Artist interview: Reflecting on the Scottie Wilson co-commission

Artists Greg Bromley and Laila Kassab tell Laura Miles how the Outside In and Pallant House Gallery co-commission opportunity changed their lives.

Yorkshireman Greg Bromley and Gaza-based artist Laila Kassab were awarded Pallant House Gallery and Outside In’s first co-commission back in 2018.
The pair were tasked with responding to the work of renowned outsider artist Scottie Wilson and the result was the aptly titled ‘Colliding Worlds’ exhibition (2 May to 29 July, 2018). Here, to coincide with Outside In and Pallant House Gallery seeking artists for their Madge Gill co-commission, they provide an insight into what the successful artist(s) could expect.

Greg Bromley

Greg Bromley pictured with his work at Pallant House Gallery

“I feel that the opportunity made me lift my game and really reflect on where I wanted to go in the future stylistically, whilst the commission fee enabled me to really immerse myself as an artist.

“Those couple of months enabled me to explore some dead ends, hone my technique, really reflect on my narrative and some of the subliminal elements of my work. I gained the opportunity to be more courageous and flamboyant in my work too. The time also allowed me to really research other outsider artists and the importance of narrative. Since the commission, I have learned that my paintings are personal messages to myself and important neurotic exorcisms; I am not sure without the commission I would have had the headspace to achieve these insights.
As a self-taught ‘outsider’ you will never get a ‘grander’ more supportive opportunity; it will open other doors of possibilities thereafter and you will subsequently meet some great people as a consequence of participation.

“And, to be able to immerse yourself in your calling, completely for a few months, can be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Outside In artist Greg Bromley

Laila Kassab

“I did not imagine that I would get this opportunity, especially since I live in another country that does not have a cultural body or institutions that support artists and provide them with their needs.

“This has made a big difference in my life. I felt enthusiastic about everything, music, lines and colours.”

This opportunity gave me hope again.

Outside In artist Laila Kassab

“I turned to drawing and dedicating all my time to the thing I love. In addition, I went through the self-discovery phase and discovered other aspects of my life as an artist. I felt appreciated by those around me and their interest in my talent. I talked about myself through my paintings and I was happy with every moment of my life.”

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