SELENA SCOTT is a painter going into her second year at the Slade. Her portraits illustrate the complexities in identity caused by acculturation and racism, exploring hyper-masculinity and prejudice. JEAN WATT interviewed her about her practice.  Red Flower is Power is your most recent painting. What was the process of making that like? I actually started this piece before lockdown, I had originally started it in 2018 which was a year before I came to the Slade. I had taken this picture of my cousin and I knew I wanted to paint it, but I hated the initial outcome. I left it for a while but recently returned to the image after finding a recording I had taken of him speaking about his experience of gang violence in Barbados. So I decided to redo it because I felt that it had the potential to become something meaningful and I wanted…Continue Reading

Interview: Selena Scott

JIN WEI is completing his Sculpture MA at the Slade following a BA at the Glasgow School of Art. He works across the disciplines of sculpture, drawing and textiles, centring his investigations around the body. JEAN WATT interviewed him about his practice.  What have you been doing at the moment during lockdown? I started growing plants on my balcony. A lot. The process of caring and researching is very meditative. I am also reading Escapism by Yi-Fu Tuan, a Chinese-American geographer. He talks about this ‘middle landscape’, which could be a garden, theme park or shopping mall. These places become the destination for escaping to another reality, which seems to be very relevant to what we are experiencing now. Your work seems to be inspired by the natural world, has growing these plants influenced that? The shapes of [my embroidery] are very organic. I think nature has always been my…Continue Reading

Interview: Jin Wei

OKIKI AKINFE is a painter in her second year at the Slade. JEAN WATT interviewed her about how her practice has evolved this year. What have you been up to at the moment? Honestly, I think a lot of it has been distracting myself. I’ve finally started Killing Eve and Fleabag. With everything that’s going on at the moment I’m trying to take care of myself. I know everyone is reading and educating themselves [in the wake of the BLM Movement] which is really good and which I want everyone to do, but I think sometimes when you are a Black person, it can be a bit traumatic to constantly read everything again and re-see these experiences. What were you doing most recently at the Slade when you had a studio? I think I was getting to a place where I was really getting comfortable with the paintings, looking at…Continue Reading

Interview: Okiki Akinfe

EMILY WEBB is a multi-disciplinary artist in her third year at the Slade. She is a painter, printmaker, writer, and music-maker. JEAN WATT interviewed her about her practice.  What have you been up to at the moment? I’ve been finding it quite hard to do art to be honest, and a lot of my stuff had to be left at the Slade before the lockdown. So I’ve been playing a lot of my harp because I have so much free time at the moment. How long have you been playing the harp? I started learning in January, so not long, but it’s a really fun instrument to make noises with, freestyle; it’s quite an intuitive instrument. And because you hug it, it’s a really physical experience. I find it super relaxing, you can just play it for hours and you forget. I’ve also done some radio shows with harp on…Continue Reading

Interview: Emily Webb