The 13 Questions thing again, the artist who likes to be known as Edgington this time.
Edgington (b.1991) is a Midlands of England artist making “largely autobiographical works exploring mental illness, trauma and memory”. Born and raised in Rugby, Edgington now lives and works in Digbeth, Birmingham. Really don’t want to say too much here, I think, in this case, the art really does do most of the talking and mystery is never a bad thing, less information is more. We will say that somewhere along the way, while studying art history, Edgington began to “experiment and find ways of making work through textiles, photography, drawing and illustration before arriving at the current practise of mixed media painting and drawing”, it does feel like there’s some kind of journey of discovery here, a finding of self?
I can’t recall where we first came across Edgington, it might have been via a social media feed, it might have been a response to one of our Cultivate open calls? Wherever it was that we first encountered the art, it made us what to include that energy found in the work in the middle of a group show or two. There’s something about the mark making, the boldness, the commitment, there’s something brave about Edgington’s work, something about the way line and colour are combined in a rather forthright way, something about the personality. Edgington says the aim is to keep “spontaneity, intrigue, sensitivity and a childlike quality present in all works”. Not sure about the “Childlike” aspect? Don’t really see that. there certainly is intrigue, and yes, the spontaneity is an attraction, the energy in the marks, the personal nature of it all.
You can find five pieces of Edgington’s art in Cultivate’s Mixtape No.3 group show, an exhibition that opened (on line) early this month (once again hosted here on the Organ website). We thought we’d follow up that latest Cultivate appearance by firing our 13 questions out. Once again the first twelve questions are generic, the same twelve questions answer by every artists we ask, the final one isn’t…
1: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am Edgington. I look to my past, present and potential future to create paintings, monoprints and writing.
2: WHERE ARE YOU TODAY? WHERE ARE YOU MOST DAYS?
In my home studio where I spend most of the day most days.
3: WHO OR WHAT IS EXCITING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Chicago based artist Nancy Rosen. Her work is raw, expressive and distinctive. Rosen is currently in the process of uploading all of the work she has ever made onto her website which is incredibly exciting to see
4: WHY DO YOU MAKE ART?
I never decided to, I just began. Never was there a justification or thought about making work that entered my head, it is just something I do and I cannot pinpoint the exact time that I started making work.
5: HOW DO YOU WORK?
Alone, always alone and undisturbed with music blasting through my headphones.
6: TELL US ABOUT THE ART YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Oh I’m not sure. Hesitancy is kicking in here as the idea of saying I identify with X artist or Y art movement feels a bit like I am having the audacity to associate myself with great work by great artists. I shall simply say that for 15 years or so I have indulged myself deeply in the work of three artists: Egon Schiele, Frida Khalo and Tracey Emin. Perhaps a keen eye might pick up some references within my work.
7: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
No one else can make the work I make. There is only one me with my past and my truth and this is what my work is about. At least this is what I try to tell myself when I feel like a fraud or failure.
8: WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR OWN WORK?
All of it, sometimes. All of it a lot of the time. I often wonder if my work is, on the surface, too simplistic or unresolved. There is also the small matter that my work hardly fits into today’s zeitgeist of conceptual digital image which often makes me feel rather isolated as a visual artist.
9: WHAT HAS BEEN THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR?
No idea. Nope. I don’t know.
10: WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
A lot of things. Probably too many things, though it is likely matched in number by the amount of things that make me feel elation or love. Gatekeepers of the art world make me angry.
11: WHICH SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
Invisibility, definitely. There are countless times when I wish I could go about completely unnoticed, the desire for which is probably fired on by the anxiety I often battle with when in public or social situations. No doubt I would also end up using invisibility to snoop around where I am not meant to.
12: WHAT COULDN’T YOU DO WITHOUT?
Everything. No, that likely is untrue. If not untrue then at least greedy, gluttonous and misguided. There are three things that I would implode without; my mom always available on the end of the phone, the unconditional love of my dog and music blasting through headphones at any given moment.
13: WHAT IS IT ABOUT CREATING AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WORK?
Well I suppose this has less to do with making work and more to do with a need for an outlet and a sort of coping mechanism. Perhaps if I had a different mind and a different past I would be making work about social justice or mundanity or the environment. But no, there is a requirement, a compulsion for me to use the tools of visual art to process things for myself. My work is rather selfish in many respects.
And finally any future shows or events coming up that you wish us to tell people about?
I have the absolute privilege of being one of the artists involved in Outside In’s 2023 exhibition ‘Humanity’ which ran for a couple of weeks at Sotheby’s in January. It will also be on show in Glasgow during the Summer before showing in Brighton at the end of this year. If whoever is reading this is not so interested in seeing my work that is perfectly fine, but I implore whoever gets the opportunity to attend in Glasgow or Brighton to do so because the work from so many of the other artists involved is completely breathtaking and thought provoking.
Find more Edgington via Instagram or his Linktree. Edgington is currently part of Mixtape No.3