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In conversation with… Louise Craigie

Louise Craigie returns to Thrive as our August artist of the month. Her eye catching compositions depict the landscapes and surroundings she frequents. Her latest works are bold and competent abstractions of these inspirations, exploring colour and form. Since our last interview with Louise in 2020 which you can read back on our blog, I sent Louise some questions to learn more about her exhibition pieces and how her practise has developed.

For anyone new to your work, how would you describe your creative process since we last interviewed you in 2020?

Fundamentally it’s not much different to what it was when we spoke last. Look, observe, see and capture. Always bringing my own abstraction, emotions and thoughts parallel to what I see. Instinctively I am drawn to colour and the landscapes that surround me. However, recently I’ve been allowing myself to revisit and recall upon experiences, styles, approaches and methods that I have explored over my whole artistic career, right back to university. Remembering that my work is a sum of all those experiences and that there is no reason why I can’t combine all of what I have been, what I am now and what I might be, together in one piece of work. A work that still hinges on a narrative from what I observe but in which I have the confidence to bring together much more than that.

Can you tell us a little bit about your exhibition at Thrive, what inspired you and what people can expect?

There are six paintings in total varying in size and approach. Colour and energy is at the heart of all six paintings. However, two of them reflect a much more direct narrative of drawing and expressive brushmarks capturing the landscape. The remaining four show the abstraction that I explore from the same types of landscapes but focusing more on close-ups, shapes, form and arrangement of composition. All of these works are new and painted in 2022 and have never been exhibited before, so for an exclusive look pop along.

Alongside your teaching role, since 2020 what have you been up to with your own practise?

Since 2020 I am now being represented by a South East London Gallery @ArtdogLondon. Art dog took me to the Hampstead heath affordable art fair and I will be showing in the October Battersea affordable art fair. I was asked again to exhibit with @artforcure back in May, which is very close to my heart. I loved working with Rebecca Marsdon on my solo show in July “Moments & Me “. Just recently I was involved in a collaborative exhibition @ballroomartsaldeburgh, a really beautiful show I was very proud to be part of.

I’m currently working on eleven very large canvases for @LittlevanGogh_europe, which will see my work travel around offices and large open spaces around the country. Lastly, I have a pop-up exhibition at The Corner Room Framlingham, which I’m developing with curator Rebecca and that will be in November this year.

Are there any places or people that are inspiring you at the moment?

Everything is an influence however, what I would say is I am still very much inspired by places that I see around me daily but am looking to simplify even further. Like I mentioned before I am revisiting artists that have meant something to me in the past or in my journey so far as an artist. For example the St Ives group have always been a stable go to bunch of artists. Also, my recent exhibition ‘Moments & me’ opened up my mind to realise I can make connections with other landscapes that aren’t right on my doorstep and I am excited to explore that notion. I’m certainly also looking at how to streamline and tighten up my Instagram grid and website account - to be brave and confident about my work. There is also no doubt my work is definitely going down larger scale abstracted pieces of work, it seems to be where I like to end up.

You can view Louise's exhibition of original artworks, both framed and unframed at our Summer Pop Up shop at Helmingham Hall Gardens. Follow her creative ventures over on Instagram @madebyme_louisecraigie and join us in September for her drawing workshop.


// images courtesy of Louise Craigie and Megan Rose//

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