As part of our focus on art and wellbeing this Spring, FOUR-WALLS contemporary artist Becky Blair opens up about her experience of art on her own wellbeing, and how it has shaped her colourful and contemporary style of work.
What’s a typical day in your studio like?
To start my day off I have a little settling in routine; involving coffee, music and incense. It's usually a slow start but once my creative head is warmed up, the day unfolds surprisingly quickly. I work on a selection of canvases at any one time. At the moment I am working on a private commission for a barrister in Sydney and some new pieces for the Affordable Art Fair’s Spring Collection. I usually leave when the light fades, as I can't work well in electric light.
How would you describe your style of work?
I would describe my work as colourful and joyful, which I hope to capture magic with. I have always liked the literary term, 'magical realism' and I think that it describes my style quite well.
Would you say that your own sense of wellbeing has been influential in the direction of your work?
Since early 2016, my work has been hugely influenced by my experience of wellbeing. In the summer of 2014 I got really sick. I went from being fit, healthy and active to house bound. Walking more than 20 meters was exhausting and I was in constant pain. Even whilst sleeping there was no respite, as I would wake myself up screaming out in pain. It took 6 months before I was finally diagnosed with Lupus. Thanks to the care, medication, and many lifestyle changes, I am now in good health again. This experience, although deeply harrowing at the time, has expanded my love and appreciation of life and has been my main inspiration.
What do you feel your work communicates about your life and experiences?
My work conveys the joy of being alive, of being able to move, dance, laugh, touch, eat and the ability to experience the world through all of your senses. I believe it is important to embrace your humanity and to appreciate that life is fleeting, so we must embrace and rejoice in it whilst we can.
Is it important for you that viewers are aware of the meaning behind your works?
I don't think it's important because people love the work due to its vibrancy and uplifting nature. Although, I do feel that it adds to the experience if people understand the context behind an artist’s work. I have spoken with buyers of my work, and those that have also experienced difficult times have found that my recent pieces resonate with them.
Will there be any new pieces for people to pick up at the Spring fair?
Yes, definitely! I am always working on new paintings. Currently, I am exploring my interest in finding peace, as we live in such a fast paced world where our brains are constantly stimulated. With these new pieces I am creating layered compositions using colour and shape to convey harmony and to combine simplicity with depth.
If Becky’s story has inspired you to explore the use of art for your own wellbeing, then grab your tickets to our Spring Collection here, where we’ll have a huge range of artworks and a packed programme of workshops ready to aid you in your discovery.