With the Adelaide art scene experiencing a wave of popularity and progression, it seems as if there are new shows, artists and galleries appearing every week. Having had a solid scene for some time, it now appears as if the city is opening up and offering creatively driven individuals with a bit of drive more and more opportunities.
One of these talented artists, Fletch Cuts, is riding high on a wave of ever growing interest in new and intriguing street derived art. Having recently held a successful show with friend Lost Track, “Lost Cuts” at Espionage Gallery, and with works in multiple group shows across the country, Fletch Cuts is no stranger to fans of Australian stencil art. With a unique style, no mean feat in the world of cutting, Fletch Cuts tells a story of urbanity and every day living in his works – punctured by flights of fantasy and the macabre.
We had a chat to Fletch (great name, if I do say so myself) last week to get the low down on his art, his shows, techniques and all things good and Radelaide … so read on and check out the interview, as well as a whole mass of photos from his latest show at Espionage Gallery!
Back at the beginning, what lead you down the creative path and how did you pick up your first scalpel? What drew you to the creating in the first place?
I have always liked playing with knives and drawing pictures, but I never used to have much confidence in my illustration skills. I found stencilling a great way to get correct proportion, placement and to cut stuff.
When approaching new ideas for your work, where do you usually start? Is it an organic process for you or do you evolve ideas from research or chosen themes?
I usually get inspired by already existing images, mainly sourced from friends and family. I’ll have a loose idea and then that sparks the hunger to look through peoples photo collections.
It feels in some ways that stencil art has dwindled a little since its heyday last decade – but those who were dedicated from the start are still at it, and are constantly evolving – what do you see the future of stencil art holding for those who are pushing the boundaries of the art?
I am constantly blown away by other artists work, my mind boggles trying to predict what they are going to do next.
Though stencils play a large part in your artistic output, we’ve also seen a fair amount of aerosol works in amongst your folio – is it important for you to move in different areas and mediums when creating?
It’s important for any artist to move in new directions. Also, it’s refreshingly less stressful leaving the house with just a couple of cans rather than big awkward stencils you have just spent a stupid amount of hours cutting. My stencils rarely leave the house these days.
You seem to be a good person to ask this one of, so lets talk about skulls in art. They are quite an iconic image – what is it about this piece of human anatomy that you believe both draws in an artist, as well as the people viewing them? , do you see them as overplayed, and how do you ring something new to their presence in your work?
I think a skull from any angle is a tough, solid image. No matter how ugly we all are, all of our skulls look awesome. I’m not sure if the skull will ever become overplayed to me, its association with death will always keep it relevant and powerful.
You just recently had a duo show with Lost Track – how did you both come up with the idea to do it together at Espionage, and what will the show entail? Have you worked together before?
Josh, Lt and I are all good friends and have worked together on the street, so it was an easy and natural decision to work together on this.
Can you tell us a little about how you view the Adelaide “scene” right now? What do you see happening, and where do you feel it is going? What would you recommend for people to go and see if they want to get their art fix in the city?
The “scene” is strong from all angles, from the street to the gallery it’s never been as accessible and friendly as it is now. Blyth st, Topham mall, Morphet st bridge, the Jive bar carpark and the Toy Soldiers totem wall near the Grace Emily are just a few of the many great outdoor spots to check out.
As far as galleries go there are too many great ones to mention, Espionage, Tooth and Nail, Magazine, Paper String Plastic, Urban Cow, These Walls Don’t Lie, Cold Krush and Ladybeads are to name but a few.
Just on Adelaide at the moment, we’ve seen some recent news about the possible closure of the cities only legal wall, Topham Court – we recently saw you do a small interview about it. What are the issues surrounding the wall at the moment and how important is it for artists to have legal spaces to paint in their cities?
It’s the only outdoor gallery where anyone can come and paint, not everyone has a studio, shed or a commissioned wall to paint in or on and aren’t willing to paint illegally, Topham mall has given a freedom to those people to throw some paint and see what happens as well as well established artists to have fun. The issues surrounding its possible closure are ones that should have been obvious when choosing the location in the first place. In my mind the issues are quite minor and nowhere near outweigh its benefits.
What have been some of the more difficult aspects of trying to get your art out there to the world? Do you find that you have to be a bit of a jack of all trades – artist, promoter, social media guru and all that? With so many people following creative paths these days, what are some of the more challenging aspects of being an artist in Australia today?
This is a hard question for me to answer because I suck at promoting myself and selling my art, and therefore don’t do it enough.
So what do you have planned next, and where would you like to take your art to from here?
Again this is a hard question to answer; it’s the day after my shows opening and I’m just looking forward to hanging out with my dog more – maybe I’ll do a series of paintings of him, he’s by far the most awesome thing in my life!