Edith Pritchett

Meet our new crush Edith, the blossoming artist with a flair for girl power and some wicked ironic twists on our beloved pop culture.

We’re like, more than a little obsessed with Edith’s work (even our laptops are decked out with her stickers.) She’s a London gal but she’s been studying and working in Edinburgh for the past four years creating a fantasy world that you won’t want to leave. Slightly absurd and full of whimsy and sharp social commentary, her work combines classical motifs with pop and tabloid culture, with everything from The Birth of Venus to The Velvet Underground + The Lady of Shalott meets Kylie Jenner and the Biebs. Her 60’s-esque typography and her eccentric subjects give her pieces a groovy, hallucinatory, aesthetic full of playful vibes, made all the more compelling by her nuanced irony and her quippy voice. At the end of the day, Edith’s work seems like it’s about stepping back and poking fun at ourselves, learning how to laugh at and critique some of the absurd ways we live our modern lives. We have to say, it feels pretty refreshing.

Keep killing it, Kween!

Text seems pretty essential to your images. What’s your take on the relationship between words and art?

With artists who make more nuanced or subjective work I think often explanations can take away some of the ~subtlety~, but I want my work to be more direct! I’m also a big fan of typography and conveying different tones by how you draw lettering.

What’s your earliest memory of involving art? Do you remember first being conscious of it?

I was on a school trip aged 5 to the natural history museum, and I drew a tyrannosaur tooth- I remember feeling like I had devoted my mind, body and soul to this incredibly challenging task, my own personal Everest. With hindsight, I think I was trying to play the role of “tortured artist”

You mock aspects of pop and tabloid culture but also use them to engage your audience. How do you strike this balance?

I think it’s pretty easy- most people (myself included) are drawn to pop and tabloid culture, even if they tell themselves they’re reading it with a “critical eye” (myself included). Usually the stories run in the Mail Online or Cosmopolitan are so absurd you only need to push them a tiny bit further.

“I like to think about how I can convey something in my own voice, rather than how can I say something that nobody else has said before.”

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I like drawing the most- just pen or pencil and then I tend to edit on photoshop later. Lately I’ve been getting more into craft- I built myself an enormous imperial crown. I did superglue my fingers together quite a bit in the process though

What’s your approach to the creative process? Do you like planning things out or do you like to keep things more spontaneous?

A bit of both- some ideas I come to from trudging through a lot of crap ones, and some occur more organically

How do you stay original in an age when it feels like we’re constantly re-producing things?

My work is essentially a reproduction of different aspects of art history and popular culture, and so in that sense it can’t ever be truly original. I like to think about how I can convey something in my own voice, rather than how can I say something that nobody else has said before.

How do you think technology and social media are changing the art scene? What’s good, what’s bad? Are we getting more or less inclusive?

I think because we can experience so much online, there’s now less of a sense that art is exclusively in vast, cold galleries and that it only counts if you don’t understand it. Furthermore, social media has totally shrunk our attention spans- I think we all want more, faster now.

You use a lot of classical references and subjects in your work but ground them in the modern world. How do you think this style choice affects your message?

I think it’s about playing with perceptions of what Art is. We all know Botticelli’s Venus is Art, but does it still count if she has hairy legs and a big muff?

Elly Arden-Joly
Edith Pritchett

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