What is the best thing about your role? “Waking up every day and being completely free to express myself through the medium of art.”
Traditionally, England has always been a creative and intellectual hub full of theorists and artists from all disciplines shaping the landscape and minds around them. The contemporary art scene continues to boom, and GirlCrew London member Germaine Smith (aka Bottom Burp) is hoping to make her mark in the world of visual arts. “I have always harboured a creative mind from an early age, whether playing Barbie doll games with my sister in a fantasy world or entering the local village art competition.”
With her interest sparked at a young age, Bottom packed her bags and began her journey at university. “I studied Fine Art at Portsmouth University in 1999, where I graduated with my first class degree. I went on to complete a Post Graduate course at Chelsea College of Art and Design, in my favourite city of London.” The allure of London never waned and Bottom set up camp in The Big Smoke where she has continued to hone her craft and produce pieces that reflect on her life. From a trip to meet all her Facebook friends, to her witty take on consumer magazines for women, Bottom describes herself as doll-loving feminist, and her work is a mix of her surroundings.
“My main art influences at the time were the 1990’s Brit artists the YBA’s. I remember the Charles Saatchi’s art show ‘Sensation’ in 1997 at the Royal Academy of Art, it simply blew me away! I realised that we were living in exciting times, and that anything was possible in art.”
1. What is the best thing about your role?
Waking up every day and being completely free to express myself through the medium of art. Creating art works that hopefully engage and inspire the viewer.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
Firstly staying focused, when you are working in a full time job, or are out socializing with family/friends, life can simply get in the way. This is by no means a bad thing, but sometimes art does have to take a back seat! Secondly the art world (even today!) can be quite male dominated, so being a woman artist can present certain challenges in getting your voice out there and heard!
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Completing and Screening my short film ‘Bottom Burp meets all her Facebook friends.’ A film about me and the encounters that I have with my entire list of Facebook friends over the course of a year. It took me on travels across the country and world, flying overseas to Lisbon Portugal. The highlights were meeting both my idols the comedian Paul Foot and the artist David Blandy.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
To definitely go for it!!! But be realistic and always keep your day job going. Never go into the art world for money, it’s more about creative satisfaction than financial gain.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
Always love and support other women in life and in art!!!