It’s been a little while since I last posted one of my artists/craftsperson interviews, I’ve got a goodie for you today. Trish Roan is an amazingly talented artist. I know her best from time we spent working together in glass and we both had studios at ANCA at the same time. She makes the most delicately thoughtful work I think I have ever come across. I really feel that as an artist Trish does a wonderful job of showing you glimpses of how she sees the world. It is both considered and spontaneous somehow, quiet yet detailed. She has been galivanting around the world lately, as a well deserved reciepient of the Stephan Proctor fellowship, she’s spent time in Scotland, Sweden and Taiwain as well as more of Europe.
untitled (detail of installation in Kingston powerhouse, Canberra), blown glass, water, mirrors, steel, 2010.
A few years ago she visited me in Montreal too, we had a rather soaking wet adventure getting lost atop Mt Royal (sorry Trish and Bev!!) in the pouring rain!! She’s also a talented vegan baker making some of the best lamingtons I’ve ever eaten. While I don’t get to see her much, I think of her often, especially when I see something curiously beautiful in nature. Here’s a little more about Trish.
Even the most solid of things (Constellation 3), acorns, mirror, wood, 2012
A sentence in Braille is written on the wall in reflected light from mirrors set into acorn caps.
Tell people a little about yourself. Where were you born/grow up, did you study?
I was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. My family moved to Melbourne when I was 2, and that is where I grew up. I moved to Canberra in 2003 to study at the art school there, and I’m still hanging around.
What do you do now, is it what would you like to be doing?
I have a studio practice in Canberra, at a great artist-run organisation called ANCA (Australian National Capital Artists). I have exhibitions sometimes. I work for glass blowers and I also work at a restaurant.
Sometimes I forget how lucky I actually am. I am making art, I have a studio, and have a lot of wonderful and inspirational people around me. I’d quite like to stop working in hospitality, but that seems like a minor complaint when I really think about it. I’m happy with what i’m doing, but still, there are things I’d like to work on or do differently. I’d like to have a bit of a change, leave Canberra, find new challenges. There is this part of me that just wants to work out how to live sustainably or in a way that makes sense materially. Often my art practice seems to be at odds with that. So I have to think about that a bit.
What does a typical day for you involve? Or a typical week? Is typical even a word for you?
Well, it depends. Sometimes it’s a bit erratic depending on when I have work, and I am usually in my studio most of the other time. It’s generally about half work and half studio over the week.
untitled, cast crystal, blown glass, brass, wood, rubber, bearings, ceramic handle, 2012
What mediums do you like to work with?
Lots…found objects, glass, threads, wood, metal, water…I also sometimes do stop motion animations, but only with long intervals in between during which I forget about how nuts it is. I’m also a big fan of mirrors and light, and anything that moves.
A Collection, 2006 – ongoing, soap slivers, erasers, stones
Where do you work?
I have a great studio at ANCA, in Canberra.
Who or what inspires you most – at the moment?
Everyday, incidental things. Things that are totally ordinary and totally amazing. Transience. Transformation. Kindness.
Do you have a favourite blog and/or book to recommend?
It’s a hard question!
‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ by Rebecca Solnit is one of the best books I’ve read for a while.
Best thing you’ve ever made?
I made some really amazing compost recently. It was intensely pleasing. I think my art aspires to be like this compost – all the by-products of what feeds you and the detritus of your existence can be converted into this fertile space for generation, given the right efforts and environment.
Hum, blown glass, light bulb, brass, copper, fimo, paper, watercolour pigment, glitter, thistledown, 2012
(The handle turns a paper thaumatrope (simple animation device) of a hummingbird flapping its wings. The breeze generated from this movement causes the thistledown in the upper chamber to float.)
What is the coolest thing to do in your town?
Canberra has a particular beauty and greatness that is hard to explain and probably very difficult to see superficially. It’s really easy to go for a bushwalk and have some quiet space. The Farmers Markets every Saturday morning at EPIC showgrounds are really good too.
And one awesome place to eat there?
Ah, that would have to be Au Lac – it’s a vegan Vietnamese/Asian restaurant. A classic favourite. Especially the laksa and the Eggplant and Mushroom hotpot. I’m a little unsure about Supreme Master TV, but if it results in delicious vegan food, who am I to judge?
Horn, blown glass, found object, feathers, 2008
Is there something you’re bad at?
Every job I’ve ever had. I’m also bad at confrontation. I can’t whistle either.
Did you ever want to be rich or famous? What drives you?
I just like to show people things.
Starmap, crackers, sunlight 2009
I thank Trish so much for taking the time to write me while in the middle of her travels! If you do ever get the chance to see her work in person, enjoy. Until then have a look at her awesome blog/website Gallop Rhythm.
All images care of Trish’s website.