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Painting Flavors: Interview with British Artist Phoebe Boddy


Phoebe Boddy, Artist
Image courtesy of the artist

I have the pleasure of sharing with you all my interview with Phoebe Boddy (b. 1995, UK), the incredibly talented London-based artist creating delicious abstract expressionist paintings which explore the connection between the two creative fields of food and art. Every one of her canvases has an exciting composition fused with bold colors and energized brushstrokes, which can positively transform any living space.


Boddy won the Figurative Art Prize 2021 from Mall Galleries, London, and in 2020 she was among the Director's Pick at The Other Art Fair, London. She is also the co-founder of Palette, a unique dining experience focusing on the sensory connections between food and art. The concept is a creative experience whereby the paintings exhibited are relevant to the dishes served.


Boddy has a degree in Fine Art from Loughborough University, and her paintings have been exhibited throughout the UK, with some going to private collections worldwide. Her painting, "Buy My Bananas," is currently part of a group exhibition, Women To Watch, at Reem Gallery, London, open until December 24th.


Ok, let's get to the interview...

Phoebe Boddy, Buy My Bananas
Image courtesy of the artist

Please tell us about your background and what inspired you to become an artist.


My mum is an Artist and my Grandpa was an Artist, so I have grown up surrounded by paints and a creative way of life. I knew this was my path from an early stage. I find it very difficult to express myself through literature or numbers, but when I paint, I feel extremely comfortable and happy.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

What does a day in your life as an artist look like?


My days are never the same, I feel like I am all over the place all the time, but that is conducive to my work. If I were to be confined to a structure or routine, I would feel stagnant and restricted. When I have a full day in the studio, I will get in and try to get straight into painting so I can have an entire uninterrupted morning with no distractions when I’m feeling my freshest. After lunch, I will settle down to some laptop work before painting again; a surprising amount of laptop work comes with being an Artist.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

What does your work aim to say? What are the major themes you pursue in your

artwork?


My main sources of inspiration come from food & flavors, but also feelings & little sayings that are associated with food. I love the idea that you can be transported to a particular place or memory through flavor, and I try to achieve that feeling through my paintings. As food is such a relatable subject, I hope everyone can connect to it in some way, albeit very differently. Most of my paintings are attached to a particular memory, whether that be a flavour, a particular thought, or an experience. So by putting it out there on the canvas, I am solidifying that and sharing it. I want people to have a smile on their faces when they experience my paintings.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

How has your style changed over time?


I think my style has become more minimal. That may be because I understand what I am trying to say more clearly. I have also recently started working with raw canvas and new mediums such as Oil Stick, which has allowed my practice to develop into a new place. The surface of the raw canvas completely changes how I apply the paint and translate ideas. I also think as I have gained more experience and developed as an Artist, with that comes more confidence and stronger work.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

What comes first, the title of a painting or the image?


Always varies. I usually have a clear vision when I start a painting, but I also have a tendency to go completely off-piste once I’m into it. Ideas come to me at the weirdest times. There have been times when I fall so in love with my most recent painting I think I will never be able to make another, and then, bang, I’ll be tapping my card to get on the tube, and an entirely new collection presents itself to me in my head, and then I have to jot it all down in my notes quickly. That’s what happened to me recently.


Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

Which historical art movements inspire your current work?


Abstract Expressionism and Post-Modern Art. Nothing gives me more pleasure, though, than indulging in Contemporary Art.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

How do you navigate the professional art industry?


I'm not really sure, haha. It's a tough one and one that I find mostly very intimidating. I think you just need to take every opportunity you are given and be a nice person to work with. Although I hate that word "nice," it's true. It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.


Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

How do you define success as an artist?


The ability to keep creating. And, of course, people enjoying your work so much that they are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on it.

Phoebe Boddy
Image courtesy of the artist

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Keep going.


Phoebe Boddy, Banana Bread
Image courtesy of the artist

Final question, if you could acquire any piece of art (from a dead or living artist,

could be off the market in a museum, etc.), what would it be and why?


Rose Wylie, Spider, or any of the paintings really from her "Painting a Noun" exhibition at David Zwirner. She is an icon, and I could never get bored of her work. They are so immediate and "simple" yet so intriguing because you are standing there looking at it thinking, how have you done that and made it so infatuating?

Rose Wylie, "Painting a Noun" exhibition at David Zwirner. Image courtesy of the artist & gallery.
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