Lisa Takahashi, The Beauty of The Ride: Cycling Prints and Paintings, Riverside Café Gallery, Farnham Maltings, 30 June – 28 July 2017
Riverside Cafe Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by painter- printmaker Lisa Takahashi. The show, a selection of popular linocut prints made over the past three years, as well as a group of new oil paintings, are a visual ode to her love of cycling. We spoke to Lisa to discuss motivation, inspiration and why and how her practice has developed….
What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work?
You’ve caught me at the beginning of what feels like a new chapter in my practice; I’ve been painting in oils for the first time in quite a few years. My degree was fine art painting and I only really started printmaking seriously about 4 years ago, but I’m now interested in working across media – graphite, watercolour, oils and printmaking; seeing what conversations I can start up between the various processes. When I talk about my cycling prints I always say (and firmly believe) that linocut is the best, most immediate medium for depicting the excitement of riding in a peloton. So now I’m curious to see how the subject matter alters if I deal with it in oils, which is a much less structured, more intuitive way of making pictures.
What medium do you use in your practice and why?
I work across media and the impact of the process dictates the sorts of outcomes that are produced. When I work with linocuts I like to make simple, bold, colourful designs. They require the most planning – loads of drawing to work out what colours and shapes will go where, how colours will overlap etc. My oil paintings also require a lot of planning but ithe actual execution of the work involves a slow, intuitive build up of layers of paint. I like to use a lot of paint and for there to be a lot of texture in the surface – I apply the paint with a palette knife as well as stiff brushes. Preparation for both prints and paintings require a lot of drawing in graphite in my sketchbook beforehand. I also love to work in watercolour but tend to do this ‘en plein air’ and without any planning – it’s my ‘get out and go’ medium.
What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start?
Making art work gives me a sense of purpose. If I stop for any length of time I don’t feel good. I’m greatly inspired by art that is sincere and strives for beauty – some people think I am quite old fashioned in that respect. I feel most affinity with Modern British Art – The Grosvenor School printmakers (Lill Tschudi and Cyril Power), Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and Edward Bawden are all favourites of mine. However, rather bizarrely, it was the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy that made me want to be an artist. I was 16 and found the YBA’s thought provoking. I remember thinking ‘What would it be like if paintings had ideas behind them like conceptual art does?’ In my ignorant youth I didn’t realise paintings were something even more than just an idea!
If you could name one, what is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why? I recently painted a self-portrait. It was the most personal work I have ever made, and I found it unbelievably hard to do! I’m pretty proud of it.
If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?
Exhibiting at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for the first time in 2013. I had only really just started making linocuts and I was shocked to get my print ‘Tour de Force’ accepted. Seeing it hanging on the wall at the private view with a row of little red dots beneath it was the only time I’ve ever genuinely gone weak at the knees.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
My kettle. I can be resourceful in the absence of the art materials I most like to use, but nothing can replace a hot cup of builder’s tea.
Where is your favourite place to see art?
Pallant House, Chichester. I always leave beaming.
Lisa Takahashi (b.1981) is a half-japanese, half-english painter- printmaker who draws as much influence from British Modernism as she does from the ancient Japanese woodcuts of Hiroshige and Hokusai. Takahashi studied Fine Art Painting at Bath School of Art and Design and Middlesex University. She has exhibited twice at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and has also exhibited with the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the New English Art Club and the Royal Society of British Artists. She lives and works in Bristol. lisatakahashi.com Facebook: /artistlisatakahashi Twitter/ Instagram: @takahashiprints
All prints at the Riverside Cafe Gallery are limited edition originals and are available to purchase framed or unframed. For sales inquiries please visit the Farnham Maltings Box Office.
The Beauty of The Ride has been curated alongside annual Farnham Festival of Cycling, Sunday 02 July. For more information on the Festival, please visit farnhamfestivalofcycling.org