BBG Presents: Tim Sprague

12 June 2014

In this weeks instalment of BBG Presents, we further explore the talents of artist Tim Sprague at Nevs Models. Tim (Timothy when he’s in trouble) is currently studying Fine Art at the University of Westminster. He loves a snapchat or three from his mum, loves living in London and is getting to grips with the internal struggle that keeps him going.

In their first collaboration Cecilie Harris photographed Tim in this image series followed by today's treat, the below video. We also caught up with him after the shoot to talk to him about merging the two art forms he now finds himself in; modelling and art, and we wanted to find out more about his inspiration and aspirations for the future.

We have included some of our favourite pieces of Tim's art, and you can view more of his art on his Tumblr.

Hi Tim, thanks for inviting us to your uni. Talk us through the images and videos you have chosen to show us today?
I chose a wide selection from my A Level to literally right now. I wanted to show an evolution, not just what I’m working on right now. Some people have already found their definite style and they will stick to that style, but for me I’m always changing mine. You’ll find that your interest is the same, but your practice will differ.

What inspires you?
Finding the unconventional from the conventional is how I like to work. I’m really fascinated with the body and the way we interact with appearances. The thing that keeps me going the most is experiences, and what gets me out of bed is the fear of missing something. I don’t want to miss anything. If there is an opportunity to go to a gallery I’ll go. If theres is an opportunity to go out, I’ll go. I’m always researching. I’m always trying to push myself forward. Now I’m here though, it's quite weird looking back and reflecting on my art. Once I’ve completed a project and I see it later, sometimes I hate it. I’m never happy with it, but seeing the art I did back at A Level I like now. Seeing the fire film I thought it was amazing, but at the time I wasn’t quite happy with it. I don’t think that's a bad thing, to never be fully satisfied with what you've done, but it does kind of kill you and puts you in that angsty artist mode that is the internal struggle. It’s good I think, it keeps you going, to think "ok, I wasn’t happy with that, but what can I do next?". You are always trying to think of what you can do next. I would never say I’m a painter, but I would never say that I am a sculptor either, that's why I love my course. Mixed media fine art - I get to try a bit of everything.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to Impossible.

What would you say your process of creating is?
A lot of the time I’ll be going thought the processes and think that I’m going to do a sculpture. Then I’ll do the preparation for it and then realise that it’ll work as a film or as a projection or an installation instead. You’ve got to constantly reflect. I think that's what I do a lot of, reflect. I overthink and I reflect too much, but it's good as an artist to do so. I went through a time when I started uni where I just didn't want to work. With art it is so personal, it’s your life and you can’t just read a text book and be done. You are thinking all the time. Even at 4am or when I’m going to castings I‘ll think about art. Obviously focusing on the modelling too, but I’ll come back at 8 o'clock at night and I’ll work till like four in the morning. That's kind of when you loose your inhibitions I think. So many of my projects have happened early mornings.

What dreams do you have for the future?
I don’t want to work as a fine artist in a studio on my own. I really want to be where I can work as part of a team. When you first asked me to do a collaboration of fashion and art I was like “Wow, this is my dream job”. Literally this is my dream job to do my art in a fashion context - where I get to combine them. It’s nice though to have this opportunity of modelling. Yeah ok, sometimes I’m used as a clothes rack and that's absolutely fine. I still get to see inside the fashion industry. I’m learning and absorbing. The amount of people that I have met and have told me they have a Fine Art degree is giving me hope. That is what keeps me going. Today to actually have the chance to create some work, model and for you to teach me has been amazing.

What did you learn today?
To loosen up, to feel something, and to focus less on the camera and being in a pose. Focus more on the feel or the intensity of the emotion needed. To think of it more as an art form, and not just showing different angles of clothes, you know what I mean? Sometimes of course there are specific poses needed and that's fine, but I’m still performing and creating. You are creating something and even if it’s just a lookbook you can still perform, it's still you. Before I met you I kept the two completely separate, but now I’m happy to merge.

That’s wonderful! It’s true, I think people who are artist in some way whether it be in art, dance, acting or music, they can bring their artistry into their modelling. I could see you progressing throughout the day and connecting more. That means a lot to me as a photographer.
To everyone who asks I don’t care so much exactly what the future holds, I am open and change my mind everyday. I’m 19, I’m young, I’ve just moved to London, I’ve just got a modelling contract and I’ve just started uni. So everything is ‘just’. I’m happy to try lots of stuff and I’m happy to explore. There are so many possibilities at the moment.

You could be an art director.
I’d love to be something like an art director and for a while I thought fine art wasn’t the degree for it, but then I thought about it and it's the broadest thing and gives you the most creative freedom.

A milestone in your life! And a revelation as we sit here and look at your fire video. What is that?
It’s back when I was burning stuff and flipping my dad out! My dad came home one day and I had done that in the middle of the living room. He seriously flipped. haha

What else do you want to say today?
I guess I just want to say that the future is undecided. It’s me trying to find a way to be comfortable. I’m not trying to stereotype this and paint some abstract picture. I think with fine art everyone is trying to find ‘the new thing’ and the new thing is usually something that’s come back round. It’s the same in fashion. I guess the thing I try to do is something a bit more unconventional, something that provokes a personal response. I’d always rather someone say they don’t like my art then to say it's nice. I’d rather someone say ‘I don’t like this this, because…’ It has provoked a response. It will hurt, but that's what I want. I think that's what everyone wants at the end of the day; to say that you made a mark on someone.

Thats wonderful! Thank you for sharing your art with us Tim.

Instant Analogue images by Cecilie Harris.
Interview by Cecilie Harris.
Words by Cat Wilding.
Special thanks to Impossible.

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Tim Sprague51
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