We got a cup of tea with London-based artists Word To Mother ahead of his latest show, Too Blessed To Be Stressed, at Stolen Space Gallery, opening Thursday 9th October. Getting the rundown on his development as an artist and his other love, tattooing.
VNA: Can you tell us about your new show dude?
WTM: It’s called ‘Too Blessed To Be Stressed’, opening 9th October, it’s my first show at Stolenspace since 2011 and I’m pretty excited.
VNA: It’s not your first solo show, obviously?
WTM: No, I’ve been showing at Stolenspace since 2006, my first solo show was 2007, but this show is based on comparison culture and how people are kind of fixated more and more on what they don’t have than what they do have. I’m trying to bring it back to bring it back to concentrating on what we do have, documenting my surroundings and my general gist of the world.
VNA: Does this mark a certain maturity for you and for your thought processes?
WTM: I’d say I’m getting there. I like to think so anyway. I think this is a dig into the more conceptual side of things, or at least a foot in the door at doing that.
VNA: Have you stepped away from your street work to do this?
WTM: I would never classify myself ‘street’, particularly, I still like to paint graffiti but I annoy myself if I paint what I paint inside, outside, because I’d have a sketch to go from, I’m figuring it all out and I don’t particularly like to do that in public. It’s a very strange thing. I like painting letters outside. I’m trying to do something different in the studio than I do outside, unless I’ve got the environment to do that, like I did at Urban Nation. I’m such a fussy, pernickety character, that I’m just whittling out the ways I don’t operate well. Outdoors, letters just work better for me. I’ve always been happy doing letters, they get to the point, whether it’s more of a typeface or graff thing… I could definitely have made a bigger noise worldwide, but I didn’t want to, it didn’t feel right, so I can only do what feels natural to me.
VNA: How has your studio work developed?
WTM: I’ve looked back over a lot of my older work and there was some stuff that I was really into and some that I wasn’t. Obviously I want every show to be my best, but this was almost like a retrospective. I wanted to touch on different points, I’ve got some paper studies, which I haven’t touched on since my first show, they’re a bit looser, they’ve got a nice illustrative quality. I wanted to do some text-based stuff, some stuff on old wood and some big pieces that had all the bells and whistles. I wanted to bring together all the stuff that I’m known for, all the characters, the typography together and bring that together in a more mature context. I wanted to knock the palate down again, when I’ve become more primary in my tones, I wanted to take it a lot more earth tones and after having mini meltdowns for the past 3 months, I’m finally happy with it.
TO BE CONTINUED…