Show: The Lonely Goldfish, mixed media. Andy Smith.
Tell: “The Lonely Goldfish was originally meant as a t-shirt design, but just stayed in my sketchbook for ages. When I was working on new prints for my Soma show I came across it and thought it would make a nice big screenprint on paper.
“I printed it myself and kept it very simple with the only lines being the eyes and sad face of the fish, which I think then really draws in your eye. The other work I had been doing was a bit more complicated with lots of halftone dots and colour overlaps and I thought this would be a good contrast to that. I wanted it to be a loud poster like all my other new work, but also a bit understated so that you feel a little sorry for that fish.
“Once I’d printed it I had the idea of making a 3-D version, so that we’d have an actual goldfish bowl to display in the show. I made the 3-D version out of a thick chunk of wood so that it could stand alone on its base and painted it in nice gooey enamel paints so it has a lot of shine. I like the way it’s a flat version of something that is usually round and it’s a little bit like the screenprint’s come to life.
“Working on this lead me in to making some more pieces that used the rules and style of screenprinting, but were 3-D and my Blue Moose heads and Push to Quit buttons can also be seen in the show. So much of my work is screenprinted, or more often created digitally, so it felt good to use paint for a change and to get some windows open for the fumes. I’d like to do more 3-D stuff in the future.
“The space at Soma Gallery does feel like a room rather than just a white gallery space as it has seating and a fireplace. It felt right after filling the walls with pictures to have some ‘objects’ such as the goldfish bowl to keep that feeling. As if it is inhabited by someone or something who has collected everything together. I’m not sure what that person would be like. Maybe that’s for the next show!”
Info: Andy Smith studied illustration at the Royal College of Art, London. His work is print based and often combines lettering with drawn imagery. His clients include Nike, Sony and Orange. His summer show at Soma Gallery in Bristol includes a set of 12 new large artworks, hand screenprinted by Andy and featuring his distinct hand lettering and visuals.
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