CERAMICIST | ANIA BRZESKI
“Hopefully that will be more of an importance placed on the importance of creatives in cities to keep sort of culture and arts alive, which is a massive part of why people want to live in big cities.”
Ania Brzeski creates handmade ceramics behind the name Sloth. Sloth was created with the intention to celebrate a change of pace naturally brought on by the slow process of handmade ceramics. Her designs are inspired by natural dyed textiles, mid century design, and the natural source of her materials. [ slothpots.com]
What is your definition of studio space?
To me a studio space can be anything as long as it fits a purpose. I mean, I’ve turned my bedroom into a space before and I’ve worked in massive communal studios with like 100 other people. Yeah, to me, I think a studio is any space that you can dedicate to your creativity and your craft or whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve.
I think that it’s a space where you can get away from the other distractions as well. I’ve very much always needed to sort of carve out a space, whether that’s even just like an area in a room where it’s dedicated for that thing. Otherwise, it’s very hard to stay focused on the creative task at hand.
Collaborative/communal spaces are on the rise. Do you believe this formula can work?
Yeah, I think it works really, really well. I actually work in a shared studio space at the moment and I love it. I think as long as everyone there has the same idea of how to respect the space and how to treat it and also how to treat your fellow studio members. That’s the key thing. But I think as long as you have those kinds of things in place, then it works really, really well. And it’s a really great place to either immerse yourself in your own creative projects or be around other people and get inspiration from them.
Do you believe that London has an impact on your art?
Oh, yeah, definitely. I’m very much inspired by my surroundings and I think that if I was making in any other place I would make very different work. I’ve always lived in the London area, so London’s probably had a very big impact on me as a person anyway. So it’s hard to imagine the kind of work I would make if I wasn’t here.
My next question, do you think it would impact your work if he were to move out?
Definitely, I think it would with anyone. I think we’re all inspired by what we see and what we experience so if you change that kind of perspective entirely then your work could be bound to change as a result. In many ways it could be for the better and hopefully build on the sort of background that you’ve already created with the experiences you’ve had in London as a setting. If you move to somewhere else, hopefully it will inform your previous ideas rather than starting completely from scratch.
Would you ever consider moving out of the city?
I was considering living somewhere else for a period of time. But I think London will always be home and I will always come back to it. I would love to live in another city or another country, have that kind of experience, but I think I’ve always come back to London.
What do you think the future of studio space will look like?
Hopefully there’ll be more of it, especially in cities. Over the last few years there’s been more of a resurgence of communal spaces, which is amazing. But it’s still really difficult for artists to carve out a space for themselves in big cities. So hopefully it will become more affordable and more accessible as well. And hopefully that will be more of an importance placed on the importance of creatives in cities to keep sort of culture and arts alive, which is a massive part of why people want to live in big cities.
How do you believe we can ensure artists remain in London in the future?
That’s difficult. I think affordable studio spaces are a massive block for a lot of artists, a lot of the reasons I know people leaving is because they can’t afford to make a living and pay the London rent prices. Affordable studio space, awareness across the community, and I guess more interaction with London society rather than these sort of pockets of creative areas. It would be great if there was more attention to mainstream London culture I suppose.
How do you think artists can collaborate and communicate with developers in London to try to maintain that cultural community?
If developers were to start recognising the importance of creativity into spaces that they are creating then they would hopefully start carving out space in their plans. I mean, it’d be great if there was some kind of support in terms of guardian-ships situations like that work really well for artists but there’s obviously no security in them because you can be removed at any moment. So if there was some sort of permanent solution in terms of like artists occupying buildings, that would be amazing.