SHIVER PRESENTS: Phoebe Stringer
Phoebe Stringer (she/her) is a multidisciplinary fine artist, creating incredible hand embroidered scenes inspires by 1990s computer game environments. Based in Dalston in London, where she was born and raised, Stringer grew up surrounded by art and later studied at Slade school of fine art (MFA). Although working in embroidery is a medium so far removed from the digital construction of the computer games she pulls inspiration from, she masterfully uses appliqué and various embroidery methods to mimic a pixilated effect. Phoebe is able to transport you into a world that feels familiar to those of us who grew up playing the retro video games of the 90s, while also creating artworks that are entirely unique.
Throughout this exhibition we will be sharing images of her artworks, talking about her thoughts and inspirations behind each piece and sharing an interview with Phoebe, discussing her reptiles 'Commodus' & 'Doug', the influence of computer games within her work and more!
The pieces are hand embroidered scenes set into a retro computer frame cast. The scenes are imagined 3D rendered computer environments reminiscent of 1990s computer games. The empty spaces are barren and surreal using appliqué and various embroidery methods to mimic a pixilated effect.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I live and grew up in London, in Dalston specifically.
WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?
Both my parents are artists and art fabricators, so it's always been the centre of my world. I didn't have to discover art, rather I had plenty to hone and studied at the Slade school of fine art (MFA).
What do you do when you're not creating?
I'm an avid collector of all things, but especially old video game systems. My biggest passion completely devoid of art are my two pet reptiles, a Bearded Dragon called Commodus and an Ackie Monitor called Doug. I spend hours tending to their soil and crafting toys for them to interact with, we sit in the garden together in the sun eating fruit and playing with flower petals.
What is/are your favourite mediums?
Very difficult to answer, embroidery is certainly my go to, but bronze work is so close to my heart. My father raised me in his bronze foundry, so it has a deep connection to me.
WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES & INSPIRATIONS ARE?
Computer game environments always strike me, especially surrealist level designs from the 90s and early 2000's.
Do you have any musical influences that inspire your work? Or any particular artists/songs you like to listen to while working?
Music isn't a muse to me; I have very little interest in music and prefer to listen to audiobooks. My favourite film soundtrack is AKIRA and my favourite single is Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HABITS OR PERSONAL RITUALS YOU DO IN ORDER TO GET IN THE ZONE FOR CREATING?
I'm practically always working so I don't have much time for rituals! I always need a sound on in the background whether it's TV sounds, online debates, or audiobooks. I'm strict with my working hours to avoid burnout so I always work from 9:30 to 18:00 daily.
This past 18 months have been chaotic to say the least, with times changing so rapidly and our lives being shaken up dramatically, have you noticed any changes in your creative process or mindset?
Check out this playlist by Phoebe to hear what she's listening to right now.
I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.
Not really to be entirely honest, art is an introverted profession so other than the sudden halt to the art world, I've just kept going day by day.
HOW DID LOCKDOWN AFFECT YOU CREATIVELY?
I recalled my wonderful tutor at art school’s advice; "always have a show on standby" so I created a full solo show of embroidery and sculpture to keep me occupied and remind me of the light at the end of the tunnel.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH YOUR WORK?
I want to bring the voice of my generation into the art world. The generation that spent their childhood online learning an entirely new language and saw video games as a respectable art form. There's something tantalising about making art the older generations can't understand but have to accommodate for.
WHAT DOES ART/YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS MEAN TO YOU?
It's my entire world, I grew up casting bronze with my father and learning how to make moulds with my mother. Fabrication is in my blood! Art my inner world, meditation, and sense of self.
To see more of Phoebe's work, visit her artist's page or check out our online shop
'AFK series 2: Kitchen'
by Phoebe Stringer
'AFK series 2: Living Room'
by Phoebe Stringer
'Seasons of Love'
by Jamie Chi
by Jennifa Chowdhury
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