IN MY ELEMENT: INTERVIEW WITH ALEX STANDEN
The thought of living with your best friends in a creative share house, inspiring one another and encouraging artistic expression day in and day out is surely a DREAM?
Not for Sydney based artists Alex Standen, Laura Jones and Mirra. These three girls met in Hill End NSW, a town famous for its art community and long traditions of renowned visiting artists.
This September, Element Eden will delve into the creative lives of Alex, Laura and Mirra and take you on a journey through their creative world, inspiration, craft, current projects and favourite things to do amongst the busy inner city of Sydney.
Our next feature artist for September is Alex Standen!
Alex is a ceramic artist and creates delicate objects which combine paper thin fragility using porcelain and vibrant colour with deep indigo dye.
Your share home must be such a place of inspiration – three talented artists in your own right, what is it like living together?
This house is different from other houses I’ve lived in for so many reasons. All three of us are moving through our art practices in different ways but we are now at the stage where we can focus on making and producing work as part of a sustainable career in art. We are like-minded individuals who wanted to create a ‘home’ in Sydney. As people who have a tendency to want to travel and move all the time, it was a big thing for all of us to be back in Sydney so we wanted to do it right.
Do you all help to inspire your own individual craft?
The best thing about living together is that we share so much and support each other…. Coming home after spending all day in the studio and finding two lovely souls to chat to, over a glass of wine or two, about similar creative struggles and triumphs is not taken for granted….but we do still lead quite separate lives. We are three quite different people with different life experiences and interests in many ways. Laura, Mirra and I all work on our own things and have studios to retreat to and be around other people. We all love art and appreciate each others practice. We love our house just as much and take responsibility for making it beautiful….its a delicate, almost fine tuned, balance and a very inspiring environment to be in.
Tell us a little about how you found your niche in the creative world?
I think it all started as a conversation with an amazing teacher (now a good friend) from the ceramics department at The National Art School, leading me into the endless possibilities associated with clay. In 2008 I started art school thinking I would become a painter but instead became intrigued with pure white porcelain and the responsive nature of clay. After four years of studying I was lucky enough to find opportunities to show my ceramic work and build a studio based practice. I entered awards and art prizes which gave me the opportunity to show my work in different galleries and museum around Australia. From this starting point my work has matured and I like to think I’m continuing to push myself out of my comfort zone to keep everything interested and inspired. I sometimes struggle but there is always someone to bounce ideas off and critic my work. I have been very lucky in many ways that I can make art a full time job and to share a studio with so many other artists, whom I admire.
Are you working on any side projects at the moment?
I always seem to be working on a little side project or two. Either making ceramic projects/objects/vessels with another artist’s in my studio or working on a few design components like light fittings. I once made some dinner bowls for our house and suddenly I find myself making them for friends and swapping for artworks.…I love that way of working and collecting other artists work. I love these little side notes as they help to inform my practice.
How do you like your coffee?
I like making coffee at home….good beans and a little, Italian, stove top, percolator. Usually just black.
What makes you excited for the weekend?
Its really a strange lifestyle going to the studio each day and working for yourself. You pick your own weekends rather than having a conventional Saturday or Sunday. I guess as we coming into summer a bit more I’m looking forward to more beach days. I love it when we all get into the garden on a warm, sunny day.
Thanks Alex! We cant wait to see what you create next!
Alex's Insta: https://instagram.com/alexandrastanden/