Interview with MiAL Artist Katy Binks

Katy Binks,  MA Print Making, Camberwell College of Arts 2013

Katy’s confident body of work draws on architecture, graphic design and landscapes we inhabit. Moving from the literal to the abstract, her works are inspired by Korean architecture where she spent six formative years and more recently the African fabrics found in Peckham Rye.

Visually bold, her uplifting prints satisfy aesthetically as well as conceptually and capture a perfect juxtaposition between the visual forms of architecture, design and art. Here we talk to her about her influences.

Can you tell us a little about your creative life? Have you always been creating art? 

I started off doing an architecture degree, I didn’t last long, really I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to do something creative.  I applied for so many different courses after finishing my foundation, Graphic Design, Textile Design, Illustration, but actually never art, it was the one thing I didn’t want to do. I was originally excepted at University of East London to do Graphic Design and Illustration but switched after a couple of weeks to Graphic Art.

What brought you to Camberwell?

I did my foundation in Leeds at the art college, i loved it, Camberwell reminded me of that, and some of the tutors

Coloured Shapes 1 Screen Print Unique, Framed £600

Coloured Shapes 1
Screen Print
Unique, Framed

reminded me of my tutors from UEL.  The area is also relatively cheap, that helps.

How do the two London Unis compare? 

UEL was great, I got so much out of my time there thanks to the tutors and technicians and it’s where I  really got into printing.  But i came out of there with no idea what to do with my degree, i knew I had to do a Masters and I wanted to go somewhere that was much more focussed on the arts.

What first brought you to MiAL?

One of the reasons that I wanted to go to UAL was for the professional support that it seems to provide for the students.  Uni is great, but when the bubble bursts it can be a shock so I thought it would be a great opportunity to try and establish my post-uni career ready for when I leave.

You’ve travelled a lot in your life, how has this effected your character- do you get bored staying in one place for too long? 

I think that all depends on where you are, it’s pretty difficult to get bored of London.   I’ve been in London for seven years now and can see the benefits of staying in one place but I’d love to spend time living abroad once I finish my masters.

Test  Screen Print, Edition of 35 £125

Screen Print,
Edition of 35

You’ve said that you’re work is inspired by the 6 formative years you spent in Korea, why did your experience there have such an impact on you?

I was 12 I think when we first went there, I remember the first time I stepped off the plane in the middle of the summer and being hit by the heat, the thick air and intense humidity.

We went there from living in a village, to a town to this massive city  half-way across the world that couldn’t be more different from what I was used to, it was a massive culture shock, I have great memories of it.  I think that the general impression of the city had a big impact on me, its such a visually stimulating place……the urban environment is kind of chaotic and overwhelming and in a way I think I’m always trying to make sense of that and that is often reflected in my work.

You’re work draws upon architecture and graphic design, where do you look for inspiration in this? Do you follow any blogs or are you more of a eyes open as you live your daily life kind of person?

Definitely more of eyes open person, again I think it goes back to living in different cities, it meant that I could spend longer periods of time in places rather than just the usual tourist way of spending a few weeks somewhere visiting particular spots.  You tend to see a bit more, once you do the museums and stuff it’s like what’s next?  It’s definitely not the same as living there, your still on the edge looking in but I like that experience.  In cities graphic design and advertising is all around us you don’t really need to look that far to find, its just a natural part of urban landscape.

Can you tell us a bit more about your prints?

These prints were made between graduating from my BA and starting my MA, I graduated right at the beginning of the recession and finding work was really difficult. I also didn’t have the same access to the facilities so I really had to re-think my practice. I had a really basic set up printing on my floor, but this actually really helped me develop my work. I used to get a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities with print, I don’t think I actually finished a piece of work whilst I did my BA I just experimented.  Using the hand cut stencils and printing on the floor was awkward I could only get about 1 or 2 prints from each one so I really had to think about what I was doing.

Can you tell us about any new projects or ideas you are evolving?

I’m just in the middle of developing a new print, everything seems to be getting bigger, brighter and bolder.