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Nurture Nature

Who are you and what do you call yourself
My name’s Becca and I’m a young creative with a love for analogue techniques, music and bones.

Where are you and what at are you doing right now?
I’ve been living in Leeds for the past three years whilst doing my degree, which I’ve actually just finished! I’m hoping to stick around up North and get a job in a studio. As a Southerner I feel like I’m betraying my people saying this but I have just fallen totally in love with the North, Leeds especially. Can’t see myself moving back down South anytime soon.

We love your stuff, can you tell us a little about your creative process.
I’m in love with anything creepy or weird so my work tends to reflect this by being quite dark, both in colour but also in the way I put things together. I like to create an eery undertone so I basically take any opportunity to chuck a skeleton into a piece of work. 

Although creepy things have quite a big influence on my work, my main source of inspiration comes from researching into a project. For someone who is a creative I actually feel like my brain works a little weirdly. Instead of starting a project with lots of ideas and sketches, I prefer to thoroughly research the topic so I can pinpoint an interesting fact or area and then I’m able to come up with lots of ideas. My research then keeps guiding the project all the way up until the finished piece. I like hiding little nuggets of information in a project, like when I made a publication based on funeral flower traditions from around the world, the book actually opened up to be the same proportions of a standard coffin. Just a little something most people probably won’t notice but it keeps me happy.

Oh also I have a slight obsession with scanners. I don’t know what it is about them but the texture and quality they give images is just so good, I can’t get enough of it. I tend to use scanners when documenting my work but also to add texture to pieces.

The piece you created for us, Nurture Nature, is clearly a comment on the state of our planet, is this something you feel strongly about?
Yes and it’s something I think everyone should feel strongly about. There are so many amazing things in this world, beautiful plants, crazy animals, yet I’m dumbfounded that it seems like the majority of the world doesn’t care that they’re disappearing. Nature has always been a great source of inspiration for me and it’s something I want to protect and preserve for future generations.

What do you think about Extinction Rebellion?
I think it is the only logical step in making meaningful change when it comes to this global emergency. For far too long people in power have been ignoring the issue and it’s about time they are forced to listen.

I was watching a news piece in which a woman proceeded to complain about the way in which the Extinction Rebellion had conducted their protests, comparing them to a ‘festival’ like atmosphere. This infuriated me because not only were they missing the point completely of people trying to draw attention to the fact we need to change the way we are living now otherwise the damage we are causing will soon become irreversible, but they were also inferring that a peaceful protest was not the way to go about it and undermining the cause. Would they rather people were rioting in the streets and destroying property? It seems like madness that it’s even had to come to something like Extinction Rebellion, but when MP’s refuse to listen to their constituents or even turn up to environmental talks, this is the action that needs to be taken.

I’m overjoyed that the movement has managed to achieve their first goal of getting the government to announce a climate change emergency and there seems to be some more action around the legislation being put in place to combat climate change. However, there is so much more still to be done and I hope the Extinction rebellion will be leading the way in getting the changes our world so rightly needs.

Who or what are your influences
There are so many things that influence my work, from other artists to even something as simple as the way sunlight falls through a window. This is why I think it is important to stay forever observant, take time to look at your surroundings, enjoy the little moments in life, you never know when inspiration will strike.

Something that never fails to inspire me, however, would have to be music. Although I have never been amazingly musically talented (still pretending I can play guitar from that one week I took lessons when I was 7), I always find music wriggling its way into my work. It’s always been a reassuring presence in my life and there’s just something about music that helps me see what I’m thinking in a more visual sense. I actually found out recently that there’s a term for people that see sound, it's known as synesthesia. People that have it can also sometimes taste words, mad! But coming back to the point, I’ve found that I really can’t work without having music on in the background, I end up getting too caught up in my own thoughts.

My other main source of inspiration would have to come from the people around me. I know so many insanely talented people that never cease to amaze me with the pieces they produce. Seeing them make crazy work inspires me to be more experimental in my own work and pushes me to keep bettering myself. (Was that a little too sappy? Ah well.)

Other influences:

OK-RM (Design Studio)
— NASA (and anything to do with space)
— Raman Djafari (Artist)
— Aardman (the most beautiful stop motion)
— Kyle Platts (Artist)
— North or Nowt (Print maker)
— Rabbit Hole (Design Studio)
— Anyways Creative (Design Studio)

    Any recommendations of people, culture, stuff we should check out
    There's so much good stuff about at the minute, although I’ve been really into an older film, ‘They Live’. Craig Oldham recently made a book called ‘They live: a cultural awakening’, it’s a really good read and the film itself is so interesting because even though it's over 30 years old, it seems so relevant for the consumer society we live in today.

    Another great read would be Suspira magazine (www.suspiramagazine.com) if you like anything horror. They’ve given the horror genre a really interesting approach, discussing its relevance within things like mental health and other, not so obvious, areas of culture it has impacted.

     Other good stuff:

    — Sophy Hollington
    — Nasal Warts: A cool guy with some cool drawings
    Zero Waste Club
    — Love, Death, Robots (on Netflix) Amazing series with some amazing animation
    — Modes of Criticism
    — In loving memory of work: A beautiful book that is sadly out of print but you can still have a look at the link
    — Intern Magazine

    Tell us about something
    Okay, I’m going to tell you about something I think people should know. Whilst doing a project based on the micro-genre of Skinhead Reggae I got to find out a lot more about the foundations of Skinhead culture. A lot of people would associate this subgroup with violence and things like the national front. But in actual fact, Skinheads had a much more peaceful start. In the ’70s there were a lot of immigrants coming over from Jamaica bringing with them their culture and music. British and Jamaican people were united through a shared love for reggae music and a new culture was born known as Skinheads. Some of the leading musicians at the time were The Specials, The Pioneers and Rudy Mills. One of my favourite songs has to be ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials, a song which is said to have captured the atmosphere after riots related to the culture perfectly.

    So the something I want people to know is that most Skinheads are actually very accepting and peaceful people, it’s only a small few that have become radicalised and ruined the reputation of the subculture.

    Tell us about nothing
    Songs I like with the word Nothing in the title:

    Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
    Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control - Tame Impala
    Nothing Breaks Like a Heart - Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus
    I Have Nothing - Whitney Houston
    Nothing Compares 2U - Sinéad O’Connor

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