This Thursday sees Andrew Foster hold his debut solo show at the Corner Collective. Titled 'Everything Louder Than Everything Else' is set to wow the crowd with this new body of work. I caught up with him to talk about his journey, his vision and how he feels about showcasing his new collection of art. I asked Andrew about his transition from music to art and he said that he had spent a lot of years focusing on music and loving this part of his career. Music was his life and after dedicating around 17 years to this field whether that be focusing on his band, songwriting, touring or playing gigs, he felt a real pull towards this industry. At this point, art wasn't on the agenda and he didn't know that his creativity would lead him to this place of here and now, holding his first art exhibition.
Discovering problems with his hearing, Andrew felt a need to rethink his life and came to a point in the road where he had to decide which way he would start walking. Being a musician is hard as it takes so much out of you and is tricky to actually make a decent amount of money to live on if you don't have a record label. His mental health became a worry with major incidents happening in his life and this is where he met My Dog Sighs. Looking back, Andrew feels this was fate to have landed a job working with such a creative person like MDS. He said "Being around Paul helped me to see there was so much creativity out there and like music, art offers expression and an outlet for my emotions. I started having art therapy as part of my recovery in my mental health and I felt this was a game changer." Working in the MDS studio, Andrew saw what it is like to be an artist, see life from an art perspective and Paul encouraged Andrew to turn his depression into something positive. Andrew went out on the streets and pasted up a character called 'Little Blue' that he wanted to share with the Portsmouth community.
Venturing down this art path, Andrew found a love for Kandinsky and Miro, both innovative artists in the abstract world, and he really felt a bond with this kind of art. The fact that one of his inspirations Wassily Kandinsky connected music to his art when he famously said "Music has been for some centuries the art which has devoted itself not to the reproduction of natural phenomena, but rather to the expression of the artist’s soul, in musical sound" is an interesting coincidence. Speaking of how creatives can become a master of more than one creative field, Andrew said "I feel it is ok to link the two together. I have in the past listened to music while creating my art pieces and there is definitely a connection in my brain when it comes to both music and art. I process them both in the same way, and it is with feeling, so just like a chord change in music, capturing the essence of what my art is trying to say comes from a gut reaction." Talking of his musical friends, Andrew said he is excited for them to come and see his exhibition as this is not their background and he will be interested to see what they think of his art and how it connects with them.
Having a sneak peek at the exhibition, I feel like the show is loud like the title. Andrew said he wanted a reaction from his audience and is excited to see the perception of his work through others' eyes. Feeling a connection to street art when delving into his art style meant this is where he started on his art journey but wanted to focus on Abstract and Contemporary art as he felt he could play around with this style and it shouted to him. Having loved art as a child, he didn't go off and do any formal training but has loved the journey of learning his skills and exploring colours and energy in his work. Chatting about his art therapy, the artist said "I always had to leave the right side of my paintings blank and this body of work represents that as it shows each piece having the right side portrayed only by one colour. For me, it represents balance and a sense of calm. I found art therapy a comforting experience and a creative way to get through the hard times in my life."
Describing what the exhibition is about, Andrew said "My show is energetic, and offers large-scale abstract paintings that are powerful and employs a knee-jerk response to my emotions. Bold neon colours and brave movement capture moments of reflection and struggle. Using skyline structures and contemporary symbols, they are echoed alongside vibrant, fast mark making creating a visual language. The style of my new work is loud and demands an emotive exchange with the viewer.
The Contemporary Abstract show is inspired by Streetart's fight talk over urban decay, these paintings carry subtle contemporary pop culture themes that have signposted my journey. I want to create an open interpretation of shouting to not be ignored, my paintings have become a place of control and calm in a chaotic environment. These works document a long journey through my music career, therapy and hearing loss which has brought me to express that in this unique and visual way."
When asked about holding the show at The Corner Collective, Andrew said "I have been to a few exhibition nights there and it has a cool vibe. It feels like it used to feel in the old days of Playdead Studio. A good crowd with an ethos of supporting one another and I liked that. I feel The Corner Collective has an inviting atmosphere and so that's why I wanted to have my first show there."
You can view the exhibition 'Everything Louder Than Everything Else' on Thursday the 16th which is PV night.
Then open at the Corner Collective on the 17th,18th,19th, 11am till 4pm and the following week 24th,25th and 26th February 11am until 4pm.