Wimbledon alumna’s first solo exhibition
Corn Shuk Mei Ho is an MA Fine Art alumna from Wimbledon. Graduating in 2016, this week she has her first solo exhibition showing at the Coningsby Gallery, London. Her atmospheric, melancholic paintings are produced entirely from her imagination, and begin as a sketch before being built up with oil paint. We chatted with Corn to find out more about why she chose to study at Wimbledon and where she gets her inspiration from.
Why did you choose London, and particularly Wimbledon to study your MA?
There was no question about London as a location, its galleries and universities drew me from an early age and it’s a city which has greatly influenced me especially within my art practice where I paint with more ‘traditional’ art materials.
Wimbledon was decided upon as they offered a two-year master course, with the option to further one’s studies. Two years seemed the best amount of time to learn and develop my style and conduct research.
What was your favourite thing about Wimbledon?
It’s a relatively small campus and therefore offers an intimate experience like you’re one of a ‘family’. Its location and leafy exterior draw one further into the English culture and is therefore attractive to me as a foreign student. The majority of my classmates travelled from outside of London to come to Wimbledon, creating a particularly special mix of diverse British cultures.
How did you develop your style of painting and what are your influences?
I started painting since I graduated with my BA in fine art in 2010, continuing my painting journey. My current style is a progression on past styles, culminating in the most recent series being completed, that of ‘Night Swims Series 2017-18’, where I drew direct influence from the long British winter nights – the dark colour palette in particular.
I feel my travels have also contributed towards my style, with Continental Europe and its people have influenced me greatly and I believe the people I meet on my travels will continue to be a source of inspiration as my style continues to develop.
You’re exhibiting your series The Black Series: Night Swims, what was the inspiration behind these paintings?
My inspiration was drawn from my first ever night swimming experience on an outlying island of Hong Kong in early 2017. As well as the aforementioned long British nights, which serve as the colour palette for sure. In addition, my MA course research revealed how layers on a painting can depict a certain human physiological state, so I sought to ‘dive in’ and bring the various characters physiological states to the fore.
How did the exhibition come about?
After my graduation, I joined an artist’s village called 401.1/2 Studios, where I met loads of talented artists. Through this network, I was introduced to the gallery, whom I drafted a proposal for and am so grateful they like my work, consequently giving me this opportunity to exhibit in such a central location in London. It is very close to Goodge Street.
What is next for you?
I am pushing for this series to be exhibited in a number of locations, but for the time being, I have spent some months preparing my garden at home and look forward to using the plants therein as the new subject matter for my next series which will be more about nature. I hope to organise another solo exhibition soon, so please watch this space 😉
You can see Corn’s exhibition The Black Series: Night Swims from 17 – 22 September, (9am – 6pm) at The Coningsby Gallery.