Craig Martin Wood
Til vores første Artist Spotlight har vi talt lidt med den kreative Craig. Du kan blandt andet læse, hvorfor han ikke bryder sig om at definere sig som kunstner, hvad han synes om det at male, hans inspirationskilder, samt hvordan hans band Henry The Rabbit, får deres helt særlige lyd.
Who are you? And how would you describe yourself as an Artist?
I’m an English man who left for the warmer waters of Spain, and ended up getting washed up in Denmark. I’m not fond of the word artist as I’m too lazy, unfocused and indecisive to take up that role.
I tend to have at least 10 projects juggling in my head without working on any of them most of the time. Sporadic phases of binge creating are interspersed with long periods of guilt ridden rest and panic induced activities to pay the rent.
I have some art obsessions: Van Gogh, Ernst Ludvig Kirchner, Munakata Shiko, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Billy Childish, Moondog, outsiders and expressionists to name a few of the visual inspirations.
We are thrilled that you're going to teach us linocut! What is it that linocut can do? What differentiates it from other types of art?
Linocut is a great way to create fast, strong, flat, high contrasted graphic illustrational images. Perfect for poster art, propaganda prints, t-shirt & fabric designs or limited edition fine art prints.
It can be taken further to produce tonal and illusionistic images.
It is slightly more limited in producing highly detailed lines in comparison to drawing or etching, but the only limit is the imagination. Like painting, a good set of inks can be used to layer work from light to dark and vice versa.
When did you start doing linocut? And how did you discover that you wanted to do it?
I had a brief period working at the Heerup Museum in Rødovre. We exhibited a lot of Henry Heerup’s linocuts, and the director offered me a big roll of linoleum because they were not happy about using it in children’s workshops.
Kids don’t react well to deep bloody gashes in their fingers. So lucky me, I got introduced to a new technique, and some bloody fingers.
I had been painting large abstracts for a period. Galleries tend to shy away from large paintings from non academy artists unless they really have something special to offer, and my paintings were the kind of thing that had been concluded 60 years ago.
Starting to work on a smaller scale on paper opened up another world to me. Home made record sleeves, gifts to family and friends, and then I started to find my way with the material, and can see many new techniques developing all the time.
Craig Martin Wood
We know that you're doing linocut and music, do you work in other creative fields?
I painted, and will paint occasionally, but it always leaves me disappointed and frustrated. It’s a great meditation, but the results are atrocious. Painting is like cigarettes: expensive, addictive and bad for my mental health and the environment.
Like most people I have dabbled with photography, but have never printed a picture since the analogue darkroom days, and the technicalities leave me cold. It also lacks texture, but 3D printing is changing all of that.
Messed around with writing, but that is very much a private thing. New modes of expression are always needed. New instruments to learn. New paths to take. I value variety over expertise, but envy those that have it reversed.
I very occasionally make assemblages and paintings which I call meditation objects. They don’t really belong to the world of art so they never leave my cellar or flat.
What is the main themes in your work? Where do you find your inspiration?
It was printmaking that brought me to figurative pictures after painting mainly abstract for around a decade. I started with some portraits, and moved into other areas of interest: mythology, psychedelia and the occult, tarot cards for example.
Stylistic inspiration for my printmaking has mostly been from the Japanese mokuhanga tradition, and the work of many German Expressionists.
My friends and loved ones appear in some of my prints. They are a true inspiration. Life experiences will often dictate the mood or colour of certain pieces. Nothing more nourishing than a broken heart for an artist (I say this semi sarcastically).
As for your band Henry The Rabbit. How did that start?
It started after I started messing around on a ukulele, and recorded a few things on a beaten up laptop whilst enjoying the bliss that comes after the pre frontal lobes are at their most mellow.
Very home made, I played and layered all the instruments and threw some kitchen appliances into the percussive mix. A collection of tunes built up so I made a bunch of linocut sleeved CDs, mostly to give out to friends.
At that time Blaa Records on Blågårdsgade heard it, offered to sell some, and asked me if I could play a gig there. This lead me to getting a bunch of friends together to learn some tunes, and we took it from there.
As a band your sound is quite interesting. A little spacey and trippy in a nice way. How would you describe your sound and your inspiration?
The trippy spaced out thing could have been due to me only recording after nights out on the sauce with friends. I would be in a very dreamy yet lucid mode following such a night.
It could be that as a youth, I downed all kinds of mushrooms, powders, pills and tonics, refused to get trained or well rehearsed, don’t use metronomes, pick up instruments I don’t know how to play, and rarely correct intonation which makes things wobble.
My last un-released recordings are like me, far more sober, and were titled after a list of paintings Vincent Van Gogh wrote in one of his many letters to his brother. Poor Vincent! That bugger suffered, and my own unrequited love misery at the time was a big influence on the sound and style of those tunes.
As a self taught, and untrained music player, I start without any form or idea. I fool around with an instrument, usually a ukulele, and find lines I can work with. It’s naïve, childish and unsophisticated what I do. It’s what some folks call folk art or outsider art.
My main rule is to try and keep electric guitars and drum kits to a minimum, in fact no drums is a rule. Mostly because I have primarily been a drummer with guitar acts, and the world didn’t need another of those. I had a year off music due to ear damage so it will be interesting for me to see where it goes once I have a working laptop to record on again.
How did you end up with the name Henry The Rabbit? What's the story behind that?
I became the drummer for a band called Halasan Bazar in 2010. Fredrik (the man behind the songs) was recording alone, and had a blog about his imaginary time travelling band on a space ship called Abisan III. He had baptised the drummer as Henry the Rabbit.
I was very reluctant to use the name, but it has grown on me, and although I envied Dr Grobble’s moniker,
I couldn’t be anything other than Henry the Rabbit now.
3 fun facts about you?
I have had an out of body experience (after 20 illegal-drug free years).
As an insomniac child, I hallucinated skulls on my wallpaper far too often.
As an adult, I once slept in a phone box. (3 facts was one too many).
Linocut, vin & musik
Mød Craig og lær at lave dine egne linoleumstryk, når vi inviterer til stemningfuld workshop den 15. december.
Kom og hyg med os!