by Damilola Ayo-Vaughan
2016 witnessed the rise of the independent artist. Although independent artists have existed for a while now and have been able to pull traction, there is no denying that last year seemed to confirm a changing industry system. 18 York-based creatives are proving that this pursuit for control is not just limited to the music scene, coming together to form Pica Studios.
An artist led studio, Pica studios serves as both a space for creation and exhibition, housing a diverse range of creatives from artists and makers in the form of Lesley Birch, Jade Blood, Rebecca Carr, Mark Hearld, John Hollington, Penny Phillips, Evie Leach, Lu Mason, Lesley Seeger, Lesley Shaw, Emily Stubbs and Sam Swales-Snowden to writers, musicians and filmmakers in the form of Caleb Klaces, James Cave, Daisy Hildyard, Bethan Ellis and Emilie Flower.
Pica Studios offers art lovers the opportunity to not only enjoy the finished products of its artists but also the creation process: aside from hosting regular exhibitions, it will be open, by appointment, for people to come witness the artists at work.
Speaking to some of the artists in Pica Studios about what led them to join, one thing sticks out: the desire to work in a creative community.
Mark Hearld: “I hate working alone. I used to work from home but I felt isolated and found that my productivity had been somewhat stifled.” Watching Mark work at Pica, watching any of the creatives work, it becomes clear that isolation and stifled productivity are a non-issue. Pica is bursting with creativity and productivity.
“There is so much energy around and it just seems to flow into everyone’s work”, comments abstract artist Lesley Birch. “I love it.” “We’ve only been here for a few weeks,” remarks Mark, “it might just be the honeymoon phase.”
Watching the artists interact, however, it is clear that they all share a connection, appreciation and respect for each other and their work, something that only bodes well for the future of Pica. The studios open for public viewing this Saturday and if you happen to be anywhere in the North, I highly recommend you pay it a visit.
Pica may only be in its infancy but the early signs suggest it is well capable of growing into something great. It is definitely a studio to keep an eye out for.Pica Studios on Facebook