January's cover artist Ladoza
CityMag talks art, NASA and the Peak District with Ladoza
Whether he’s painting or taking pictures, Ladoza takes a huge amount of inspiration from the Peak District
Tell us about your cover.
The cover painting is one of an ongoing series of abstract oil works inspired by my various explorations of the Peak District area.
What is your background?
My first outing creatively was actually in music, writing and playing lead/rhythm guitar in various Sheffield bands until 2007. I then had a chance to study Fine Art BA at Sheffield Hallam, which turned into a Masters. Photography is something I had done on and off since 1996 and in the past ten years I have become somewhat addicted. It is pretty easy to fall in love with photography.
How would you describe your style?
It’s very open and often evolves, I like to explore and merge newly learnt techniques. If I have an idea I don’t like to be tied to a specific style to create it. It is important for me to do this as it feels like my practice grows with me and keeps me engaged and enthusiastic.
Does music/popular culture have an influence on your work?
Music yes, it’s part of my everyday life in various ways and is very important to me. I often think in sound (this isn’t as hippy as it sounds) as my vocabulary often falls very short of what I am really interested in. Music, like art, communicates and talks to us differently compared to words. I guess I just connect more with visuals and sound rather than a written language. I also very rarely work in silence.
What/who is your inspiration?
This is such a huge question but at the moment I’d have to say the Peak District. I try and get out there as much as possible whether I’m climbing, walking, sketching or taking photographs. These all add to my studio practice in various ways.
Have you done any commissions?
I have done some artworks for local bands Fletcher Dervish and Hot Diamond Aces. I occasionally like to ask other local artists if I can photograph their work in places around the Peak District. It’s fun to do and gets me to interact with familiar landscape in different ways. I have done this recently for Scavenger (reclaimed climbing equipment to make clothing, accessories and inventions), Chris Boland (jewellery) and Samantha Bryan (fairies) all of which you should check out as they are very unique and amazing talents.
Which other artists do you admire?
I admire so many people for all sorts of reasons; from old I would predictably say Mark Rothko and Kazimir Malevich. From new, I love the work of New York based artist Jose Parla and London based Clare Woods. They have very different styles and approaches but I find their work equally fascinating and beautiful.
A music artist that I hugely admire would be Omar Rodriguez Lopez.
What would be your dream project?
Well if taking photos for NASA is a bit unrealistic, I would love to do a long-term residency somewhere to see how a different location or culture would affect my work, styles and outcome.
What does the future hold?
Lots of artwork, exploration and collaborations. I would like chances to exhibit my work more. I am looking at getting more established in film stills photography and maybe even some music recording. Lots to look forward to in 2017 already so I am hoping for a good year.
Any new years resolutions?
See Ladoza’s cover artwork and read January’s CityMag.