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SOUL FOOD: June Gould Q&A

SOUL FOOD: June Gould Q&A

Sunday 25 October 2020

SOUL FOOD: June Gould Q&A


Having trained as a painter and ceramic artist in London, June Gould now looks to her immediate surroundings as the inspiration for her work.

Whether in oils or ceramic, the natural world’s influence is plain to see. Revelling in the “messy joy” of both her chosen materials, there is a painterly quality to her pottery; a sculpted feeling about her oil painted landscapes.

Celebrating the “link to the Earth through clay”, June draws inspiration from ceramic greats such as Grayson Perry and Kyra Cane. As she is throwing together finishing touches for her group exhibition, ‘In a Dark Time the Eyes Begin to See’, this month, she casts more light on her enigmatic landscapes and elegant ceramics.

How long have you worked in ceramics and oils and what drew you to these materials?

I trained as a ceramic artist in the heady days of the eighties - a very organic period - but it was great fun training in London. There seemed to be a certain magic about clay, apart from the form making process, and its messy joy. I fell in love with the alchemy and still love exploring glaze technology.

Painting came first at Goldsmiths and from this I took my inspiration for ceramic art. To some extent I kept up the painting, but it was when I first touched oils (as when I first touched clay) that I felt such extraordinary excitement, and realized it was an avenue that I just had to pursue.

octopus_garden.jpg

Pictured: June Gould's The Octopus Garden.

Are there any similarities between the two? Have the skills you’ve acquired as a ceramicist informed your oil painting practice and vice versa?

I paint only with knives, so I think there is a similarity to moving clay around. I have developed a keen sense of Zen philosophy, in honouring the materials, and as far as possible, I allow them to inform me. I trained for many years in vibrational medicine, which helps to allow this imbuement.

Your oil paintings focus very much on landscapes, why do you find this such a captivating subject for your work?

I do find that I am overwhelmed by the natural world and I feel very connected to it at times when I’m out walking and have huge desires to paint certain aspects. Living in St. Ouen’s Bay, the light and dramas are immense and trying to get a feeling of it into paint is a joy.

My present work has gone off-grid and I find myself exploring underwater, in the ‘Octopus’ Garden’. I have a silly childhood fear of the octopus, so I am keen to visit them in their abode, in paint. Water representing emotions is another interesting journey and apt for these more delicate times.

June is exhibiting alongside fellow artists Linda Rose Parkes, Liz Adams, Carole Elizabeth Parkes, Michelle Snape, Julia Coutanche and Joey Brown. Open at the Harbour Gallery from 16 October – 2 November.

This article first appeared in October's edition of Connect magazine. Read it in full here

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