Monthly Maker: Mikki Gleave

After a long wait our Monthly Maker series is finally back! And to Bring back the series is Artist, writer and photographer Mikki Gleave. Mikki has just finished a residency programme at Make North Docks with Liverpool John Moore’s University. Mikki has also just completed her Masters in Fine Art at LJMU, so we caught up with her before she left to see what she’s up to next and what inspires her art…

What do you do?

I am a painter and a writer. I’m interested in the fragility and complexity of life and this is presented through paintings that document the traces and marks within the environment. My written work considers the complexity of modern life and the anxieties within relationships, it asks to examine human behaviour and the pressures of contemporary society.

What sparked your passion for art?

I’ve always felt that making Art is a necessity for me. It is something that drives me because sometimes things cannot be said in words. When I need to speak loudly and immediately I tend to write, but this can change depending on my frame of mind. My works are influenced by the work of Peter Doig, Silke Otto- Knapp, Gerhard Richter, Luc Tuymans alongside historical Japanese painting and the writings of Gaston Bachelard and Antony Vidler.

Listening to music while I work can sometimes influence my art making, ranging from rap to classical. But recently I have felt a necessity to work in complete silence and I think you can see this within some of my work. Sometimes I work on one thing and other times I flit from many things – this is also how my mind works.  

What has been one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on and why?

During the final stages of my MA at John Moore’s, I spent many weeks working in a basement, working onto brick walls and dust sheets. These surfaces enabled me to create a visual dialogue and acted as a diary to record thoughts, feelings and memories. This was a huge turning point for me as an artist. You can see this work on my blog. (link below)   

What’s been like having a residency at Make?

Working in a building with other creative people is energising because you’re all on a similar level . I think being able to work in an external space is an important part of being an artist as it can push you further out of you’re comfort zone.

Mikki’s Studio at Make North Docks

What will you be working on next?

I aim to develop my work further from the residency at Make and recreate it on a larger scale, with a view to having a solo show. I really want to see some of my work in different environments.

Tell us something interesting you’ve recently learnt

I am aware it is important to be able to take time away from on going works because sometimes there can be a danger of overworking something. It is equally important to have the confidence to know when a piece of work is finished .But it may never be finished and that’s the point of the work. As an artist you begin to know when a piece of work is beginning to speak.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to pursue their art?

You have to be prepared to be driven and to keep pushing your mind through practical work and written analysis.You have to be sensitive but equally tough and prepared to be critiqued in every way possible. You have to find your own voice but that comes with persistence and bloody hard work.  Then you have the right to make art without justifying it. And a little reminder for anyone who says ” I could do that” … well you didn’t and you haven’t. A dot on a paper may be the end result from months of experimentation. You have to thoroughly understand you’re own practice and why you make work. That’s when you begin to make stronger work.

Where can people access your work?

 I have an Instagram account and a Blog – Check out the links below!

Want to see some more Monthly Makers?

Great! Check out our blog for our past Monthly Makers and keep an eye on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep updated with our next Monthly Maker.

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