Ceal Warnants graduated from The Royal College of Art MA in 2008. Her work explores the dark side of British culture focusing particularly on ideas of youth and innocence. Creating subversive images of childhood that question nostalgic, saccharine depictions of growing up, Ceal’s work is both darkly comic and disturbingly truthful.
We met up with Ceal to learn more about her process and fascination with British youth culture.
Pink & Blue Babes Babes
Your work explores the dark side of British Culture, focusing on ideas of youth and innocence. In what ways have you witnessed British Culture change over the years?
I think youth culture in this country has become evermore complicated and adult as time has slipped by. The influence of social media is probably one of the most impactful changes. It will no doubt come to define this generation. I think most people consider it an unnecessary influence on children today with no previous equivalent. Never before have children been privy to and at the mercy of the zeitgeist. It is such a lot of pressure to bear.
How have these changes affected your practice?
When I first started making this kind of work, 14 years ago now, social media didn’t really exist. However, I already felt that my childhood was somehow very different and perhaps old-fashioned in comparison. References to social media have cropped up in my imagery as motifs but I think that fast moving youth culture is always represented in my work. There is a lot of over-exaggeration in my work too but it never strays too far from the truth.
Tell us about a day in your studio. Do you have a creative routine?
There’s no routine as such. It depends what emails and requests have come in over the week. I like to get all the admin work out the way first, and as fast as possible. It's not my favourite! Then it could be commissions, collaborations, printing or painting. Editioning my book paper prints in small batches and hand colouring them whilst listening to podcasts is a regular afternoon job.
You’re based in London. How does the city affect/influence your practice?
I do love London. It actually makes my work very easy to create, as it's full of vibrant young people. Public transport is usually a great way to hear the everyday goings-on of school kids. Quite a lot of the adults around are tutting as voices are raised and bags thrown about etc but I am listening. It's fascinating.
Do you have exciting projects/exhibitions coming up?
My biggest project this year has been giving birth to my second child. I have been busy preparing for the inevitable studio hiatus. I have a group show with both Jealous Gallery and the Print Club in September and several new prints coming out and then there's always the annual Art on a Postcard show and auction...
Purchase Ceal Warnants prints here.