We had the good fortune of connecting with Glen Farrelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Glen, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
As an artist I am always trying to convey a message or tell a story whilst hopefully putting a smile on the viewers face. I work with only abandoned, discarded and unwanted materials – many of my most recent pieces are made with storm fallen tree limbs. With the materials I try to show how we can reuse materials, stopping them from going to landfill.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I originally trained at the renowned Camberwell College of Arts in London, studying for a fine arts degree in ceramics. When I graduated my work was immediately accepted into the South London Gallery which also exhibited the work of Gilbert and George, Damian Hirst and Tracy Emin. I then went on to study for a post graduate degree in secondary art education and then went on to teach art at City of London School. The school, nestled on the bank of the Thames between St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern, is where I would spend the next 19 years sharing my skills and honing my ideas before taking the role as Head of Art. With Tate Modern on my doorstep I continued to immerse myself in the artwork of contemporary artists whilst running a forward thinking department.
In 2016 I moved with my young family to LA before settling in Santa Clarita. Unfortunately, after only 2 months in my new home, the area was under threat by the Sand Fire. The fire was the biggest the City had seen for many years and the first I had ever seen! The fast moving fire came within 1/4 mile of our home causing the family to evacuate for three days. Obviously this had a huge impact on my artwork. As soon as I was able, I began walking the fire ravaged sites and collected remnants of scorched and discarded wood. I started to concentrate on finding the beauty that remains in each piece of wood and emphasise the new life that emerges. Each piece is carefully sculpted to show the scars left by the fire and the beauty and new life that slowly returned to the City. I have been fortunate to exhibit across LA in various galleries, and this has helped me connect with people who have also been effected by the ever increasing threat of the fires in our area. My work is intended to give hope and tells the story of the effects of the climate crisis we are now in.
I have now returned to the UK and continue to make and exhibit his work whilst keeping close ties to California. I currently have an exhibition in London and in North Wales at the beautiful Oriel Glasfryn Gallery. I also give talks in schools about my story, my artwork and our role as artists against the threats on climate change.
As an Artist the road never seems smooth! You constantly question yourself if you are doing the right thing, is my work good enough, do people like my work? You are your own worst critic! Once I sent my work to a Gallery for an open call and every piece was accepted, then they used it for their advertising I gained confidence and belief. However, that’s not always the case, you just need to find the right fit – both artist and Gallery. The pandemic hit sales of work bad, and let’s face it although most artists love what we do we also have to eat! Getting more online exposure has helped with these obstacles, and that is where I found is the best place to sell if you can’t meet in person. As I said earlier I am currently exhibiting in Central London, normally the perfect place to sell artwork, unfortunately despite Covid restrictions being lifted people are still nervous about visiting – a new obstacle for our new world! Now we face a huge issue in the UK with the price of living soaring, will people be able to afford to buy artwork?

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I will be back in LA this summer so I will definitely be making a few special stops. The galleries in LA are fantastic, but as I need to get some sun I will definitely be going to Paradise Cove in Malibu! What a gem!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My huge shoutout would be to my wife for all of her love and support over the years. Still supporting me whilst she establishes her own business in executive coaching, www.thursdayschildcoaching.co.uk Also to all my friends and family for their encouragement and for visiting Galleries and sharing my work!

Website: https://glenfarrellyartist.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/farrellyglenartist/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farrellyglenartist

Other: I have 2 instagram accounts https://www.instagram.com/phoenixenvironmentcreations/

Image Credits
all images by Glen Farrelly except one by Raymond Jones Images

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