Spotlight

Interview Contemporary artist Nettie Wakefield

Championed by Fi Lovett
Visual Arts
The Wick - 'POST-POP' at Maddox Gallery
Above  ‘POST-POP’ at Maddox Gallery
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The Wick - Nettie Wakefield
Above  Nettie Wakefield
Interview
Nettie Wakefield
26 July 2022
Interview
Nettie Wakefield
26 July 2022
Fi Lovett is the gallery director at Maddox Gallery. A great patron of young talent and a nurturer of artistic careers, she is always on the lookout for emerging artists. Here she shares how she first came across Nettie Wakefield whose work you’ll find on display at Maddox Gallery until 28 August.
Lovett says: “Nettie’s name kept cropping up and she was on my radar for some time. Initially, I became aware of her work from Dismaland [a temporary art project organised by street artist Banksy], after which an artist I know commissioned one of her ‘Reverse Portraits’ of his children. Apart from the drawings being extremely skilled, there is a poignancy and exquisite vulnerability she captures in those portraits. Around this time, Mark Hix was running Newport Street’s Pharmacy 2 café and he showed me his book, Hooked, which Nettie had illustrated. I eventually contacted Nettie directly; we met up and I visited her studio. After our meeting, I got a deeper understanding of her appreciation for the mundane yet beautiful objects we use on a daily basis.”

As the speed of life becomes increasingly fast, Wakefield considers her work as an act of mindfulness, a slower way to live, to take time to enjoy the act of looking. For her, the aspects of everyday life which tend to be overlooked or taken for granted have become a rich source of inspiration. Her ‘Reverse Portraits’, which have been gaining recognition since her debut solo show at the Rook & Raven Gallery in Fitzrovia in 2014, depict people from behind, concealing their faces and yet still portraying beauty and intrigue. They’ve also been shown at Banksy’s Dismaland, auctioned alongside pieces by Tracey Emin, and become a collector’s favourite.

Her latest works are currently on show in the ‘Post-Pop!’ group show at Maddox Gallery alongside works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons.

Lovett adds: “With Nettie’s new work in the current ‘Post-Pop!’ exhibition at Maddox Gallery, the refined delicacy of her pencil drawings jars with the bold, slang text, making it fresh and irreverent. After everything we’ve been through over the past few years, clients want artwork that’s not only thought provoking, but also makes them smile.”

‘Post-Pop!’ runs until 28 August at Maddox Gallery, in Gstaad and at its flagship location on Maddox Street, London.

Wakefield will also return to Beyond the Streets, the premier exhibition of graffiti and street art, this autumn, in a permanent space on La Brea in Los Angeles.

About the champion

The Wick - Interview Contemporary artist Nettie Wakefield

Former actress, fashion boutique owner and now gallery director at Maddox Gallery, Fi Lovett has more strings to her bow than most. She had a love for the arts from a young age and helps other young talent to develop theirs, championing emerging artists in her role as one of the most respected art dealers and collectors around.

“After everything we’ve been through over the past few years, clients want artwork that’s not only thought provoking, but also makes them smile.”

Place of Birth

Shepherd’s Bush, London

Education

Chelsea College of Arts for Foundation, a BA in History of Art at Leeds University, and an MA in Drawing from Wimbledon College of Arts.

Awards, Accolades

Shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, The John Ruskin Prize, the Circle Foundation Award and a finalist for From Studio Lockdown. All finalists were featured on a billboard in the Enfield art trail. I have also just signed with United Agents.

Spiritual guides, Mentors

Rob and Nicky Carter, the most inspirational, supportive and amazing duo, and great friends.

Advice

Don’t let other people’s opinions cloud your own judgement and creativity.

Current & upcoming exhibitions

‘Post-Pop!’ at Maddox Gallery until 28 August, and Beyond the Streets coming up in September. My clothing collaboration, Ocean Trash, is for sale at POAN.


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