• Caitlin Kennedy

Minty Perkins-Ray

What’s your artistic background?

I graduated Nottingham Trent University in June studying Fine Art for three years. Throughout school I was always very artistic.

How are you finding Lyon as a place to live?

I absolutely love living in Lyon, it’s such a beautiful city and is filled with arts, culture and music. And of course lots of cheese.

What inspired this cover and what drives your art generally?

I see my art as a sort of jigsaw puzzle, the colours and shapes all have to interlink and connect with one another. Music is a big inspiration in my work. It is another of my passions and I find it very important to work to music. It helps my creative flow and can also influence my decision making. At uni I incorporated music into my work by researching synaesthesia and how it affects certain people. I created pen drawings and then sang what I perceived my drawings would ‘sound like’. The final piece was a sensory experience involving both ‘listening’ and ‘seeing’ my art at the same time- so I would say music is hugely influential in my work.

It feels very embedded in nature. Is that something you generally like to explore?

Nature is a very important aspect in my work. I often take photographs of interesting plants and flowers and work from those. I actually did this particular piece basking in a sunny garden, the perfect place for me to work as I am surrounded by influences and ideas.

What’s your preferred medium?

I’ve experimented a lot with different mediums such as paint, collage and ceramics. I then found pens and fell in love with using them. For my university degree show, I went an extra step further and had my pen drawings developed onto silk, hanging them from the ceiling. This encouraged the viewer to really feel the sensory experience I was attempting to create, with the flowing natural movement of the silk and my ‘ethereal’, ‘eerie’ voice alongside it.

The colours are fabulous- why is colour important in your work?

Colour has always been an important factor in my work! I’m very drawn to bold, vivid colours and when I go and see art in galleries it’s always the most colourful and vibrant works that attract me. I therefore want to create work that is just as bright and just as colourful; that I would like to see in a gallery. Anyone who knows me would describe me as a bright, colourful and loud person; I feel like this comes across in my art.

Tell us about your time at art school.

Art School was fantastic. When I first went to university, I had no idea who I was as an artist and what kind of art I wanted to make. But the three years that I was there gave me the space to discover and study my medium in detail. I had the time and freedom to test out so many ideas and to see my failures and successes in the comfort of the studio, surrounded by my friends. Sharing a studio space was great as we would always bounce ideas off each other and it was always so refreshing to see how diverse and different everyone’s art is. Those three years were unforgettable, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss them.

Who are your artistic icons?

There are so many! My all-time favourite artist is Matisse; another is Shara Hughes and the classic Georgia O’Keeffe.

You’re working as an au pair at the moment- do you get your kids drawing and doing art?

I always love making art with the kids! When I first arrived I would always draw flowers or dolphins and they would colour them in. More recently I have been playing the game where you have a piece of folded paper and one child would draw the head, then I would draw the body and arms connecting the head, we go on like this until we unfold the paper to reveal a crazy mis-match of body parts. It can be very funny- one time we made a two headed lady with eight legs wearing boots.

I honestly just want to go and live in your painting, it looks so lush and peaceful- if you could step into any fantasy world or painting, what would it be?

Well thank you! I would also love to step into a fantasy world of my art, it would be like stepping in my own head. I would also love to step into some of Matisse’s or Picasso’s works: the colours and shapes would be so magical! And it would be amazing to go into the painting ‘The Starry Night’ By Vincent Van Gough.

Where can people see more of your work and do you have any upcoming projects?

I have an art Instagram @aramintaperkins.

At the moment I am still just making as much art as I can In Lyon. I return back to the UK in July and will hopefully be working on some bigger projects!

Thank you Minty!

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