Patrick Milsom

What is your background as an artist?

I was raised in an environment where art and music was almost always present and my parents encouraged the freedom of creative expression so art was very much part of my everyday life from an early age.

I can remember being taken to see a Gary Hume exhibition at the Whitechapel gallery when I about was fifteen and that being the moment when I realised I wanted to be an artist.

I study fine art at Nottingham Trent and since leaving there I have been exhibiting my work around the UK and doing illustration work for a range of clients.

You work can almost be split in two, in technique they are quite similar, both time consuming and intricate, but have very different outcomes. Could you tell us a little about each of them?

The first style is illustrative based focusing on the perception of the individual, by using ambiguous suggestive narratives, the masking off any direct definition and presenting the work as if it is a frame from a comic or film. I try to encourage the viewer to draw on their own experience to find a personal definition within the images.

The second style is a direct result of my interest in the effects of time, the inter play between simplicity and complexity and the application of systems and patterns running parallel to research into quantum theory, relativity, chaos theory, causality and perceptions of reality. Though inspired by this research it is not exclusively informed by it, instead it acts as spring board for thoughts pertaining to a wider understanding of every level of the world around us.

How long do you spend on a piece? How do you find the process?

The amount of time applied to each piece is ultimately relative to what I am trying to achieve, the effect of time is of great importance to my work. With my new work each mark is representative of a moment in time and is as significant as the whole image, though each mark could be seen as irrelevant the part it plays in the whole is vital; its presence will affect every proceeding mark and in time will affect the whole image.

On a practical note the illustrative drawings and paintings can take weeks and even months to complete but once I start something I find it difficult not to finish it. With the dot images it takes approximately four hours to do ten thousand dots, I am currently working on a piece that has just reached the two hundred thousand mark, feel free to do the maths! Don’t get me started on the seven hundred and fifty thousand one!

When exhibiting work do you like to give an explanation or prefer the viewer to construct their own?

When exhibiting I prefer to keep any text to a minimum though I do appreciate the value of giving some guidance, I carefully consider titles and if necessary accompanying text but I find it incredibly important to allow the viewer to find their own interpretations.

Who or what inspires you?

I find I draw most of the inspiration from the things I read, I enjoy fiction and listen to a lot of audio books whilst I am working but I find the nonfiction I read inspires me more. The most recent books that have had an effect on my current thoughts are “13 Things That Don’t Make Sense.” Michael Brooks, “Why Does E=MC2?” Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, “The Quark and the Jaguar.” Murray Gell-Mann. “Chaos.” James Gleik and “The Grand Design.” Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.

I find visually I draw inspiration from a wide range of sources and I collect images from the internet almost obsessively but from the art world I most enjoy the works of Gustav Dore, John Martin, Nigel Cooke, Francisco Goya, Pieter Bruegel and Caspar David Friedrich.

Do you have any new projects on the go at the moment?

I dedicate a lot of time to my work and I am always juggling quite a few pieces at a time, I m not sure I would identify what I do as projects as each piece informs my thinking and therefore informs all the work I create, though I am currently doing some experiments in painting and sculpture and also considering a performance piece.

Patrick is exhibiting at The Contemporary London exhibition Pop Up Art Gallery/Shop in Kensington, London from Thursday 15th December - Saturday 24th December 2011. The address is 12 St Albans Grove, Kensington, London W8 5PN.


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