Ralph Hunter-Menzies

Ralph Hunter-Menzies

Super into Ralph Hunter-Menzies' process of painting, which involves deconstructing and then reconstructing, and informally studying this process in the urban environment. More at the links below!

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I'd love to know a bit about you! Can you introduce yourself?

I was born and raised in England to Scottish parents and have lived the majority of my life in and around London.

When did you first discover or become interested in art? Was there a moment when you knew you wanted to pursue making it?

I grew up in a household dominated by paintings and photographs from my parents time living abroad. My dad was a geologist so they had spent time in some fascinating places and always had some mad stories. They always encouraged me and my sister to pursue the arts. They spent a lot of time exposing us to art and history from a young age.

How would you describe your work?

An exploration of how we exist and shape our cities. My work uses graffiti removal as a visual starting point and employs many techniques used by graffiti removers. I have become fascinated in the idea of mark making while removing surface. This has become imperative to my work and has furthered my thinking around destruction as a creative method. All of my current works aim to hold destruction and creation in equal balance. This is why I started sewing the remnants of destructive processes together.

What is your process like?

I spend a lot of time taking photographs of graffiti removal and also certain music scenes and their approach to creation (destruction) are looked at along the way.

I have two main processes to creating these works. The first process involves painting the surface then removing parts of it with high-pressured water, acid and sanding techniques. This is then taken to a different space, where I will then cut the surfaces up and compose an image/painting.

What is your studio or workspace like?

I am in a constant state of transition. I have made works in garages, car parks, warehouses and forests. This constant moving is something that I feel gives me purpose and direction within my practice and never allows for me to get particularly comfortable, which I feel always kills my inspiration.

Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you in the mode to create?

Because I am never somewhere for that long I feel like my routine is moving. Certain pieces of music always help.

Do you have a favorite mantra, quote, or piece of advice you rely on when you're working?

Never stop re-inventing or questioning the way you look at things.

What do you need or value most as an artist?

Space and time.

What is or has been the most challenging or daunting aspect of pursuing art? 

How expensive London is seems to be the biggest challenge.

What are you working on right now?

Planning a site-specific work at the moment, which will be the first work like this I have made.

Find more at ralphhuntermenzies.co.uk and on Instagram @ralph_h_m!

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Thom Trojanowski

Thom Trojanowski

Ferris McGuinty

Ferris McGuinty