Cast your mind back, my darling readers, to my January post on my good chum and accountant – turned – artist, Roger Miles. For four weeks recently, Roger took up residency at Mannequin Towers, delving his way through our bits and bobs, in search of things that inspire him to create.
Intrigued by Mr Miles artwork and his new found career, I managed to slip away from my busy window-gazing schedule to ask him a few questions….
Has the transition from being an accountant to an artist felt peculiar to you? Working in an environment of routine and structure, but now having the freedom to do whatever you like, must feel rewarding. Tell me what is a typical day for you?
I don’t really have a typical day these days, there is much less routine, but I feel just as busy.
The biggest challenge from accountant to artist was changing from getting it right to there being no such thing as right.
I still use many of the skills I acquired as an accountant, especially project management and logistics - art is 30% creativity and 70% project management and admin.
You stopped being an accountant in 2009 and completed a BA in fine art at Chelsea Art College. Is this something you have always wanted to do? What stopped you before?
I knew I wanted to have a second career when I got to 40 but I didn't know it would be art. I used a life coach to help me work out what to do next and I had found out by the time I was 50 (it takes some time to make this type of change).
Doing a degree a second time around was invigorating and rewarding - this time I could really focus on the course and not be distracted.
You have taken up residency in several places, what exactly is involved in being an artist in residence? How do you select the places you wish to work in?
Choosing an unusual location helps to challenge you as an artist and hopefully leads you to make work that you wouldn't have done just based in the studio - it also gives you some structure to your day.
I chose the residency location to be places where you wouldn't expect to find an artist i.e. the local dump!
What are you making at the moment? Can you explain some of the processes?
Cyanotype prints from photos taken at the factory and experimenting with cyanotype on paper mache forms. I am also collecting odd items from the ‘ to be disposed of’ area and will make sculptures / collages from them.
What inspires you?
Live music, contemporary art and my family.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
The boyle family, Jeremy Deller and Elisabeth Price.
You recently created a window for Selfridges and have now taken up residency at Proportion's factory. Is visual merchandising something that interests you, do you think you would explore more in this area?
There seems to be an increasing merging of the two art forms i.e Damien Hirst for Lalique and Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton and Roger Miles for Selfridges ...
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline, if so what are they?
My degree piece ‘resonate/generate’ was a 1970s record store in a mobile library, I am recreating the record store at a show at Gallery Different in Percy St off Tottenham Court Rd from 23rd April to 28th May, as part of Keith Haynes art pop show - he makes art from vinyl records and I will playing visitors choices of music from rock and punk from the 70s.
If like me you are fascinated by Roger's artwork, do stay tuned as Proportion plan to showcase his pieces at an upcoming event. In the mean time you can checkout his website by clicking here
Ciao for now
Ciao for now