“I had this skill – and was good at painting, but didn’t really have any direction for it to go in, I felt really lost.”
The Fine Art Artist Ed Florance started his career from a young age. At 15/16 he began to take the work he created seriously. He experienced and tried new techniques without having a plan where to go. This changed when he went to Manchester School of Art. “I had this skill – and was good at painting, but didn’t really have any direction for it to go in, I felt really lost.” says Florance. He thought to himself “What do I paint about?”. That is probably a question most artists ask themselves at the beginning of their career or maybe even half way through a project. He did what most people would do in this kind of situation: go with the flow and do what you love. He got back to his roots, reconsidered all the things he is interested in and went from there. His work gets inspiration from “really normal things we might experience with or without technology. Using a phone to talk to someone, watching a film, or experiencing an artwork.” Things we do everyday and have done several times in the past. By translating those experiences into a “digital space made me realise how complacent we’ve become.” said Florance.
Having control, discovering and understanding how mechanism works, how different devices operate by dismantling them was always a big part of Eds life. It informs, inspires and forms his work. But not only that, the Fine Art Artist lets his work inspire itself. He is building on the projects he already created in the past, “potentially expanding or elongating an idea, exploring it differently somehow.”
Anyway, this is not the only way Florance is inspired. Our society, a society that has a permanent need for attraction, everything has to become better, greater and faster, which plays a big part as well. Our craving for instant information delivery, better technology and more innovations has to be satisfied, everyday as quick as possible and even faster than that. No question that can’t pass an artist who gets his inspiration mostly from the relationship between humans and the digital space. Florance enjoys technology that helps him finishing his work sooner and avoiding long waiting periods. For example an AI plug-in for the rendering software, he is using this to make the images cleaner in a significantly shorter time. “I guess our society shapes the need for those things – maybe we’re getting exponentially more impatient and addicted to the instant delivery of information, so much that we’re using data to cut down our waiting time.”
If you are interested in seeing more from Florance, he gets represented during Leeds Digital Festival 2018 by his artwork “Human Bath”, his newest work, which you can view at Platform. It depicts a digital non-place, where a character is stuck anticipating endlessly. By using different digital techniques he created an odd situation, which is seemingly plausible and still so unreal. It’s a situation where the difference between reality and virtuality is blurred.
More projects are coming soon. One of them is a collaboration with Ikon Gallery’s Youth Programme (IYP). They will create an artwork which will be displayed on two giant digital billboards in the centre of Birmingham. As well this, there will be a group show at Stryx Gallery in Birmingham, which is titled “Soft Shell”. Last but not least, he will be part of this year’s Bath Fringe Festival with an exciting exhibition titled “Living in Hyperreality.”
If you still can’t get enough of Ed Florance, he has a studio at The Lombardi Method in Birmingham! Pop in if you want to have a look at his current artwork, or visit his website www.edflorance.com and Instagram account www.instagram/edflorance.
“I think there are many things you could find within my work – we might insist that we either do or don’t like the reality of being part of a computer-driven culture, but have we really communicated anything meaningful about how the basic fact of being inside that world impacts on our ability to say something about it? Is it even viable to compare our world with its non-technological mirror-image? If not, the question might become How can we identify ourselves if our lives unfold completely fenced in by a computational machine?”