Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interview with Nigel Peake

Nigel Peake, an architect with a creative eye whose attention is captured by situations, objects, and people that remind me of moments in a Jean-Pierre Jeunet film, talks about his art.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I am not sure. I think its nice not to know where inspiration comes from. I like the mystery of it all.
However some of the things I like and I can imagine cause me to draw and make things -
branches, cathedrals, benches in parks, forests, train rides, bike trips, walking around my home, walking through a city at night time,
radio documentaries, typing things, misunderstanding, listening to things, flags, sheds, friends, conversations, books and books, stories, stories from old people, sharing dreams, clearings in forests, paths, long grass, fences, visits to the cinema, things that are almost broken, colors, the fall, the spring, the winter, water, paper, photography, film, the process of making something, heavy rocks, chairs, museums, maps, sheds, music, encyclopedias, et cetera

Do you have a stronger preference towards architecture/design or fine art? Or, do you find them to me be interchangeable?

For me there is not much difference, sure there is a different mode of work but it is the same questions and process of solving. I trained as an architect and currently tutor at the architecture school, while also drawing and working on design projects. Being an architecture student can be difficult because you are thrown into a world of new things, language, and problem solving. But the wonderful thing is that it delivers to you many new books to read and new techniques and ways of working. So, when I work for clients I think as architecture student - you are given a brief and then re-interpret it. An example of this is my project with coldcut on ninjatunes, it began as a branding project but resulted in a series of maps.(3&4)

axo of bridge project for the galatta bridge, Istanbul

exploration of the fragment that was derived from a sequence of drawings exploring the gestures in the grand bazaar.


coldcut - artwork for the 12" of everything is under control feat mike ladd.

It appears that most of your drawings are done with ink. What do you like about that medium?

This probably comes from training as architecture student, but from a young age I have always drawn with lines and I enjoy the notion of a line holding your attention. As for ink, it is a joy to use. I love the smell of Indian ink and rotring inks. I love the way it holds on the paper and the way it quietly drys. In addition to ink I enjoy the paper and trace and card board as a drawing surface.(5)

part of my desk at home

While working on projects do you listen to music? If so, who?

Music is important not during drawing but for most occasions - but then I also enjoy silence. Like when you enter an empty building or church.
As for bands that i like - in no order : Franky valli and the four seasons, boards of canada, Jeffrey Lewis, beastie boys, dntel, madlib and stonesthrow, manitoba, beach boys, king biscuit time, arvo part, art blakey, clouddead, neil could go on and on.
I also really like listening to bbc radio 4, especially the documentaries about things that i have no idea about - e.g merlin and speed of light.
there is something nice about the sound of a voice through the radio. If I could find some good audio books then I would include them too.

Do you do much traveling? Favorite trip? Where would you like to go next?

I try my best to travel as much as I can and afford. I prefer to go somewhere for a reason. To draw or for an exhibition et cetera.
I am just back from a trip to Antwerp for a show and it is a joy to be in a new place, cycling around unfamiliar streets and finding new things to look at and think about.(6)

One of my favorite trips was on a bike from Edinburgh to Budapest a couple of summers ago. It was a wonderful opportunity to travel slowly though the fields and see the changes in the land, a little like a Steinbeck book. Next in the list would have been the weeks I spent on a boat in Croatia. Next to that would have been an out of the blue trip to New York one Easter.

Where I would like to go next is Iceland for sure. The place seems so beautiful and remote.

However the next trip most likely will be to Philadelphia in April for an exhibition.
But then I enjoy any kind of trip, an hour train ride facing backwards is a joy.

show in antwerp

His blog
His Website

Thanks Nigel!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done! The interview left me with a sense of knowing Nigel for much more than just his architectural dimension.