Liner trace | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
Interview: Chris Horner
Luca Curci talks with the artist Chris Horner during VISIONS of ANIMA MUNDI FESTIVAL in Venice.
Chris Horner (b.1988) graduated with a BA Honours in Fine Art from the University of Creative Arts, 2012 and is currently studying for his Masters in Fine Arts (Proposed Graduation 2018). During this time his work has been exhibited broadly around the UK, most notably in May 2017 where his work was selected for the London International arts competition at the HLS Gallery in London, and most recently an international arts festival in Venice, Italy, and an International Contemporary Art Fair in London. Chris’ practice explores a relationship between artist and surface which inherits themes such as converting, transforming and materializing. His obsession to capture and produce can be witnessed through his intensified forms, which include the subject matters of sculpture and painting.
“The excitement for me is within the material, converting and transforming the original quality of a surface is what shapes my practice. This unravels a new beginning from what was seen previously and opens up many inquiries into new ways of thinking and recording data. I like to refigure the original identity and characteristics of already used surfaces and objects. How the unseen aspect and nature of a surface or object is commonly hidden and not thought of, I like to impose a new condition which uncovers new openings, taking away the concealed or non-exposed trait.”
Untrialed Paulin | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
Luca Curci – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
Chris Horner – I felt the concept of the ANIMA MUNDI Festival was fantastic. I really liked how the festival was split into different themes over the course of the event. As an artist it allowed me to install an appropriate input for where my art could be seen. I participated in the VISIONS show which took place in September, the reason for this choice was because I was inspired by the concept of what it means to look through the vision of our eyes. In the latter stages of the developments of my work, vision is most key. I have to use my eyes to the best of their ability in order to record the data from the previous event. I also convert and transform surfaces and objects in order to provoke a new meaning. How a familiar almost mundane subject can become new, appreciated and valued with high demand.
Untrialed Paulin | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L. C. – What are you currently working on?
C.H. – I am currently working on new pieces which incorporate systematic instructions based from the notion of chance. The instructions used are associated to themes of the unpredictable, moments through time and happenings. Constructing in this format provides a gap into my working process, which gives the outcome a more interesting finish. I also find that this gap creates a constant break up between intention and process, which enables the overall form an essence of magic.
Ungreened Paulin | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – There’s a lot of artwork on the market today, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?
C.H. – I believe what makes my artwork unique is the desire to create through systems which are designed through an action of not knowing. My art formulates from a collaborative performance between building materials and art supplies. As well as a practicing artist I support my dad in the building trade, so instead of gaining knowledge and understanding from two separate contexts, I want to combine the two together to form one production of making. When I am building I constantly think about the possibility of a material, product, surface or structure becoming a work of art. I am interested in seeing how a recognizable surface or material can become new and something different, by converting and transforming its original identity, its starts to present a new character and suggestion. How the familiar can build a connection to the unfamiliar. An obsessive nature to produce and a ritualized action to document the reformed surface can be witnessed. I want the viewer to see this, appreciate the time which was spent, as well as to be excited by what is in front of them.
Unbandaged Paulin | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – What’s the art tip you usually receive? Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
C.H. – The most spoken aspect about my artwork which acts as a tip for my working process, is the subject of endless possibilities. When I describe my practice on a theoretical level, the question which keeps coming up is possibility. There are so many rich surfaces and objects out there, which have the ability to shift and change when inserted in a working process. When I am in conversation about my work, I am constantly thinking about the many materials out there which have a tactile and tangible background, and where they could morph into a complete new identity.
Plastered Trace | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – Did you style change over the years? How?
C.H. – My first art pieces were much more traditional. Portraits and landscapes were my thing. However I found that I was getting bored, it just was not exciting enough. I found that I wanted to configure an image which was not already present, where you have to break away at the surface to find the treasure. I liked the idea of the work being in as much control as me. Where the true understandings of what was on show derived from a process which had little authorship from myself. But where the ending process requires more control from myself, where I record and capture the surface which has elevated into its new guise.
Aggregated Through Time | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – What art themes do you pursue? What are your preferred subjects if any?
C.H. – Themes and subjects which are connected to my practice displays an excitement which is within the material. Converting and transforming the original quality of a surface is what shapes my practice. As this unravels a new beginning from what was seen previously and opens up many inquiries into new ways of thinking and recording data. I like to refigure the original identity and characteristics of already used surfaces and objects. How the unseen aspect and nature of a surface or object is commonly hidden and not thought of, I like to impose a new condition which uncovers new openings, taking away the concealed or non-exposed trait. An intense relationship with the particular surface I am working with becomes apparent, as an obsessive nature of mapping out starts to take shape. This form of mapping evolves from the original working process where shifts and changes are made to the surface leaving projected and textured marks. By highlighting this event it leads to new evolved avenues which constantly inspires me as the artist, and keeps me on this productive journey.
Towel Trace | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – Did you feel comfortable cooperating with us?
C.H. – I felt very comfortable with the cooperation from all involved at It’s Liquid. The design structure of the Anima Mundi festival was brilliant, as it drew artists and organizers together, which informed a strong collaboration.
Unslicked Paulin | Image courtesy of Chris Horner
L.C. – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
C.H. – I was very happy with the services which were provided throughout the Visions show. I felt that regular contact with all involved at It’s Liquid created a confidence within myself. Being in the full circle of what was going on really supported the materialization of my work.