Painting Space – Interview with Danny Rolph
繪畫的天地 – 專訪藝術家丹尼·羅爾夫

ART.ZIP: How long do you spend at the studio? Do you come everyday?

ART.ZIP: 每週有多少時間是在工作室中度過的呢?您每天都會來工作嗎?

DR: About five days a week, because having a family there is a lot of sport chauffering to attend to! I have also always given up a day in the week when my three boys were younger to spend time with them.I research a lot, for example, last week I was in Milan looking at the Rondinone Pieta, the week before I was in Madrid looking at Goya’s Black Paintings. The eye is a muscle that needs to be trained. Books are great, they are far better than computers but there is nothing that actually replaces being in front of something and drawing from it, for me anyway.

What is a studio, is it a place for social interaction or is a place for private investigation? It’s interesting, isn’t it? I know lots of my friends who work in new media only need a laptop and yet they still have a space to separate themselves from the rest of the world. I often think, why don’t we swap! The work can be defined by the nature of the space, it’s made in. For example, I can get an eight-foot painting out through my door, that’s eight foot on one side and you must subconsciously relate to that. These paintings are the biggest I have done for quite a while, the single panels are seven foot by six and they can get out — but I have done twenty foot long paintings before and they are made as triptychs — so you do subconsciously react and build the work in a relationship to the studio size.

DR: 我每週在工作室工作五天左右,要知道,家庭生活也需要大量的精力和時間!在我的三個兒子还小的時候,我需要保證每週最起碼抽一天時間陪伴他們。我經常需要外出考察:舉例來說,上个星期我在米蘭考察米開朗基羅(Michelangelo)的《隆達尼尼聖殤(Rondinone Pieta)》,再之前我在馬德里考察歌雅(Francisco Goya)的黑畫系列(Black Paintings)。眼睛是一塊需要鍛鍊的肌肉。閱讀書籍很棒,比電腦要好很多,但是,對我來說,沒有任何東西能夠代替藝術品實物給予人的體驗。


ART.ZIP: Do you think it is a good idea to live in the same building as your studio space?

ART.ZIP: 你覺得就在同一個空間裡工作和生活是一個好主意嗎?

DR: No. Not for me. Some people do. For me it is really important the idea of going to work and to separate all that I am as a father and as a member of society. Cycling here is also a way to free up all my concerns. The twenty-minute cycle here frees everything, all the emotional clutter that builds up, all the noise. Thirty years ago I started painting, I was fifteen and I am forty-six now, every day still feels so fresh –- I’m always starting with a completely clean slate. For me, it is so important that there is that gap but I know lots of people who prefer it the other way around. It’s just working out what suits you.

DR: 不,對我來說這不是一個好主意。有人喜歡這樣做。但對我來說,工作時需要脫離我作為一個父親的身份,脫離我作為一個社會公民的身份。


ART.ZIP: How long do you spend in the studio each day?

ART.ZIP: 每天會在這工作多長時間?

DR: Well I come in about 7.30am. I really do like the morning, so it is not a chore for me – I’m so lucky – this is what I love to do and so at 6 or 6.30pm I feel like I have only been here ten minutes! And then it’s time to go home. On other days, I may be teaching post graduates at the Royal Academy Schools or undergraduates at U.C.A, Saint Martins or Bucks New University. I do about forty days teaching which is a nice balance otherwise I think there’s a tendency to become too self referential in your practice.

While passing on your experience to the students, they are also passing it back, like what is interesting to them and reflecting on how society is changing and it’s relationship to ideas and social concerns. You can’t get a better place for that than an art college. An art college is always going to be where these things spark, but only if it’s a good art college!

For someone like me, who is termed a mid career artist, twenty years after graduating from the Royal College of Art, for example, what interests me, is primarily solo shows. The experiences I have gained over the years in different countries creating these exhibitions is interesting to me – and not for vanity reasons or ego, it’s just trying to find out more about yourself. The opportunity of having exhibitions helps enable artists to find subtexts in their work. I mean, most of the time I am doing. I paint instinctively – there is no plan and I am learning as I go along – embedded in the activity. So once the opportunity of that solo show comes along you can start to reveal yourself back to yourself.

DR: 我每天早上七點三十分左右來到這裡,開始工作。我非常喜歡早晨,所以這對我來說一點也不讓人頭疼。相反地,我感到非常幸運,我在做我熱愛的工作,所以到了傍晚六點或六點三十分時,我感覺我只在這待了十分鐘而已!然而那時我就要結束一天的工作回家了。有的時候,我會在皇家美術學院(Royal Academy Schools)為碩士生們授課,或是在創意產業學院(UCA),中央聖馬丁(CSM)或新白金漢郡大學(Bucks New University)為本科生們授課。我每年進行四十天左右的教學,而這是一個很好的平衡,要不然我有可能會閉門造車。