HYBRID / INVENTION / TIME / SPECIMENS / MUTATIONS
Martha Stefani-Bose is a 4th Year Painting and Printmaking student studying at GSA. Embark on a journey into slightly the weird world of Martha’s ‘Life Mutations’ series as she confronts the world’s ‘organic’ and ‘manmade’.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're based.
I’m Martha (she/her), currently based in Glasgow where I was born and raised. I make drawings, prints, and sometimes paintings. My work is an imaginative outlet for me, I can only go so long without needing to recreate a crazy dream I had, or make a new hybrid object to play with.
What do you make & how do you make it?
Drawing is at the core of my practice. It took me a while to realise that. I use it as a tool to investigate the world around me, with a healthy dose of added abstraction/invention. I’ve always tended towards zooming in on things: photographs, plant life, walls, fabric, piles of rubbish… Whatever environment I find myself in.
For my ‘Life Mutations’ series, pairs of images are chosen, which I take on walks around Glasgow: one categorised as ‘manmade’ and another as ‘organic’. I pick out shapes and colours, piecing them together until something feels right. Embellishing the world and reimagining it through a transformative, slightly sci-fi, slightly weird lens, taking things very far from their original. Colour pencils and graphite allow me to get lots of intricate detail.
What has been your biggest challenge to navigate?
Navigating my ‘work’ brain at home, where it should be in a ‘rest’ state! I make good use of my ‘do not disturb’ sign but find it very hard to get into the right headspace for working when I’m beside my bed. Loneliness has also been a big issue. I really miss spending quality time with people in and out of the studio. I’m so excited to see more people’s work in person!
How do you think your practice sits in today's context?
I think a lot of us seek escapism and weirdness, and that’s something my practice has become for me, so I hope viewers can enjoy that. Letting my imagination loose and concocting mutant specimens to draw is a lot of fun. Drawing is also experiencing a big resurgence just now. I’m happy that it’s now seen as so much more than merely a preparatory exercise.
What's next on your practice-agenda? Goals, projects or any upcoming shows perhaps?
Continuing with my ‘Life Mutations’ series. Making my way through many to-do lists. Pouring my small amount of energy into a couple more key pieces of work that may make their way into our digital showcase (degree show?!)
Favourite studio food?
Anything dry and salty that can be shovelled down without looking, while I’m in a stupor staring at the work I’ve got on the go.
Something interesting you have seen this week?
I watched the film ‘Mommy’ that’s on Mubi and cried *excessively* for a good half hour afterwards. Lately I try to fit in a movie and a cry sesh once a week, it’s an amazing stress outlet to replace hours of dancing in a club at the weekend. I’m a sensitive soul that needs visually and emotionally fed or I’d wither. I also saw someone running backwards up a steep hill a few days ago… The world’s gone mad.
Final words of advice for your peers?
Don’t be afraid to explore new methods and materials, it’s okay to be an art chameleon and never feel like you’ve formed a solid style.