Interview with Amanda Wolf
1. How strong is the influence of your previous work on your new work?
Since I was a teenager, I have responded to the body, the abject, and a process of translating personal narratives into something more fleshy and visceral. I have always undertaken projects because they either amuse me or challenge me in some way and there is a long standing use of humour, play, and obsessive mark-making across my back catalogue.
I think my art practice is quite cyclical. Over the last seventeen years, I studied photography, then painting, and then abandoned both to explore soft sculpture and hand-sewn costume. I began using these objects as a catalyst for performance and documented them through stop motion, video, and photography. Recently I have started playing with paper collage compositions and creating large painted sets. Drawing has been the thing that I always do for fun and the technique that guides my experiments into new mediums. I think as my practice evolves I build on my skillset and view projects as part of an expanded universe with the potential to mutate into something new later down the track.
2. What are you currently working on?
Across 2017-2018 I was lucky enough to undertake a string of artist residencies that provided uninterrupted time to focus on my practice. These projects enabled me time to investigate new working methods and experiment with new methods of costume, video, object, and image-making.
I am currently revisiting this backlog of work and resolving various experiments with fresh eyes. I am mostly working on new collages and sculptural painting, and brewing away new concepts for video work.
3. Do you listen to music while working?
I always have music, cartoons, or an audiobook playing while I am working. I mostly listen to synthpop, coldwave, 80’s pop, goth, post-punk, electronic, and cheesy disco. Here are today’s lucky 13:
1. Billy Idol- Eyes Without a Face
2. SCRAPS- Touch Blue
3. Bronski Beat- Smalltown Boy
4. Linea Aspera- Vultures
5. Kate Bush- Cloudbusting
6. Skinny Puppy- Assimilate
7. Boy Hasher- Morphine
8. Donna Summer- I Feel Love
9. Молчат Дома (Molchat Doma) - Этажи (Etazhi)
10. Kælan Mikla : Næturblóm
11. Tears For Fears- Pale Shelter
12. Selofan- Snakes
13. V- Never
4. Which artists (or other people) are you inspired by?
Leigh Bowery, Tori Wranes, Monica Bonvicini, Nathalie Djurberg, Walter van Beirendonck, Eva Koťátková, CONGLOMERATE, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, David Cronenberg, and 80’s children’s shows are some of my creative inspirations. Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush, and Bjork are my forever idols.
As our global climate emergency escalates, wildlife and environmental conservationists and people inspiring progressive political action increasingly inspire and motivate me.
5. What is your favourite place to see art?
I get excited about seeing art exhibited in spaces that are not a conventional white cube.
I got to visit the Munster Skulptur Project in 2017 and loved the process of exploring the city by bike and discovering installation works and public art pieces scattered everywhere from parks to abandoned buildings to shops.
6. What is the best part of being an artist?
Never losing a connection to play.
Investing in a life-long process of education.
Building and contributing to a community.
7. Are there any ongoing projects or upcoming exhibitions where we can see your work?
For anyone based in Australia, I have an upcoming solo exhibition at Deakin University’s Project Gallery in Geelong, Australia. This will present a combination of recent and new work exploring patterning and camouflage.
I also have an upcoming curatorial project, Clove Hitch, that I am producing for Sawtooth ARI in Launceston, Tasmania. This will feature a collection of contemporary artists who explore textiles and soft sculpture.
My ongoing digital curatorial project, soft space Artist Run Initiative, can also be found on @softspaceARI.