Henry Martin: How do you work?
Emilie Pugh: I rarely work to a specific plan, I prefer to work intuitively, I let the materials and my moods guide me a lot of the time.
I need time and head space without the distractions of my phone and the computer. I tend to work long hours, I love working at night especially – when I feel like I don’t have an end point to my day. Often the best work comes when I put no expectations on myself to make something ‘good’ but just let go.
Henry Martin: Does your work come from the head or the heart?
Emilie Pugh: Both I think. To make a successful work it cant be just one or the other. Its a delicate balance . A process of letting go and then questioning and then letting go again.
Henry Martin: What is the greatest challenge you face as an artist?
Emilie Pugh: Doubt, I think . As soon as you doubt yourself too much you destroy creativity. You have to find conviction and belief in yourself and your work.
The other challenge I struggle with especially being an artist working in London is my relationship with time – feeling like I never have enough of it. Resisting the need to rush and produce or to master a new technique quickly and accepting that the creative process takes time. The contemporary world is used to getting things instantly. Its easy to get swept away with this notion that faster is better. I choose to work the way I do – in a very laborious, time consuming way to try to resit the pace of life outside. In a way its my own quiet way of trying to slow things down even if its sometimes hard and hopefully in turn slow the viewer down too.
Henry Martin: What is inspiration? How do you find it?
Emilie Pugh: I don’t think you find it, I think it finds you but you have to be open to it and hopefully in the right place when it arrives. It’s something you cant force whenever you want to feel it. It’s your job as an artist to try to make the conditions as right as possible for these moments to come. There are particular things that stimulate it more , like for me, being immersed in nature, reading a particular book or going around an exhibition – but not every time and not in a predicable way. I can, equally, have overwhelming moments sitting on a tube somewhere, or driving my car — which can be quite frustrating when you don’t have any means of writing it down!
Artist : Emilie Pugh. Title: Murmuration. Date: 2017. Medium : Incense burnt kozo paper. Dimensions : 50 x 150 cm. Picture Credit: Emilie Pugh