This October we said cheerio to Patrick Simpkins, who has gone to live and work in Paris, you can see Patrick's work on his web site by clicking on this link to the site www.psimkinsart.co.uk, or on the photograph of him on the left.
While he was packing up and clearing his studio he found some time to tell us about working here and what it may be like for an artist working in Paris. As Patrick tells us he was one of the first to join Hawks Road Studios in 2012.
I arrived in summer 2012 as soon as ASC opened the building. Coming from Wimbledon studios where I'd spent 4 years, I'd decided it was time for a change and a fresh start. I was also interested in the cheaper space!
• What has it been like for you working at Hawks Road?
The change did me good. With fresh white walls in a new environment I felt more able to experiment and push my work into new fields. In the past 3 years I've gone from painting to collage to sculpture to performance, then back to painting.
• Has your work changed over that time and how ?
Previously I was making colourful impasto cityscape paintings. During my time here I've made large collaged heads and created interactive performances to alternative music. Now my paintings, while still retaining my adoration for colour, feel much more contemporary.
• What is the best and the worst things about being here?
Best: The atmosphere, and peacefulness of the studios. Fellow artists working towards similar goals.
Worst: The commute I've had to make in the last year. From Finsbury Park.
• You are moving to Paris, how was it finding a studio space there, what is the comparison with London regarding availability and costs?
Costs are fairly similar and the best prices are still found outside Paris. Though the commute into Paris isn't as bad due to London being so much larger. Availability is tough, though I did manage to see quite a lot. Most young artists find it hard and a group of recent graduates I met are continuously organising viewings at disused buildings on the outskirts of Paris to try to persuade the patrons.
• Tell us about what it is like for artists working and living in Paris now, any views on how it will be to get your work shown, seen or sold etc?
It's just another challenge. I've been chatting to a few galleries in Paris over the last year. Putting the work in early. I've made a lot of other contacts already, so I'm confident.Otherwise I'll be back in London fairly regularly, so as not to lose all the hard yards I've put in here.
• You have sub-let your studio, so any idea how long you might be away in Paris?
6 months to begin with. A cautionary step in case I don't like the cuisine... Though I don't think it will be too much of a problem.