Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Art Space Talk: Thea Pratt (Part 3)

Window 4 by Thea Pratt

This is Part 3 of my interview with Thea Pratt. To return to Part 2 click, HERE

Brian Sherwin: Will you be involved with any upcoming exhibits?

Thea Pratt: No. When I left school I took slides around to galleries and no one was interested. Actually, there were 2 galleries that were interested but I went back and they had closed! I always laugh about that. Then life got weird and I only have time to make the work and survive. However, if shows like the NYAXE show come along, I'll try to take advantage of them now that I've seen how easy it is to apply.

BS: Do you have any concerns about the art world at this time?

TP: I'm sad about it. I think that people (both viewers and artists) are closing themselves off and seem unable to feel or think or care for themselves. Most people focus on the external (just ride the NY subway or walk the streets some time). To be a viewer or artist I think that you have to be coming from someplace central because the external is always changing and moving away and falling apart and it divides us.

But then, I'm naive when it comes to the art world since I've always been on the outside of it.

BS: There has been several stories involving copyright infringement in the mainstream press as of late. What is your stance on copyright? Do you see strong copyright as a reflection of artist rights in general? Or do you feel that copyright restricts creativity? Do you have a stance on this issue?

TP: I think that we have to have a balance here. As artists we can box ourselves in saying "this is mine, this is mine". I think that it's most important to find out what we are and then, coming from there, open ourselves to everything. And this means letting things go as well.

I think that it's a question of respect. Asian artists in the past would use an ancestor's poetry in their piece and it was recognized that this was done in homage to the ancestor. At the moment, that's not the modern Western way but it is something to keep at the back of our collective mind.

Alien 1 by Thea Pratt

BS: As you know, the economy has been hard. Have you had to change-- or should I say adapt-- your practice due to the economy?

TP: I was laid off from my 9 to 5 library job in 2006 and was thrown back on teaching yoga. I've started a small business which is growing slowly. This actually has helped my art. My present inconsistent schedule is great for making art. I carry my drawing materials with me and use Starbucks as my studio to do my "Swarm" drawings. And this has its own juice. You wouldn't believe how many job interviews, staff reviews and meetings, illicit affairs, divorces, etc., etc. are held in Starbucks!

BS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your art?

TP: No. But thanks for the questions and your interest in my work. You've made me think a lot. And your interest has helped me to look at my work and put it out on the web. Thanks.

This is the conclusion of my interview with Thea Pratt. To return to Part 1 of the interview click, HERE

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
Myartspace Blog on Twitter

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