BARRY TOTTLE & LIZZIE GINBEY – The Sugar Cube Interview…
Exhibition number 11 is open and we’re delighted to say that for only the second time since the gallery opened in 2014 we are showing an ‘in-house’ collection of art work. The artists, Barry & Lizzie are two of the Teapot Creative directors and graphic designers like Teapot’s junior graphic designer Mia Devereux – the very first exhibitor in the Sugar Cube. We finally managed to persuade them to hold an exhibition of their own and we’re delighted they capitulated as the results are fabulous.
And now the famous Sugar Cube artist interview…
Graphic design is the day job for both of you but how did you get into printmaking?
Barry Tottle – I have always dabbled with lino cutting since my foundation art course. Doing the odd print or Christmas card. Lizzie and I wanted to do some hands on creative so we enrolled last year on a local print course run by former Sugar Cube exhibitor, Donna Vale in Langport. We enjoyed it so much that we haven’t stopped going.
Lizzie Ginbey – I have always loved ink on paper and did a bit of print and paper making at Art College. I think it started there…
Do you find that your print work is influenced by your graphic design background or vice versa?
BT – I do like my designs to be quite graphical and I find it hard to be loose and work on things like collograph. I prefer lino cutting and etching.
LG – No. I try to use a different part of my brain – much more freestyle! Although I think the colours might be influenced by what is going on with current design trends.
How would you sum up your style of artwork in 120 characters?
BT – I don’t think I have a particular style I just produce pieces from things that inspire me.
LG – Chaotic! I have no style at all just a crazy mish-mash of ideas.
The Sugar Cube Gallery is pretty small but is it the smallest gallery you’ve ever exhibited your work in?
BT – Yes, I believe so. In fact this is probably the first exhibition since I exhibited in New York with something I designed for the Prince’s Trust competition in the dim and distant past.
LG – My own bedroom! I haven’t exhibited since I left Art College in Edinburgh and did my final assessment exhibition!
As an artist is there a time of year you like best?
BT – No, I love the changing seasons, I love being outdoors being surrounded by nature.
LG – I think Spring. I love the vibrant colours and the fresh newness of everything.
When it comes to printmaking do you have a favourite technique?
BT – Definitely lino cutting and wood block are my favourites. There is something therapeutic about carving.
LG – I love lino and etching. I’m not sure I can choose between the two. They produce very different styles – etching is more like drawing so they can be very detailed and free. Lino is more like design so it can be more graphic and blocky.
Which artist alive or dead would you most like to meet and why?
BT – I am a big Klimt fan but not of his major pieces such as the Kiss. I love his square format landscapes. Would love to be taught by him. I also have a house full of Waterhouse prints.
LG – Crumbs…. I really have no idea!
Do you always have a sketchbook with you when you’re on the move?
BT – I have a little A5 leather bound pad with two pencils stuck in the binding and I always have a penknife on me that I take round but I am useless at finding the time to just sit.
LG – No and I always regret it! However, an iPhone helps…. I can always take a snap and work with that as a starting point.
Where do you like working best – in a studio or out and about?
BT – For print it can only really be the studio but there is nothing like drawing or painting on the spot. It is not the same working from a photo.
LG – In a studio – I’m easily distracted!
Have you got any plans for future print work? New techniques? New subjects?
BT – I would really like to do a large format lino cut and also a series of prints on a theme rather than adhoc subjects. I am a history fanatic especially the 17th C so may look there for my next inspiration.
LG – Actually – the new stuff just evolves. I don’t really plan it so it’s always a nice surprise when it works. The ghost birch trees print was a new technique, which came out of messing about. I pushed ink into the crevices in the lino instead of rolling it onto the top of the surface. Then I put it trough the mangle on very, very wet paper so it bled but left a deep emboss into a predominantly white sheet. I loved it the minute I saw it so I might try more using that technique. Maybe I have accidentally invented something?
And finally, if you were allowed to keep (but not sell!) one work of art from any gallery or collection worldwide, which would it be?
BT – I would love Klimt’s painting of ‘Malcesine on Lake Garda’ (1913). I have visited the village and have a print. Unfortunately we would have to wind back the clocks and prevent the Germans burning the original in 1945.
LG – George Stubbs’ painting ‘Brood Mares and Foals’ (1767) would be one of them but there are a few I wouldn’t mind hanging in my house!
Tags: Sugar Cube Interview