Interview with Charles Nuttall: Arts, Graphics and Gaming..
Written by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney.
Photograph from Artist, Charles Nuttall.
Friday 20 April 2007.
Charles Nuttall is a Manchester based artist and an associate member to the arts collective Transvoyeur. He has collaborated with Tony Knox on the concept of the wrestling in popular culture and media in Independents Liverpool Biennial 2006. The autonomy in his own practice has been founded from an early age with his passion for comics to later evolve into his Fine Art practice. This to transcend in his interests in new media of digital video.
His art has been exhibited in galleries throughout England and his more recent affiliations with New York. Nuttall explains further in an interview with Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney our his art develops and his professional activities.
Sweeney: When did you first become interested in art and recognise yourself as an artist?
Nuttall: From a young age, I have been interested in art and creative expression. My first inspiration was through comics. At the age of five, I remember drawing my own version and interpretations of a comic later trying to sell them later that day to my dad.
Sweeney: Can you explain your artwork?
Nuttall: My work is a combination of Fine Art practice and the relationship of this to various new media. I am interested in the concept of popular culture, significantly in wrestling icons. I have done several projects set around this, including in my own practice, as mentor in creative educational initiatives and collaborations. These have been explored through studies in different modes of expression and through the technological digital video media and gaming. An example of this is in the Arcade machine where pseudo characters were introduced into the gaming realms of WWF.
Sweeney: Your work explores the various media from painting to installations of arcade machines. Can you explain how you develop an idea from onset to the end and how this differentiate from fine art practice to more conceptual/alternative modes of expression?
Nuttall: My core practice is set around Fine Art practice, particularly drawing and adapting the concept of comics in popular culture and mass media. Depending on the idea and the objective to capture it, the process differs. Some times, I can remain with my interest in Fine Art and the final end product produced in the conventional media of painting or sculpture. Other ideas evolve into more alternative approaches, such as digital video media and gaming, installations or text based work. My passion for drawings sets the fundamentals in my sketchbooks work, as I research and develop an idea, whether in my Fine Art or something more technologically post modern. The ideas still comes from the same place with similar objectives, but the various contexts and media consolidate the concept pursued.
Sweeney: You work considers a range of subjects and concepts. Can you explain what other creative process and cultural subjects you have looked at and used in your art?
Nuttall: Apart from my association with the Wrestling culture and use of icons and logos, as a dyslexic learning and reading tool. The thought process on both deals with abstract cognition and this gives me a natural inclination to visual dialogue. Similar to my interest in comics from a young age. Other influences in my art have come from Hip Hop culture and with a definite propensity to new medias.
Sweeney: What artists have inspired you and why?
Nuttall: At an early age, I was always fond of Salvador Dali for his showmanship. Later on in life, I looked at Picasso for his persistence, but recently I found reassurance in the work of Matthew Barney. It is varied and my interests are with artists who I imbue a similarity at that period in my professional development. It is not only he energy embodied in their work, but moreover the essence of themselves.
Sweeney: What subjects shape and influence your work and how?
Nuttall: It is hard to say, as my interest shift with transitions and changes in the natural developments of my work. I have particular interest that have inspired, but moreover I think it is important to allow natural response of ideas to be realized too without being too preconceived.
Sweeney: What motivates you to create in this mode of expression and media in your various practices?
Nuttall: I have found what motivates me have been integral from childhood to now. The basics of drawing to capture an idea, which can extend to new possibilities of various new media.
Sweeney: Do you use any other media as research source or in production of your art?
Nuttall: I use the internet for some research. Funnily, I read the Metro Horoscope to help guide me and toss coins to make some decisions. All artists have their own little tendencies.
Sweeney: What do you plan for the future as an artist in your professional practice?
Nuttall: It is my objective to work towards something of importance in the contemporary arts. To be nominated for The Turner Prize.
Sweeney: What are the positive and negative experiences of being an artist?
Nuttall: Being rich in ideas, but being poor in money.
Sweeney: What do you want to be remembered for?
Nuttall: Being the greatest artist… ever!
For further information on Nuttall and his art:
For future events Sweeney is involved with Transvoyeur: