Share this page

Friday 2 October 2020

Art Unlocked Q&A with Gill Smith

Art Unlocked, October 02-04 – A response to the unfurling of Covid-19 by the Artists, Designers and Makers of Richmond Art House Open Studios.

Below, we asked Art Unlocked artist Gill Smith, a few questions about her work and the impact of Covid-19 on his artistic practice.

Don’t forget to book your free ticket here

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art practice

My background is in financial consulting, but I’ve always had a creative side. I began printmaking on a course at Richmond Adult Community College and later went on to do an MA in Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL (2012 -14) – all great fun. Although my practice is founded on print and the concept of the multiple, it has now widened to include layered papercut collages and artist books. I am fascinated by the perfection of geometry and most of my pieces have a geometrical element.

How does your piece in the Art Unlocked exhibition relate to Covid-19?

I’d been working on a new geometric design for my papercuts at the start of lockdown and became increasingly drawn to the idea of a series of cubes or boxes as we were all confined to our individual ‘boxes’ at home. I like to play with texture, light and movement in my work. As we all had to find new ways of continuing with our lives within the confines of our homes, I used this basic motif to explore different patterns of light and shadow within the confines of a box – hence the piece I have included in this exhibition, “Living in a Box”.

Gill Smith, Living in a Box

How did lockdown impact your artistic practice?

I sell most of my work at art fairs but these all stopped during lockdown. So although there was lots of time to make new work, there was nowhere to exhibit and sell. I did create two new prints that were featured on the September issues of the TW magazines, and these were a nod in the direction of the rainbows of hope that were all so prevalent during this time. I also decided to hold my own Open Studio event in September, since the annual ArtHouse Open Studios had to be cancelled (hence this exhibition) and I plan on running a series of bookmaking workshops for the absolute beginner, Covid rules permitting (more info at