“Day In, Day Out”
cm 15×20 (plate size) cm 22×32 (paper size)
Printed at PigPrints in July 2015 on acid-free archival Laurier paper 300 gsm
Edition of 50 signed and numbered by the artist
£40 plus shipping – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will contact you to arrange payment and delivery.
Rob Miles, student at the Royal College of Art in London, was the winner of our 1st International Drawing & Etching Student Prize 2015. His drawing “Day In, Day Out” is now an etching, printed by Pigprints in a 50 copies edition.
This drawing comes from a series of works I have been making of double images.
I am interested in the challenge of drawing something twice, so that it is the same, but different, and how this affects the way we look at a picture.
For this drawing, I have looked at the domestic, regularly used objects in the kitchen – cutlery. They are taken out and put back in the tray everyday – there is an order and routine that is parallel to our own every day – the same things, but always slightly different.
This forces me to really look at what I am drawing, as the actual detail is very different, even though the general composition is the same.
About Rob Miles (a conversation with the artist – June 2015)
Can you tell us something about yourself, who you are, where you grew up and how come you have decided to enroll at an art college (and the RAC particularly)
I was born in London in 1987. I grew up in Brighton, on the south coast of England, and now I’m living in London. I am an artist and musician – I make pictures and I write and perform songs.
I wasn’t sure about art college, so when I finished school I moved to the countryside and worked on a farm for two years. I spent a lot of time drawing, making collages, and building instruments. I played drums with a band called The Shoestrung – and when my band members had also finished school we moved up to London to play shows and try and make a record. I found life in the band too restrictive and left to travel the UK and Europe. I made many drawings on these trips and decided it was time to see if I could make more of this interest, and so I applied to art college to do a BA in Print and Time Based Media at Wimbledon College of Art. Here I experimented with moving image and performance, and studied art history and theory, but it was printmaking which I became very excited by, as a way to combine my ideas and my drawings, so I decided to continue my studies with more focus at The Royal College of Art, a course which I am just finishing now. I have been trying lots of different processes, seeing how my drawings can work with different mediums, and been very excited about the potential of lithography.
How did you hear about this student competition?
I heard about this competition by an email sent through the college network, and was excited to apply – I had some drawings which I wanted to do more with, and was wanting to do more etching, but my time was taken up trying to understand lithography! So this seemed like a great opportunity.
Can you tell us something more about your winning drawing and how this series originated. Was there any other project, from other artists for example, that inspired it?
I’ve been working with the idea of doubles in drawing for a while – partly as a challenge (especially with portraits) and partly because there is something about seeing two of the same image, or almost the same, that I find very interesting.
A few years ago I was learning to use my camera, so I would take several photos of the same subject with different apertures etc. to compare them and to learn which setting did what. In these experiments I produced two photographs of some sauce in a cafe which I found that I couldn’t decide which I preferred, they worked really well together – the same thing but slightly different. As a pair, they worked visually very well, and as a double, they make you look more, constantly comparing between the two. So this idea of how effective a double image can be stayed with me, and is something I continue to think about in the work I make – I even wrote my MA dissertation on it!
This particular series, drawing my knives and forks, came from a desire to try and fit in more drawing in my busy schedule – I forced myself to get up half an hour earlier than normal and make a drawing every day -at the time I was living in a shared studio and the kitchen was always messy, which frustrated me – but I thought that instead of getting annoyed, I would take this as my subject and try and draw the different arrangements of plates and cutlery and food. I’ve always liked drawing kitchens, especially when I visit a friend’s house. They are often the place where the most social interaction takes place, and I like the cultural habits we have of how things are arranged, that we have different versions of the same tools. Knives and forks in particular have been an interest for a long time – the everyday familiarity of these objects and their arrangements – formally and casually, their potential for other use, their form and design – they are great subjects.
So as part of this endeavour to draw more, and use the kitchen as my daily altering subject, I did this series.
I’ve heard that Charlie Watts (the drummer in The Rolling Stones) makes a drawing of every hotel room he stays in, which I think is a great idea. Also, people often speak to me about Morandi, how he uses the same simple objects to paint from, but I think probably the most influential project for me is Rauschenberg’s Factum I & II – where he made the same collage painting twice, which brings up a lot of questions about abstract expressionist art and the gestural mark of the artist.
I was also greatly inspired by Hurvin Anderson’s ‘Peter’s series’ – which I saw at the Tate (and later had the opportunity to assist him in his studio in London) – where he paints the same interior scene again and again, but with more or less detail – sometimes quite full images, sometimes very stripped back geometrical shapes.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
My favourite artists are:
Cy Twombly – I find his work incredibly beautiful and beyond words.
Robert Rauschenberg – He is so energetic and inventive.
David Hockney – I admire his commitment to drawing and looking, and constantly pushing his techniques.
Also, among many others, I enjoy the work of Jean Michel Basquiat, Jasper Johns, Henri Matisse, Edouard Vuillard and Walter Sickert.
Last question: What are your plans for the future?
When I finish my show at RCA in London I plan to move to Paris with my girlfriend Alice Gauthier, who is also an artist and printmaker. I will put my energy into drawing and painting, and I hope to be able to travel to new places to work with printmaking studios on pushing the ideas I have been developing during my studies. Paris has a strong tradition of printmaking (especially lithography), and has a more direct link with the rest of Europe, as well as being an exciting new challenge, especially because I am not fluent in French!
I also intend to start doing more with my songs – performing to new audiences and making recordings, writing more parts and finding musicians to work with – some demo recordings I have made can be found at soundcloud.com/thetwonineteen
This opportunity to work with Pigprints on making an etching is very encouraging at this early stage of embarking on the notoriously difficult career of an artist, so thank you very much!