Ed Sanders was born in Ashford, Kent
He studied BA and MA Fine Art at
Norwich University College of the Arts
Ed currently lives and works in Norwich
A conversation between Leigh Sneade and Ed Sanders
Leigh Sneade: Ed, my first thoughts when viewing your work was the confident use of charcoal – a slightly out of date medium perhaps What do you enjoy most about the outcomes of using charcoal?
Ed Sanders: With charcoal, I find it to be a very direct and fast way of working. An idea can be quickly executed therefore actualising it asap. It's satisfying and can easily be manipulated/removed if need be. It's also a nice colour and has a very variable texture. It's like paint in this way. To say that I'm interested in the traditional/contemporary juxtapositions/contrasts would be an interesting afterthought, not a concept prior to making work.
LS: I am also interested at your decision making process when you feel a painting is completed, the layers of the work show previous explorations. How do you decide to leave them alone. Have you ever gone back thinking previously it was completed and reworked?
ES: When making work I start with an initial idea that's generally fundamental to the outcome. During the process of creating an image of an idea, sometimes aspects that surround the initial idea change like different marks, textures or colours; but the starting idea still needs to remain throughout, however manipulated or altered. Sometimes this alteration doesn't work and I have to rework areas of a piece. Satisfaction of a final outcome is based on a number of things. Things like colour combinations and formal composition are important in some pieces, however in other pieces its important that these things don't work. When there are obvious layers in the work, this is usually an intentional aspect of a piece where layers are required to create an overall image that wouldn't be the same without the previous layers.
LS: I was keen to ask about the ambiguity to many of the pieces. There are quite elaborate and layered pattern formations but they also elude to something else, maybe something larger... Especially the almost camouflage like motif used. Are these patterns intuitive or planned out before working?
ES: The pattern motif is pre considered and acts as a support for an exploration in to added imagery whilst giving it position and more of a context as an image.
LS: You changed you mind about the hang of the portrait, instead of it hung on the back wall you have the two figurative works confronting each other on either side of the space, was this considered or entirely accidental?
ES: The decision to put the portrait on the side wall was an important one I think. I tried it at the back and it seemed too aggressive to be stared at as soon as you enter the gallery. The whole hang is intended to be an immersive experience in the way that the pictures are placed alongside one another and discovering new pieces as opposed to being shown them is something that I would like to achieve. Also the larger piece on the far wall doesn't require much attention in the way that there isn't so much to look at. I think this helps the create an atmosphere and emphasise other pieces around it.
LS: I experience a sort of dizziness when viewing the works, as if I can't quite look directly at them - this may sound extreme but that viewing the work as a whole I feel in a semi-trance like state. How do you feel about the viewer having such a physical response to the work?
ES: That's amazing! I think that's the best response that I could get.
LS: Thanks Ed, great show.
*Limited Edition Digital Print (30)
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