My accordion is now a gift, 2017. Oil on canvas

Oriele Steiner Studio Bursary with The Royal Standard and Bluecoat

22 November 2017

My accordion is now a gift, 2017. Oil on canvas

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Oriele Steiner Studio Bursary with The Royal Standard and Bluecoat

My first couple of months on this residency at The Royal Standard has been a whirlwind to say the least.

I didn't realise quite how difficult and strange it would be to uproot my life and move to a new city not knowing anyone, having to find a house, a job and friends - not to mention how that change can affect making art!

It’s hard to balance work and studio-time but I've managed to settle in finally. When I first arrived in Liverpool I became familiar with my surroundings by drawing, I walked and walked, sketching everything that caught my eye. However, when I got to the studio, I couldn't quite transfer the drawings into paintings or oil pastel works and to be honest, this didn’t feel like the most natural way of working for me; I usually work from found imagery and my imagination, but because I was in a new city I felt a pressure to be inspired by it.

Instead, I started painting from things I am personally interested in – such as found imagery, texts taken from books I'm reading (most recently The Hobbit hence the 'Nori & Ori 'drawing); an array of artist books I have open in my studio; pages and albums of prints I have collected; and a lot of prints taken from different places that explore my family's mixed heritage. African textiles have also been of interest to me recently as I've watched my sister who is part-African make cushion covers using these beautiful fabrics. I realised that everything I paint is a mash up of everything I'm interested in at that time. -Things that make me go "I really like that, I want to paint that!" Usually after painting I find connections with my surroundings without even realising it!