60 seconds with Michelle McKinney:
First of all, congratulations on winning this years Secret Art Prize 2017! Can you tell us a little bit more abut your practice? How and when did you start producing?
I first began working in the medium of woven metal 10 years ago. Prior to that I trained as a jewellery designer producing my own collections. I had a desire to work on a larger scale than that of jewellery and began exploring new materials. Translucency, blurred and distorted images had played a large part in my jewellery designs so when I happened upon the woven metal cloth with it’s beautiful translucent qualities I knew this was the material for me.
The piece that you entered the art prize with is a photograph, is there a reason for the shift away from the more tactile art works that you had been previously creating?
I guess I see the photographs as an extension of my sculptures not a departure it is just another way of presenting them and moving forward with my artistic practice. For each photograph I still make a metal sculpture but as I am making it I am always thinking of how it will look as a black and white photograph and the story that I want to tell with it. The sculpture it’s self is transitory existing only for the moment of capturing it on camera. I am fascinated by the darkness of these photographic works which are in such contrast to my light and translucent sculptural pieces.
What has been your most memorable moment of your artistic career to date?
I think the most memorable moment so far was the first time I saw my work on a gallery wall. It is a simple thing but to see your work out of the context of your studio and in a beautiful gallery setting is very exciting!
What would consider the biggest hurdle for an artist nowadays?
I think to be original in your ideas and artistic practice. There are so many amazing artists out there it is important to have your own identity to stand out from the crowd. Having the courage to follow your own path is important.
Lastly – what is your biggest realistic or unrealistic artistic dream?
I think with my fascination of nature It would be wonderful to be asked to create an art installation in somewhere like The Natural History Museum. To be able to go behind the scenes to study the collections and create a body of work in response to them would be amazing.