WORDS AND INTERVIEW BY CATHERINE MOREY PHOTOGRAPHY BY @BRYNLEYDAVIES PAGE 238.239 A STORM INSIDE YOU 2021 PAGE 242.243 CAN YOU DIE FROM THE ACHE OF TODAY 2020 PAGE 244.245 WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU DIE 2022 PAGE 246.247 MY MIND HURTS PAGE 248.249 I’D RATHER GET NO SLEEP NEXT TO YOU THAN SLEEP ALONE 2022 PAGE 250.251 SUCK THE PLEASURE OUT OF EVERYTHING 2020 REPRESENTED BY SIM SMITH WWW.SIM-SMITH.COM STARRING @DAISYPARRIS WWW.DAISYPARRIS.COM KENT UNITED KINGDOM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYNLEY ODU DAVIES
Daisy Parris’s experiences, their emotions, their relationships or their own existence are the subject of their paintings. An explosion of honesty and a quiet side of savagery come together in a balanced melody, sensitive and beautiful to listen to. It is somewhat difficult to describe their talent and sensitivity. I will dare to say that this is an artist who will undoubtedly mark an era, because in addition to talent and great skills as constants in their work, they represent something pure and unfiltered. And it would appear that this is just the beginning.
Daisy Parris, born in 1993 in Kent, United Kingdom, lives and works in London. They hold a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University, London and are represented by Sim Smith. In a conversation with the gallery owner, Parris is asked where their paintings come from and they immediately answer that they come from the darkest part of their soul. This may be a cliché among artists, but from experience, I can say that standing in front of one of Parris’s paintings, such as “A Storm inside you” 2021, an oil on canvas measuring 200 × 320 cm (78 3⁄4 × 126 in), provides such an emotional jolt that it will stay with you for a lifetime.
We took the opportunity to send Daisy some questions, which they were kind enough to answer. Some of them you will see repeated in other interviews in this magazine. These questions are not for comparison, but for understanding, to explore what drives an artist to do what they do and to try to understand those motivations from different points of view. The interview is short but concise, where the artist explains some very interesting details about the way they work and certain points that have left me personally even more fascinated, if that is possible.
It is often said that the best way to get to know an artist is to observe their work. What do you think about this?
It’s not always the case, but I think this definitely applies to me. If you look at my paintings with text in them, they tell you all you need to know. If you were to study the way I apply paint or collage in my work then that will also tell you a lot about my personality, behaviours and habits in my personal life.
I find that your works tell an emotional story. Do you think of them that way?
I try to be as emotionally vulnerable as possible when making my work. My studio is a safe space, so I usually feel free to be as honest and revealing as possible. The hardest part is when I exhibit the work and have to start talking about it.
What is more interesting for you, the original idea, the process or the completion and seeing the finished work?
I love the journey of it all. The excitement when you start a painting, the agony of trying to solve the puzzle when it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted. But seeing the finished piece and being surprised by it is one of my favourite feelings.
What do you spend your free time doing when you are not working?
I work a lot so I don’t get that much free time, but I love hanging out with my cats, cooking, going for walks and being in nature.
You’ve worked in small and large format. What does this choice depend on?
I like working on opposite scales. My goal would be to be able to recreate a small painting in large format, but that will never happen, so the large paintings turn into something else. Working small allows me to be less precious, so I can build up intense textures, experiment with paint, but also maintain an intimacy. Working large allows me to be consumed by the piece. It helps me trust space more and allow for there to be calmer areas where you can breathe.
You often use stars or crosses in your paintings, are they a type of symbolism? Can you explain anything about this?
I like to think of stars as human beings trying to reach out and touch everything.
I’ve always thought the most difficult thing is to know when a painting is finished. How do you know?
Sometimes you just know, it’s a feeling and other times it’s out of your hands because of a deadline. I am very open to the fact that my opinion of my work will change and that I will have a relationship with the paintings long after they’ve left my studio. I often find works that I didn’t like initially end up being very interesting when I look at them years later. I try to just make the work, put it out there and then people can deal with it in whatever way they want.
In terms of your creative process, how do you think it has changed in recent years?
I have definitely learnt to slow down. I used to think I had to finish a painting in the same day I started it. Now sometimes my work takes months. I’ve learnt (most of the time) to give the pieces space, to not overwork them, but instead just walk away and work on something else when it’s not going right.
Regardless of the typical aspects of the current market, if you could choose a work of art to have in your living room, which one would it be and why?
I would have Blinky Palermo’s ‘Coney Island II, 1975’—if I could look at that everyday then I’d be able to get through anything. I’ve never seen it in person, but just looking at it through a screen makes me feel calm, and allows me to reflect, so I can only imagine it’s power when directly in front of it.