What is your typical studio routine?
I have a full time job as well as being an artist so I just try to get in to the studio as much as I can around this.
How do you describe your practice?
I’m primarily a painter, though I do work with drawing and recently printmaking, too. I am interested in landscape and in organic materials. The materiality of painting is also a constant, core concern.
Is there a particular process or methodology within your practice that is important to you?
It is important for me to work with direct experiences; the landscapes I paint are all important to me in some way and carry some sort of resonance. The organic forms I work with have similar resonance in that they have lives of their own; often they die as I work with them, which I find very beautiful as well as somewhat morbidly fascinating.
How long have you been working as an artist?
I had my first studio in 2014, after finishing my Painting degree course in Manchester. It was in an old mill in Ancoats with loads of pigeons living in it. I would mark that as the point when I began ‘working’ as an artist. I’ve has a succession of spaces since then, of which QSS has been my favourite in terms of both the building and the studio community.
Is it difficult being back in the studio after an exhibition?
I think yes, it can be hard to move on from a particular body of work and there can be a sense of ‘where to begin again’, along with a general sense of exhaustion. But I think new ideas do naturally follow a period like this.
Describe how important art is to society?
Art is vital to society, even though it sometimes isn’t recognised or valued as such. It acts as a lens through which society is examined, questioned and (sometimes) understood.
What do you dislike about the artworld?
I dislike the difficult financial aspect of it and wish it was easier for artists to make a living purely from making art.
What is the best advice you have been given as an artist?
Probably to make work according to your own criteria and standards, not other peoples’, and to keep on making it. Everything else is secondary to that core element.
What jobs have you done, other than being an artist?
I have done loads of jobs, but most of them have been somehow linked to art. I love teaching and working with young people and at the moment I have a job which I love and which brings a lot to my practice.
Naomi Litvack‘s artistic practice is concerned primarily with landscape; exploring layers of history, the concept of the monumental and human mark making through time.
The themes that run throughout Naomi’s visual art practice are centred around landscape and the natural world. Through painting she explores land and history, as well as ideas of transformation and the human in relation to the natural.
In recent years, research for her practice has included travel to the uninhabited island of Inishlacken in Connemara, Ireland; the Scottish Highlands and Islands in 2018 and a residency in rural Wiltshire in 2018-19. Each of these periods investigated those local landscapes and human relationships with them throughout history, from the ancient to the modern.
A continuous concern in the work is the materiality of painting, and the relationship between the image and the material and process of painting. The history of painting is a concern as both still life and landscape painting are historically loaded, Naomi says she is aware of the conversation with these histories as she paints. In her paintings she attempts, in a personal way, to reframe and re-examine the traditions.
Naomi Litvack is from Belfast. She completed a BA in Painting at Manchester School of Art in 2014 and an MFA in Fine Art at Belfast School of Art in 2018. She was 2018-19 Artist in Residence at St Mary’s School, Calne, and curator of the Flax Gallery at Mossley Mill in 2019-20.
Naomi has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of prizes and accolades including the University of Ulster Broadening Horizons Travel Grant and the Leonard James Little Award for Painting at Manchester School of Art. She has been shortlisted for Bloomberg New Contemporaries and Saatchi New Sensations. Her work is held in various private collections.
Commissions are welcomed.
Study in Red 1, acrylic on wooden panel, 2022. 35.5x28cm
Organic Sketches 2, series. 2022. Gouache on paper. 29.7 x 42cm
Study in Red 2, acrylic on wooden panel, 2022. 35.5x28cm
Organic Sketches 1, series. 2022. Gouache on paper. 29.7 x 42cm