Celebrating 140 years of Fenwick with Andy Singleton
29 June 2022
Introducing Andy Singleton: Fenwick's Artist In Residence 2022. Andy explores the natural and manmade world to create intricate paper cuttings, striking paper sculptures, hand-drawn illustrations and beautiful large-scale installations.
Spot Andy's vibrant installations trapezing throughout Fenwicks’ window dressings, cavorting around their burgeoning Portico Bond Street floral display and creating a sense of wonderment adorning their Christmas advent calendars and other special projects.
Discover our interview below to find out why Andy chose the unexpected medium of paper as his artistic focus and the fascinating process behind his work.
What inspired you to start working with paper?
It was at University that I realised that paper offered a unique way to express my ideas. It is a tactile material, which is easily accessible. After graduating, I explored the natural world and created experimental pieces that capture movement and energy. I began to show my work in galleries and became known for creating large-scale paper installations and intricate paper sculptures.
How do you approach each project?
The starting point of any project usually begins with a sketch. I then create test models and sketch in 3D to work out technical requirements. Once I’m happy with this stage, the artwork can be reproduced on high-quality paper, ready to be photographed and transformed into all kinds of different mediums.
How did you approach the window display theme 'Circus of Life' in celebration of Fenwick's 140th anniversary?
The starting point was the visit to the Fenwick achieves in Newcastle to explore their extensive collection of beautiful circus posters collected over many years by Arthur Fenwick. I found the images to be vivid, full of energy and surprisingly contemporary with lots of strong and interesting characters. I wanted the feel of the finished result to capture one of excitement and otherworldliness that you get when visiting the circus.
Are there any new materials or techniques you have applied to your work with Fenwick?
I usually try to capture the entirety of my paper sculptures in one photo. Due to the scale of the image and the multi-functional use of the illustration, I decided it would not be practical. So for this project, I photographed each element and then composed the final image in Photoshop.
How did you blend your aesthetic with Fenwick’s personality?
I like to be experimental in my work which was reflected in Fenwick's trusting attitude to collaborating. Fenwick seems to genuinely embrace a sense of playfulness which makes for a natural fit for an artist like myself.
How do you want people to feel when they look at your work?
On a surface level, I try to capture a high level of detail, skill, and craft in my work. I want people to wonder ‘how did he make that?’ On a deeper level what I’m always trying to express in my work is a sense of energy and movement. It could be a large-scale paper installation exploring the energy of a nebula cloud or the circus theme illustration for Fenwick. I always want to show the viewer the life force that exists in these moments.
A marriage between vibrant flowers and effervescent circus characters, Andy was also involved in creating a show-stopping floral display at Fenwick of Bond Street.
"In celebration of our 140th anniversary, join us at Fenwick of Bond Street to see our dazzling floral display for yourself. Discover a burgeoning smorgasbord of silk flowers and natural flowers that enable the installation to flourish and evolve over time. A nod to the circus' spirit of curiosity, discovery and playfulness, spot dancing acrobats tumbling over the display that was conceptualised using paper and transformed into fibreglass sculptures. Our floristry partner Star-Flower and Artist in Residence, Andy Singleton collaborated to bring their vision of colour and festivities to life."