, it was always there really – I just couldn’t help myself I suppose. I always say it’s the best way to keep sane, if I’m not painting you should be worried (ha-ha).

What is it about working with hot wax that you particularly like?

I’ve tried everything from traditional oil paints to sawdust with staples mixed in acrylic, the problem is I get bored easily and the wax kind of keeps me on my toes and surprises me. It’s all about capturing a moment that can never be repeated or replicated to create these crazy, organic shapes. Also when you’re painting the wax turns from molten to solid almost instantaneously so you never get a second chance, which is both infuriating and brilliant, this means there’s alot of experimenting involved so you can capture those perfect moments. I’ve spent the last 7 years working solely with wax techniques (though I did first discover it at art college way back in the early noughties) and it still throws up new things for me.

What does “being creative” mean to you?

That’s a hard one, I think creative people just want to show the world their world, show them a snapshot of what it’s like to be in their head. You want to get those images or thoughts out into the real world, it’s just rather than speaking you paint or make music or write.

You’ve cited architecture as being a key influence on your work. Is there anything specifically about the architecture of Glasgow that inspires you?

More so Glasgow itself, the city has a reputation for being tough, industrious, hard, gritty but the people are some of the friendliest, funniest folk you’ll find anywhere, there’s a massive contrast there between those two things which is something I always see and pick up on wherever I am. I also work in Architecture at a practice in the West End of Glasgow, I’d say it has a bigger influence on me that art itself, people like Zaha Hadid, Thomas Heatherwick, Gehry, Gaudi they’re all massive inspirations, going into one of their buildings is like walking into a work of art, a total immersion from all sides.

Your work has been featured in several notable magazines, including Vogue and GQ. Are there any other magazines that you’d love to be in?

The whole magazine thing just kind of happened, it was never really on my radar until the email popped up in my inbox. But after having done a few I did want to do Tatler, and I’ve just been in this month’s issue under a ‘Luxury Art’ Article (top centre) so that was quite exciting. I’m also working with a French editor just now on a new magazine for art and design which is coming out next month so looking forward to that and seeing how it pans out.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

It has to be my hotplate for melting the wax, it really should get all the credit because without it I couldn’t paint anything. It’s essentially a small iron but without the steam holes and also like an iron there’s a gauge on the side where you can change the temperature - which is fun for experimenting with. The other essential non-essential is music, I cannot paint without listening to music, it’s such a massive part of the process, but it can distract me, sometimes I catch myself dancing when I’m supposed to be painting and I have to tell myself to stop.

Are you involved in any upcoming shows or events? Where and when?

Ye I’ve got a few things in the pipeline, first there’s a sponsored exhibition in Brisbane, Australia, which is happening at a lovely wee place called Aspire Gallery, that’ll be in the next few weeks. Next there’s a civil arts group exhibition in Hungary, that starts in May. I’ve also just been given my first solo exhibition in Glasgow, I’ve actually just confirmed the start date with them, which is the 21st May. Needless to say I am super excited, it’ll be at Art Pistol in the West End who have supported me from early on in my art career and I couldn’t be happier about it, if you’d have told me 4 years ago (when I was still terrified to show anyone my art) that I’d be doing all this I’d have said you were mad!

Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?

My social media accounts are probably the best way to keep up to date with what’s happening with my art (they’re just under Lynn Gibson Art). There’s also an online portfolio and gallery at Factory Arts, I have a few but that one I keep up to date with the most, there’s my latest work, biography, exhibition / gallery history, press and another interview on there, basically everything you’d want to know about me and my art.

Could you share a few of your favourite WonderStreet users with us? What do you like about their work?

Judy Pfaff’s work caught my eye right away, she creates these crazy organic shaped colour sculptures which look amazing – there’s so much detail through them aswel, you can stare at them for hours. Another artist is Kerry Darlington, she paints these fantasy-scape fairytails but there seems to be an underlying darkness to them – I like that.

And finally, could you please share a few images and tell us a little about each?

Here’s my favourite image from each year since I started out and why. Hopefully this list will keep going and get bigger and better, but if not I’ve had a blast anyway! 2012 – ‘Forms 1 & 2’ - From my first ever group exhibition which was at The Virginia Gallery in Glasgow. It’s also appeared in another group exhibition in New York City since then. 2013 – ‘Stand’ – I was asked to create some artwork as part of an exhibition supporting marriage equality in Scotland, it was at The Mackintosh Lighthouse which I was so excited about because it’s such an amazing place and it really was an honour to be involved. 2014 – ‘Wave Upon Wave Upon’ – Part of Vogue magazines ‘Vogue Gallery’. I just had to get my vogue pose on when I got the issue through, you just gotta haven’t you. 2015 – ‘Yellow and Purple Sculpture’ – Was part of an exhibition in London celebrating emerging and recently established artists, it was probably the most artiest art show I’ve ever done and the building (OXO Tower Wharf) was just amazing. 2016 – ‘Ripped’ – A sneek peak of what I’ve got coming this year.

Thank you very much Lynn for sharing your all your thoughts and we all look forward to see more of your work!

More examples of Lynn's work can also be found on her WonderSreet profile:

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