Artists Interviewing Artists: Erin Stuart; Winthrop BFA Candidate



Artist Interviewed by Winthrop Alumni Bryanna Katherine Smith

My name is Erin Stuart. I grew up in Greenville, SC with parents who instead of forbidding me to draw on the walls gave me “invisible paints and crayons ” to create whatever and wherever I wanted.  I was lucky enough to go to a magnet middle school and fine arts high school that encouraged and focused on the arts. My creativity has never been stifled, and I have never wanted to do anything but create.

B.K.S:  Currently, what kind of work are you producing?

Erin: I made a machine/jig a couple months ago and have been using it to make plaster forms based on radial symmetry that explore interior negative space and positive exterior space. Along with these forms I’ve been creating “Rorschach” type drawings that explore the same. I have also been working with community mined (broken or donated) jewelry to create new pieces that combine non-precious and precious materials and elevate old costume jewelry to a new fine art status.

Stuart_GrowthB.K.S: What are some of your interests outside of art? Do they ever meet within your art/ would you like them to?Stuart_GenderRoles

Erin: I have a strong desire to travel and I love hiking and just being outside. I’m sure this is has come into my work in ways but not necessarily intentionally or in a way that can been seen clearly.
B.K.S:Given the adequate space, time, and money, what kind of project have you dreamed of completing?

Erin: As a sculptor I would love to get a chance to build on a freakishly large scale to build something monumental. As a jeweler I am restricted by my own monetary struggles and would love to work on a series in silver.

B.K.S: What is your mission as an artist?

Erin: Ultimately, my mission is just to make. I love form and shape so my work is often purely aesthetic rather than conceptual. I create work that is about exploiting the expressive emotional capacity and inherent physical properties of materials to create expressive objects and a connection with the viewer. I rely on the formal aspects of a completed sculpture to resonate with the viewer and inform them while allowing them to draw their own conclusions. Ultimately I just feel a desire to make, so I do. There is nothing else I can or would want to do.

B.K.S: What about your medium/ chosen practice made you gravitate towards it? Stuart_Transference
Erin:I tend to work with certain materials because of their intrinsic qualities. I pick materials that will work aesthetically and physically with whatever idea I have in my head. I’m not a fan of painting or creating false surfaces so if I can I use a material whose given surface accommodates what I’m looking for (ex. I enjoy the texture and color of rusted and raw steel and how malleable but ultimately strong it is so I have worked with it quite a bit).

B.K.S: What/who are the influences behind your work?
Erin: My influences come from everywhere and everything I’ve made connections with, They are ever-changing and often, like my process, I draw from things intuitively. I cannot force something into my work; it happens on its own. I look at natural and  architectural structure, I get inspired by material, I look at art (ex: Martain Puryear and John Newman), I look at everyday useful objects that for some strange reason I always pick up Stuart_CoreSamplethough a different one would do the same job.

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