Reynolds works in drawing, sculpture, painting, photography and sound and light installations. Her current exhibition, The Illusion of Democracy, at Lucy Bell Fine Art, St Leonards on Sea, includes new light drawings.
The drawings are created using a technique developed in the 19th Century, and involves drawing with light within the camera frame over a long exposure time. While light drawing has appealed to artists over the years (including Man Ray, Picasso and Matisse), Reynolds unique approach and background in music and sound art creates compelling and powerful pieces.
Reynolds has exhibited worldwide, including the first international exhibition of Sound Art at the Hayward Gallery, London Sonic Boom; The Art of Sound, and is currently working on a large-scale Power Plant event for Auckland Arts Festival 2017.
What are you doing today?
Making decisions about where mirror balls and lights will hang in huge oak trees in Auckland.
Tell us about your creative process
Much of it is to do with a curiosity about what is possible or what would happen in a certain set of circumstances. In some ways it has more in common with the process of invention. A lot of things happen that aren’t intended and these can either be seen as mistakes or a clue to an alternative way forward.
Describe where you do most of your creative work
Outdoors in the natural environment and ideally away from home.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
Probably the Bow Gamelan show on the roof of the Bankside Power Station (now Tate Modern) in the late 90s. We were working with scrap metal percussion and pyrotechnics and when burning rope started falling from above through clouds of red smoke it became fairly apocalyptic.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I don’t think anyone decides to become an artist, but I did decide to study art at the age of 15. The education system in the 1980s was very focussed on clearly defined careers. I was told that if I worked really hard at university then I could be an accountant in 10 years and a senior partner in 15 whereas if I studied art then I would be ‘qualified to do nothing.’ Knowing that at that age that I didn’t have any knowledge whatsoever of the outside world, keeping my options open was the only realistic choice.
What are you working on now?
Power Plant; we are five artists who take over a botanic garden for a large-scale outdoor night-time sound and light installation event. This one is in New Zealand for the Auckland Arts Festival.
What are the key themes in your work?
Our relationship to and place within the natural environment, revelation, fear, disruption, change, evolution.
What would you like people to notice in your work?
That special thing that makes you forget yourself for a moment.
What attracts you to the mediums you work in?
I like mediums that are physically challenging to work with that require rapid decisions to be made highly intuitively.
What equipment could you not do without?
Who or what inspires you?
Anything and everything.
How does gender affect your work?
I think it probably makes me irreverent.
What’s your favourite gallery, or place to see or experience art?
If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?
I don’t think that ownership of art is important for me and I’ve got no space for any! I prefer a library of books that provide constant inspiration/distraction and are a window to other worlds and ideas.
If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be?
I always think that the best collaborations are when the people involved are from different disciplines. He probably would have been a nightmare to work with, but for this reason I would say Nikola Tesla.
Is there an artist, movement or collective you’d like to see re-evaluated, or a contemporary artist who is underrated?
The whole history of art should be re-evaluated as so many women are underrated. Anne Bean, for instance, should be more recognised.
What’s your favourite colour
Elephant grey. Not because of the colour – it’s a dark greenish grey – but because of the name!