Having been peppered throughout the site quite frequently featuring a wide range of projects from installations, to works with Hermés and even paper cut illustrations, Andy Singleton is no stranger to our site! With such a wide background and range in the development in his craft, I am more than pleased to share our interview with him as well as the lovely videos that accompany a couple of the pieces.
Tell us a little about your background – what path led you to what you’re doing now?
I’m a British Artist and Illustrator based in a small city called Wakefield. I studied at Leeds College of Art and then went on to study Illustration with animation at degree level at Manchester School of Art (part of Manchester Metropolitan University). I started to become interested in working with paper in my final year in 2005. I was producing very detailed drawings and began cutting into them. I really enjoyed the process of cutting and decided to make images that were just made from 2D paper cuts. I found in paper cutting a new way to express my ideas and i could really push the level of detail in the images. Since graduating in 2006, i have worked on various projects, both personal and commercial, that have helped push my skills as an artist who works with paper. In the last three years i have been combining my paper cuttings with 3D paper sculpture. This has been a very exciting development in my practice and i’m looking forward to pushing my creativity further.
Is there anything in your childhood that inspired you to do what you do today?
I think i always had a very vivid imagination and that was fed by lots of things, such as films(especially Sci-fi), playing computer games, listing to music, fooling around and making funny little films with my three brothers. We were given a lot of room to explore and i spent a lot of time drawing all sorts of things and i think that has just carried through to later life.
If you could collaborate with anyone in this world, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would love to work with Antoni Gaudi if he was still alive. Maybe on some sort of architectural project. I really love his forms that are inspired by nature and feel i can really relate to his way of thinking. His buildings are so inspiring to see in real life.
What is the greatest invention ever made?
What can we expect from your future works?
You can expect more ambitious intricate large scale 3D works. I have some ideas that are developing on from the ‘Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula’ installation (shown above), and I’m really interested in developing new and interesting forms and patterns based on some fantastic deep space images i have been looking at. Also, I’m visiting the Himalayas in Nepal very soon, so I’m going to be taking inspiration from the huge mountain structures ill be visiting.
What have been some favorite recent projects/clients/collaborations?
Working with Manchester Art Gallery last year on two recent projects was really fantastic. First was my paper cut installation for The First Cut Exhibition. The piece is called ‘Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula’, which is a response to deep space imagery from the Hubble space telescope. I was pushing into new territory for my personal work with this installation and the gallery were very supportive and trusting. The second piece was the ‘Ice Structure’ installation (shown above) in Manchester Art Gallery atrium and was specially commissioned as an alternative to traditional Christmas decorations. The piece was inspired by frozen waterfalls, icicle formations and ice caverns. The piece was a response to the huge open space that is crossed by platforms and bridges. I wanted to create a focal point in the atrium, which lent itself to a huge Chandelier type structure.
Are you involved in any upcoming shows or events? Where and when?
The First Cut Exhibition is currently touring and will be moving to Nottingham, UK, in April. Also, i have a group show in October at the Northern Design Festival, which will be exploring illustrators works outside of their professional practices.
If you had a time machine, what era would you choose and why?
I’ll go with Feudal Japan – I love the design aesthetic and the samurai armor. Fantastic attention to detail and an appreciation for natural forms.
How do you feel about working with other materials?
I think i will always produce artworks in paper. But I like the idea of working with other materials and I’d be interested in working with more permanent materials, such as ceramic, wood and metal. I also think some of the paper pieces I produce as artworks would lend themselves to being reproduced or fabricated in other materials. I also like the idea of working with another material directly, with a hands on exploration of what it can do. I hope you will be seeing this from me in a few years time in various forms.
What is a source of inspiration that is not art/design related?
I’m massively inspired by nature. I love natural forms and patterns. On any given day you can leave the house and find something truly inspiring to look at just a few feet down the road if you are in the right frame of mind. I love looking at cloud formations, and i have a great view from my studio of a great natural landscape, which are the rolling hills and churning clouds of Yorkshire. I also feel inspired by trees. Aside from nature, i do love being in big cities and exploring and thinking about all the layers of history. I like looking at big industrial machinery as well.
What would be your dream creative project?
It would be amazing to explore some of my ideas in a solid form on a big scale and to see that incorporated in to a piece of architecture. I would also love to be commissioned to create a paper installation on a gigantic scale in a huge space, such as the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern.
Thank you so much Andy, for taking the time to do an interview with us. To our viewers, be sure to post below with your thoughts and if you know of any artists that work with paper that you would like to be interviewed be sure to shoot us an e-mail.