You draw much inspiration from the world around you for your artwork. What inspired your latest exhibition at The Stone Space in Leytonstone?
The main inspiration for this exhibition are the effects we are having on the environment. I’m interested in the mindset that we can just take until it’s gone with very little thought on the consequences; that we have grown to expect energy built into our homes and offices without really understanding its origins or our consumption of it. We might choose to dine at a restaurant because of its ethically source foods but we probably wouldn’t ask where they get there electricity from and how much they use. I’m not exempt, when I put the light on at home I have no idea how much of the planet I’m burning to light my room. It’s this ingrained assumption that the demands we are making on the planet can be met without consequence that interests me. We are a greedy and blinkered race that has, and continues to build an unsustainable world.
There is a piece entitled Disappearing Species in the exhibition featuring a picture of man that sends out a stark message to take personal responsibility for our planet before it is too late. What overall message do you want people to take from your work and why?
The over all message I want people to take away is that we are all responsible for our own consumption of energy, not matter how small. We have an ingrained reliance on the planets resources built directly into our homes. When we switch on a light or turn the oven on we are using energy from the planet. This is a luxury that we have come to expect, and will continue to expect it until it’s gone!
Your work mixes simplicity of form with a variety of materials from newspaper to marbles and wood. What material do you particularly like working with and why?
I am starting to use wood (recycled pallets) to create moving sculpture. It’s relatively tough and can be shaped quickly. My ideas are often very diverse. Using a variety of materials gives me the ability to visualise the idea in a much more succinct way. It also enables me to interest and engage with a wider audience. If you didn’t get this one, you might get that one! In the future I hope yo work more with fully recycled materials and objects to deliver the message.
You have been involved with the Kaghan Memorial Trust in Pakistan that raises money to educate young girls. How did you get involved in this and why?
I got involved through a friend of a friend that works for the charity. They put a call out for artists to submit work for an auction to raise money to build a school. I was working with maps at the time. Through researching the traditions of the area I decided to use the bridal Menhdi patterns to represent knowledge spreading form the area of the school. I was very pleased to hear that my paintings were reserved before they hit the exhibition!
So what’s next for Woodie Wright?I’m looking forward to exhibiting some of my photography in the Slate on the 17 May. I’m entering work for the Leytonstone Arts Trail; I’ll be in the North Star as well as entering work in some group shows. I’m also very excited to have been invited to show into the Star Walls exhibition in Pictorem Gallery on the 15 July. You can follow what I’m up to on my site woodiewright.co.uk or on Twitter @Wooodie (that’s Woodie with 3 Os!). It’s been a great privilege to exhibit at the Stone Space and to work with everyone there.
Woodie’s show finishes on Sunday 25 May 2014.