Gareth Gough – Artist Blog
Updated: Aug 28
We are very excited to introduce you to Gareth Gough, one of the artists who will be showcasing their work at featured@ fair trader during April, May and June 2022. Gareth is an illustrator and ceramic artist based in Slaithwaite.
Why did you become an artist?
It’s just what comes naturally to me. It’s what I love to do.
As a kid I was always drawing and painting, but after my college photography work was lost I took to working odd jobs just to earn money. I would still draw and paint on the side and often wondered whether I would be able to make a go of it. It was when I returned home from a summer of working as a chef in Ibiza that I realised this calling wasn’t going anywhere, and I owed it to myself to try. I went to Uni at Leeds Film School to study traditional animation, and now I’m able to balance my time as a freelance animator with my illustration and ceramic work.
What mediums do you work with and why?
For a long time after Uni I mainly worked digitally, and whilst it’s great and definitely has its advantages, I always felt as though something was lost in translation working in this way.
About 4 years ago I made the conscious decision to get back to working with traditional mediums, to reconnect with what I felt I had lost, and I started to feel the soul in creativity again. Now I work mainly in gouache, watercolour and oil-based paints as well as coloured pencils for my illustration work. It feels more intuitive to me to mark-make in this way. It feels less processed and more innate.
I feel the same way about working in clay. I love the hands-on connection with the material. You can start with an intention, but the clay will lead part of the process, it informs the outcome. If I could have a space where I could just do pottery, paint and draw for the rest of my life I would be happy.
How does living in this area inspire your work?
I’ve come to realise that I need time in nature to recharge my creativity. It reinvigorates me. Besides the literal inspiration I take from this area (it was on a hike one day across Marsden Moors that my love of mushroom foraging began, and mushrooms have since become a prominent feature in my work), I feel inspired to get outside to be with my thoughts. I find taking time to just be outdoors, to immerse yourself in nature, benefits you in other parts of life. My work would be very different if I still lived in a big city.
I’ve found this area to be a real creative hub with so much incredible talent here; I feel very lucky to be a part of this small but supportive community. I love visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield; we visit a few times a year and I always come away feeling inspired. To have the works of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore just a stone’s throw away is amazing.
In my future works I would love to get more experimental with sculpture and form, combining my character-based work with the incredible landscapes and diverse wildlife that inspire me here, whilst paying homage to the great sculptors of the area.
What do you like about Fair Trader and why did you choose to exhibit here?
It was an honour to be contacted to exhibit my work at Fair Trader.
It’s great to have a space that supports and showcases artists and creatives through these exhibitions and the opportunity to sell their work. Aside from the benefits for local artists, it’s great at supporting international artisanal and small-scale makers from around the world, knowing that they are treated with a higher code of ethics than we see elsewhere. Their communities benefit, and we are exposed to techniques and incredible craftsmanship that are seldom seen here. It’s amazing for me to be able to share a space with some incredibly talented artists and makers.
As a customer of Fair Trader as well, I always love finding something new here. I know I can come to find a gift for a loved one, treat myself to a great bag of coffee, or just something practical or decorative for the house. The quality is always excellent, and over three floors there is something to interest everyone.
Gareth Gough, March 2022
You can see a selection of Gareth's work in the top room at Fair Trader during April, May and June 2022.