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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Interview with Scott Batty

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)My name is SCOTT BATTY. I was born

in Manchester, England.

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live and work near Paris, France.

q)How would you describe your work to someone

who has never seen it?

a)Ghosts that you can taste.

q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you

realize you were an artist?

a)When I was 20 years old, I saw a Rothko exhibition

at the Tate Gallery in Liverpool. The things I felt that

day changed my life. I’ve never decided to be an artist.

It’s what I need to do. In fact I don’t have a choice.

q)What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)I use anything. Acrylic, felt tip, pencil, paper, rubbish

from the bin. Whatever is needed.

q)What/who influences you most?

a)Being here. This second. Now. In the early days after

Rothko, I got into Bacon, Basquiat and Bellmer. Now

I seem to have found ‘my’ place, or at least ‘a’ place.

Experience doesn’t necessarily make things easier. I just

feel that I actually know what I am doing, and that frees me

up to keep on trekking.

q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)That’s very difficult to say. There are no typical days.

I just try and catch myself when I’m on fire, and follow it

through. Ideally, my ‘time’ is Midday-8pm.

q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve

with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)I want to take my work to the next level. And I always

hope that somebody somewhere is touched by it.

Then they can begin their own private dialogue with

the piece in question. Art is not a career. I take it far too

seriously, and have too much respect for it’s potential power,

to consider it a career. We are witnesses to it’s unique

presence. And this is only the beginning. To me, art with

depth and class is oxygen.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art

interest you?

a)At the moment, I am too absorbed in my own work to be

able to hone in on others. Apart from some of the cool

painters on this blog! And I’m not easy to please. Which

is how I should be. “Contemporary developments” don’t

do much for me. That’s the art mafia getting bored and restless.

They change every six months. They like it if you paint a

banana pink, or stand on your head. That side of the fence

can be exhausting. I once saw a woman cry in front of one of

my paintings. She was a refugee from Bosnia. She kept saying,

“thank you, thank you, you understand…” If I have an audience

of any kind, then it contains people like that woman.

And gives me the impetus to move on and adapt.

q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)Again, it’s difficult to say. From 5 minutes to 5 years.

Something like that.

q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally

attached to them?

a)I have to try and sell my work. It’s tough. How can you

put a price on a part of yourself ? I always prefer to know

who the person is. It’s all about finding a ‘nest’ for the piece.

That sounds like some form of adoption. I suppose it is,

really. It’s just that I know the amount of effort that goes

into each piece. When this process works well, then we are

literally dealing with art and magic.

q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things

you're listening to now?

a)I listen to the group I sing and write for : THE ART OF

SKINLESSNESS (details below). Also Shearwater, Bon Iver,

Scott Walker, Gordale scar, Clairvoyants, Pusherman,

The Fall, Swans, The Durutti column etc.


a)The one I am currently preparing, “Temple”, a collaboration

of words and images with Pacôme Thiellement.

Temple” is for connoisseurs of modern mythology

and the spectre that breathes within us all. (details below).

q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity

or the creative process?

a)Those who can…. DO

Those who can’t…. talk about it all the time.

q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when

you're not creating?

a)I am never consciously ‘empty’. I’m always up to something.

It seems to be 24/7 and I have to live with that, and make

the necessary domestic adjustments.

q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that

you are particularly excited about?

a)Touch wood, there are 3 exhibitions on the horizon :

1- a solo show at Sydney Doctors East, Australia, June 2009

2- a group show, plus a gig in Brussels, July 2009

3- a group show at Galerie Vidourle Prix in Sauve,

South of France, December 2009

q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how?

What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)I don’t, really. I’m always working, or trying to create

the peace in order to work.

q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and

answer it.

a)Q: How do you combine painting, writing and music ?

A: I work on each one separately. They all have their

own separate value, but there seems to be a unifying

spine that brings them together.

q)Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Scare yourself. You are on your own. And there is no

going back. I don’t believe you can teach Art. You can only

encourage people. Then it’s up to them to blossom.

q)Where can we see more of your work online?

a)The website for my paintings:

The site for the group I play in :

The book “Gas flowers”, paintings, editions Le Dernier Cri,

Marseille : DC shop / Books /

The book “Schreber Président”, French, collaborative

project, featuring 12 of my paintings and a poem, editions Fage

: collection Actifs

The book “Vom Sterben”, Austrian, collaborative

project with the Austrian writer Gerhard Moser,

with numerous paintings in colour, editions Foulland,

Innsbruck :

The book “Temple”, bilingual French/English, texts and

paintings, editions MF, published end of 2009:

Cover for vinyl record for “BUG”, rock is Hell records :

My (as yet) unpublished stories and lots of images, on a blog :