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Welcome to our latestย  – Q & A with Cambridge artist Erin-Monique O’Brien

๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™—๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™ข๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ง ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง?ย 

My earliest memories are of painting/drawing and making things out of playdough as young as 5 years old. I could easily get absorbed in my drawings and the world around me would disappear. I think I lost that passion for art making through my teen years. In 2005 I went on a rowing scholarship to the University of Tennessee with the intention of studying graphic design. I quickly realised my real passion was to create tactile things with my hands and to leave the computer work to others. I changed my major to Painting and since then Iโ€™ve considered myself to be an artist.

๐™ƒ๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™ก๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™– โ€ฆ.?

I usually call myself a painter but I think thereโ€™s a blurred line in my artwork between drawing and painting. I also like to think about the sculptural elements of paper but I donโ€™t think Iโ€™d ever call myself a sculptor. Maybe itโ€™s best I just call myself an artist and leave it there.

๐™’๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š?

I feel so lucky to have a lovely garage to work in at my house. Up until a year or so ago my art was scattered throughout the house, dining table, the lounge floor. Now I have two young kids and if I donโ€™t want my art to be drawn on or touched by small sticky fingers then itโ€™s best that I keep my art in its own specific place. Currently my family and I are based in Cambridge in the Waikato.

๐™’๐™๐™คโ€™๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™  ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ฎ?

I love the work of Emily Hartley-Skudder and Clare Grill. Lately Iโ€™ve found myself inspired and drawn to the the art making practice of Evan Woodruffe and Jared Sprecher, the volume of their work and the vibrancy of their colours!!

๐™ƒ๐™–๐™จ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ซ๐™ž๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข๐™ž๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜๐™š?

No, I donโ€™t think so. Iโ€™m lucky to have a space to work at home. Lockdowns didnโ€™t really change anything in our house, my kids are preschool age so there was no home schooling to be done and my husband is an essential worker so we lived our normal routine. I create my work around the kids sleep so if anything I spent most days in lockdown trying to make the kids tired so they would go to sleep so that I could create.

๐™’๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™›๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ ?
On my Instagram page @erinmoniqueobrien