The Girls – Andrea Blood Pt 1November 28, 2015
Together, Andrea Blood and Zerelda Sinclair make up The Girls, an artistic duo whom I’ve long admired. The first works that made me sit up and take notice of them were in the form of their witty photographic self portraits, where they positioned themselves as, for example, a mermaid in the bath eating chips, or Barbara Cartland in all her slightly creepy glory.
The Girls – Andrea Blood Pt 1
It wasn’t just the ideas but the execution that I enjoyed – the level of detail was immense and The Girls revel in an unmatched sense of colour. Since then live performance pieces starring the pair feels like a natural extension to their work, as well as a residency in Selfridges, a self published artwork in the form of a magazine, and an involvement in community pageantry.
I was really excited to get the opportunity to chat over email to Andrea Blood and get all the answers to the questions I’ve been dying to ask for so long regarding the pair’s work.
About your ideas
Genevieve Jones: I love your work as it always looks like you’ve balanced the fun of a giant dressing up box with serious artistic intent. How do you come up with ideas for works?
Andrea Blood: Well, we start with an idea or a message; something we want to explore, often it develops into several ideas. Then comes the research, and eventually a clear visual or a narrative develops. Next you have to consider some practicalities and readability of your idea. Sometimes you respond to a theme, like our piece ‘Diamonds & Toads’, it was in originally created in response to the theme ‘I Am A Fantasy’; a group exhibition with Margaret Harrison, at the Payne Shurvell gallery in 2011. It started us thinking about fairy tales and the ridiculous narratives we’ve had rammed down our throats since before we could even read.
GJ: Do you ever have an idea and decide “no that’s too complicated?” How do you decide which ideas to go forward with and which to abandon, and are there any you wish you had done?
AB: I come up with millions of ideas that aren’t physically or financially possible. The challenge is to try and come up with the most ambitious project that is still somehow possible. I have something in mind currently that I don’t have the skills for. I’m not a fan of just commissioning others to carry out the work under direction, so this new idea might involve some serious embroidery practice first.
GJ: Do people who commission work and curators have input into the final work?
AB: If they have set a general theme, effectively they are involved in the idea. Mainly the curators we have worked with have been fantastic at combining interesting and thought-provoking artists & works into a cohesive programme. Our recent series of shows curated by the London-based Live Art Development Agency as part of the Just Like A Woman programme are a great example of that.
GJ: Do you compile mood or inspiration boards?
AB: Yes, both physical and digital versions sometimes. Plus lists, endless lists and drawings.
Read Part 2 of this interview, about The Girls outstanding Diamonds and Toads piece, their working methods and what the future holds here!
The Girls website is at www.thegirls.co.uk