BA (Hons) Illustration alumnus, Nathan Cowdry, tells us about his exhibition ‘The Past is Another Country’ at Doomed Gallery, London.
“Andrew Finch and I met a couple of times in the past, at events and then he contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in doing a show so I said yeah. The title of the show is The Past is Another Country. I’d come back from spending time in Japan and Andrew had been in America and Australia and well, we’re not there anymore, and so it’s about moving on. This is the thing that connects our work because visually the work is polar opposites.
As part of the uni course I did half a year in Japan. It was a bit mad because none of the tutors spoke English. It was a challenge, but I learned so much just from being there. It had a massive effect on my work. The draughtsmen in Japan are the best and that really reinforced my belief in what I am doing. I mean that’s my thing.
I have had trouble with old teachers maybe not reacting to my art in the best way. I got banned from Facebook for a month for putting up a picture of a teddy bear doing something bad, but the challenge really is knowing when you have to make big changes to develop your work. I mean I had been working in black and white for so long and then I only just realised that it had been holding my work back.
The exhibition is half colour half black and white. It was actually when I came back from a comic book festival in France. I went through a period of reflection because I hadn’t done as well in my first term in the final as I wanted to and I realised it was because I wasn’t using colour.
Having a show in London is great. Just making without knowing what the end result is hard. I made a lot of work; twice as much as is on the walls and I’m annoyed that some pieces didn’t end up being shown, but that’s the way it came together.
For the future, I’ll just keep working, keep improving, doing work that’s challenging and hard to do. Every-time I try something new I add to the work and that’s the goal. Keep learning.”