Inspired by a lifelong love of second-hand treasures, artist Layla Andrews is a master of turning the seemingly mundane into expressive works of art. Known for her rich and unexpected colour palettes, visible brush strokes and thought-provoking compositions, she is definitely one to watch. We met Layla at her new studio, already painted a playful, mustard hue that reflects Layla’s incredible eye for colour.
No problem at all, thanks for coming by! I have flip-flopped from Brighton and South London for some time now as I love the city but I love the sea. I have recently moved back and it feels wonderful to be here. South London feels like a great balance. It offers the liveliness that you would associate with a large city but also possesses a peaceful, green and smaller community feel to it. It is a great place to feel inspired, meet people and also to be fed.
I would say, make sure to always try and create art that you love. Creative industries are subjective but making art that speaks to you and that you would like on your walls is so important.
Earlier this year I had an exhibition at Soho Revue. The collection was based on my family's trip to St Helena in October. St Helena is where my granddad grew up, it is also one of the most remote islands in the world. We had never been able to visit before as an airport had not been built until recently. Visiting the island was an opportunity to experience some of my grandfather’s stories first hand, meet family members and learn more about his birthplace. This experience, the people, the nature, food and colours naturally inspired what became Bastard Gumwood, a collection dear to my heart.
I take a lot of inspiration from the sea, the natural world, as well as family stories and my love of antiques and second hand goods. I love exploring unlikely pairings. There is definitely a cross section somewhere where all these things meet in my work.
Thank you! Colour has always played a central role within my work. The colour palette I use in my paintings is reflective of the colours I love at that moment, so it changes and evolves. Oil, acrylic and oil pastel are my primary go-tos. I paint a lot on board as well as canvas as I often paint with my hands and layering paint/oil pastel onto board works really well.
I absolutely love the black bug dress! The silver and gold embroidery is very special. It's a great party number. I also love the pink dress- it is joyful to see some colour in these gloomy, winter months.