INTERVIEW: Narbi Price | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Words: Narbi Price

When the first lockdown started I think a lot of people reacted in a similarly cautious way, going outdoors religiously for their one hour of sanctioned exercise etc, and the surreal qualities of this were seemingly common across the country. I’d noticed people posting photos online of public benches taped up to prevent them being used, a subtly melancholy sight that personified the pain of enforced separation that many of us were feeling. People started sending me their pictures, telling me that they looked like something I might paint. And they were right. I started making small watercolour studies in my living room as my studio was in lockdown, and things snowballed from there.

I think there’s something quite universal in seeing the usually overlooked street furniture sort of highlighted with the tape. It was an international phenomenon, I had images sent to me from all over the world. A simple act that was nevertheless almost aggressive, but in some ways quite beautiful.

The Lockdown Paintings were very popular, and the work was going out immediately to collectors without ever being exhibited, which is where the idea to make a book came in. Narbi Price: The Lockdown Paintings is the only document of the work together as whole. I’d been hoping to work with Michael Smith (The Giro Playboy, Citizen Smith, Drivetime) for years and everything fell into place nicely with his excellent accompanying essay Very Shadows. The project was funded with a successful Kickstarter campaign in August and has just culminated at the beginning of November. The book is now published and available through my website, Waterstones and Foyles. To quote The Sundays, the book is a “little souvenir, of a terrible year”.

It’s been a very busy year all round even apart from The Lockdown Paintings, highlights have been successfully completing my PhD, curating Hartlepool Art Gallery’s centennial exhibition, and showing at the Royal Academy for the third time. As the year draws to a close, I’m very much looking forward to showing at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens as part of the Field Music curated show Paint The Town In Sound. This explores the links between art and music, and I’ll be showing alongside artists Peter Blake and Jeremy Deller, as well as my old MeandthetwinS, Chippewa Falls, and Big Fail bandmate Laura Lancaster, and friends like Grassi and Pauline Murray. When it comes to 2021, I hope for a quieter year, to spend more time in the studio, and who knows, even get back behind a drum kit at some point…

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout