Eleanor Watson

Eleanor Watson

Eleanor Watson
An interview

1. How long have you been a member at The Arthouse?
On and off since 2013 (I think)

2.What do you like about The Arthouse?
It is a beautiful building and an incredible space to make work in. My studio is upstairs under the glass barrel vaulted ceiling; the light is always wonderful, even in the winter. The temperature can be less wonderful, but it is worth the sacrifice for the light.
It is also great to be a part of the community working together to run the studios and sharing the space with lots of inspiring makers in different disciplines.

3. Could you tell us a little bit about what you do? “An Introduction to”
I make contemporary figurative paintings of interiors from found photographs. These are usually very ornate, ostentatious spaces from old museum houses. I am interested in playing with the illusionistic depth of interior paintings; the way in which we perceive positive and negative spaces and shifting the ways which these are read across the picture.

4. How do you use your studio?
I like to keep the central space flexible with a table which I move about, either with a palette and paints on top, or clear for drawing, printing or working on my laptop. I hang the paintings on the walls whilst working on them, and stack works in progress and finished works in the corner. I try not to have too much unnecessary visual material on show, as it can make me feel a bit claustrophobic.

5. Is there a work your particularly proud of and why-
Something you felt has been really important to you, or has changed the way you work
I find this a really difficult question to answer – I tend to be focused on the next piece. Different paintings come to mind as I am working and tackling similar issues, but I don’t like to linger to long on old work. Perhaps I should do a bit more and that is perhaps why I am returning to do a Masters this year. I hope to spend more time reflecting on why I make certain decisions in my practice.
I have been making paintings of interiors from photographs since my BA which I completed in 2012 – I suppose that was a breakthrough moment. Time for a new one!

6. What interests you? What influences you?
I read novels. I also I listen to audiobooks as I work. I find it easier to escape in to work with head phones on and a story I can drift in and out of. Listening and reading help me to explore my place within the world and to develop an emotional understanding; I am sure that sounds pretentious, but I think that is why I am compelled to read.
My partner is an architect, which is perfect as there is no persuasion needed to explore new buildings and gardens. We spend a lot of time discussing how we experience these spaces.
I also enjoy the charged atmosphere of theatre, although I don’t go as often as I would like. I am fascinated by the economy of information needed on stage; how structures, furniture and props elude to a world without having to fully describe it.

7.Are you working on anything particularly at the moment?
I am working on a large commission currently, as well as a few other works. Commissions are always more challenging, but interesting as they force me to confront new territory, and find new solutions.

8.What’s in the pipeline? What’s Next?
I am really excited to begin a masters in Fine Art at City and Guilds in September. A chance to really reflect on and challenge my practice.