Artist Spotlight: Grace Boyle’s ‘A Love Letter to the Past’
Our first artist spotlight of the month features Grace Boyle an artist whose most recent project ‘A Love Letter to the Past’ focuses on her family heritage. “My name is Grace Boyle, I studied Textiles Design at Chelsea College of Arts and graduated this summer, I am going to continue living in London with friends and am currently looking for a job in the design industry. I am also currently studying at the Fashion Retail Academy where I am learning new skills in Buying and Merchandising.
My style of design has developed and matured whilst studying at university, I have experimented with my mark-making, drawing skills, and a bold use of colour and patterns which have become embedded in my style. Running parallel to the style of design I have honed at university I have a small business creating collage prints outside of my degree, using photos of people and portraiture as the core of my designs. These pieces of art create a story using carefully curated imagery, along with an impactful colour palette and use of mark-making. For my Final Major Project I have brought these two individual strands of my work together, and used these to develop my own unique artistic style as I become a professional design practitioner. Central to my work is the use of collage and the powerful technique it can be. It allows for a layering of the storytelling and invites the viewer to look closer and see the depth of detail, the hidden meanings, the untold stories, the intangible nature of the past.
My research has focused on understanding what makes me who I am. I have incorporated my family history into my research and my new discovery of my Middle Eastern heritage. I want my work to be emotional to the viewer, I want them to wonder what the story and personal history is behind each collage. I want the viewer to see my family’s history as a palimpsest, with subtle original images can be reused and altered but still bear visible traces of their original form. I wanted to encourage the viewer to imagine and wonder and question, and which captures ‘A Love Letter to the Past.’
With diverse influences on my collage making journey ranging from contemporary artists such as Michelle Thompson, Dave Buonaguidi and Olly Howe, through to established artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Peter Blake. I have sought to understand the subtleties and impact collage can have on my artistic process, allowing me to develop my own personal collage style. I am particularly drawn to the emotional durability of this medium, I love the idea of creating a personalised piece of art where the customer is involved in the design process, they include their own photos, help to pick the extra imagery, text and colour scheme. This then becomes emotional and unique to the customer, with a deep connection and hopefully they keep it forever.
It has also given me the confidence to continue working in this way and setting out as an individual design practitioner, with the aim that I produce pieces of work that are kept forever. My advice to artists who are starting on their creative journey is to to just be open to experimenting with lots of different mediums and take inspiration from anything and everything. Look at other artists work and engage with other design accounts, reach out to people if you are interested in their style, they may have some great advice or tips to help with your work. And of course be patient and persevere when it feels like its not going to plan!”