Fiona Grady Q & A
Hi Fiona! Firstly would you mind briefly introducing yourself and your practice?
I make colourful installations using geometric shapes in windows using transparent coloured vinyl they are a contemporary interpretation of stained glass. I describe my artworks as ‘site responsive’ as they are designed to fit within and interact with, the architecture of their venue.
So what or who inspires your artwork?
My work is inspired by light and colours ability to transform our environment. I am keen to find ways of introducing art into ordinary spaces to make them more pleasurable to visit. The use of daylight and colour filters allows interaction through shadows and draws attention to unseen moments.
Has the pandemic altered the way in which you work?
The pandemic has allowed me to slow down and spend more time drawing which has been a positive outcome. Luckily for me, I was already making window installations but it’s good that people are considering windows as a valuable place to display art.
You’ve had work shown and commissioned in many places, do you have a favourite piece?
I recently created an artwork for Canary Wharf’s Pride celebrations and Summer Lights Festival on a really usual triangular glass entrance to Jubilee Place Shopping Centre. It was a fun puzzle to solve and I love bringing bright colours to the city as everyone imagines it to be grey and dull.
What motivated you to apply for the Artwalk commission?
I was Artist in Residence at the Art House in July 2016 which was a great experience. I wanted to come back to Wakefield to make a new work that would share how my work has developed since then. Plus, I grew up in Leeds and am always happy for an excuse to spend time in Yorkshire.
Are there any particular thoughts or feelings that you hope audiences experience as a result of seeing your work? Is it the same for each piece or varies depending on the setting?
I hope that my work will have a magical quality and element of surprise for its viewers. The artwork ‘Meeting Points’ is situated in the skylights at the Ridings Centre I think it will be unexpected. The artwork is illuminated by daylight and on bright days will cast beautiful coloured shadows that move with the suns position in the sky.
What do you think needs to change to make the art world more inclusive?
A lot of responsibility falls on the government to support arts education and initiatives. However, it’s also really important to have art in ‘non-art’ spaces. I think the Art Walk is a great way of engaging new audiences by putting art outside of the gallery to make it more accessible to everyone.
Has there been a piece of artwork or exhibition from previous Artwalk events that have really resonated with you or you’ve thought “wow”?
It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to visit the Art Walk. It’s always a fun event and I like that it works with artists at all levels including recent graduates, more senior artists and people who it will be one of their first exhibitions.
If you could have a dinner party with a group of artists (dead or alive) who would you invite and what would be on the menu?
I love the artist Sophie Calle’s artwork ‘The Chromatic Diet’ where each day she ate food of only one colour - for example Monday included puree carrots, boiled prawns and cantaloupe melon. I’d invite my artist friends to take inspiration and make a course each. Everyone is very creative so it’d be a lot of fun.
Thanks for chatting with us and we can’t wait to see your new piece Meeting Points at The Ridings Centre!
Fiona Grady 'Meeting Points' Installation Find out more here>