Halloween is nearly upon us, so for one week only, the Union dares to bring you: the student spooklight! This week we swapped ghost stories with Level 5 Visual Communications student Chloe Bunn to find out how the macabre influences her work.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Hey Chloe, it’s ghoulishly great to sit down with you today! I’d love it if you could tell us a little bit about the type of work you produce?
CHLOE BUNN: My work is mainly illustration based and I'm also beginning to get into printmaking a lot more to accompany this, plus the odd animation project every so often.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Sounds like you’re working your way to becoming a jack(o-latern) of all trades. It can't hurt to have your fingers in a few different pumpkin pies. When you’re working on these various different projects, where would you say you draw your inspiration from?
CHLOE BUNN: I draw a lot of inspiration from the macabre and mythology as well as spiritual/philosophical viewpoints and questions. For example, I've previously created work based on Dante's interpretation of the afterlife and I adore the work of printmaker/painter/tattoo artist Servadio - who is worth a look at if you're into dark/sombre visuals with a lot of demon-like figures.
STUDENTS’ UNION: I love that your inspirations are so wide-ranging but still linked thematically. Dante is, without a doubt, one of the OG’s of the macabre genre, (check out Dante’s Inferno for the creepiest art history lesson ever!) Servadio favours the more modernist style, which lends itself to Dante in the sense of the demon-like figures you mentioned. I can really see the crossover and how they’ve influenced you but can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
CHLOE BUNN: My creative process tends to begin with very instinctual, free mark-making and idea generating, which I then refine and fine tune into more detailed and sensical outcomes.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Your process sounds quite poetic in the sense that you allow yourself to work freely to form your initial ideas and then add emphasis and punch to what you want the viewer to see. It’s as if the beginning of your process is like open verse as everything flows freely, and then as you begin to fine tune, it’s like you’re adding the punctuation and tightening your verse to add drama. Would you say that feeds into the message that you want your work to convey?
CHLOE BUNN: Perhaps. I like the majority of my work to take a deeper, often dark look at the human experience, almost uncomfortably so, and thus take the audience on this journey along with it.
STUDENTS’ UNION: After hearing about your process, that message does come across quite clearly. You could say that the beginning of your process shows what we hide deep down, then as you begin to fine tune your work you begin to reveal the real human experience, bringing what can often be a darkness to the surface. As you’ve chosen to do this as a degree, do you ever feel like the relationship between working for pleasure and working for a grade ever gets blurred?
CHLOE BUNN: I feel like the two definitely blur but not necessarily in a bad way. I'm still enjoying the creative process, whether it's for pleasure or for a grade, I think that the two overlap and if anything, choosing to do this as a degree has just motivated me to produce higher quantities and quality of work.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s nice to hear that you don’t really see a difference between the two and that you feel like you’re pushing yourself more to do and be better. If you weren’t an artist, what would you see yourself doing?
CHLOE BUNN: If I wasn't an artist I think I'd be doing something in psychology, but I wouldn't be enjoying it near as much.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well it’s a good thing you chose to do art then! Thanks for sitting down with us Chloe and telling us more about your work.