The curator Tina Ball from Knowsley Galleries contacted me and offered me a solo show at one of the beautiful gallery spaces she's in charge of. I went of to see Huyton Gallery and absolutely loved the space. Light flows in from the roof and the sides and I just knew it would illuminate the colours in my paintings.
I had 7 months to do 17 paintings the challenge was on!
Burnt Soul is a vibrant fashion label, inspired by colourful girls and guys using outfits to express their personality. They contacted me to ask if I would be interested in doing a collaboration. They wanted to use one of my paintings on a collections of catsuits so I jumped at the chance.
'For our first collaboration we wanted to marry fashion and art to bring you something truly unique. On our first foray into sourcing exclusive prints, we came across Cherie's vibrant style on Instagram. We instantly fell in love and knew we were a match made in catsuit heaven.'
'Cherie Grist is a Liverpool based Abstract Expressionist Artist. She studied at UAL and is co founder of 104 Duke Street studios in Liverpool. This Artwork, 'You already know pt1' is part of a series of 4 paintings. In her work she uses abstract expressionist and focused geometric marks in gloss and acrylic on wood.'
Check out there gorgeous designs here www.burntsoul.com/
I was contacted by the talented fashion & culture writer Amelia Electique, she asked if she could interview and feature me on her amazing Fashion, Arts and culture blog La Femme Electique! I was honoured. Here is the interview and also please check out her website it is an unbelievable feast for your eyes.
One of the first things that struck me upon observing – and exploring – the world of fashion is the extent to which it mirrors, informs and draws inspiration from its co-existent creative industries. Any doubts surrounding this theory are instantly quelled once these domains are closely inspected: whether it manifests in garments, artwork or liberal performances, there is undoubtedly correlation between societal movements and creative evolution. A prominent example in recent times is the subject matter of gender fluidity, which has spawned an increased broad-mindedness on the part of designers to interchange male and female models in their catwalk shows and ad campaigns. Designers such as Jonny Johansson of Acne and Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler have generated considerable intrigue from the former’s decision to send out Spring 2016 menswear models in platform heels and the latter’s groundbreaking placement of a heeled male model, all clad in black, showing off an outfit from the New York brand’s AW15 womenswear collection. Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2016 selection has also reflected this development in society (a topic I elaborated on at the end of last year) while numerous musicians have embraced gender-bending, many citing the inimitable David Bowie as a pioneer of androgynous, flamboyant performances. Art is equally influenced by these factors – one recent revelation was triggered by a Somalia-born, NYC-based artist named Uman, who is garnering acclaim for her redefinition of “outsider art”. One could continue to draw infinite parallels between each of these inventive sectors, but the fact remains that one common denominator binds them together: they are all indispensable forms of expression, captivating the senses to convey viewpoints in a manner that words cannot always achieve.
A shining example of this field of thought is Cherie Grist, a Liverpool-based artist whose mesmerisingly colourful artworks – which encompass eclectic diptychs, wood-backed acrylic art and vibrant prints – derive inspiration from photography, fashion and in-depth artistry. Tapping into an innate desire to convey her artistic vision to the world, she initiated a career in fashion styling and photography through studying at the London College of Fashion, having always viewed art as a side interest. After increasing realisation that her passion for art – and conveying herself organically through this medium – was becoming far greater than a secondary pursuit, she returned to Liverpool six years ago and delved into creating kaleidoscopic works. Specialising in Abstract Expressionism, Grist’s creative approach is as autobiographical as it is automatic: her enthralling works act as a gateway to her sub-conscious, expressing innermost thoughts and feelings so naturally that even the artist herself gains a greater understanding of her own mental psyche once the piece is completed. I spoke with Grist on her refreshingly-liberal creative process, the contrasts between working in London and Liverpool and the importance of embracing one’s artistic vision:
When was your interest in art – and your specific medium, Abstract Expressionism – first sparked?
I have been interested in Art for as long as I can even remember. I realised it wasn’t just an interest but more of an absolute necessity when I started college. I always knew I had something to say, I just didn’t know what it was or how to say it. I was drawn to Abstract Expressionism as I got a bit older and became more aware of myself. It was like a light went on and everything clicked into place. I had finally found the most natural way to express myself and off I went.
Your career encompasses a background in fashion styling and photography, having honed these skills at the London College of Fashion – what spurred you on to pursue a subsequent career as an artist?
It just kind of happened naturally for me. Even when I was planning my photography shoots I always had the same purpose/desire to convey my vision to the world and how I saw things. Then with time and practice, exploring different mediums, I found painting a lot more instant and natural to me. I could see and evaluate my expressions straight away and I found it the most useful way to express what I needed to say. It also allowed me a way to combine all my interests in and throwing paint about instantly satisfied me. It keeps me sane.
Do you feel that having trained and worked in one of the world’s epicenters of design has influenced your work – or your approach towards art – in any way?
I suppose being in the capital at London College of Fashion is a different kind of university experience than most others. You’re in the middle of the west end of London and you just have to crack on. There was no slacking or student pub crawls – really it was all about your work. It felt like we were all instantly in the industry and had to forge our paths from the beginning. I learnt subconsciously to trust my vision and realised straight away that what I had to say was the most important thing and that I just needed to find out how the best way for me to do that was. So yes, I think it has had a huge influence on me as it has made me trust and believe in my own vision.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration when creating art; does this change depending on each piece?
I’d probably say photography is my biggest influence; then fashion, then art. I love Saul Leiter, Harry Gruyaert and Daido Moriyama – their photos blow my mind. I love abstract images with depth. The shapes, angles, light and the contrast, love, love, love them! I am also a major catwalk stalker! I wait in anticipation for the new shows so with fashion weeks I could die with excitement. I love any kind of print so when a designer goes print mad I love it. Chanel’s Cruise 2015/16 collection for instance! Wow! The patterns and colour combinations! Every single season Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou are amazing! I’m also a major Moschino fan too again for the same reason, Jeremy Scotts‘ colour palette! I love it! I think it’s more like I am constantly absorbing and researching then when I paint, it all just comes out.
I am also massive on people’s ways. Experiences really inspire me. I like to really reflect on people’s behaviour and mine too obviously. I just absorb everything, then let it process through my work. I try and document everything that’s going on in my life, that’s why I see all my paintings as self portraits really. Oh and I have to say one of my favourite artists is Jean Michel Basquiat. I look at his work a lot because it inspires me to stay free with my expressions. Sometimes it’s easy to get a bit stiff and precious, especially when I’m near the end of a painting and I don’t want to ruin it. I take one look at a piece of his and I remember to go wild.
Your vibrant artworks are incredibly expressive and liberal in nature – what does your usual creative process involve?
My process is often I stare at my canvas or wood for a little while, then I just go for it. Some days I feel like throwing paint about, picking whatever colour my subconscious chooses and whatever brush is nearest. Then other days I need to paint really calmly and that’s when I do my small geometric patterns. It totally depends how I’m feeling that day. I can’t force either style so I just have to go with my own flow. I will usually work on each painting for about 3 months. Sometimes continuously, other times I’ll get impatient and start a new piece. At the minute I’ve got 4 on the go but I try to focus on one more so the painting has a continuous flow. I will add a new layer each day I work on my painting so that they build up. Visual records layered on top of each other until it’s complete and has turned into a visual diary of months of inspiration, experiences and thoughts. You can usually tell what kind of time I’ve been having when reflecting back on them. I have also started writing short poems whilst I paint. I thought it would be useful to have a written record that I could reflect on.
If you could collaborate on a project with any creative – from the past or present – who would it be?
I am madly in love with Karl Lagerfeld so I would have to say him or I’d never forgive myself haha, if he could use one of my paintings for a fabric print on one of his collections for Chanel my life would be complete!
What is your current stance on Liverpool’s art/design industries, and its support for emerging creative talents?
Liverpool is a strange one. When I first came back in 2010 it had a really good underground art scene, there was always a private view to go to and as the city became more vibrant, I felt it lost that a little. Buildings that housed artists and were exhibitions took place are being bought up by big businesses, it’s really sad but good for the city financially I suppose. In our studio we are so lucky to be right in the centre and have a fabulous landlord that hasn’t sold out. As for support I am not aware of any, which is quite sad. That’s why it’s important to put the time in and trust yourself and believe that one day you’ll be recognised for your talent and hard work. I love Liverpool though, it’s a mega creative city full of mega talented people.
What do you feel are the differences – and merits – in establishing oneself as an artist in Liverpool compared to a sprawling metropolis like London, having garnered experience working in both cities?
The reason I moved back to Liverpool was so I could afford a studio space. Having both a home and a work space in London would have been impossible so that is the main plus with establishing yourself in Liverpool, things are just more affordable. At the moment me and my Artist friend Colette rent a big building right in the centre of town, then sublet spaces to other artists. That would be a pipe dream down in London for us. We have held exhibitions there and in other sites around Liverpool so it’s just a lot more accessable and easier to be creative. It enables you to be a bit more free with your creative ideas and there is always someone wanting to collaborate. London is good for the thing that all artists need, isolation. It can be a bit too easy in Liverpool to just have fun so it’s harder to stay disciplined. In London you have no choice but to work, concentrate and survive.
What advice would you give to any young artists looking to forge a career in this industry?
My advice would be to get your head down and try hard to establish what it is you feel you need to do or say then trust yourself and your vision. Work extremely hard and most of all believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s so difficult at the start of your career to want to give up and think about money, but if you really want to do this job then you have to think past that and trust that what you’re doing is more important. Hard work then more hard work!
What can we expect to see next from you?
I’m at a really exciting stage in my career. I’m confident and trust my vision and I feel now is a perfect time to broaden my horizons. I have a quite big solo show in 2017 which I am working on right now and have a few other things going on. Also something new for me, a collaboration in the pipeline, unfortunately not with Karl Lagerfeld! But very exciting all the same!
Cherie Grist is based in 104 Duke Street Studios, Liverpool, and will exhibit a solo show entitled “People Are Just People” this year in the city’s Huyton Gallery. Regular updates on upcoming events, developing works and a feast of visual inspiration can be found by following her on Instagram and Twitter – click “here” to visit her website for additional insights on her work, while a number of Cherie Grist artworks are available to purchase in print form “here”. If one thing is certain, it is that Grist’s awe-striking creations have the ability to transport you into a parallel, vividly-hued dimension – I would not be surprised to see her expressive prints adorning the fabric of Chanel’s beloved collections one day!
My very first painting I ever did ''There You Are'' was bought by a great guy. Here is a picture of it hung in its new home. It looks absolutely fantastic! I absolutely love this painting, it's really close to my heart. It was shortlisted for the John Moores contemporary painting prize in 2010
My diptych Second being hung its gorgeous new home! It's fabulous new owner the lovely Nikki Outram :-D and my bestie Abi helping me transport it! And her second purchase Us all hung lovely in her gorgeous kitchen.
My painting SPY has gone to the lovely MacSweens down in London.
The abulous Abi Harding from Liverpool is the owner of Table top.
And finally my painting Blue has been bought by the lovely guys at McKenzies bar.
I was approached by the guys at the fabulous Constellations & The Observatory to showcase my work. Its such a beautiful sun filled space so jumped at the chance!
'Constellations & The Observatory is an award winning, independently minded event space in the heart of the Baltic Triangle. The space, a regenerated warehouse and recycling yard. The result, an inspiring place to escape awhile under the sun and stars. All thoughtfully designed and curated for like minded people who share an interest in our great city’s rich arts and music scene.'
In January I was asked by the guys at Chibuku to do a special commission for their 15 year anniversary advertising campaign! My brief was to paint anything I wanted inside the shape of their carton the then the writing was to be put on afterwards.
The talented Graphic Designer Russel Reid of Wasted Heroes Clothing has used an image of my painting ''A Lesson'' on his boss design for the CHIBUKU flyers! LOVE IT!!!!!
The talented film maker Adam Tallon got in touch and asked if her could make a mini Art documentary on me and my Art practise. Here is the fabulous result!
I had an email from the fabulous producer over at Bay TV to ask if I would like to be on their culture an Arts program 52% to talk about equality in the Arts. I was thrilled!!! It was sooooo nerve racking but managed to get through it ok haha!
Artist of the Week: Cherie Grist
By Sinead Nunes
February 25, 2015
Words by Sinead Nunes, Editor
Cherie Grist will be appearing as one of the visual artists when Threshold V opens its exhibition doors in a few weeks time. We caught with the artist to talk about her abstract work.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I studied Fashion design and then photography at college here in Liverpool, then got a place at The University of the Arts, London College of Fashion to study Fashion Styling & Photography. I was more interested in using my film camera as a tool for expressing my thoughts than doing fashion shoots so focused my attention on photographing whatever I felt like. Like my paintings, all of my shoots were automatic so I photographed my moods, self portraits without my head in it.
I got quite deep at university with my projects; I think living in London and being on my own I had chance to really get stuck in and I started writing and drawing to untangle my thoughts and express my feelings. I was approached by a photographer at our graduate exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts and assisted him for 2 years. I continued exploring my self portrait project in my own time then decided to come back home to Liverpool to focus 100% on figuring out what it was I wanted and needed to say.
I got my first studio on Victoria Street and I started to paint because I found it was the quickest and most satisfying way to express my thoughts. My first ever painting, There you Are, was shortlisted for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2010, and I took that as a sign – this wasn’t only something I enjoyed, but I something could do well. I moved to a bigger studio space in Wolstenhome Creative Space and whilst there, another one of my paintings And back again was shortlisted for the Cass Art prize down in London. In 2013 after the sad closure of Wolstenholme Creative Space, me and my two friends took a building in Liverpool city centre (104 Duke Street) and rented out spaces to other artists. At the moment I work full time as an artist, and run the studio/gallery too. We had our first exhibition there last year and hope to have another this year.
Your work is very abstract – what draws you to this style of painting?
I love Abstract Expressionism! It’s so free and raw and just beautiful. It is my insides, everything that makes me me, poured out into visual facts for me to observe and begin to understand. Its funny; my two favourite styles of art are Abstract Expressionism and Geometric Abstraction, completely opposite. I have days when my brain is that chocker I paint and paint thrashing paint everywhere. It’s like a mind/body work out. Then other days I need to sit quietly carefully painting lines. Its meditation, my brain is switched off and I’m in a trance. I could never just do one of them though – it would have to be both. A bit like my brain – controlled yet chaotic!
Painting is sometimes seen as a more traditional medium, but ongoing awards like the John Moores Painting Prize prove otherwise – what do you think?
I don’t just see painting as traditional really, I mean I know what you mean when you say that but I think people were probably expressing themselves in all kinds of ways that maybe weren’t as well documented as painting was. I paint because I have to! I’d go mad if I didn’t and I’m sure painters in the future as well as the past will continue to do so forever. To me, painting will always be contemporary too.
How will you respond to the theme of “Contrasting Geometries”?
Responding to ‘Contrasting Geometries’ is quite easy for me. It’s what I do anyway so it’s the perfect brief. I get what I need to get out first of all with gestural marks then I get my ruler out and pattern it up. I never have any idea what it will look like in the end – I just draw/paint. Although, I do go through shape phases; I think I’ve just got over my triangle obsession and before that it was squares. I’m a little worried now that I’m leaning towards chevrons again.
What are you most looking forward to on Liverpool’s art scene this year (aside from Threshold V of course!)?
I’ve been back in Liverpool now for nearly 5 years. When I came back, there seemed to be loads going on in the art scene here, but after a year or two and then the closure of Wolstenholme it seemed to go super quiet with not much happening. This year though, I feel like the city is finding its inspiration again and people seemed to be ready to do things and get creative so I’m really looking forward to seeing things open and blossom and people to just get arty! I think it is going be a great year for the city and if my first month of the year’s anything to go by, for me also!
You were involved in the last ever exhibition at Liverpool Academy of Arts – what was it like to see the gallery disappear?
I think it was just heartbreaking! I loved that space, everything it stood for and the people who kept it going. It is just a tragedy that our city could let a place like that disappear. It was a space where every kind of artist who was brave enough to want to show their work could, and be accepted no matter what! It was unique and I am proud to have been part of it.
What’s next for Cherie Grist?
Well last year was a great year for me creatively but this year already has proved to be something way beyond what I could have imagined. I woke up in 2015 with a completely different outlook – I feel like everything has clicked into place and I have finally settled into a rhythm. I am currently working on a new series of paintings which are a bit bigger (15 foot x 6 foot) and they’ve taken on a new style and attitude themselves. I want to continue selling my work and being part of exciting exhibitions and watching my work develop further. We are hoping to hold our 2nd exhibition at 104 Duke Street studios this year too, so I’m looking forward to that. And other than working hard and going on lots of holidays for inspiration, only the world will know what else will happen next!
I''m soooooo made up to have been selected to be one of the Visual Artists selected for Threshold Festival 2015!
The theme was contrasting geometries and Artists across all different media were chosen to be part of the festival. The festival is held across several venues in the Baltic Triangle. They all hosted fantastic musicians as well as visual Artists, Art performances and workshops. I had 4 paintings displayed in two of the sites, Liverpool Craft Beer warehouse and Constellations. It was amazing to see my work in different situations, especially at night in Constellations behind the Djs as they where playing. The neon paint really glowed it was fabulous!
I am so excited to have had two of my paintings selected by Sweetart for their SEAMS exhibition at Hoxton Arches Gallery in London :-D :-D :-D!!! Its Art inspired by Fashion and Fashion inspired by Art! The private view is day 2 of London fashion week so I am even more excited! 23 days until I travel down in style and deliver my paintings to the gallery :-D caaaaannnnntttt waiiiittttt!!!!!!
At the end of August after 25 years showcasing talents of Artist around the country the fantastic Liverpool Academy of Arts will close its doors for the foreseeable future. I am very pleased to be part of their final exhibition showing three of my paintings. It was a wonderful private view and the exhibition is still running finishing on the 28th of August 2014.
I was pleased to of been selected to be part of the Liverpool Academy of Arts Abstraction Exhibition. There was some wonderful work on display alongside 3 of my paintings.
So in October I had a lovely email saying I had been shortlisted for the Knowsley Sports and Cultural Adult Visual Artist of the year Award. I attended the ceremony which was amazing and was lucky enough to get the silver award! Yaaaayyyyy!
I'm so happy our studio 104 Duke Street has decided to hold its first ever exhibition :-D! The exhibition will showcase our current Artists and their practises and will also take part in Liverpool's Light Night. We have all been working flat our over the past few months getting our work ready for the exhibition and now with only a couple of weeks to go we've started the transformation of the studio into a gallery space for exhibiting. The exhibition will run for two weeks, starting with our Private View night on the 15th May and finishing up on the 30th May. All or current studio Artists are taking part me, Colette Lilley, Laura O’Reilly, Nicola Hands, Karen O’Brien and our newest edition to the studio the talented Paul Romano. More information on our studios page www.facebook.com/104DukeStreetStudios
Me and Colette at our private view!!!!
Happy March 2013! What a year I’ve had already! In December me and the other artists of Wolstenholme creative space had some really sad news, Wolstenholme was going to close and it actually happened overnight. I was really sad and super panicking about were me and my massive paintings were going to live and work over the festive period. My two friends and I hunted the streets and checked out several possibilities until we found the most amazing building ever that was totally perfect! We met the landlord and he was equally as fabulous and so we agreed, shook hands and the beginning of 104 Duke Street collective began!!
It’s been a long time since I last posted on my blog, very bad form! But hey here we go… so over the summer a few things happened. Firstly my painting Because were us was shortlisted for the Neo Art prize so I was really happy about that!
My paintings took part in a fashion shoot! I was asked by the fashion designer Kirsty Doyle to do a bit of collaboration on a fashion shoot for her new collection. I couldn’t decide on just one painting for the back ground so instead overlapped all my paintings and created a kind of Cherie artwork world! It looked fantastic and there new collection looked amazing! Had so much fun with the photographer Jessica Doyle and the Model Olivia Desborough! Such a great day!
Probably the most exciting and nerve racking situation of the summer was being asked to take part in a documentary! The documentary features successful people from different professional areas who all come from the Knowsley area. I was so nervous, the film crew come to my studio, set up all the filming gear, and I sat in front of the interviewer with my paintings in the background. He asked me about how I became an Artist and if I had advice for younger generations and other questions from my background growing up in Stockbridge Village to my future aspirations. It was very scary at first but interesting to talk about those things. Things you normally just take for granted and very rarely reflect on! So excited to see how it turns out.
I was so happy to be shortlisted for the Cass Art Prize in October! It was a race against time transporting my 60″x60″ painting to London but with the help of good friends it went smoothly!
The Cass Art Prize was in association with The Affordable Art Fair and was to be held at their new Hampstead heath site. The Affordable Art Fair is the leading showcase in the UK for contemporary art under £4,000 and featured some fantastic galleries exhibiting their represented artists.