For the last few days of Hatched National Graduate Show 2019, WA artists Stephanie De Biasi and William Kitely met and gave us some insights into their practice.
William Kitely | 2019 has been an exciting year for yourself already; how have you balanced taking on new art projects, collaborative shows and art residencies all while continuing your own art practice.
Stephanie De Biasi | Absolutely, this year has been an exciting year since emerging from my graduating year at Edith Cowan University I have been involved with many groups shows, mentorships and like yourself, the opportunity to be an artist in residence at Another.
I grasped an insight into how established artists work the hussle of artist life through my Sculptures by the Sea mentorship with Jennifer Cochrane and on a separate occasion working alongside Peter Dailey on a project for Mundaring Arts Centre. I have come to realise the role of the artist is multifaceted but relies mostly on self-preservation and the privilege of time toward labor. And for that reason, it can be challenging mentally and financially.
To be honest I think I’m still figuring out a healthy balance but I will say at this time the most challenging part for me is allowing time for self-care, so I have shifted my priorities to focus on mental well-being and family.
SDB | Since the opening of Hatched 2019, what other projects have you been working on and do you find staying disciplined to make new artworks challenging?
WK | This year has been flying away from me, artist in residence and exhibitions just seem to be in constant rotation; let alone thinking about my own arts practice. So far this year I have been lucky enough to contribute to the Another residency program as well as being exhibited at Pica’s hatched, amongst other projects yet to be announced, such as the Curtin graduate showcase. To say the least the last six months have been intense, although i have found it to be a rewarding position to be in; as i have kept a central theme in mind while approaching these various artistic opportunities. This has really allowed me to focus on a specific aspect of gender and identity in each project, furthering my understanding of the concept and allowing me to delve more deeply and freely into the ideas and themes associated to these concepts.
SDB | William, I hear your studying at the moment and currently in exam week. How do you manage to balance work, study and studio time?
WK | With great mental anguish, ahah. It has been a rewarding experience which has required me to juggle many projects simultaneously. However, I believe this has allowed me to really scrutinize my conceptual development process, and understand what interests me and why. Having many projects ongoing at one time has allowed me to use each project to identify and explore a specific point of interest. This has helped me to really delve into ideas of identity in contemporary society.
WK | How important is your selection process to the audience who shares a connection to these objects?
SDB | I enjoy generating a sense of familiarity toward the viewer whether that be through common imagery, an object or even through the title of the work. The idea of presenting mundane or common objects in a gallery setting may be absurd but also challenges the audience to shift their perspective toward the ordinary. I find ready-made objects intriguing to work with as they already have a layer of history, a sense of nostalgia that adds value to the work itself. For “Objects in Conversation” I used objects within my own home that have already been consumed, to support my work conceptually and reiterate sustainable practice. Through this selection, consideration is made to the aesthetics of the objects e.g high-key colour and interesting forms, to which then determines the painting and mold-making processes.
SDB | I’m interested in how your background as a skater and youth facilitator has informed and contributed to your work in Hatched, what led you to make work about your own personal experiences?
WK | My concept for this project does depart from a point of personal experience; I believe this is important when dealing with issues around gender and identity. Exploring these ideas from this point of personal departure is due to the human experience being subjective, perhaps even more so in recent times, due to this I believe by exploring these ideas in the context of one’s own experience allows the viewer to compare and contrast their own existence to the experience presented allowing the viewer to understand how their ideas of gender and identity reflect or challenge those being presented. In turn asking us to reassess our preconceived ideas of identity, which for me is the most important process.
WK | I have been fortunate enough to see the development of “Objects in Conversation”, as well as iterations of this project in different spaces. How important is it that the work responds to the space it occupies or alternatively does this work create its own space within the white cube.
SDB | Thanks Will, given my works are predominantly installation based I believe they mostly rely on the install of the work to be resolved. In particular, “Objects in Conversation” occupies the white cube space comfortably as the commercial aspects of the space suggest a more consumerist environment and the negative space created through this interaction is just as important as the artwork itself.
“Memorandum” is currently on display in a group show titled Continuity and Change; Future at Mundaring Art Centre until the 5th of July.
“Objects in Conversation” will be showing in a group show New Works, New Faces at Early work Gallery Wednesday the 3rd of July until the14th of July.
Image: Photo by OK Media.