Amy McMillan

‘how lucky I am in myriad ways and find all the silver linings’

Question: How are you?

It has been a strange time, but like you say strangely busy somehow too.

I was really disappointed when I first realised Greece would be cancelled, and then I lost my job as I wasn't allowed to extend my notice period, so that did make things tricky. But I've just tried to take it all on the chin, think of how lucky I am in myriad ways and find all the silver linings - it turns out there are many! I managed to find another job and so am working from home, but my evenings and weekends have been filled with making as much as possible.

Question: where are you currently working?

For me, like most artists, the main barrier to making work was lack of time. Well now, we have heaps of it. Time to be still, away from distractions, away from the relentless hum of Londons tubes. I went straight into a full time job since graduating and was commuting for 2 hours each day. I didn't notice massively at the time, but now with this period of stillness comes the opportunity to appreciate the quiet, slower pace of life. It turns out, I'm very much an extroverted introvert and being away from people for a long period of time has been completely inspiring. I'm making so much work. At the moment I can't do much ceramic, but I've been thinking about containment. I recently read this essay 'I am a Monster' by an American artist I love called Loren Erdrich. She references the human obsession with being contained, or more specifically the body being a container. Something we put things in or things come out of. There is an offer of the idea from Lucy Irigaray that this is a masculine way of seeing the world - fixed, inadequate for describing identities, and that we need to include more flux and flow... I've been exploring some of these ideas in my paintings recently, in particular because we are now confined to smaller spaces during this time. Letting things spill out, stain, dribble and fragment into bold, bright colours. Finding faces, emerging from the paper. I'm still using inks and bleach, with the addition of pigments. I've been looking a lot to Matisse for colour problem solving and have been finding comfort in the colour purple. It's been a meditative and formative time.

Question : What will you be watching?

The spider, the mistress, the tangerine - documentary about Louise Bourgeois
Pina by Wim Wenders - incredible film, the soundtrack by Jun Miyake is brilliant
Victoria - berlin based film shot in one take, takes your breath away
Stop Making Sense - Talking heads documentary
Anything by Agnes Varder

Much love and best wishes,





Shaker I

Shaker II

Shaker III

Shaker IV

The Wish