SUPRINA KENNEY: I am a total morning person. My day starts at 4am if I do the gym and 4:45 if I don’t. Once up its straight to a large coffee and the ritual feeding of my 6 cats who are patiently waiting directly under my feet. Then its WNYC radio for some world affairs. I leave Harlem where I live at 7am to arrive at my Brooklyn studio by 8.
SW: Do you listen to music or anything while you work?
SW: Is there any geographical place that you had an experience that served as a threshold or break through moment in the evolution of your practice?
SK: Normally I would say no, but I can think of 2 exceptions. When I moved to Harlem I saw ‘line ups’ happen on the street, this is when the police take a group of young men and make them put their hands on a chain link fence so they can be searched. Stop & Frisk. I could feel the humility of the young men & I felt ashamed for allowing our policies to target any one group. I ended up doing a series of art on our (In)Justice System. The 2nd exception had to do not with the geographical so much as my studio layout. My old studio was a dream for any artist, huge windows, lots of light, 800 sq feet; I lost that space to gentrification. When I moved into a smaller 600 sq ‘ space with 1 small window I was sure my work would suffer….but it was the exact opposite! I found out I work better in a cocoon/womb set up.
SW: Are any of your pieces self portraits?
SK: They all are in the sense that I use objects that have been thrown out, lost, or forgotten. I believe most artists can relate to these objects in some way.
SK: I work with any material that will help me communicate my intention best. Once I have a concept I want to convey I formulate a very basic composition. From that point on I aim for the silence needed in my head to allow the process of editing. I find this to take tons of concentration and its most important that I get out of my way. The solution(s) have to be the ‘only’ solution; I can actually hear an audible ‘click’ when it is right. I liken this to being in a whirlwind of choices and you grab at the air at just the right time to come away with something tangible.
SK: I was born on the cusp of the first and last Zodiac signs….Aries/Pisces, life/death, single/collective. I love it here. So I have to say sea/land…thou I am most definitely a morning person.
SK: Living artist: Kate Bush. Dead artist, I’d have to say Marcel Duchamp.
SW: What kind of bird are you?