Five questions to Ian Parker

Five questions to Ian Parker

Ian Parker was born in Wolverhampton and lived in England, Guyana and Nigeria as a child. Educated at Wimbledon School of Art (now UAL), Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University London) and the Royal Academy Schools, on graduating he undertook fellowships and residencies at Cardiff Institute of Higher Education (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University). He has exhibited regularly since 1977 at venues including, for example, the Hayward Gallery; Camden Arts Centre; Guildhall Art Gallery, London; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam.

Since when do you paint and what are your favorite motives?

Ive been making art of one kind or another since my early teens. I mean, what else is life made of? You plod to work, eat a sandwich, think about death, call a friend, feel dread, walk the dog, notice some stuff, get an idea, take out the trash, then go back to the painting wall. (And that's if you're lucky.)Amy Sillman, From Garbage Cans to God, the catalogue for the recent Philip Guston Tate exhibition.

When you create a new work, how do you proceed? What comes first? 

In whatever form it takes my work is grounded in the material practice of painting, the modernist notion of painting as matter, its status and process as material. Sources can be subject to chance manipulation, through drawing, collage, tracing and projecting which are then transcribed through the act of painting. Practice as a form of re-presentation, of traces - what else is there? A means of bringing extrinsic material into the arena of painting, however obliquely, and without an overly defining narrative.

From what do you get your motivation? 

A work may start with a specific idea or as a vague reaction; a response to a thought, a feeling, a shape, diagrams or map colour keys, found photographic imagery, screen grabs, studio paraphernalia, everyday domestic objects, observational drawings, a piece of information. This might be emotional, political, aesthetic, material or intellectual and mostly all these things together. And of course all this is filtered into and through the language- received, learnt, remembered, questioned, discarded and found again. And always the thing itself as it unfolds through the process of making. An accretion, a kind of muscle memory, from years of looking and painting.Your life without art would be...

Dull and probably even more absurd than life is anyway!

What's the best art venue in your city right now? 

Practically anywhere in London. Peckhams good.

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