Ryan Gander Artsnight

Ryan Gander

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who famously created a giant sun in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.


Everyone has the capacity to be creative.


We all do things in our lives that are artistic, whether we realise


Art isn't a stronghold of the elite, it's everywhere, it surrounds us.


This Artsnight is about the art of the everyday and people


My greatest hero, my father, dispensed two important pieces


The first is that you should never let the truth get in the way


The second, more applicable to this programme, is that if you choose


a job that you love, you never have to work


I can see a clear distinction between people who want to be


artists, maybe for the lifestyle, or potential wealth,


and fame, and people who aren't really bothered


about what they are labelled, but they can't help but be creative.


If I was into Formula 1 racing, I would be hanging out


with mechanics and engineers and racing car drivers.


I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazingly created people,


I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazingly creative people,


friends who fill me with some weird sort of positive jealousy that


makes me want to go back to the studio and try


Maki Suzuki is one of the most creative people that I know.


Maki's outputs are so diverse and saturated in such mental agility


that it's impossible to pigeonhole him in any way.


I've seen him initiate a publishing company,


a fashion house, a record label, make art works, and write and teach.


Maki is part of the design collective, Abake.


I think this has a consequence to the way that we work, even if it


For example, the first thing we did maybe with two French entrepreneurs


would be to start a record label which became a fashion label.


Almost in order to make the record sleeves.


It's very reactive to create that thing in order to do the graphic


By providing the music, what was missing is maybe a nice


Each record had a recipe and therefore the ingredients


It is the lazy principle of one idea for ever.


We would draw the faces of friends or family,


acquaintances, musicians, manager, printers, whoever we would meet


They might get smaller if we like them less but at some


point we had more than 2,500 people on the record sleeves.


We get asked the question, what do you do, very often.


It's a very strange question because anybody gets asked this


question but it can become stressful because you think that the one


answer is going to define the rest of the conversation.


I say that I'm a graphic designer and then the conversation ends


because that's the idea, "OK, he makes logos."


But I think there's a difference between what we are,


defining ourselves as what kind of job we do,


2016, and there are a few events that we are working on.


The first one is trying to get Carcetti elected.


First of all, I'm surprised to see so much media here.


A press event held earlier here to announce the revitalisation


of yet another part of our city was not so well attended.


Carcetti is a character from the Wire who becomes the mayor


in the TV series and then towards the end he becomes the governor.


This project is typical of Maki's view of the world.


To make a conceptual piece of art about a fictitious


It would appear that media attention is always focusing on the negatives


when it Comes to Baltimore but you guys aren't around


We have posters and garden signs and sweatshirts, to help.


The project comes back every four years.


It's dormant and then it comes back when it's relevant.


Normally it is my daughter showing it to any visitor.


That's why it's the bottom drawer and it contains all the bones


of fish, rabbit, chicken, anything that we have eaten


They are ready to be used to make dinosaurs.


My daughter, she makes a dinosaur, based on a visit


to the Natural History Museum, or the Internet and I help her


I got my first tattoo I think three years ago.


It is easy because it's when my daughter was born.


And I was in Toronto to participate in a seminar.


It was quite boring for her, so I left my arms with her


and she started making those marks with a sharpie, black marker.


And I thought they were very beautiful and also a nice reminder,


so we went to the tattoo parlour and they just traced


Then when she was three, I asked her to make a tattoo


and this time she reacted to her previous tattoo.


Even though this is just the pen ripping, she thought she had written


L, the initial of her first name.


That's why she made another L as a reminder of that.


And then she told me the whole story of the face but it is also a fish


going from one side of the water to the other, and that's that.


I do have this responsibility as a father but the real agenda


Very recently I was in a gallery giving a talk about someone's work


and then this woman came and incredibly she said this cliche


of, "Why do you think this is good, because a child can do better."


I really had to say of course children are the best,


it's just we have to struggle as we grow up to stay that way.


I've come to Berlin to meet Olafur Eliasson, an artist


who is probably best known in the UK for his colossal sun installation


Olafur is an artist who I have held a strange kind of closeted jealousy


He has a massive studio in the east of the city.


The lowest point does not even have to be in the line.


Here, Olafur oversees numerous design, architecture


As part of the studio day, all of his staff gather together


Today we are cooking Persian aubergine stew, with tomatoes,


The studio has now published a cookbook based on these lunches.


The individual recipes coming from the designers,


Do you feel like it's become an important ritual of the studio?


In a way, the kitchen, everybody, they are sort of equal.


It introduces the idea of talking without any hierarchies and so on.


It has a great influence on the rest of the house.


So the cookery book is very much a celebration of the


There's a lot of funny stuff, such as eating with long cutlery.


I'm curious about the motoric skills needed to get a fork in your mouth,


and to have a very long fork isn't so easy.


I love it when you have a potato and you hit your nose!


I'm going to try it as soon as I get home!


I gave it to you, you can do that, Ryan.


I think a long cutlery Ryan edition.


Olafur came to prominence in the UK with his Weather Project


But now it is a little sun that is giving him global fame.


I bought my daughters the little sun and I love it as a project.


I like the way it has this kind of consequence,


I feel very humble and excited about the fact that I've been able


to have a lot of exposure in the art world and I've met a lot


And sometimes the artwork tends to close itself into a bubble.


I've been very focused on the types of projects that allow me to take


the creativity that I've learned and use it in other ways,


outside of the conventional art world.


And I think there is more to it than just breaking these boundaries,


it's also about showing that creativity can be everywhere,


you don't need an art world to be creative.


So the little sun for me was an attempt, this is the little


sun, to see if I can take the creativity that I work


with and make it work in a different context,


This is a solar panel, so when the sun shines,


I can charge it like this and to a certain extent


It is about having energy in your hand and you can also say


It is an empowering thing, where you feel you are connected


to the sun but also a source of energy.


I guess it means that people can read after the sun goes down


We sell it at a higher price, for instance online and in museums


and design shops and we take the profit from that and we deliver


them in areas where there is no access to power,


like sub-Saharan Africa, where we are in 12 countries now.


And there, we don't give it away as an aid, we use it to build small


businesses sometimes sold with a small loss,


to places where we can seek potential economic growth.


We try and integrate it into society.


As I speak we are hitting the 500,000 lamps sold.


Creativity is very much about that sort of ability to somehow sense,


"I'm a part of something", it's about interdependence,


I see myself in the other, I see myself out there.


This means the surroundings, to some extent, carry me.


How would you encourage a creative life for people where the creativity


Creativity isn't in the object, the creative potential is somehow


in how it arrived there in the first place, where did it come


You can say that creativity is in the consequences.


When we cook, the question I ask, and the cookbook is to some extent


about that, is the creative potential actually


Do you succeed at cooking with some sensitivity towards the climate,


for instance, or the people who have been driving the food


throughout Europe, carrying it, harvesting?


How did that particular salad come to you in the middle of the winter?


So creative is not the kind of funny, somehow weird,


great looking, disconnected stuff, it's about how


Thanks so much for having me over, it's really great to meet you.


Max Lamb and Gemma Holt are the creative


They live in north London, where they recently


designed and renovated the shell of an old warehouse


We don't really think about whether or not our lives


are creative, I think we naturally, inherently live creative


Gardening or even just tidying can be a creative act.


That you can learn something from, I guess.


Prior to that an industrial building used for many


I mean, the house is incredibly personal to us, because every


visible part of the house that you can see was created by us


This is the living part of the home, if you like.


It's a dining room, living room, kitchen.


We've been slightly indecisive about the doorknobs and handles,


so we ended up with a bit of a medley.


Something I've made myself, bent out of brass rod.


Just a little bit of an experiment, I suppose.


So, we live upstairs and our studio and


Most of the space is taken over by storage of tools.


Walking through here, this is the bathroom.


Designed in a way that sort of divides the living space


The tiles, which you might see as being rather wacky,


They are aggregate materials, they are the waste product


This is a product I designed and is now available.


These are some pieces based on children's


snap bangles, that you wrap around your wrist.


These are steel and they have been gold-plated.


They are made out of old tape measures.


Much to Gemma's annoyance, our home gets


This is my grandfather's tree, which was


It was an 186-year-old ash tree on my


Which was dying and needed to be felled and divided into 131 logs.


Yes, it is just a log, but it is also a table.


This is actually part of the main trunk and


every time the tree splits, turns into a B or a C.


And then on the underside, a signature plate.


You can't really turn on and off creativity.


So I don't think a creative career really


You have to be very fluid about it and


I think the arrangement of living and working in some ways is really,


really good, but there is never switch off point.


The living and working just becomes one whole


I'm making some infinity rings, rings that fit over two


I think you'd be surprised that behind every single front door


huge amounts of creativity is happening in every home,


regardless of background, occupation, size of


I mean, humans are inherently creative.


I've come to the Lake District to meet Adam Sutherland,


Adam's evangelical about his idea all art should have a purpose.


He's like a modern-day William Morris.


Ruskin lived down the track and allegedly came up to this farm


It's the perfect place to explore a creative life.


Adam runs residential courses here, mainly for arts graduates.


Core to these is an ethos to implement a more valuable


Their website says, Grizedale Art has become a model for a new sort


One that works beyond the established structures


of the classic contemporary art model.


It sounds a bit like a Swiss finishing school.


Well, I do try and teach people to make cheese souffle


From working with Turner prizewinners...


I'm not ready, I didn't expect it at all!


To projects in their own local community.


And regular international collaborations.


In 2013, Grizedale arts created Anchorhold a movable


structure in collaboration with high art in Finland .


Anchorhold was designed to offer a multitude of functions,


ranging from being a fishing hole, dining room for one


Just perfect for some primal scream therapy.


Mostly, I would say, they are people who've


been a couple of years out of college.


We don't advertise it, so the idea really is that they have


to be quite motivated to have found it


We used to run call-outs for artists and that is such a bad system.


You end up pissing off 150 people every year.


You quite quickly get through the whole art world.


Would you say living a creative life is important


to you and the people that come here?


Maybe longer, you are giving away my age.


When it was kind of Bedlam and lots of drunk artists and so on.


I've been trying to stop it being like that.


Over the years I've got more and more specific


about the discipline of working here and how that functions.


The two most important currencies for a young artist


The predicament of having a full-time job in order to pay


the rent or a studio that you never have the time to work


The main purpose of Grizedale is to break


Inviting artists to live and work alongside each other in a melting


pot type of environment away from the distractions of their daily


There is something about the room openers and serenity


of the landscape here that makes it very


And fills you with the sort of confidence to try out


When you talk about craft, I think of function.


It often comes up, people go, well, the whole point of art is that it's


useless and has no function and no reason.


It's been very interesting working here, it's a northern village,


Coniston, and I think generally there is a deep


suspicion of, certainly contemporary art.


Probably not confined to the north of England, suspicion.


A lot of local people have come to see


this idea of creative as something that is really vital to them


and useful in terms of how they develop


It's disappeared, everybody is so specialised they are forgetting


When you talk about us losing our way, you sound


I feel that really strongly, that artists


But I also feel that now is this amazing opportunity


This is a society that needs that input.


Said the context for this programme is, it's about the way people live


Well, of course, I think it's very important,


but I think it's also very difficult.


And I think I struggle with it, I think


everyone struggles with a balance in life.


You have to manage a lot of other things other


I get up painfully early as I get older.


The idea is that 9am there is a gear change in the day and it gets


I'm always looking for solid examples of how you can explain


So if I was to explain to someone like


my mum, for example, who never went to art school,


what the use of an artist in day-to-day society would be,


I think, what I think art is, I suppose, is this live,


This building for example, I imagine it's an inspiring


collection of material and everything in it has been


considered, it's here for a reason and it does something.


If people in enquire of it, I can pretty much tell


you quite a long, arguably boring, story about more or less anything


How many people's homes in the rest of Britain do you think


Everybody's home is like that, they just maybe


If you put a plastic bag on your dining table,


A lot of what happens here is about teaching


people to make things, even if that's just how


I think I taught you how to make gnocchi.


Handmade gnocchi on the back of a fork.


Thanks very much, Adam, nice to see you.


Picasso famously said most artists make eight moulds


Picasso famously said most artists make cake moulds


and then they make cake, and plenty of them.


And they become very pleased with themselves.


He also said an artist should never do what's expected of them.


That an artist's worst enemy is style.


Being an artist or aspiring to be creative is not


really a job or vocation, it's a way of living.


It's having the ability to find possibilities in everything.


And wondering around the world with our eyes and minds open.


At the start of this programme I asked, are we all artists?


But now I'm not sure whether that question is important


Perhaps a better question would be to ask whether we all take


advantage of the opportunities in our day-to-day lives where we get


to exercise our own creative potential.


As an art student in Manchester, a tutor told me one way to prove


creativity is instinctive and not learn is to ask a number of people


from different backgrounds to brush the floor.


He insisted all the people invited would brush the floor


So to end this Artsnight, let's see if it's


Hallo, the weather for the weekend, a bit of a grey area, a lot of cloud


and not much rain. Some breaks in the cloud, northern Scotland, but


elsewhere it's going to brighten up. Some early


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