An interview with Mandy Payne
LPW Artist Mandy Payne is an award winning painter / printmaker inspired by the urban landscape.
For the past 5 years she has been exploring Park Hill, the Grade II* listed Sheffield council estate and one of Britain’s largest examples of Brutalist architecture. The site is currently undergoing regeneration with part of the estate transformed into shiny, luxury flats, whilst the rest remains boarded up and derelict.
In her paintings, Mandy works with materials that have a physical connection to the estate itself, namely concrete and spray paint, referencing the graffiti. The work is layered and time consuming, employing spray paints and micro masking tapes to build up flat zones of colour and then oil painting for fine detail finishing.
She also investigates the same subject in print. In 2015 Mandy began a 2 year Lithography Fellowship here at LPW to learn stone lithography along with Icelandic artist Nína Óskarsdóttir. The results of this Fellowship can be now be seen in the Brutal Náttúra exhibition, currently showing in the LPW Exhibition Space.
Here Mandy answers a few questions about her work, inspirations and why printmaking is an important part of her practice.
Tell us a little bit about your work in Brutal Náttúra.
My work in Brutal Náttúra is of Park Hill in Sheffield, the Grade II* listed council estate that is currently undergoing regeneration. The work largely focuses on the old parts of the estate that have not yet been refurbished. I wanted to create work that spoke of the displacement of the existing community and the transience of the urban landscape.
What are you inspired by?
I am interested in issues of gentrification, social housing and the flux of the urban environment. I am inspired by the spaces people inhabit, the traces they leave and the capacity of places to absorb memories and experiences. I am particularly drawn to locations that are in a transitional state, that are overlooked or derided.
What is your favourite thing about lithography?
I love the variety of marks and tones that can be achieved and the capacity of the process to produce happy (and unhappy!) accidents.
What other techniques, (printmaking and otherwise) do you use to make your work?
I primarily paint in mixed media (oils / acrylic /spray paint) but have explored many other printing techniques (etching / relief / collagraph and screenprinting) over the years.
Why is it important for you to make prints as part of your practice?
I find that printing feeds my painting and painting feeds my printing – the two processes are both very different but symbiotic.
Why is it is important for you to make work alongside other artists (i.e. in the LPW Studio)?
LPW is a special place and being part of the LPW community has been one of the best things about the Fellowship. I have really valued the interactions, conversations and collaborations with other LPW artists.
What work are you making at the moment?
I am focussing a bit more on my painting. I have been looking at other urban areas that are undergoing gentrification, not only in my home town of Sheffield but also in Manchester, Salford and London. I am still trying to visit LPW a couple of times a month so that I don’t forget all my lithography!
What’s next / coming up?
Nothing much (which is really good!) so I’m enjoying having time to focus on actually making work. I have a solo show pencilled in later next year so am looking forward to making a body of paintings and prints for that.