Denise Bryan is an artist who makes sculptures and mixed media installations that have been shown both nationally and internationally. In addition to this she has made commissioned work and work for non gallery spaces. She has undertaken residencies in the UK, Nepal and Berlin, where she will be having a solo show in April this year. She has a broad range of experience of teaching at Undergraduate and Foundation level and has run Art workshops in numerous settings.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
Well it sounds a bit trite, but making art. That is what I do, and I love art so much that it is fantastic that it is what I do. Sharing it with people is great too, whether that is by showing my own work or through my teaching work.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Lots really, but I am especially encouraged by artists who have sustained their careers into old age, Louise Bourgeois for example. Someone said to me that I was "...so lucky to be an artist because you don't have to retire and you can just go on improving and getting better at what you do."
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
I was given a lot of very good advice at the start of my career, for which I am grateful, but at the time I went to Art School there were no professional practice modules, or work experience placements. We were encouraged to make Art for its own sake which was all well and good, but whenever we questioned our tutors about how to approach a gallery or how to get a show they seemed to fob us off by saying we could worry about that when we had finished our degrees. They implied we would learn it through experience, like some sort of grown up secret that would come to us in time. I really wish that we had been more guidance about making a career in Art back then.
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Stop thinking about it, go out walking, go to a gallery, think about something completely different. Your mind works through it,then, the next day when you wake up, the solution will, with luck, be crystal clear.
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
Elsa Schiaparelli's Monkey Hair Shoes, I used to make work out of hair and I found these shoes really inspiring.