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Art, design, craft and nature. An interview with Molly Dilworth

Posted by Rebeca Romero on 6th Mar 2019

Art, design, craft and nature. An interview with Molly Dilworth

From the rooftops of Brooklyn to the Pedestrian plazas of Times Square, Molly Dilworth has created outdoor site-specific paintings in New York City and exhibited across the United States. We are very excited to bring you a selection of her beautiful paintings as wonderful prints! We had a conversation with Molly regarding her practice, influences but most important of all, her current playlist! (Because we know what the really important things in life are :)

E: Hey Molly, could you please tell us a bit about your background and how you got interested in illustration? 

M: I always loved drawing and making mostly textile based crafts from a young age. I can’t really explain why  I pursued it except to say that I was always more interested in things related to art, art history, design and craft than anything else. By its nature art is omnivorous because it can tangle with any discipline: science, entertainment, literature, engineering, journalism, food – that freedom is pretty attractive.

E:How would you define your style? 

M:I often describe my fashion choices as Kindergarden-Grandma but that probably goes for my art, too.

E:We love your work in open spaces, have you got a favourite piece, funny memory related to your "open air" work? If you had to choose between indoors or outdoors work, which would you pick?

M:One of my favourite things happened while installing the plaza painting in Times Square when one morning someone ran up to me in a panic saying, “someone tagged your painting!” Turns out it was the internet guys marking the ground where they would be working. The city was mad but I loved it; their street-marking glyphs were bright orange and looked awesome. Also since I was only allowed to make a design with four colours they made it possible for me to get away with an extra one.

E: What's your earliest memory related to art? First museum visit or first artwork that really caused an impact in you?

M: I grew up near Detroit and remember seeing photos of Henry Moore and Giacometti sculptures in my elementary school music textbook. I had seen that work at the Detroit Institute of Art but didn’t understand that it was famous or special, and even thought that it was maybe a copy of the real thing from the book. The DIA has a great collection and I got really familiar with works by Claes Oldenberg, Nam Jun Paik, Gilbert and George before I even knew anything about contemporary art. The DIA also has that incredible Diego Rivera Mural that I’ve know longer than almost any person in my life. We did a lot of weaving and needlework at home, so those were early art memories although I didn’t think of them that way at the time.

E: We are in love your sculpture! Was 3D work something that appeared in your career a bit later? Do you feel there is something sculpture does that 2D work can't? Or do you see this 2 ways of work complimentary to each other?

M: (Thank you) I’ve always done craft-y stuff privately. Anyone who knows me well has seen me sewing, braiding or crocheting. Over the last 5 or so years I’ve been bringing craft materials into the studio, mostly because it scared me to expose this older, more vulnerable part of myself. The materials are kid stuff, not serious. I feel like this work is more intuitive, and surprises me more since I’m still just starting to learn how to use this language. As I become more fluent the 2D and 3D begin to play with and influence each other.

E: Have you got any sort of ritual that gets your "creative juices" flowing?

M: Sometimes just working on things makes things flow but looking at great work in person always does. If I’m really stuck I like to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where there are thousands of years of answers to material and creative problems.

E: Name 3 songs that are currently on heavy rotation in your studio when it's time to get to work.

M: Erykah Badu – Hello from But You Caint Use My Phone

White Magic – Keeping the Wolves From the Door from Through the Sun Door

Funkadelic - Back in Our Minds from Maggot Brain

We loved chatting with Molly, and Erykah Badu is currently playing in our headphones. Get some of Molly's playful sense of shape and colour into your home. You can check her whole print range HERE