Interview: Paul Fletcher

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

Interview: Paul Fletcher

 

Luca Curci talks with the artist Paul Fletcher, winner of VIDEO ART SPECIAL AWARD in IT’S LIQUID INTERNATIONAL CONTEST 4TH EDITION 2017.

Paul has been creatively involved for many years in experimental music and short film/animation and media projects. He has made over 30 short animated and experimental films that have been screened locally and internationally. Paul started in Super 8 stop motion and experimental film techniques, and moved into Screenprinting and live music and multimedia performances with a group called Essendon Airport. Paul also studied Horticulture and Permaculture and ran a small Landscape Design and Maintenance business “Simply Edible Gardens” for several years. More recently Paul has contributed the sound design and music for several short films and projects by other artists and aka Owlbert, Ed Mundio and Digital Compost he maintains and grows many online catalogs of sound and animation works. Paul is currently a Lecturer in Animation in Film and Television at the Faculty of VCA and MCM.

 

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

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Since 2005 Paul has performed music and video works for Central Victorian art collective Punctum, and the experimental music and film collective, Undue Noise. His AudioVisual Midi Vacuum Cleaner was first premiered at the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival 2006. Between 2008 and 2015, Paul staged “Hidden Creatures” a large outdoor sculpture, audio and animated video installation as part of the Greater City of Bendigo’s Easter Festival. “The tyranny of the moment and closeness of distance” was a solo multimedia gallery exhibition at the La Trobe Visual Arts Centre (2012). Paul has contributed animation and concept work for collaborations with Dr Mark Pollard (We notice raindrops as they fall), Grace Leslie (Vessel) and a soundtrack for Sabrina Schmid’s short film Abstract Iterations 111.

 

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

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Luca Curci – Has the artwork presented been created for the contest or as a part of preexisting works?

Paul Fletcher – The artwork is part of my ongoing body of work – the main virtual sculptural form was first developed back in 2012 for a Gallery Exhibition of Video and Kinetic Sound Art Sculpture, “The Tyranny of the moment the closeness of distance.”

 

L. C. – What is the message linked to your artworks?
P. F. – I make artworks that I intend to be engaging but mysterious, playful, and challenging, instilling wonder, openness and imagination as these are the qualities. I think are important to cultivate and nurture in ourselves and each other.

 

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

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L. C. – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?

P. F. – As per the previous question and also: My artworks are sometimes made in response to specific themes, contexts or issues, for instance climate change, endangered species, environment and social awareness, personal feelings and puzzles, history of place and people, cultural heritage, contemporary life. Sometimes my artworks come out of seemingly unfocussed play and simple experimentation with materials and techniques of making and constructing sound, movement and image. However I try to avoid empty clinical or technical exercises and have mistrust of simply illustrating or explaining themes that can be summed in up in simple slogans. If something can be fixed or changed with a few simple words or actions then I should get on and do that and there is no need for me to make art trying to do the same thing. The hope and quest for artistic expression for me is around thoughts and feelings that may not yet be clear or simple enough to put in words and ultimately for finding new ways of seeing, thinking, communicating and appreciating our lives and worlds.

 

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

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L. C. – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?

P. F. – Finding enough time and mental space within busy life of distractions and commitments. Keeping my own sense of worth separate from any perceived artistic success or failure. Upholding the value of pure research /independent artistic practice with unknown and totally non-guaranteed short term outcome or financial return both for myself and for my students.

 

L. C. – How is being an artist nowadays?

P. F. – I think there are a lot of exciting applications for artwork and new contexts for artist to work in. I think the creativity, problem solving and open minded and connectivity thinking of Artists is needed more than ever across more disciplines and businesses currently and that this will become even more needed with the proliferation of artificial intelligent computer systems and services.

 

Interview: Paul FletcherImage courtesy of Paul Fletcher

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L. C. – Did your style change over the years? How?

P. F. – Some aspects of my style have remained the same such as a certain accepted and valued organic roughness or “messiness”. The materials and technologies have changed radically over the last twenty years and many of these changes have actually allowed a greater ability for working faster, fostering greater exchange between forms of media, sound becoming image and vice versa for instance, generally digital technologies are actually allowing more improvisation and spontaneity for me whilst also allowing endless possibilities for very accurate re-working, editing and refining.

 

L. C. – Did you feel comfortable cooperating with us? What do you think about It’s LIQUID Platform and our services?

P. F. – I am often cautious and hesitant in new contexts but I am feeling increasingly comfortable cooperating with the “It’s LIQUID” platform and services. It is now my second year of involvement and awareness of the platform, having had a work (“We notice raindrops as they fall” in collaboration with Mark Pollard) in last years Borders’ exhibition.
From the start though I was attracted by the broad and fascinating themes of the It’s LIQUID Festivals and exhibitions and I love the genuinely international intersections and inclusive approach.

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