In anticipation of her arrival from London for the opening of her solo show "Orville" on the 22nd of August, Galina Munroe took some time out of the studio to talk us through her background and her practice.
PIERMARQ*: When/how did you get into painting?
GALINA MUNROE: My interest in Painting started pretty young, my dad used to buy me painting books for my
birthday and Christmas. ”1001 paintings to see before you die” was always my favourite. I would challenge myself to memorise all the paintings for fun. It’s pretty dog-eared now and still has curled up post-it notes covering up the Artist names on each page.
P*: Did you study fine art? If so, where did you study? How did studying art benefit or hinder your practice?
GM: Yes, I studied Art from quite early on in my education. I did a fine art baccalaureate in France from 2008-2011 then from 2011-2014 at Beaux Art academie in France and then a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins in London 2014-2016. I guess 8 years of fine art training is going to leave some amount of impression on me! Each stage was completely different from the last. Sometimes I found this frustrating especially after graduating from my masters, I had so much information to digest. But I’ve grown to appreciate the vastness of experiences that I’ve been lucky enough to explore through art education at different levels and through different countries.
P*: What exhibitions or artists have left a strong impression on you and your development as an artist?
GM: There are some really incredible Painters out there, I have my go-to list, and I’ve seen breath taking exhibitions, but what really inspires me are the people behind the Art that make an extra effort in supporting their peers, creating a community and pushing positive forces into the Art world. Jordan Kerwick, Rachael Mccully, Erin Lawler, Justin Williams, Jenny Bronsinski, Paige Perkins, Kevin Perkins, Andrew Salgado, Bertrand Fournier.. These are a handful of hard working, humble Painters that I feel inspire greatness and compassion in such a ruthless industry.
P*: What are the core concerns of your practice?
GM: I guess this is where I’m expected to write an academic reasoning behind my work given the
8 years I spent studying Painting. But in all honesty, since finishing my masters and handing in my last papers. I’ve taken a step back, I want to work out who I am as a painter without academia to hide behind so I’ve spent the last few years enjoying the surface, allowing myself freedom and no need to justify or scrutinise what I’m doing. I’ve always been curious about space, colour and the notion of in betweenness but the rest I’m letting evolve without concern and concept right now.
P*:What’s your jumping off point with a new painting?
GM: it’s very un-methodical. I sketch stuff sometimes, sometimes I look at Henry Moore’s work. It always seems to get me started on the right foot. But not once have I managed to sketch and organise a painting in advanced and for it to turn out how it was planned. There’s usually a handful of failed attempts in one painting. They get flipped over, bits ripped off, colours painted over, sometimes I even unstretch, turn the canvas over moments from
finishing it and lay it off because I liked the dirty colours coming through on the back more, then I re stretch it that way..that’s why a bit of studio booze is important! It’s chaotic and can be draining but I’ve given up changing the process. I seem to get the best results when I completely surrender to the constant fuck ups that always lead to something better.
P*: You’ve spent the last few months undergoing an artists residency at Jordy Kerwick's studio in Southern France – Has this influenced your art at all, and if so, how?
GM: It’s been fantastic!! Jordy Kerwick is an absolute luminary of a man and painter. Being around an artist that is so adamant on giving back and sharing knowledge has filled me with the most stimulating enthusiasm. I began working on larger canvases, I started working with more architectural influences and I’ve been building up the textural richness of the surface too. I’ve had more space than I do in London so it’s allowed me to become more gestural and physical with my paintings.
P*:Talk us through the conceptual focus of your work for the upcoming exhibition at PIERMARQ*, and what we can expect from the show.
GM: All the paintings were made whilst living in the south of France, the openness of space that surrounded me in the countryside and the richness of Jordy’s studio became a key turning point in my painting this summer. Space, negative space, colour and surface have been my main focus. Like I said, I’ve been bringing things back to basics!
P*: What gives you more satisfaction: the actual process of making the artwork, or what you take away from the resolved piece?
GM: I can’t deny that all embracing hum when I finish a painting. I love being alone with it, hanging it on the wall on its own in the studio and sitting in a comfy chair to leer at it until I start to feel like a self absorbed fool and carry myself out of the studio to go sit in a clammy pub somewhere.
GALINA MUNROE | ORVILLE
22 August - 8 September 2019
OPENING NIGHT: Thursday, 22 August, 6-8pm