Two sisters and two brothers, all artists, showing together at Cooper’s Yard?! We had to find out more!
So, how are you all related to each other?
Tanya – Janne is my sister, Mike is my partner, David is my brother-in-law.
Tell us a little about yourselves and your journeys to becoming artists.
David – My brothers and I were always into art and drawing when we were young. I went from school to art colleges and University, and have kept a studio in South East London ever since.
Janne – My interest in pottery stems from growing up with hand-thrown pottery from our mother’s hometown Karatsu (Japan). Fast-thrown pots using textured clays with simple, earthy glazes – what’s not to like? My main job, which I love, is a specialist primary teacher.
Tanya – I’m a graphic designer specialising in exhibitions and print for museums. After a couple of unsatisfying jobs after uni (I studied Archaeology at UCL) I decided to get into design so I taught myself the software skills and started freelancing as an artworker. 10 years later, after a role heading-up the design team at London Transport Museum, I set up my design company Chutney Chorus. My main clients are Natural History Museum, Museum of London and the Horniman Museum. These days, alongside my museum work, I’m widening my skills, stepping out from behind the client briefs and producing my own thing. The Crystal Palace Artists’ Open House is the first time I’ll be doing that seriously.
Mike – I am a graphic designer, illustrator and collage artist with a background in design (before Apple Macs) so became handy with pen and scalpel. I work in the museum sector but have rekindled my design, collage and illustration practice over the last 10 years after a lengthy hiatus.
How are you influenced by each other’s work?
Tanya – Although I’m not directly influenced by their work, I’m totally inspired by their work ethic! We’re all hard workers and enjoy a good chin wag about techniques & materials and what we’re currently working on.
Mike – The other three have prodigious output which is inspiring.
Janne – I think we share an aim for mastery through repeated application. There are no short-cuts, though skilled instruction can save a lot of ‘discovery’ time.
Do you ever work together on joint projects?
Janne – Tanya and I are hatching plans for a beautiful collaboration.
Mike – Tanya and I collaborate on some client projects and on various self-generated animations. We often jump in and out of the Mac-hot-seat, tweaking designs, pushing, pushing, pushing.
Tanya – I trust Mike’s design opinion totally. Partly to address wanting to work together more, we launched our own T-shirt brand thosewhowait.com a few months ago. Exciting stuff.
Do you ever get frustrated with each other working in the same group of studios?
David – My own studio is in Forest Hill, but Mike, Janne and I were invited to show at Cooper’s Yard Studios as guest artists.
Tanya – I’m the only one permanently at Cooper’s Yard. So no frustration!
Can you tell us why you think art within the local community is important?
Mike – It’s the glue!
Tanya Cornish and Mike Dipre
Tanya and Janne Cornish as children
Image by Mike Dipré