Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview with Louisa Boyd
Artist and Printmaker
Louisa is a local artist who regularly exhibits here at our gallery in Chester. Since graduating in 2001, Louisa has won awards for her artwork and has exhibited at prestigious public galleries both nationally and internationally. Shortlisted for the John Ruskin prize in 2017, Louisa also regularly has her work accepted into the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition.
The human connection to nature and an individual’s sense of place is a recurring theme in Louisa’s work. This week we find out more about those inspirations and influences.
How did you come to be an artist?
It was something that I aspired to even as a young child... it was almost as if I didn’t have any other option. I always immersed myself in artwork from a very early age. It was a natural progression to complete an arts degree and to develop my practice after completing that course. I’ve been fortunate to receive support from collectors from a very early stage in my career and so had the space and opportunity to continue to develop my work.
Describe your work in three words
Celestial, elemental, natural
What draws you to work with your chosen medium/s ?
It’s always about experimentation for me, and combining traditional mediums to explore something new. Tradition is important as it contributes to our idea of home both culturally and personally, but I like to layer and combine techniques in order to find a new way of working. To this end, my pieces will see aspects of traditional bookbinding such as hand tooling, combined with photography, printmaking and other fine art processes such as painting.
Does the area in which you live or any other areas influence your work?
It’s absolutely integral to the work I do. My work is all about our relationship with the natural world and more specifically our sense of place. My walks around the Cheshire landscape on the Sandstone Trail are the basis for all of my pieces which often use abstract map-like motifs and geometric shapes symbolic of the elements alongside more literal illustrations of the land.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I sometimes feel like I’m on a journey with my work, I have a number of strands running through it where I am exploring different materials. Each of these avenues influences work that is taking place elsewhere, which makes connections between all the different pieces. Fundamental to all the work is the concept of belonging which comes from having a sense of place. To me that belonging comes from the natural environment around my home. I used to walk there as a child and as an adult returned to the area, bought a property and set up a studio. Now with my inspiration on my doorstep, I can access it along with that feeling of belonging whenever I need to.
Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
I always have 6music on in the studio whilst I’m working... I’m not always listening fully to it, but I often feel as if I would make similar choices of music to play if I had the time to browse my own record collection!
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be and why?
MC Escher, Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo - all have had a major impact on me over the years. Their aesthetic influences can be seen in my pieces and I love the crossover between sculpture and 2D pieces. I’d love to speak to them about how they used different methods and techniques in their practices.
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
It’s important to me to have representation in my local area and I have had a long relationship with the gallery. They first started showing my work in the gallery twenty years ago.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2021?
It will be interesting to see what the year brings as so many of my projects have been adapted to suit the changing times. I look forward to getting back into the printmaking studios, completing some screen printing and some etchings. This has been largely off limits this year and so I’ll return with a renewed enthusiasm and some exciting new projects in mind.
Take a look at Louisa adding the metal leaf detail to her latest mixed-media painting 'Meridian Dusk'.