Saturday, 24th April 2021
Photographs: Danny Igoe &
Chris Connarty shares what has driven him creatively over the years and how these influences have come to shape his distinctive print and collage style. Often laced with wry, referential humour Chris' work is largely an amalgamation of chopped up photos and newsprint cut outs, taking the often overlooked or mundane and making it newly relevant, thought provoking, or just plain funny.
Chris' latest work, a commissioned A3 print as part of this months' Front Left Crowdfunder rewards is available to buy here.
FL: How has your attitude towards art developed since you were younger?
CC: I have to remind myself not to overcomplicate things. I have learned that often the less time spent on something the better, that way the work stays fresh. I'm prone to sitting on ideas for a while, so I have learned just to run with ideas when I have them and not to be too precious. Works are often the result of happy accidents.
FL: How did your time in Dundee shape your work?
CC: While studying I had time, equipment and space that I really envy now. I guess now I appreciate that and make the most of limited materials. In this time my practice became more self-directed. This is when I started to make the work I really wanted to make. It seems obvious but it can be easy to get distracted from that.
FL: Is there a particular style or approach you're really enjoying right now?
CC: I am enjoying works that are pretty rough and ready, using what I have to hand. Recently that has been a lot of newspaper. As a material it provides a readymade source of text and image. Due to current circumstances, I am making a lot of small-scale works. Anything larger tends to be temporary and not built to last, sometimes installed publically. I am fond of these ephemeral works as it encourages me to keep my practice moving and produce new work.
FL: What role does music play in your creative process?
CC: Of course there is a close relationship between music and visuals and I have always been keen on album artworks and covers. I think there is something special about that relationship. I've never been involved in making music myself, but there is a relatiability and social aspect in music culture that I would like to see as part of my work.
FL: Are there certain sounds you find yourself returning to?
CC: Recently I have been getting back into Massive Attack's Mezzanine. It was one of the first records I got into myself and has such a strong atmosphere. Another record I often go back to is My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne. There is such a variety of samples and montage-like quality. I've always been keen on hip-hop and have been re-listening to Ratking's So it Goes. It was one of the first contemporary rap albums I got into and it has such a unique style.
My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts - David Byrne and Brian Eno - Regiment
FL: What inspired the piece you've created for us at Front Left?
CC: I have recently been returning to quite simple collage works, using newspaper cutouts. Appropriating from tabloid newspapers, the look is similar to punk graphics and artwork. The 'World' text came from a childhood collage of mine I recently found at home. There is something nice about returning to work from my younger self, it's a collaboration of sorts. I had been listening to Nas' The World Is Yours and thought the message of the text is quite affirming and positive. This is quite at odds with the negative perspective of tabloid news in general.
We would like to thank Chris for his incredible contribution to our current fundraiser. You can aquire a copy of his A3 'The World Is Yours' riso print over at our Crowdfunder page now.
Find more of Chris' work on Instagram.