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An interview with mary kuper
"The artist has the possibility of being delighted with very little that is valued in our society- if you can be happy with a piece of paper and a pencil, you aren’t a good model for consumerism. Maybe just by finding fulfilment in an interior life we show there are other ways of being.” - Mary Kuper

What does Art mean to you?

When I am not engaged in making work, even if that is only thinking about making work, I am aware that I am all over the place, either manic or detached, too much energy and no focus. So looking at and making work is very centring. I am very glad I have this anchor.

When did you first become interested in art and why?

I remember making things out of sweet papers, shiny wrappers, before I ever really thought about drawing. My mother used to make little goblets out of these, and I thought it was really miraculous. She also made petunias into trumpets by taking out the stamens and pinching the base of the flower. She was a clever woman and not particularly handy, but for me these were her most significant talents when I was a child.

How would you describe your style?

It is pretty traditional. I like crafting something. I enjoy sketching and quick drawings as well, but engraving is labour intensive and like the way I can become completely absorbed in a square inch of lino .

What Inspires you?

Almost anything can become inspiring if you get caught in the challenge of conveying it. I am very into faces at the moment, but have always loved drawing gardens and plants, and also telling stories and communicating ideas – I make work about language, which becomes visually concrete even when the ideas are quite abstract. I enjoy making figurative work.

What journey do you take to produce your work?

Drawing is usually the starting point- I like to find somewhere to go that starts me working. I like to walk around and look at things rather than sit at home. It can be an effort to get to that point.

How do you set yourself up on a morning before working?

I need to settle down to work and get going by about 9. It is hard to start if I leave it too late in the day, and I do think that it is good advice to stop something the day before at a point that you want to return to.