Noemi Conan, a 4th Year Painting & Printmaking student, is our first interviewee as part of our IN-STUDIO segment. Hear from the self-proclaimed confident forest lady on living indoors in a foreign land with her fellow painted divas.

Noemi with 'The Ambassadors', 130x120cm


Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're based.

I’m a self-proclaimed forest sprite wannabe, currently forced to be more than usual a Polish she/her leftist villager abroad, pretending to be middle class in South London.


What do you make & how do you make it?

I translate my obsession with being a confident forest lady into all sorts of pictures- big and small. Image making allows me to live a double life of a confrontational diva in 2D and rambling tomboy troll with paint stains on everything otherwise.

Studio shot from Yr 3


How do you think your practice sits in today's context?

2020 is a great year for exorcisms, since we are all pretty haunted, and my painted ladies are pretty angry ghosts, fed up with having to look pretty while fighting for survival. They accompanied me through a number of issues a free-loading Eastern European vagabond would have experienced while navigating Brexit Britain. I’m still alive, so I’m pretty sure that’s proof of them being reliable guides through an apocalypse.


What has been your biggest challenge to navigate?

Neither being a diva nor a troll are ideal lifestyles while wanting to live indoors in a foreign land, so battling my own personality is a pretty big hurdle. Not having money is never ideal, so being able to make do with what you find is crucial. And keeping a balance between having a voice, lending a voice to others and a little bit of quiet is something that I really want to work on.

Studies 'with friends' (left) and right study for upcoming work 'Lysistrata'


What's next on your practice-agenda? Goals, projects or any upcoming shows perhaps?

I will have one of my ladies in the upcoming John Moores Painting Prize, so yay! Otherwise who knows. Preparing for some sort of degree show and onwards to world domination.

'Running', 88x75cm


Favourite studio food?

Used to be Maltesers but now that I’m working from home its stem ginger biscuits and builders tea.

Something interesting you’ve seen this week?

The @delphiangallery Antisocial Isolation show at the Saatchi Gallery was so good, that I’ve visited 3 times this week. Since March I have mostly interacted with art online, so seeing some ‘as seen on Instagram’ favourites in full physical glory was certainly worth venturing into Chelsea. And I recommend the film Hustlers, because I saw it and it was exactly what I needed to see.

Final words of advice?

Never take advice from a troll. But if you have to- I have these gems. Mistakes happen and are okay. You don’t live to please. And don’t be an arse.

Noemi in her studio on a normal day

Keep up to date on Noemi's work by following her on instagram at @noemiconan and check out additional work through her website at !