Laura Wickstead is a wonderful emerging female artist that is huge on my radar. She creates these superb abstract pieces, that exist as studies of structures and shapes. Usually in acrylic paint on paper, but often with pencils and chalks to add an expressive background to the solid fore.
"I aim to celebrate"
Laura it's so lovely to talk to you. My first question for you is about your intention for your viewers. What do you want your work to say?
The main takeaway I would hope to achieve through my work is to appreciate everything around you. Each object you own or interact with is a shape or a structure. By reinventing shapes and structures into abstract forms, I aim to celebrate the composition of shapes and structures and to show them in a new light.
Incredible! And tell us about your colour palette?
My colour palette is quite muted, it is a lot of secondary/pastel colours which can transform my paintings into dreamlike and playful pieces. I really enjoy contrasts so having a strong structure set against a whimsical shade of blue or a pop of primary colour can often create an exciting juxtaposition.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
One of the biggest pieces of advice, especially for women, would be to own your identity as an artist. For a long time, I didn’t think I deserved the title – it was like I was waiting for permission to use it. Instead I would just called myself a painter or downplay what I was doing as some frivolous pastime. Sometimes the art world can feel intimidating, but if you start by rallying for yourself, others will follow.
Your favourite female artist working at the moment?
I love the works of Emma Fineman, her show last year called ‘May I Have Your Attention Please?’ was absolutely breath-taking. I can lose myself for hours looking at her use of brushstrokes and colour.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I am especially drawn to ceramics as a source of inspiration for my work. As manmade structures that can be a traditional shape or a complex tower of clay – they are a perfect example of how shapes can be created and interacted with. Reimagined vases are often featured in my paintings.