The Artist’s Corner: with Sheila Miranda Maurice-Grey
Sheila Miranda Maurice -Grey is one individual lady. She takes her work seriously and likes to make it perfect, even if it means spending hours on a piece of art, one pixel at a time. She blends her heritage and her surroundings into one seamless form. She talks to Youth Arts Online about her work, the future, and art.
What made you want to do art seriously?
Well firstly when it came to choosing my A-level subjects, I decided I wanted a mixture within options both academic and creative. However I believe the turning point for me was during my foundation year when I was left to own devices to explore the medium paint itself as an art form. That was my beginning.
How does being a musician and an artist compare in terms of flexibility?
I’ve also wanted to be a musician more than an artist and I’ve always seemed to have succeeded at separating the two art forms. It wasn’t until last summer when I first collaborated with the late Jazz trumpeter Abram Wilson, when the possibilities of Jazz and my paintings fused together, realising that much of the politics behind my work was in fact inspired by Jazz. I’d say that this realisation has greatly impacted my work and has opened some many possibilities to explore things never that have never been achieved within both the art forms.
In your art, you mix a lot of different mediums together, such as collage and digital print. What sort of effect are you looking for and what impact does it have on the audience?
Most of my earlier works involving mixed media were me exploring and challenging the possibilities within each medium. When creating each piece of work I always have my audience in mind, however I don’t believe it affects my choice of media. I see each one as a different communication device, only to be used when appropriate.
Your art is influenced by African and urban aspects. What is it about these aspects that you were drawn to? What does it symbolize to you?
As a third- generation descendant from Sierra-Leone and having lived in South London most of my life, I would say these factors have had a definite impact on my earlier works. I guess I’ve always been curious about my Sierra-Leonean heritage but more importantly curious about the contradictions between being identified as both British and African. Most recently I’ve been playing around with the notion of blackness within media looking as far back the minstrel show from the early 19th century comparing it with modern day Hip Hop.
What are your future goals with your creative talents?
Of course and most importantly to be a successful artist and musician, but mainly as a combined art form.
What does it take to be a good artist in your opinion?
I believe everyone has to have a vision but more than anything perseverance.
What inspires you to create?
My faith in God. I believe he has given me these talents and I intend on using them to the fullest.
Has doing art changed the way you feel and look at your surroundings?
As a visual artist you are forced to look, observe and be a judge if I must say, but I believe that the artist sees like a regular person but has the advantage of presenting these things in ways unusual to the regular individuals eye.
Lastly, what sort of new projects are you hoping to do in the future, creative or not?
I see my practice as an on- going project that waits on each day to bring something different and shift my practice into whatever direction it chooses.
© copyrights belong to Sheila Maurice-Grey