Contemporary artist Florence To worked to create unique in-store and window installations using quirky brand MT tape across all six Cass Art stores from the 23rd May until 6th June. Working with MT Tape allowed To to create a depth of space using simple lines, waves and transparency. This new versatile material from Japan is designed by Kamoi. Florence To named this project ‘Coaxial Atica’ which represents her passion for depth of space and using simple lines to allow the space and those around it to connect.
Q&A WITH FLORENCE TO
We caught up with the artist to find out about her journey from student to professional artist.
How would you describe your creative style?
My work involves utilizing its surrounding involving geometry and space.
Where did you grow up, and has this place had an influence on your practice?
I was born in Grangemouth but grew up in Glasgow for 12 years. To keep myself occupied as a child, I would find things to be creative with, whether it was playing music or putting objects together to create another form. I was better at expressing myself through my actions. It’s conveying an emotion that some people feel better in expressing in more ways than one.
What is your earliest memory of being interested or involved in Art?
Being the youngest of 3 children, I remember stealing parts of my brother’s toys. I would hide it under my bed and when they weren't looking piece them together to build something new. I’m very much about being intuitive with my work at first, the control comes second.
Where did you study and which course did you choose?
I studied Fashion and Textile in the Scottish Borders School of Textiles and moved on to do a Masters at The Glasgow School of Art. However my main practice was tailoring which I learned from working at Boudicca and Preen.
How did you come to work with MT tape?
I was working on a project involving the concept of using tape and while sourcing materials, I came across MT.
Can you talk us through the method you use when creating MT installations?
My practice has evolved from using restrictions in spaces I work in. When using MT I begin using the lines already in the given layout and let it grow from that. I try to make it quite organic.
Where do you find inspiration?
What I see and hear everyday is my inspiration. I could be having a random conversation with a stranger and something in a sentence would stick in my head and I would be questioning it. I think when you are a student you are told to research other artists, to train our minds into their thinking - we forget what we acknowledge everyday in our environment can be what inspires us too.
Do you ever use/combine other materials or techniques when using MT tape?
I've used transparencies such as acetate to give some depth and colour within shapes. I like textures and light- acetate works well with light.
Which artists are you most influenced by when creating your own work?
I would say my biggest influences have been Russian Constructivist artist Naum Gabo and theories by Rowena Kostellow. Whilst studying my degree I was very influenced by Kostellow’s thought on the manipulation of form and their role in architectural space, this formed part of my research in my first fashion collection. During my masters I felt very connected with Gabo’s work and how he explored space which he believed could be done without having to depict mass. This is very apparent within my work today.
Do you have any tips for using MT tape in an innovative/cool/fun way?
If you disconnect the reality of an object and treat it as what it could be then you can use MT tape with anything. I suggest using the tape on anything from decorating an object you may be bored of or simply using it to fix something. If it has a surface that you can stick to then I would advise to give it a go.
What advice would you give an artist who wants to become an established/professional artist?
Keep trying and to have fun in whatever you do. If you are not happy with your work then try harder. Only you as an artist can feel fulfilled in being creative.
Visit Florence To's website to see more of her creations. http://www.florence-to.com/