After a bit of a break due to hurricanes, holidays and more…we’re thrilled to be back featuring a wonderful Charleston Artist Interview, Lese Corrigan. I’ve been visiting Corrigan Gallery since moving to Charleston and have the utmost respect for Lese in her curating of contemporary art in the Charleston market. She graciously invited us to sneak into her studio space despite post-hurricane clanup and her upcoming show! These photos are not styled so this is typical of what her working studio looks like on an average day.
Lese Corrigan’s Charleston Studio Part I
HKPS:: When did you realize you were an artist?
Lese:: When I was 10 years old.
HKPS:: What materials you work with?
Lese:: Oil paint, woodcuts, linocuts, photography, and clay.
HKPS:: Is making art your primary source of income? Do you have a partner who helps to support you?
Lese:: Yes, art is my primary source of income, and, no, I do not have a partner that supports me (I do own and run Corrigan Gallery).
HKPS:: How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
Lese:: Not enough.
HKPS:: Do you work in solitude/seek out solitude or enjoy company (music, other people etc)?
Lese:: I work in solitude.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
Lese:: In the studio behind Corrigan Gallery which is 612 square feet. I have been in the space for two years.
HKPS:: When you began working in this space did you plan any systems for the overall set up or did you let things evolve organically? How did past studio spaces or systems influence this space?
Lese:: It evolved but constantly takes steps backward as the gallery overflows into the studio and weather related issues such as leaks with rain and threats of hurricanes create problems.
Plastic bins such as wrapping paper storage and large trashcans (without holes) are newfound essentials for storage in our hurricane and flooding prone area.
HKPS:: Do you use personal objects & memorabilia in your art? Do you collect memento’s, found objects or other ephemera?
Lese:: I don’t use objects in the work at this point. I do collect things – found objects such as my Martian series, bits of glass or pottery, rocks, pieces of metal, color swatches, printed design bits.
HKPS:: Do these collections ever overwhelm you and if so how and when do you curate-edit them?
HKPS:: Do you have a mantra, muse, mascot or area that you dedicate as an altar? OR-do you have any rituals, superstitions or routines you practice regularly in your studio?
Lese:: No, but always plan on creating such. I do tend to wander for two or three days before getting to work when I have been away from the studio. I call it the “dog bed-making process” – circling several times before settling in!
ARTIST LEGACY & PROCESS
HKPS:: How much thought do you give to your artistic body of work in terms of historic value and the overall legacy you will leave behind?
Lese:: I photograph the work and maintain a list of all creations both in digital and written forms.
Next week we’ll be back to with the second of the interview with Lese where she will share more tips on time management, storage, and art studio organizing. Tomorrow evening Charleston residents and visitors should stop by Corrigan Gallery for her latest show and opening, (In)Spires-part one, oils & woodcuts. And if you’re not a Charleston local, please see her website for more of her work and the artists she represents in her gallery. Is there anything you would like me to ask Lese next week? If so please leave us a comment or shoot us an email! We love to hear your questions for the artist we feature!
*The idea for the Inside the Artist Studio series began while attending an art retreat where I curiously observed the differences in the creative cycle of order and chaos and what that looks like for different individuals. I’m very interested in sharing how organizing affects the artist’s creative process. Some systems and order are vital to our creative PLAY and learning to find a balance that works to enhance your creativity is what I hope to share with you through these interviews.
Is there a particular artist whose ‘Tool kit’ you would like to see featured? Leave a comment below and let me know!