In an artworld that has never had more money, it is unsurprising that it is being drowned by art work being bought, sold and shipped worldwide for the masses to admire and pay homage to. The costs are exponential; the impact to the public, very little. In true reverence to the ideology of the dematerialisation of art [with an environmental and humble twist] Phoebe Baines is doing something different.
Having recently been funded by UAL’s Mead Scholarship, Baines has been able to take her temporary artworks on a tour of some of the UK’s remote rural landscapes far from the commercial grasps of the artworld hub.
Her works is simple but with high impact and only existing for a short amount of time. Overcoming the practical issues of being a working artist and incorporating it into her practice Baines has created some stunning and exciting work.
Sat down with some jerk chicken and corn on the cob [not your typical interview setting] we talked life, art and the issues facing young artists today.
What made you decide to make temporary work?
The idea for making temporary works came from a placement with a practicing artist. I had a first hand experience in the difficulties of storing old work, transporting pieces to be exhibited and the prices of shipping. I felt as though temporary work that were easy and fast to install and take down would side step these issues as well as speeding up my turnover of ideas. I found that this change also allowed me to expand the scale of work a lot more simply.
Who/What inspires you?
I’m inspired by all kinds of things mostly visual materials I see on the street, buildings and natural places. Artists who inspire me to push forward with my ideas and to be ambitious with my work are Ernesto Neto and Tomas Saraceno who both create the most immersive ethereal installations. Richard Serra has been an important influence for me in his approach to space and the way we occupy and engage with the spaces in our lives.
Do you see yourself as a land artist?
I find the best work comes from an interesting space and the outside world is a far better site for me than a clean white square. Because of my materials I wouldn’t classify myself as a land artist but in terms of the importance of the landscape / site in the work, there is an element of land art there; especially in recent works where the pieces have been made in natural surroundings. Whether it’s natural or urban it’s the ‘site’ that comes first and often defines the form.
What environmental concerns are expressed in your work?
I wouldn’t say my work has and overtly environmental message but i aim to bring up questions about humans in space. Although the materials are mostly man made and synthetic the setting is often natural and organic. The tension between the two is particularly interesting to me and I suppose that hints and mans relationship with nature.
Are you rebelling against the art world?
Rather than rebelling I would say I’m challenging the art world and it’s boundaries. I hope to integrate everyday life into the art world through using domestic / real life spaces rather than spaces created and cornered off for art. I see art and my work as a part of life not a separate entity.
What do you love about being an artist?
I love the feeling of satisfaction from growing an idea from the first thought right up until it’s physically in front of you. Having the freedom to test your imagination and challenge yourself to keep moving forward. The innate emotional connection with my work is what keeps me going when it’s all going a bit wrong!
Phoebe Baines’ lives and works in London, to keep up to date with her exhibitions and new works follow phoebebaines.tumblr.com