"Perhaps the studio is silent, other times classical music sounds out as I get lost and, sometimes, found in passages of paint"
Your paintings are a confetti of colour, beautifully complex with an abundance of movement. Would you describe your process of applying paint akin to dance or music?
Oh thank you. Layering independent marks to create a “whole” could be compared with structures of music. At times I’m obsessed with bassoon or recorder concertos by Vivaldi. I like “allegro ma non troppo” from Dvorak’s 8th symphony, it starts off regal and with pretence of respect but struggles to hold back the excitement of conquest and tyranny, much like capitalism
Could you tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been a practicing artist and where did you study?
I studied at Reigate School of Art and Design then BA Fine Art New Media at Chelsea, I began exhibiting soon after graduating.
Both you and James Capper currently have a two person show at Hannah Barry Gallery, could you tell us about the show and how you, James and Hannah met?
I met Hannah at Chelsea Space in 2006, after that we would spend time with other artists at Lyndhurst Way where we worked on a program of exhibitions. That period was particularly exciting. Peckham was cheap/free for us to live or squat in and as we strove to create something together the sense of commitment and potential was strong. Before our first exhibition at Lyndhurst Way I was walking through Chelsea College looking for artists to include and saw some kind of wheeled base that was clearly made to support another structure. I could tell that the artist understood their craft and more importantly, I liked what they were doing with it. I asked who had made the work then left a note for James Capper asking him to contact me. The Hannah Barry gallery evolved out of Lyndhurst Way and over the years myself, James and Hannah have enjoyed camaraderie with the other artists. We come from different backgrounds and our practices are very different... but that’s exciting, the current shows are a good juxtaposition.
The work is very expressive, would you say you are somewhat of a romantic?
Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
Of shadows on the stars.
- James Agee
Tell us a bit about how you spend your day/studio routine, what is your studio like?
My studio in Redhill is very large but it’s very full. I have many panels which I work on at the same time. Perhaps the studio is silent, other times classical music sounds out as I get lost and, sometimes, found in passages of paint.
What artwork have you seen recently that has resonated with you?
Triton by J.A. Harkins, nice object.
What do you hope the viewer gains/reacts from looking at your work?
Maybe the viewer will understand their ownership of a work of art, maybe not.
What does the future hold for you as an artist? Is there anything new and exciting in the pipeline you would like to tell us about?
I hope to be making new works while travelling in 2017. My next solo show opens 12th January at Titanic Belfast. Belfast is full of potential.
Shaun's work is currently on show at the Hannah Barry Gallery, alongside sculpture James Capper. Ends 30th November.
Publish date: 25/11/16
All images courtesy of Hannah Barry Gallery