Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF
Monday 01 October 2018 – Wednesday 31 July 2019
Image: William Rounce, The Frog, 2017. Commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts on behalf of Bedford Riverside Regeneration Ltd
Our Artist of the Month feature aims to promote artists' work and raise issues in a quick, informal way. June's Artist of the Month is William Rounce.
Hello, who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I use drawing as a starting point, working across different disciplines including installation, painting, drawing and animation.
Where are you based?
I live near Bath and moved here from Bristol six years ago.
Where do you work?
I’ve had a studio at 44AD in Bath since 2016. Previously I was a studio holder at Spike Island. Having a large studio there gave me the opportunity to create large scale site specific drawings that were governed by the space they occupied. My current studio is smaller and I’ve found myself dealing with similar formal concerns albeit on a much smaller scale. These different studio spaces have allowed me to improvise and adapt my practice. With a busy teaching schedule and family life to fit it, I try to make the most of my time in the studio.
What’s the best thing about the area you live/work in?
It’s exciting to see new, non-commercial gallery spaces such as Drawing Projects in Trowbridge and Obsidian Coast in Bradford on Avon setting up near where I live. There’s an eclectic mix of established galleries in Bath – Victoria Art Gallery and the Holburne Museum – alongside more independent events like the annual Fringe Festival and gallery spaces such as 44AD, which runs a vibrant gallery and residency programme.
What does 'success' mean to you?
I have the ten-point manifesto 'How to work better' by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss pinned up in my studio to inspire me. Success can be difficult to define but some of its qualities might be found in their list:
-Do one thing at a time
-Know the problem
-Learn to listen
-Learn to ask questions
-Distinguish sense from nonsense
-Accept change as inevitable
-Say it simple
Do you earn a living from making art?
I’ve made a moderate income from public art commissions. To supplement my studio time I’m a part time lecturer at Bath College, teaching Fine Art on the Foundation and Level 3 courses. When I’m not teaching or raising a family, I’m in the studio!
What makes a good artwork?
When an artist creates something authentic that leaves you with questions rather than answers.
What have you been up to recently?
In 2017 I completed a commission to create a new public artwork for Riverside Square in Bedford. This nine-month project gave me insight into the planning and development that goes with such a project, collaborating with structural engineers, fabricators, graphic designers and arts commissioners. The Frog references the town’s historical brick-making industry and the artwork disguises an electrical substation and acts as a focal point in the newly developed square. Most recently I exhibited in Frome at Black Swan Arts Open exhibition.
What have you got coming up?
Spending more time in the studio and working on a new series of paintings. I’m also working on a drawing-based animation using imagery from Google Earth.
William Rounce studied at University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, BA Fine Art (1990-93) and has an MA in Fine Art University of Central England (1995-6). Public artworks include: The Frog commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts, Riverside Square, Bedford (2017) and 8-10 Colston
Avenue, Bristol (2015) commissioned by Ginkgo Projects. Group shows include Black Swan Arts Open (2018), Drawn, RWA (2017, 2015, 2013), Hanging Instructions, Bath Fringe Festival (2016), Open Exhibition 2013: Drawing, Salisbury Arts Centre, Architectural Fragments–There are two types of clarity, Apiary Gallery, London (2011).
Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.
Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network