• Caitlin Kennedy

Yolanda Winston

Updated: Feb 2

Tell us about your cover.

It’s partly inspired by the night tour I did with the Echo Team on NYE. What I really liked about that night was it allowed me to spend time with the mountains and the stars without any of the guff. I’m living in London at the moment and I feel a huge disconnect from nature, a feeling surprisingly unresolved by coming to a place like Val, because a lot of the time you’re surrounded by the built-up environment and Disney-fied touristy stuff.

Not in a religious sense but I felt closer to something bigger than me, climbing the mountain at night. And although I feel small in the city too, I was small in a way that was safe. I felt like a tiny, tiny component in the universe and I guess that’s what I wanted to capture; that feeling of sanctuary and awe.

Is the style a good representation of your art generally?

It’s something that I err towards as a bit of a comfort blanket. You know those adult colouring books? I think they satisfy a similar urge. I’m in a complicated transition period of my life and none of my day to day tasks feel that tangible so there is some satisfaction to be gained in creating and fulfilling easy-to-complete tasks. Like little pockets of space that one by one, I need to fill in with solid colour or hatchings. I find this kind of sketching incredibly satisfying. It’s weird, the kind of visual art that gets me as a viewer is nothing like this; I prefer much more unfathomable and expressive work. I guess I like when artists show me a way of experiencing existence that’s an enigma to me, whereas I feel like my kind of drawing is pretty straightforward.

What is your connection to the moon?

I’m a woman!! It’s mad! The fact that the moon dictates the natural rhythms of my body still blows my mind. The same thing that makes the oceans swell, that makes waves, gives us our monthly cycles. How nuts is that?! I will always howl at the full moon. Also I was OBSESSED with the moon landings when I was a kid. I read so many books on it and know so much specific information about the fuel capacity, what they ate, all the things that went wrong etc. I was so convinced that I would either go to the moon or to Everest, like it was a choice I really had to make. Then I saw an IMAX documentary about how busy Everest was and that cinched it for me. I was going to the moon.

What’s the first thing you would do if you landed on the moon?

Probably apologise for howling so much and introduce myself properly. Then I’d look back at tiny Earth and pretend to squish it between my fingers.

Do you generally work in monochrome?

Honestly, I’m not great with colours when it comes to making visual work. I don’t make good choices. If you look at how I dress it’s the same. I read once that, to avoid decision fatigue, Obama wears the same outfit everyday when he’s working. I’m don’t have the responsibilities of Obama but I definitely appreciate simplicity when it comes to colour choices. Creativity thrives in limitations. Set up the rules of the playground and play. If you try to use every colour, tool, medium at once, you’d give up immediately. I also really get the appeal of black and white film and photography. Once you strip away colour, all you’re looking at is simply light or lack of light. It’s a shift in perspective. Looking at water in black and white is really stunning. By focusing not on colours but on light, the textures and movements of the elements becomes more poignant.

If you were going to design a ski, what would it feature?

You spend a lot of time looking at skis when you’re sat on a chairlift. I’m always so disappointed they aren’t more visually striking or even engaging. The generic “sports” artwork, like arrows and neon - we get it! SPORTS! Women’s ski designs suck to a notorious degree. I’d put some narrative on there. Give me a visual story. Give me marmottes. Give me drama. Give me romance. Give me conflict. Give me something to believe in.

Do you have any recent or upcoming projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

My field of work is not actually visual art but weirdly, it’s all I seem to be doing at the moment. I’m designing the album artwork for an incredible jazz musician. Her music is like nothing I’ve ever heard before and she is a very cool cucumber so it’s been a really tasty challenge. I directed a photo shoot in a swimming pool, covered her and her band in paint and made all these mad costumes out of plumbing materials and pleather for them to wear. I then used and manipulated the images into a digital collage. She’s just been picked up by a big label though and they could very easily kick me off the project so I’m trying to come up with a bajillion back up designs.

Thanks Yolanda!

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