DUPE’s Georgia Lucas-Going and Gala.
DUPE: First of all Gala, where are you from?
GK: I was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz, it’s a city on the Basque country in the north of Spain, but I left when I was 16 and came to school here with a lot of American people hence the accent!
Dupe: So I’ve read that you’ve studied in Paris, but also in London?
GK: I went to the Parsons School of Design in Paris , it’s an English speaking school, so my French was slowly building but my art was quickly growing, and then I went to Central Saint Martins.
Dupe: You’ve moved around so much where do you feel is your home?
GK: That’s the crazy thing, it sounds really cheesy but home is where your heart is so I try to build a secondary family everywhere I go. My family’s in Spain but in Paris I have this family of people who are similar to me, e.g. a friend who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia but was studying there. Everyone who has a similar background always seem to stick together wherever we go. In London it was actually really organic because I embraced all these people who I studied with and we all shared a studio like a little united nations!
Dupe: So right now we’re talking in your studio and you share with 4 other artists? And this work behind us, isn’t it travelling soon? Where’s it going?
GK: Yes this is going to Madrid in 2 days. Then hopefully coming back to London. We’re opening this show in there, in a studio called Bunkhouse, which actually used to be a bakery! The recession has made Spain really poor, but has also given artists really good opportunities to start up small galleries or pop up shows everywhere. I think after our show it’s going to be used for music, as a place where people can come to Spain to play and rehearse.
Dupe: Free things! As there’s no bloody funding anymore! So you’ve mentioned the USA, have you done a show there?
GK: Actually the show that we’re doing in Madrid is called ‘Journey to The Center of My Mind’ and the first edition of it was made in LA, in this artists commune venue called ‘HM157’. I was trying to find a spot to do it in London and I emailed everyone and their mothers basically! Everyone wants money for that and we had none because we’d all just graduated, so I made a Facebook page about this idea and then I realised Facebook pages could get messages and I got a message from this lady who runs the space and she offered it to us for free, so of course I was going to do it. It would be crazy not to do so, so we chose 5 London based artists, and 5 based in California, as we thought it would be a nice bi-continental dialogue. All the artists were women as well; that was the little twist. It’s like how do you make a show with only women artists without being all cliché and feminist, which isn’t bad, but people have a pre-conceived idea of what it’s going to be like.
Dupe: We know you’re a traveller, does that influence your work a lot? It must do?
GK: My work is really inspired by the people I meet or things that happen which spark this revolutionary idea of people going over the street and changing the world with art, which sounds really utopian but I think nowadays you really have to have this kind of mindset in order to survive the negativity of today and continue. I remember my second solo show was based on everyone I’d met on a trip to America, and it was all small portraits made with ink, like on the road, and just finding people who are different and unique and live outside bureaucracy and off the grid, but still have this creative ability to change things, and that’s what basically inspires me.
Dupe: Do you have any road trip/journey stories; something that sticks out in your mind, be it whether you met someone mental or saw somewhere really beautiful?
GK: The most extravagant story which sticks out in my mind was in LA and I was staying with someone I’d stayed with in Paris really briefly who would later go on to become a really good friend of mine. The first night she took me out in Venice beach and we hung out with her boyfriend who was this big, very loud Mexican guy, who everyone knew. He was like ‘oh my friend Danny’s coming’ and he turned out to be this badass Mexican actor who’s in a movie called Machete. We went out to some bar and this guy was trying to dance with me even though he was about 60. My friend’s boyfriend was basically trying to set us up and I was like ‘Oh my god I’m 23 what am I doing with this old man!’ Then her boyfriend got a call and he said ‘oh yeah girls my friend Eminem is coming over’ and I was like ‘what no?! this cannot happen! I’m wearing pyjamas!’
Dupe: If you had to make a mix tape for a road trip who would be on it? Name two people.
GK: One has to be Neil Young, I really really love his album ‘Harvest’. When I was 24 I played it on repeat, he is such an amazing songwriter and his voice is so peculiar, he’s just awesome! The other one…it’s not really a road trip singer but I’d have to say Nina Simone, I listened to ‘Sinnerman’ on repeat for so long, it’s so epic and crazy.
Dupe: So you’ve got the show coming up, and then what’s next? Anything in London?
GK: Well, we want to have the upcoming show again in London, but it just seems impossible, we’re all based here but opportunities are very low. I realised that if you don’t have a gallery or anyone who wants to show your work then you have to invent this gallery and curate it, and this involves a lot of meeting people and earning their trust, so we’re in the process of earning people’s trust and showing them this project is really worth their time.
Mosh pit in Blues, Chemically Transfered Ink on Canvas, 2012