Andrew ‘Sterone1/Woodie’ Woodward is a Guernsey-based artist, originally from the UK. His focus is visual arts, and you can often see him creating work at events and festivals across the island!
You’re a visual artist; how and why did you get into this field?
From an early age I have always loved all forms of art whether it is painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, music, theatre and I wouldn’t ever exclude myself from an expression of art. After finishing secondary school I continued my art studies by going to North Oxon School of Art for 4 years, and then on to Southampton Institute focusing mainly on graphic design and multimedia (because my tutors said my art always had “hints” of typography?). I wasn’t particularly happy with how things went when I was at university and soon discovered that my vivid imagination and creativity was being held back by what a computer would allow me to do and how long it took me to create something with these tools. I like to feel, experience, touch, smell and be close up to the mediums I use. I continued with my painting and drawing regularly between studying to enable me to retain my passion for what I do as my university course wasn’t all I had expected it to be. As you will tell from my work, I use a lot of spray paint and love to work on large scales creating murals and public art pieces.
Arts Sunday, 2012
What aspect of the making of your work is the most challenging, the most enjoyable?
I like to spend a lot of time on the backgrounds of canvas in particular and have noticed that when doing this I become reluctant to add the foreground image. I sometimes then leave the canvas for a period of time before finally getting my head down and finishing the painting. That being said, I like to look at the finished article, also knowing when to stop working so as not to venture beyond and then ruin my work. It’s harder when doing commissions or live art work as you have to operate relatively quickly in some circumstances.
Having coming to Guernsey from the UK, what differences have you found between their cultural landscapes?
That’s a very difficult question… For me, the “landscapes” are restricted but the culture isn’t. I’m restricted but my work hasn’t been. “The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a cultural group. Culture is the agent, the natural area is the medium, the cultural landscape is the result” (quote by Carl O. Sauer). I think that answers it best. You have many opportunities here although you have to work harder to obtain them, I feel you get out what you put in.
A Mother’s Love, 2012
Has island-life influenced your creative practice?
I would say most definitely. I do still take time out to visit the UK but this isn’t necessarily to seek inspiration or creative flow but more just to free my imagination because sometimes I get a bit claustrophobic and need some space. I feel at ease here and I’m settled in Guernsey. This has certainly helped me and I would not envisage moving back to the UK now or in the near future. I’m really happy here on the island and its surrounding environment is beautiful. The people are amazing and it is full of culture.
Where do you see Guernsey’s cultural scene going in the next few years?
The work that the GAC is doing as well as other independent companies and social networks will always ensure that the Island culture is well retained however, the stability and future of these groups will have an impact on how the island culture progresses. I feel it is important for the public to support what is being done and to look forward to focus with graduates, students and young artists and what they can bring to the island and not just focus on well-developed artists/people or those that are well known and recognised outside of the Channel Isles. Guernsey should be proud of its talent and really embrace the artistic and creative individuals that are shining through but also offer help and guidance to those that are trying to make their way in what is a really difficult area to break into.
Vale Earth Fair van, 2012
Can you talk about your current/most recent project?
I’m always working on new material and in particular commissions, so my work is forever changing. I do have a couple of projects I’m looking into but don’t wish to divulge any information on those at the moment so as not to spoil any surprises. I have however just finished an exhibition that was on at the Guernsey Picture Framers and Gallery at Oatlands which is run by Glen Irven. Glen approached me after a run of public work I had been involved in this year including the GAC Arts Sunday. The exhibition was called “peace, love and phatcaps” and was on display for 2 months, with most work being sold in the first 20 minutes or so on the opening night which was amazing. I have been involved in quite a few exhibitions but this was my first solo exhibition and I look forward to hopefully doing more next year so keep your eyes peeled. The feedback I have received from this exhibition alone has been fantastic to top off what has been a great year. I have travelled to Bristol this year for “Upfest” which is the largest Street Art festival in Europe with over 270 artists. After being asked it was a no brainer to take part and opened up my portfolio to a whole new audience with my work up for sale and a live two day painting session. This was an experience not to miss out on. I felt truly privileged to have been asked to attend such a big event amongst some of my biggest idols.
What does the immediate future hold for you?
The plan for now is to just carry on as I am before planning what to do next year. I have been recovering from a big operation which has restricted me; I will take it from here and see what life throws at me next. I hope to do some more public work next year and hopefully paint at a few more festivals and maybe do a bit of travelling perhaps. I would like to do another solo exhibition as well as a group exhibition with T.T.U.K whom I work with. I have a couple of projects I would like to do but as I said earlier I don’t wish to divulge what this is at this moment in time. Making it as an artist can be extremely hard, so for me this is not a way of employment at the moment but that would be my idyllic life. So my long-term plan would be to have some form of permanent role in the arts and whether that be working with a group, company or as an individual focusing on my own work. I’m open to new avenues, ideas and suggestions so please feel free to contact me. “Peace, Love and Phatcaps”
Guernsey Festival, 2011
White Inc Tattoo Studio, 2011
Ian D’s Van, 2010