Interview with Regan Boyce
A sculptor, printmaker, a painter and installation artist.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work
I’m a sculptor, a printmaker, a painter and an installation artist, but I’m always looking for new ways to expand my practice, materials and methods. When I was younger I never considered myself someone who would make sculptures - I used to make fiddly small-scale drawings. It was at university where I first discovered sculpture, it quickly grabbed hold of me, and I spent pretty much my whole university life in workshops, whether that was dealing with metal, wood or print.
Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work
My practice is comprised of two major themes, ‘flat-pack art’ & abstract minimal structures. Flat-pack sculpture started as a necessity, I wanted to build fairly large-scale structures but I had limited studio space. Eventually this method developed into the focus of the actual installs. Installations feature custom components, objects part-way through construction, storage crates and the process of install depicted through ‘flat-pack’ IKEA-type manuals. The installs use components which appear functional but construct something which has no function at all. This idea is something I keep returning to because I’m really intrigued by the non-functional nature of art in general.
More recent work has lead me to explore more abstract forms and lines through sculptural objects and a minimalist painting series. The majority of these structures come from spontaneous line drawings, which I then translate into a physical form using aluminium tubing and accompanying materials. Drawings on a page become physical angles, curves and overlapping lines. What I find particularly intriguing about this process is that I tend to have originally imagined these objects from a single perspective, so once I’ve physically created them as sculptures they become visually interactive in previously unpredicted ways. As physical structures, they can be seen from numerous angles and perspectives, becoming objects which do not attempt to replicate existing forms.
It’s quite hard to create an object that doesn’t have a comparable form elsewhere. For example, two lines leaning against a wall might remind someone of a ladder but I’m not looking to imitate or mimic a form. Equally though, I don’t mind if someone sees a recognisable shape in something I’ve made. It’s up to them to see what they want.
I often move back and forth between 2d and 3d making sculptures from drawings and drawings from sculptures. In my latest painting series, structural lines (taken directly from the sculptures or from the original drawings closely cropped) appear as minimal abstract compositions over gradients of colour.
What art do you most identify with ? any specific influences or research areas?
I would say that I lean towards minimalism and sculptural installation. The things that I find most intriguing and inspiring to my practice are those which I can physically walk around and experience directly. Saying that, I’m also fascinated by the loose nature of contemporary minimal and abstract paintings, as someone who finds it difficult to make art outside of controlled conditions.
Is there something you couldn't live without in your studio? what is your most essential tool?
Masking tape. I use it for paintings, to temporarily hold sculptures together, for gluing up frames. It’s something I use every day and a small thing that I couldn’t make my work without.
Tell us how you organise, plan, and prioritise your work
I pretty much keep a log of any and all projects I want to do, whether that be planning for the near or far future, the list compiles specific sculptures or art works alongside more vague concepts and ideas I want to explore. Currently my practice is prioritized by what I can do and when I can do it. If I generate an idea for something that is not possible, or is on a scale where I need more space or different facilities I write up a proposal for future applications or shows.
Professionally, what is your goal?
As an artist I want to be self-sufficient, able to completely fund my practice with my practice. To be able to work with a wider range of possibilities in mind, larger scales, more ambitious projects and push my artistic development in a more extreme manor. If I can spend whole days and weeks in a studio, making, building producing work then I can establish my next goals in my practice, until then that’s the dream.
Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?
I’ve got a few things in the works, continued experiments on my new minimal paint series, changing the scale and understanding the compositional possibilities. I’ve got a sketchbook full of drawings for minimal sculptures that I’m slowing getting through, attempting to expand my use of materials, give objects new aesthetics, giving work the ability to exist differently within architectural spaces. As for flat-pack sculpture I’m determined to find the next evolution of this idea, it’s a bit of trial and error design and fabrication currently but I’m hoping to generate some work soon. I’m looking for an opportunity which allows me to install my work in a more comprehensive environment, whether that be a show or residency.
Check out more of Regan's work on instagram - @regan.boyce