Summer in Winter: Interviewing Artist Joshua Armitage | In The Dotlight

You know that feeling you get when your experiencing the exit of the winter season and the idea of summer is filled with both relaxation and active excitement? With soft yet cutting paintings that evoke a sense of summer time nostalgia, artist Joshua Armitage from West Yorkshire exhibits his bright animations and painting collection Summer in Winter, all over the walls at Theatre Deli. Here's what Joshua had to say about his work:

[DYD] What was your biggest inspiration when creating the pieces Summer in Winter?

[JA] Originally the paintings were of places around the town where I grew up, Dewsbury, in West Yorkshire. It's a post industrial landscape of abandoned railway lines, canals and mills. It's slightly bleak in one way but a great place to explore as a child so it was that idea that I wanted to capture. My memory of it is quite bright really.

While making the work all the drawings became mixed up with observational drawings from South London and turned into sort of tropical coloured landscapes. I like the way that when making work like this it changes throughout the process, it is good to have a starting point but I don't mind if I end up in a different place than I anticipated at the beginning.

[DYD] Can you tell us a bit more about your process?

[JA] The paintings in the exhibition are made from smaller observational drawings that I make. Drawing is very important to my work and I want the paintings to feel as though they have the immediacy and energy that a drawing would have. It's this translation from drawing to painting that I find most interesting. Colour is also really important in the work and there is an abstract animation that features in the exhibition which is an experiment purely with colour.

[DYD] Where else can we find your art, online or in person?

[JA] My website has a lot of my work and I keep my Instagram up to date so people can see both my process and finished work as it happens. These are also the best places to learn about any upcoming exhibitions.

[DYD] What made you decide to exhibit with Theatre Deli?

[JA] I worked part-time at the Natural History Museum for a while and I met Danielle Florence there. She had wanted to help me put on a show for a while and when she started working for Deli the opportunity arose to do an exhibition.

[DYD] Are there any artists/ styles /periods that inspire you? Why?

[JA] Yes I'm constantly inspired by other artists. In fact, two painters I have been inspired by recently, feature in two of the paintings in the exhibition. Joan Mitchel who was a great American abstract expressionist painter and Louisa Matthiasdottir who was an icelandic painter. Both of those artists were great with colour. I'm usually drawn to the way an artist paints, the marks they make, the way they organize compositions or use colour.

[DYD] What is your favorite thing to do outside of making art?

[JA] I read a lot and also love to watch films. I actually studied animation, not painting, and only began to paint after I graduated from the Royal College of Art.

[DYD] What projects are you working on next?

[JA] I would really like to curate some group shows. I have a number of ideas but I would most like to put on a show of painters whos work I really like. Particularly Sophie Westerlind and Martin Jackson both of who I studied with at the RCA as well as some painters who I have met recently like Kate Hiley. All their work is great!

To see Joshua Armitage's work in person visit Summer in Winter from January 17th - Feburary 12th, 2018 at Theatre Deli. Theatre Deli which supports early career performance artists and has now partnered with us at Dark Yellow Dot to exhibit and promote emerging visual artists. Be sure visit Joshua's website to see more of his artwork.

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Lauren Little

Lauren was born in London, but grew up in Canada where she received her degrees with distinction in Fine Arts and Education. Now she's back, she continues her work in creative arts by making art and teaching it, while developing opportunities for early career artists by creating and running the online platform Dark Yellow Dot.

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