Unveiling the Emotive Artistry of Amy Wiggin: A Journey of Passion, Empowerment, and Expression
Portrait of Amy Wiggin in her studio, courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Jimmy Donelan
Step into a world where creativity knows no limits, guided by the boundless passion of British artist Amy Wiggin (b.1984). Her mesmerizing artistic style transcends boundaries, immersing viewers in a realm of enchantment. Through her evocative compositions that blend traditional printmaking techniques with a touch of whimsy, Wiggin creates captivating narratives that challenge perceptions of reality. But there's so much more to discover about this exceptionally talented artist.
Wiggin's artistic journey is as diverse as her creations. With a formidable education from the Glasgow School of Art and the London College of Fashion, she has honed her artistic prowess through extensive training. Her talent has garnered recognition through numerous exhibitions across the UK, captivating audiences with the raw emotion and thought-provoking concepts conveyed in her work. Moreover, Wiggin's exceptional abilities have attracted a prestigious clientele, including notable publications like VOGUE International, Brummell magazine, Boat International magazine, and The Grove Hotel, to name just a few.
In this exclusive interview, Amy Wiggin invites us into her creative realm, where freedom, joy, and newfound perspectives converge seamlessly with the brushstrokes of her unique artistic expression. Join us as we delve into the depths of her creative process, inspirations, and artistic philosophy. And don't forget to mark your calendar for her upcoming exhibition, Koppel Curates "Turboflair," hosted at The Koppel Project in Mayfair from June 30th to July 2nd. It's an opportunity not to be missed to witness the extraordinary talent of Amy Wiggin firsthand.
When was it in your life that you knew you wanted to be an artist? Who or what inspired you to become one?
I was always obsessed with drawing and making art from a really young age- for me, it is a compulsion and, in some ways, an addiction- I have to create and always have. But the idea of being an "Artist" as a career…. That took much longer as I didn't know how I could make a living from it. So initially, I studied Art History and English Literature, but I wasn't satisfied. After graduating, I then worked and saved for over four years to go back and study at The London College of Fashion and The Glasgow School of Art. That commitment of saving all of that money and working a job I didn't like was hard, and I had to be so focused on my goal that I think that's when I really committed to being an artist.
Amy Wiggin, "Talk to me." Original Monotype 1/1. Credit: @amywigginart
Could you share with us your journey from being an editorial and commercial illustrator to focusing on your personal art practice?
My degree was in Visual Communication, specializing in Illustration – therefore, drawing and working to a brief come extremely naturally to me- I also love working with clients and people, so I really enjoyed it (and I still do commissions when they come up). However, part of being an Illustrator is pleasing others, and I gradually realized that I wasn't making the work that pleased me enough, that I loved. So over the past three years, I've allowed myself permission to make exactly what I want to make from a place of freedom and joy that I think you can feel in the work. But my Illustration roots still shine through – of communication and narrative, just for me in a more raw and emotive way.
Amy Wiggin, "Forbidden Love IV." Monotype 1/1. Credit: @amywigginart
What does a typical day in your life as an artist look like? Could you walk us through some of your routines and rituals?
Early! I love to get up early (at 6.30 am/7 am in the summer, slightly later in the winter). I then have a beautiful cycle across Ally Pally and Hampstead Heath to my studio, which is based in Hampstead. I aim to be there by 8-8.30 am and start work. I then work freely and intuitively. Through making lots of work, I let the work evolve in its own direction. I work until around 1-2 pm and then take a break for lunch and a nap! ;) starting again around 3 pm until later. Then I cycle back across the heath (often stopping for a dip in the ponds on my way home!). As soon as I get home, I roll out my mat and do an hour of yoga, meditation, and chanting, which cleanses me of my day and relaxes me. I'll usually eat at 9 pm and chill before bed around 10.30 pm.
Amy Wiggin, "Woman with her own shit." Original unique monotype with mixed media. Credit: @amywigginart
In your artwork, you explore sexuality, gender boundaries, and femininity. How do you approach these topics, and what messages do you aim to convey through your work?
My work stems from personal interactions, relationships, and dating. Often drawing from life, I use my sketchbook to redraw interactions and conversations through repetition and making lots and lots of work. The pieces take on a life of their own, and I realize what I'm trying to (or rather the work) is trying to say. I use humor as that is indicative of who I am (in the same way that I use color); however, both these modes, especially humor, allow barriers to dissolve and often permit the viewer an access point into the work, beckoning the viewer into the work before leaving them with hopefully a few questions, realizations or a new perspective… while having a good laugh ;)
Amy Wiggin, "Bottle-4-1." Original unique monotype with mixed media. Credit: @amywigginart
What inspired you to take the theme of the female experience as the center of your artistic work?
For me, I feel I can only ever convey my personal experience of the world, and I still feel that there are disparities in the way in which we treat women and men. So I feel my work is, in part challenging these injustices; however, my work is in no way vilifying men but rather questioning the structures and systems we live within; For example, my pieces "Too Hot to be Trusted" and "Just because I'm hot doesn't mean I want to fuck your boyfriend" are works which are intended to probe some women's scarcity mindset, and instead ask women to reflect and for us to collectively attempt to unlearn this internalized chauvinism which can cause female jealousy, envy and perpetuate the patriarchy (by women turning against one another) instead of with one another. Therefore, I hope that my work connects to both men and women (but particularly women) and serves them a collective understanding, connection, humor, hope, and, perhaps, a new perspective.
Amy Wiggin, "Too Hot to be Trusted." Original unique monotype (ghost) with mixed media. Credit: @amywigginart
Can you tell us about the raw fine art printmaking techniques you use, such as monotypes and lithography, and how they contribute to the visual impact of your pieces?
Printmaking is at the center of my practice – it allows me to work quickly and intuitively. The methods I use have elements of unpredictability – which enables me to a freedom that I lean into. Each piece is a collaboration of sorts between myself and the print bed; the happy accidents, splodges, and scratches all add to the visceral emotion that I want my pieces to convey. Working this way allows me to work from my gut, not my head. In this way, I feel that the emotion I want to convey is felt most immediately by the viewer.
Amy Wiggin, "Gurl Crush." Original unique monotype (ghost) with mixed media. Credit: @amywigginart
Could you share your experience as the Southcombe Barn Annual Women's Residency Award recipient and how it has influenced your artistic journey?
This was an incredible experience- primarily because I was fully supported in my practice for ten days. All accommodation, food, and money for materials and travel were supplied. As well as being fed two nutritious meals daily, which meant I could focus solely on my Art. This residency also allowed me to work bigger (as the studio was many times larger than my own). I worked on my "Dream series," which I created in 2022, inspired by characters and people that visit me while I'm dreaming and which continues to be a big source of inspiration for me.
Amy Wiggin, "In My Dreams You Are Real." Original unique monotype (ghost) with mixed media. Credit: @amywigginart
Lastly, would you like to share any upcoming projects?
Yes! I'm currently preparing for an exhibition presented by The Koppel Project: "Koppel Curates- Turboflair," which will take place at their Bond Street Gallery (125 Bond Street W1S 1DY) as part of The Mayfair Art weekend from Thursday, 29th June – Sunday 2nd July. I will present two new unique monotypes and two new lithograph editions, which will be available via the Koppel Project. I'm also preparing for more upcoming exhibitions later in the year (to be announced).
Portrait of Amy Wiggin in her studio. Photo credit: Jimmy Donelan
To stay up-to-date with the artist's career, make sure to follow Amy here:
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