Artist of the Month: April 2012, Laura Yuile
This month Ruth catches up with artist Laura Yuile to discuss curtains, collaborations and Glasgow.
Ruth Wilbur: Ruth Wilbur: Tell me about the work you have prepared for Glasgow International (GI)?
Laura Yuile: I'm collaborating with Hungarian artist Orsolya Bajusz on a project called P.D.A Curtain Showroom. We commissioned 21 artists (including ourselves) to create artworks on the back of curtains and presented them at The Telfer Gallery in March, creating an installation that was somewhere between an art exhibition and a curtain showroom. We gave the curtains away for free in return for the buyer signing a contract agreeing to have curtains hung on a publicly visible window for the duration of GI.
Laura Yuile, PDA Showroom, Installation shot, 2012
RW: Why did you choose to create work on curtains?
LY: We chose curtains because we were interested in exploring boundaries between public and private space. I often explore ideas of control, discipline and desire through investigations into the material excess that surrounds us. We are mapping the display of the curtains to form an extension of the GI artmap. I'm interested in exploring the value of art and how an 'art map' can develop and grow. The final map will be distributed during GI, offering an extension to the existing GI art map, and allowing visitors to view the public art exhibition that has formed.
Laura Yuile, PDA Curtain Showroom flyer, 2012
RW: As an artist working in the city, how do you feel about Glasgow International?
LY: Glasgow International feels like an exciting time to be in the city, as there's such a flurry of activity. I can imagine that for an outside visitor it would be a great time to visit. From the perspective of an artist working in the city, there's a lot of artistic activity going on all the time in Glasgow, so GI isn't all that different. There are usually lots of openings to attend and too much going on to keep up with, so it can feel like a bit of relief when it's all over. It is, however, a great opportunity to show work and have it reach a wider audience. But as I'm more involved in it this year, I'm pretty stressed out and feeling the pressure of the lack of funding. I do think it's a shame that so many people in the city don't know anything about it and I hope I managed to help spread the word via the Curtain Showroom.
RW: You're also creating work for a Duchy Gallery show...
LY: Yes, Arrives in Starting is an offsite project I am working on for the Duchy Gallery. Eleven artists are exhibiting work at The Lighthouse in Glasgow. I will be showing a large-scale sculptural piece and the map of the P.D.A Curtain display. I'm excited to see how the two projects will be viewed alongside each other. I have a lot to do over the next few weeks including installing all the curtains we 'sold' and creating the map (there is also going to be an Android app of the map!).
RW: You have worked with Orsolya Bajusz on a number of projects. What are the benefits and challenges involved in working collaboratively?
Working collaboratively has been really beneficial. It's great to work with Orsolya and bounce ideas around. I guess for me these projects have replaced the set-up of the tutorial or crit in art school. We work really well together because our strengths lie in different areas. The main challenge of any collaboration is probably resolving any disagreements... but the differences in opinion and approach often produce the most interesting results.
RW: What did you learn from your residency in China?
LY: I found new ways of working. Prior to visiting China I didn't really get involved in collaborative projects or lead group projects. My practice also changed: before my residency I struggled with not being in control of every aspect of my work, but the experience made me more open to working with others and using their skills and knowledge. China was an intense, interesting and exciting experience.
RW: What advice would you like to share?
LY: Just keep going. Don't be put off by rejection and don't sit around waiting for things to happen or opportunities to come to you. You don't get if you don't ask. I'd also say don't do unpaid internships and don't rush into doing an MFA too soon after you graduate from your BA because you don't know what you're doing with your life. It's good to embrace not knowing!
Interview by Ruth Wilbur, April 2012
About Laura Yuile
Laura Yuile is an artist based in Glasgow. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2008 and exhibits nationally and internationally.