“THE BIG MIND-MAP CAN’T REALLY BE SOLD, BECAUSE IT’S PAINTED IN MY STUDIO ON THE WALL.”
From the town of Melton Mowbray, which is known as being the home of the pork pie, Green was always attracted by the prospect of coming to the big smoke. “Even if I ended up not liking the course, at least I would have been in London,” she admits, crediting the city for being an art hub, with an abundance of galleries that, “you don’t get anywhere else.” It is with a list of galleries to visit after finishing this interview that Green defends not going back to Melton Mowbray often enough. Having lived in London for two years, and contrary to the great expectations she had of the city, there’s one way in which it falls short; “I expected London to be a bit more social, I imagined people talking to each other more. I know that sounds obvious, but everyone just lives their own lives here.” She makes the comparison to Melton: a small, friendly town of 25,000 where “everyone knows everyone.”
The mind-map expresses Green’s anxiety that she is, ‘unprepared for outside’ because of, ‘spending so much time in a white studio.’ She tells me about her semester at The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, comparing it to CSM and celebrating how its small size encouraged students from many different artistic fields to mix and mingle, rather than remain in their respective white studios. “It wasn’t like here, where it’s almost like separate parts of the building for separate people that not everyone can get into.” We both look down to the table at my student card-cum-access key.
Words and interaction play a huge role in Green’s work; unlikely, perhaps, in the discipline of fine art, which you might imagine to be solely focussed on aesthetics. “For my portfolio, I didn’t put a single photo in there, it was just writing…it was the only way to present my work, whether they’ll like it or not.” Another of Green’s works, ‘Word to a pigeon’, is a poem she wrote about a pigeon flying into her head when cycling into university. The poem was made into a performance of spoken word where she interacted with the audience. It’s not just a case of going against the grain; Green’s work is a manifestation of herself and her experiences: “I want to make work about how I’m feeling.” In her mind-map, she explains that the difference between personal and impersonal work is that the latter is ‘making work for the viewer/an audience.’ She gives the example of art that corporate companies commission, “in someone’s nice fancy building that they want filled with something inspirational for their employees.” For Green, it’s the opposite. To her, it’s personal.