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Britny Gledhill

Material Values and Fabric Paintings  

June 19, 2019

ritny, we’d love to get to know you better. Tell us about your personal and artistic journey. How did you get to where you are today?

 

As silly as this may sound I’ve always wanted to pursue art, never really saw myself doing anything else. But I suppose my artistic journey started at Fullerton College and from there transferred to Cal State Long Beach. For a long time I was dead set on being a figurative painter. Something just kinda happened where I hit a wall. I felt like I had more to say, more abstract ideas I suppose. Then I glued panties to a canvas and painted over it. The reactions people had made me realize how connected we are to materials. How many gnarly associations we have with them. From that moment on, I realized I needed to be free to navigate through different materials to create work that could properly express my ideas. *Also, side note I love dogs. That’s important in getting to know me.*

What are you working on now?

Currently I’ve been working on what I would call fabric paintings. I suppose most people would consider it some kind of fiber work but I see them as paintings.

What is it about material based art that attracts you?

Materials contain a lot of meaning. Either created by societies predispositions, culture, experiences, memories, gender, etc. I like to alter them, or perhaps create new meaning. Sometimes shine light on a meaning you never knew/thought about. I also like that I have so much at my dispense. Material based art just provides me with so many routes to express my ideas.

What do you like most about exploring this medium?

I enjoy how unpredictable it can be and learning something new about it from every new piece I create. The process is just as important as my finished product. It may take me days to work on one and others might be done in one evening. I dig that.

 

What feelings are you trying to project into the work?

I want my viewers to pull their own meaning from them. Ha! I bet that sounds so damn cliché. But I mean, I do, I want people to think. Be creative. Color and shape can have such personal meanings/associations. BUT for me, my current work is about communication. It’s ironic because when I started them I knew that’s what they were about I just couldn’t find the words to communicate that. HA! So in ways you could call them self portraits that depict my lack of communication skills. But I would want viewers to sense feelings of their own that the shapes and color create. Good or bad.

Who or what have been your best influences for your work?

I would say my grandma Cheri. I lost her at a young age but she embraced my creativity and willingness to explore new mediums. She taught me the importance of valuing what you have and what you love. You can always create art, you don’t ‘need’ traditional art supplies. I think that’s kinda what she instilled in me.

I’d also say my close friends. I have some of the raddest friends who are constantly pushing me and themselves to grow. Growth is important in your life and it eventually transfers into your work. 

 

Do you have a side job or hussle that supports your artistic career? 

Yep, like Dolly, I got one of those rad 9-5 set ups. But hey, it pays the bills and I have enough time to jam home and work on my art. So I have no complaints.

 

Are you reading any books or listening to any podcasts at the moment? 

I read more than listen to podcasts, podcasts make me sleepy. I’m on a kick where I’m re-reading some of my old favorites. At the moment I’m reading a book called Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. It’s about a dude who’s addicted to sex. It’s rad.

 

How can people stay in touch?

 

I suppose my Instagram or email. Or even just hit me up at a show and ask me to grab a beer sometime. People should do that more often. Ha! Not like specifically to me but I just mean in life. Rock it old school.

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