How did your artistic journey start?
I was always artistic throughout school and growing up. Always making something out of a cardboard box and sellotape. My family always encouraged me to follow my creativity and when it came to my chosen university subject, I chose to follow it and go do a degree in fine art.  

How did you arrive at the theme of your work?
I came to my chosen theme of artwork after my family moved from my childhood home after 19 years of living there. This process of downsizing and moving uncovered so many lost treasures and made me have to face getting rid of objects that had been a part of my environment growing up. For me getting rid of an object is also getting rid of the memories attached to that object too.

Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative practice starts with my selected object which I set up and photograph. I then move on to making and preparing my boards which I paint on. Either start by cradling my MDF board or painting the object’s chosen background colour onto the board. This then gets sanded down until there are no visible marks in the background and is very smooth and shiny. The object is then painted on top of this using oil paint.

How has your practice changed over time?
Yes my practice has changed over time, a few years ago I was painting portraits in acrylic paint until I attended an oil painting workshop. This was my first time using oils and I fell in love with the medium since then. I have only been painting in Oils for just over 2 years.

How do you overcome creative blocks?
To overcome creative blocks I find getting inspiration helps. I do this by going out to galleries and seeing other people’s work, even if it’s a completely different subject or medium to myself. Going and looking at physical art makes the difference.

Who influences you? Which other artists work do you love? 
One of my major influences is the Artist Alison Watt. I Fell in love with her series called ‘A Portrait without Likeness’, and she had a huge influence on my work during my degree.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
My advice would be don’t stop yourself from doing something in case someone else might have done something similar. Sometimes you have to take influence from others to find your artistic voice or practice, and to find your way of doing things.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your work or your experiences as an artist?
I found that in such a small amount of time during my degree my practice changed so much, I just kept exploring till I found the thing that felt right in my practice.

See more of Erin’s work at @erinmathesonart on Instagram.

Our Winter 2023 Open Call, Warm Voices, runs at Six Foot Gallery until Tuesday 9th January.

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