Artist Interview: Joanna Rose Tidey
0 comment Friday, May 30, 2014 |
I became inspired by the work of Joanna Rose Tidey after visiting the Cultivate Gallery, in Vyner St, London.



What kind of materials do you use and why?
Recently I have been using nature itself in the form of insects and their produce. I feel that I need to witness and observe to gain a greater understanding. You can only read so much from text alone.
Have you always had an interest of nurturing ducks and silk worms? Where did this interest come from?
I suppose my interest in ducks came from buying ducklings at a pet shop whilst buying crickets for an ex partner´┐Żs lizards. He was allergic to fur and seemed a good idea at the time even though we both knew nothing about keeping ducks- it is amazing how you are able to buy animals such as these with such little knowledge!
This drove me to research ducks and became quite obsessive with it, I began looking at different breeds.
I then started to hatch my own ducklings from my pets as a second generation. I bought an incubator and all of the hatching equipment I needed.When, inevitably, one of my ducks died naturally, I had to decide whether to intervene or let natural selection take its course.I began using silk worms during my degree, extensively researching their full life cycle and their place in the textile industry.You have been working with insects and creepy crawlies since studying BA
Fine Art, what compelled you to use insects in your art practice?I have always been interested in nature and my family did encourage outdoor activities such as fishing, crab lining and gardening. During my degree, I found insects would take up residence in pre-fabricated constructions.These installations drove my curiosity with our relationship with nature.
In your work, you touch upon human intervention in naural habitats, whydoes this interest you?
How has this been demonstrated in your work?iI am interested in the persistence of nature, natural urges in animals can not be "bred out". We see this when cats bring dead prey in to our homes. I have used nature itself in live installations such as an "Untitled" an installation which I later named "Enclosure". Each individual piece of white tack and thread was placed and hung in a controlled manor to enclose live insects. During the show Giant Silk Moth chrysalises emerged during the show.
For my piece "Global Warming", I used a NASA Ant Farm I bought out of curiosity when looking into human controlled conditions made to contain nature. The ants eventually died, but the enclosed environment inside the ant farm took on a life of its own.
In your work "Contained", you have presented your work in a similar way to
how biologists archive their specimens.
What led you to do this? I wanted to present the household insects in a way as if they were exotic insects encased in a museum.Why have the insects been given human names?
I began to think about how humans naturally co-exist within environments that we fabricate for ourselves. Insects, like us, have a family and are part of a colony. It has been scientifically proven that some insects have differing tolerance levels just as humans do.
Finally, what do you think about the relationship between art and science?For me I feel both are based on exploration, research, problem solving and obsessions. -
Thanks Joanna! I hope you enjoyed learning about Joanna's work as much as I did!

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