Interview with Lizzie Munn
1. How did you get the idea for the show's title?
This summer I was awarded the Forshaw Fine Art Residency and spent the month of July at the British School at Rome. All of the paintings in this show were produced in my live-work studio space at the BSR and I wanted to reference this in the title. I was in studio 4 and so I thought it was fitting to refer specifically to the studio that they were made in, but in a more ambiguous and lyrical way, hence ‘Ode to Number Four.’
2. What are you currently working on?
Since graduating from Newcastle University’s BA Fine Art course this summer I have moved to London and found a new studio. I was initially really busy, working towards my first solo show which was at the end of September at 36 Gallery in Newcastle- this was when I actually first showed this series of paintings! I’m currently still finding my feet but have kept up momentum in the studio, painting almost every day. I always work on numerous paintings at once and have probably got about 20 in progress at the minute, so they’re keeping me busy!
3. Which artists are you inspired by?
I have always loved Tomma Abts’ work- it was amazing to see so many of her paintings in person at her Serpentine Sackler solo show this summer. The way she talks about her working process is really insightful, being open about uncertainties and questions that she addresses in the studio, working towards a yet undefined end result. I feel like my approach to making is quite similar, driven by, and visually exploring, levels of doubt, responding over time to concerns that arise whilst painting. I also think Phoebe Unwin’s paintings are really beautiful and I always look at her work when I need some inspiration. Her sensitive use of colour to both build pictorial space and hint at figuration is so subtle yet intriguing. I’m also inspired by R. B. Kitaj, Raoul De Keyser and Mali Morris to name just a few!
4. What is the best part of being an artist?
That’s a hard question! I think the best part is having an amazing sense of freedom to make anything that comes to mind, but then that’s probably the hardest part at the same time. It also offers amazing opportunities to meet so many people with different interests and from different backgrounds, which then opens up new discussions.
5. What is your favourite place to see art?
I’m not sure I’ve got a definite favourite. It’s great being in London now and having so much choice in where to go and what to see! I love visiting Camden Arts Centre and Hannah Barry Gallery but since getting a studio here I’m discovering lots of new spaces which is exciting. I’m always keeping up to date with changing exhibitions so will go to any shows which take my interest.
6. Are there any ongoing projects or upcoming exhibitions where we can see your work?
I am not currently working towards any exhibitions in particular, but I am working on a new body of work which I will hopefully have the chance to exhibit at some point in the new year. I’ve got a studio visit coming up next week, so we’ll see if anything comes of that! Watch this space!