#13 Joy Gerrard

Henry Martin: What, if any, responsibility, do you feel as an artist, in what way, or toward whom?

Joy Gerrard: I feel a responsibility to work as hard as I can- and be as ‘true’ an artist as possible. It is a privilege to have had the education and the opportunities to make work that I have had. And, I feel a responsibility to keep working and developing.

Henry Martin: What does it mean to change?

Joy Gerrard: Change is hard.

Henry Martin: What is your favourite art work?

Joy Gerrard: Eva Rothschild’s sculptures and Julie Meheretu’s early paintings

Should an artist be in the world, looking out, or outside the world, looking in?

Joy Gerrard: Combination of both. Too much of either leads to either a kind of cold egotism or else a lack of criticality.

Henry Martin: Does your work come from the head or the heart?

Joy Gerrard: That’s a hard question. Start’s with the head- and in the making there’s a lot of emotion and ‘heart’. Mostly head.

Henry Martin: If you could meet one other artist who would it be (living or dead)?

Joy Gerrard: Louise Bourgeois

Henry Martin: What is the greatest challenge you face as an artist?

Joy Gerrard: Financial struggle and getting through the gender barrier.

Henry Martin: What is inspiration? How do you find it?

Joy Gerrard: Inspiration comes when you have a pencil in your hand, and a little bit of empty time.

How do you work?

Joy Gerrard: In my studio without my children

Henry Martin: What does the word gender mean to you within your practice?

Joy Gerrard: It never occurred to me that my gender might affect my career until I was in my late thirties with small children – and I casually began to count women versus men in the gallery rosters and lists. The gender gap in the art world is blatant, accepted and changing very slowly.

Henry Martin: Who do you admire, and why?

Joy Gerrard: I admire everyone who can sustain an interesting career as an artist and as a gallerist.

Henry Martin: What is art?

Joy Gerrard: Interesting different kinds of stuff.

Henry Martin: Agnes Martin said, “We think we are very mundane, but we are all capable of fugues.” Respond.

Joy Gerrard: This is a lovely, but slightly contradictory statement- I wonder does she mean fugue as poetry- or a kind of blank state. Or mundane as everyday- or just plain dull.

Website, Twitter,

Title: Protest Crowd, Chicago, USA, (Disrupts Trump Rally, March 10th 2016). Date: 2017. Format/Materials: Japanese ink on linen. Dimensions: 130 x 220cm x 5cm (51 x 87 x2 inches). Picture Credit: Ros Kavanagh.

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