Meet Artist Gavin Mitchell

We recently spoke with artist and photographer Gavin Mitchell on the occasion of his exhibition 'This Was Then, This is Now' which you can explore on our website.

Gavin's work explores the juxtaposition and clash of cultures from a variety of different eras, most recently in his collection, ‘East Meets West’, which is featured in this exhibition. 

What is the story behind this collection?

It has been nearly ten years since I returned to be a full-time artist. In that time, I have evolved my mixed-media practice, each body of work has inspired the next although each has kept its own distinctive character. As my reputation has grown and my work more widely shown we decided it would be a good time to put a show together not just focussing on current and future work but also taking a look back at earlier series of work and the journey that got me to where we are today.

The title of the exhibition ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’ captures the idea behind the show and the journey I have been on. What has been an influence on the collection? Any artists, artistic movements or particular periods of time?

Difficult to pin down given there are several inspirations and influences in each of the works, some crossing over with one another in a cultural sense and others adapting and evolving mixed-media techniques. In terms of inspiration I use the limitless source of cultural references that exists in our world and which enthuse, intrigue and excite. The human and material landscape is where I draw my inspiration. All my work will start from found material that contain pictorial, literary and cinematic references. From here I begin the process of creating images that form a narrative and hopefully produce artwork that makes a positive impact on the viewer.

What is your favourite genre or type of art?

Challenging, Subversive, Original, Intriguing.... Fauvism, Dada, Bauhaus, De Stijl, Surrealism, Pop, Fluxus. French New Wave Cinema, Magic Realism, Japanese Literature, American Underground Cinema. Man Ray, Hannah Hoch, Marcel Duchamp, Sigmar Polke, Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Haruki Murakami, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Akira Kurosawa.

What do you feel makes your style of work unique?

I think the re-working of old themes and re-imagining cultural landscapes. I also try to push boundaries in terms of techniques. As a Mixed-Media artist I am never tied down to one technique or structure. I constantly explore new ways of producing new layers to my compositions. I think these keeps my works fresh and relevant.

What does this collection mean to you?

As an artist I think you must be prepared to bare your soul in public without the right to expect universal approval. I hope this collection of work shows that the effort has been worth it.

What has been your biggest achievement in the art world?

To do what the 21-year-old me should probably have done, believed in myself, taken a jump into the unknown and being rewarded by being able to make a living out of selling my work. I often pinch myself that so many people all around the world have made the conscious decision to live with my work on their walls!

Has anyone famous bought your work?

I don’t kiss and tell!

What can we expect to see in the future?

Check out the show and you will see!