Interview with Carne Griffiths

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5 Stars
On December 16, 2011
Last modified:January 4, 2013


Carne Griffiths’s artwork is born from a love of drawing and the journey of creating an image on the page. Working primarily with calligraphy ink, graphite and liquids, such as tea brandy, vodka and whiskey he draws and then manipulates the drawn line. After graduating from Maidstone college of art Carne served an apprenticeship and worked as a gold wire embroidery designer for 12 years, hence floral pattern, repetition and flow play a large part in his work. Discover more about the artist in the following interview:


Do you have some artworks since you were a child?
No – I moved to New Zealand when I was 10 … we left the drawings behind… the earliest ones I have are from school – 13-14 years..
When did you start working on this?
I’ve always drawn.. can’t remember a time when I wasn’t excited by drawing
Why did you choose this medium to express yourself?
I love drawing – I love line – and I love to experiment… that’s how the whole tea thing came about.  From experimenting with fluids over a drawn ink line. I consider my work to be very much still in development.
When and how did you find your style?
I’m still finding my style… actually I don’t want to find a style… it unsettles me to be associated with a different type of drawings. Recently someone commented on an image of a skull that i had included in a piece of work about mortality and contemplating fate. They said – you don’t normally do skulls – that kind of association frightened me.  I don’t feel bound to a subject matter – I like my work to flow and my style to adapt to best suit the subject of the work I am making.


How do you work?

At great speed making good use of chance and accidents, sometimes when you are precious and try to recreate a style or a piece that is when things become stale. That’s why I like my style to be in a constant state of flux
What inspires you?
Drawings by other people in their own style, children’s drawings – what some consider outsider art, maybe the art of those who have mental health issues.  It is a difficult area though and one I think you have to approach with respect.  there is always a danger of exploiting this type of work.  What I look for is raw creativity.  Sometimes you see a work of art and the creativity hits you – it goes beyond technique and technical ability, it is just about connecting directly to the artist – like you are seeing something from inside them spilling out onto the page. And nature – I am always inspired by the shapes and forms of the natural world.
What themes do you pursue?
Recently I have been contemplating mortality, I like to almost meditate on an idea while I work.  My symbolism tends to be a bit base but I enjoy expressing with floral pattern and the way that nature has a flow and everything has a balance.


What’s your favorite art work?

Do you mean of my own or in the world of Art – both are difficult… My own favorites are normally the ones I am working on – when I am finished I am looking to the next.. there is no time to dwell on pieces of work in this way, as soon as you start looking backwards at your work you can become trapped.  My all time favorite work of art… I suppose a piece of animated film by the brothers Quay, Street of Crocodiles, it was the catalyst for a lot of my work and showed me there was a way to escape through an artists work. 
Do make any difference between a work on a brief and your personal work?
Very – working to a brief takes critical skill, and control – that is when your style is most needed because you are not able to let go of your inhibitions while working.  I find this the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Achieving somebody else ideals is very different to achieving your own, getting both right at the same time is the key and ultimately the goal when working to a brief.


Thank you!
You can find more here:
TWITTER: carnegriffiths
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