Introducing Craig Fisher

Craig Fisher is an artist based in Nottingham, UK. Commissioned in partnership with the National Waterfront Museum to commemorate the WWI centenary, Fisher has created an interior / exterior space. Using a mix of his trademark textiles and wall paintings, Fisher presents archive material from the Museum collection looking at the War in Wales. We caught up with Craig for a quick Q & A.

Who are you?
Hi, my name’s Craig Fisher… Artist, Dad, Lecturer, TV watcher and occasional shopper…

Hello, how are you?
I feel that I should be really upbeat in my response and say that I’m great thanks (and if this was recorded you would hear lots of whoops and cheers in the background like the ones you hear on any American chat-show) but really I’m a bit knackered… It’s all the crap TV watching and occasional shopping I’m putting myself through… not the full time teaching post, curatorial projects, being a dad, moving house or making art that I’ve been doing lately.

What do you do?
I think I already covered this in my introduction, ‘Artist, Dad, Lecturer, TV watcher and occasional shopper…’ but if you want a bit more detail then I make art, currently large-scale sculptural installations employing textiles and paintings that explore representations of violence, disaster and macho stereotypes.
I spend a lot of time
Looking at, reading, thinking and talking about art… and when I’m not doing that, then I’m probably watching too much TV or shopping for books and Trainers.

What have you been doing recently?
I’ve actually just shown my work in a solo exhibition in Nottingham called ‘Up To No Good’ at Lace Market Gallery where I exhibited amongst other work my ‘Homemade Devices’ which are an ongoing series of sculptural objects that explore my interest in the formal inventiveness and provisionality of improvised explosive devices (found whilst trawling the internet) as well as their potent potential as objects of threat and danger. I have also been making a number of larger installations that incorporate wall paintings such as ‘Disastrous Situations (Wreckage)’, which was exhibited as part of the 9th Kaunas Art Biennial, ‘Unitext’ in Kaunas, Lithuania. I also participated in a group exhibition at Oriel Davies Gallery last summer called ‘Be Our Guest’ in which the gallery was turned into a fictional B&B. I actually got to stay in a couple of great B&B’s in Newtown as part of my research for the exhibition, there was one in particular that was wall to wall Laura Ashley which went on to be the inspiration for my two large scale wall paintings in the exhibition.

What are you doing for Art Across the City in Swansea?
I will be making a large-scale sculptural installation that comprises a number of elements including ‘soft’ barb-wire and debris exploring notions of violence and war specifically responding to the era of World War 1, as my commission for Art Across the City is in collaboration with the National Waterfront Museum. After looking at lots of different archive material my commission will involve making a series of sculptural painted facades (using different textile/wallpaper patterns as source material from the period) that represent both the trenches (front line) and the bombed out interior of a home which will reflect on the effect of War.

What are your ideas behind the work?
I’m interested in how the theatricality of the installations I make like ‘Homefront’ allow the viewer to engage in creating their own narrative. I like to think of the installations as ‘sculptural paintings’, which allows you to experience the work physically by engaging in this ‘soft’ world of contradictions. I’m interested in juxtaposing representations of filmic/cartoon violence and images of war with decorative and ornamental motifs so that the sense of saturation at play makes it easy to miss the horror due to the seductive nature and materiality of the artwork.

What do you think the public will make of it?
I’m not sure really but I hope they enjoy experiencing it as much as I enjoy making it…

What are you up to next?
Well apart from getting sucked back into crap TV watching and working with the current Year 3 Fine Art students towards their upcoming degree show at Nottingham Trent University where I work, I hope to get some time to go and make some more ‘stuff’ in my studio at Primary . I also plan to continue developing the program for my curatorial project Mrs Rick’s Cupboard which, involves asking emerging and established contemporary artists such the current artist Jo Addison to present their work within an unconventional gallery setting, the cupboard in the corner of my studio.