Michael Storrs, who is opening his studio to the public for Art Trek, talks about the artists and events in his life that influence his artwork. Working both in three dimensions and two, Michael produces striking ceramic sculptures and paintings that arrest the eye.
In His Own Words
Nowadays I spend most of my time making art but for many years I worked for one of the biggest international classical music agencies in the world. I organised festivals, tours and special events in many different countries and spent a lot of my life on planes, which I always hated as I have always had a fear of flying!
I was lucky to work with many of the world’s leading artists including Daniel Barenboim, Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras. Early on in my career I learnt to try not to react in tense situations and keep calm. Working in many different countries taught me how to try and deal with difficult situations and I could always sense a small voice telling me not to panic and that whatever mad situation we were facing, we would get through it!
But coming back to music I realise that I’ve been so lucky to hear so many great voices and how much that has meant to me. There is something very immediate about a voice. At one time I worked a lot with Jessye Norman – that was a voice that flowed over and around you. At her peak, it was as if you were simply wrapped in sound.
I realise now that I owe a great deal to this background as well as my early days as a Violinist.
The other thing about music is that there is a strong sense of line and direction which is, of course, shared with the world of art along with contrasting colour tempo.
I can also see how much I owe to artists who have influenced me…it’s a long list and runs the risk of seeming pretentious but I would have to include Tapies, Louise Bourgeois, Picasso, Miguel Barcelo and Cy Twombly.
The other drama in my life was discovering in my early 20’s that I was dyslexic! That helped explain to me why I had struggled so much at School and had found the academic world impossible to deal with. Of course when I was young dyslexia was simply regarded as being lazy whereas today young people can get amazing help and advice and treatment. Sadly I had to give up the violin because of the difficulty of reading music as the only way I could cope was by memorising everything.
I think one aspect of all this was that I now realise the psychological price was that one had to hide a lot so as not to get caught out! That tendency to hide or keep one’s head well below the parapet was open to misunderstanding, or leading to not being upfront enough with other people. But rather than wallowing in self pity I think it’s much better to focus on the good things that have happened and stay positive.
Meeting The Artist Michael Storrs
You have an opportunity to meet Michael at his own Studio during North Devon Art Trek. For dates and information about his studio and a detailed map, please go to his web page here:
You can contact him through his website http://www.michaelstorrsart.com/contact