Plum is an all time favourite artist of mine. I have never seen another artist like Plum Cloutman. The almost illustrative nature of her artworks, the subtlety of the references and the poignancy of the figures blows me away.
The inspiration from her work comes from her life experiences. Recently, she her work has been inspired by her work volunteering for the Ancient Tree Inventory last year, and the subsequent thinking around trees throughout history, lending itself to generational topiary and shapes.
I am drawn immediately to her use of colour: it is green, pink, almost Rococo, safe and romantic. It draws me in and guides me through the composition.
plum, What do you want your work to say?
I don’t know that it says anything in particular- not loudly anyway. If my work does have a point, I think it’s just to exist as small meditations on peculiarities. Mostly I just make things I like to look at!
Tell us about your colour palette?
I definitely get stuck in certain combinations. My work has taken a big shift from interiors to idealised landscapes over the past year or so, so I’ve gone from a more synthetic palette to warm greens, blues and pinks, very safe and romantic. During this horrible time I feel like my work has reacted by reaching peak twee.
What advise would you give to an aspiring artist?
I don’t think I’m in any particular position to be dispensing advice to anyone, but I think the number one most important thing is that you like your work and that it is interesting to you- I think it’s unwise to look at something like Jerry Saltz’s ‘How to be an Artist’ and think that you’re doing it wrong because your practice doesn’t look that way. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
"Mostly I just make things I like to look at!"
Your favourite female artist working at the moment?
That’s an unfair question! It feels wrong to single anyone artist out, different artists are my favourite for different qualities- but since I’m leaning towards surrealism lately, I’ll go with either Issy Wood or Henni Alftan.
Where do you get your inspiration?
One of the advantages I find to being an artist is that any single interest you have at any given time could be an avenue to a whole new body of work. I started volunteering for the ancient tree inventory last year, which started me thinking about shared experiences with the same trees through history, which led me to generational topiary caretaking, which led me to simplified topiary shapes, which led me to Crufts standard poodle grooming, which led me to toy poodles that look like clouds. Do you see what I mean?