Tabish KhanShining A Light On Neon Artist Rebecca Mason
Londonist is proud media partner to The Other Art Fair, celebrating 10 editions of contemporary art and emerging talent at The Old Truman Brewery in October.
This October The Other Art Fair (TOAF) celebrates its 10th incarnation at The Old Truman Brewery. Hosting 130 contemporary artists alongside art performances, music and talks, the autumn edition of the art fair promises to be as intriguing as ever. Even better, Londonist readers get 50% off tickets!
We chat to artist Rebecca Mason about her neon art and her special Green Room installation for this October's edition.
Tell us about your work, and why you choose to work in neon?
My work is based on real-life storytelling, confessions and acceptance; it acts like a kind of diary of my life too, and of the trends, events and experiences of those I see around me, particularly being a thirty-something in London. I often struggle to verbally articulate what I am trying to say but I find with text and a stream of consciousness I can better present my views on modern society.
As for neon, I have been a fan since I was a child. I spent my late teens and early twenties dancing around clubs in the north of England in neon/UV outfits and don’t think I ever grew out of that love of light in darkness. I like how I can use the neon to form a word or two which really pulls together the theme of the piece — it’s so in your face and attention seeking. It can seem quite light-hearted but then when you read some of the text on the background it gives it more layers than the typically seedy feel one can sometimes see in neon light.
What has been your experience with TOAF so far, and why do you enjoy it?
I often visited TOAF prior to exhibiting and back in 2013 decided I would make it my aim to exhibit there in 2014 rather than just being a visitor. I was massively thrilled when I was first chosen to be part of the October 2014 fair, and I love the Old Truman Brewery. It was a great experience — I also learned a lot about how much goes into organising this kind of thing as a self representing artist. It was great to meet the other artists, learn about their experience in the art world, make new friends and hear the visitors’ feedback on my work.
At the April 2015 fair, the team were really thoughtful in giving me a darker spot so that the lights really popped. The best part was listening to a lady who was reading through my lights and talking to her young daughter explaining “this is how mummy felt last year”. She later told me she had gone through a period of mental illness and a lot of the examples of flaws, questions, etc presented in my work were things she had related to. I was quite touched by that.
You have something special planned for this edition, what can you tell us about it?
I’m really excited! The TOAF team approached me in the summer about an opportunity called The Green Room where I will have my own room at the fair. An amazing offer, so I jumped at it. Obviously neon will feature! The Green Room will take the form of an immersive installation, where visitors can relax and be themselves, tying in with the themes of many of my lights. Only a handful of people will be allowed in at any one time, they’ll get a drink of absinthe and some surprises! I’m bringing in a few artist assistants to form my Neon Health Service Department of Light Therapy. I can’t say much more but as places are limited I’d advise visitors to book their appointment to avoid disappointment.
Images courtesy of the artist.
The Other Art Fair takes place 15-18 October at The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Tickets are £8/£6 in advance and £10/£8 on the door.
Use the code 'LONDONIST' to get 50% off the ticket price.