It's not often that we get to meet such amazing artists and find out about what makes them tick! Stewart Russell is the man behind one of our most loved art and design houses - Spacecraft - which is located in Melbourne.
The works he produces are rich and varied and, while it is hard to pinpoint an actual description of a backing cloth artwork, Stewart refers to them as 'complex' and if they had a personality it would most definitely be a split personality!
We had a chat to Stewart about his latest venture and the love he has for his art form.
Your current job title: I am the founder of Spacecraft and witihin that I wear both hats that involve the art practice and that of the design practice.
Something from your childhood that shaped who you are today: I was brought up in a rural Scottish village, and from a young age I had a sense of adventure. I knew that coming from such a small community meant that I wasn’t going to stay. I began to imagine from a young age where I was going to go in the world.
A typical day for you: It is certainly mixed due to the large breadth of what we do. I am currently working on a large new show for National Gallery of Victoria, as well as many design projects including an artwork plan in Nagasaki, Japan. With so many projects I feel I have to 'flip about' and be across all of them.
Where you are currently gathering inspiration from? It largely is dependant on what I’m working on. My artistic projects are are all ideas led. From the sight of something amazing, actually almost anything can (and has) provided inspiration. Inspiration for the design work often comes from day to day life, generic textiles, high street movement and how it creates an understanding of the world.
Do you use Pinterest, Facebook, instagram or the like? The people around me do – I am aware of them! We have our own accounts and social media is so valuable in reaching out and getting your ideas known.
The best thing about your job: The practical elements are by far the most enjoyable. But I have to ensure that they are built in to the day to day (rather than being drawn in by the administrative side of business.) The physical structure of the store facilitates this creativity (however I do lock myself away to finish off backing cloths at night so I am not interrupted!)
A Spacecraft backing cloth: Is a complex diary piece of what happens in the studio - so there is very little control over the finished product! A backing cloth is the fabric that covers the felts on the tables (we have 3 x 8m tables covered with felt.) Over a period of 3 months the backing cloth becomesso saturated that they are no longer flat enough to function as a print table - so they’re taken off and that becomes the starting point for paintings. A backing cloth is amazing as they are actually the the sum of many parts – individually the projects are amazing, however the final result is even more interesting and intricate.
We currently have 2 amazing Spacecraft backing cloth artworks in store. Shop Spacecraft at Jumbled online here.