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Daughter - BBC 6Music Festival, Summer Dates, Sarah Shaw Q&A
Daughter : BBC 6Music Festival, Summer Dates, Sarah Shaw Q&A
15th February 2016

Following the release of their acclaimed second record Not To Disappear, Daughter concluded their UK and European tours with a performance at the BBC 6Music Festival in Bristol this weekend.  With a set featuring new singles 'How' and 'Doing The Right Thing', amongst other favourites, the full performance can now be watched on the BBC iPlayer here.  You can watch 'Doing The Right Thing' on YouTube, or in the player below.

After embarking on a North American tour in March/April, including shows in Washington, Los Angeles, and Toronto, Daughter will play a number of newly announced international festival dates for the Summer.  Along with Primavera Sound in Barcelona, the trio will also appear at Way Out West Festival, Bonnaroo and Down The Rabbit Hole, plus many more.  These follow some new dates in Asia and Australia, where Daughter will play shows in Osaka and Tokyo in Japan, following trips to Melbourne and Sydney.  You can find all dates here, or below.

Daughter have also shared a Q&A with Sarah Shaw, the artist responsible for 'The World Is Spinning Around', which was used as the album cover for Not To Disappear.  You can find the full conversation at the bottom of this page.

3rd - Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA, US - SOLD OUT
4th - Somerville Theatre, Boston MA, US - SOLD OUT
5th - Corona Theatre, Montreal QC, Canada - SOLD OUT
7th - Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON, Canada - SOLD OUT
8th - Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON, Canada - SOLD OUT
9th - Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI, US [Tickets]
11th - Metro, Chicago IL, US - SOLD OUT
12th - First Avenue, Minneapolis MN, US [Tickets]
13th - Granada Theatre, Lawrence KS, US [Tickets]
15th - Ogden Theatre, Denver CO, US *venue upgrade* [Tickets]
16th - The Depot, Salt Lake UT, US [Tickets]
18th - Vogue Theatre, Vancouver BC, Canada - SOLD OUT
19th - The Showbox, Seattle WA, US - SOLD OUT
20th - Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR, US - SOLD OUT
22nd - Fillmore, San Francisco CA, US - SOLD OUT
24th - Belly Up, San Diego CA, US - SOLD OUT
25th - Ace Theatre, Los Angeles CA, US - SOLD OUT
26th - The Observatory, Santa Ana CA, US
28th - Mohawk, Austin TX, US [Tickets]
29th - Trees, Dallas TX, US - SOLD OUT
30th - Numbers, Houston TX, US [Tickets]

1st - Terminal West, Atlanta GA, US - SOLD OUT
2nd - Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro NC, US - SOLD OUT
3rd - Newport Music Hall, Columbus OH, US (rescheduled date) [Tickets]
6th - 9:30 Club, Washington DC, US - SOLD OUT 
10th - Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia
11th - 170 Russell, Melbourne, Australia - SOLD OUT
13th - Umeda Club Quatro, Osaka, Japan
14th - Liquid Room, Tokyo, Japan

2nd - Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona, Spain
10th - Bonnaroo Festival, Manchester TN, US
26th - Down The Rabbit Hole Festival, Beuningen, Netherlands

1st - Rock Werchter Festival, Werchter, Belgium
3rd - Airfield Festival, Sibui,  Romania

11th - Oya Festival, Oslo, Norway
13th - Way Out West Festival, Gothenberg, Sweden


Tell us a little about the creation of ‘The World Is Spinning Around’? 

It’s an odd painting but is one of my favourite pieces of work from the last few years so it’s amazing to see it being used as Daughter’s album cover!  The painting was months in the making and went through a number of changes before it was finally resolved to the piece you see now – the arch was the final component of the image and just seemed to perfectly tie things together and connect areas of the painting.

I was thinking about how to represent time, and had a few lyrics running through my head – lyrics which seemed to evoke an expanse of time and distance and longing and I was exploring how to depict this in a visual way with a similar depth of feeling.

People have speculated on whether the places depicted are real or fictional; the Hollywood bowl has been mentioned more than once, and Stargate!  My paintings are very rarely real places but more  psychological spaces.  I tend to use the symbol of the arch a lot in my paintings as it seems to symbolise so many things; obviously it has a sense of romanticism about it in terms of the ethereal rainbow, but for me it’s more the sense of something spanning from one point to another in time or place or space.   Many of my paintings explore a sense of the epic versus the intimate and attempt to evoke something of our human relation to nature and a sense of the sublime.

It’s odd describing what went through my head whilst making a painting as I don’t like to dictate to a viewer what they should see.  I like making work which has space enough and is ambiguous enough for a viewer to make their own interpretations and that reveals itself more and more with time.

How would you describe your artistic processes?  

I have loads of ideas spinning around all the time. I collect images that mean something to me, on the internet, in magazines, books, personal photos, newspapers etc. and kind of collate them in my studio, scribbling on them what it is that has evoked my interest. My studio is strewn with these images and words scribbled on the walls, bits of a poem, something someone has said, an eclectic mix of stuff from the world which may or may not make it into a painting, but is a way of identifying my aesthetic languages.  

My tutor used to say that I had too many ideas, and that I should spread them out over a few canvases rather than trying to make everything come together in one painting.  Great advice.  I am currently working on about 30 paintings at the same time.   I’m trying to keep things minimal in each painting as I think that’s where my work is the most successful. I create almost like a collage, usually trying out different elements together, printing images out, working from them. I sometimes make small scale models to work from –  these methods often become irrelevant in the end stages of a painting as I get lost in the process but it is a way of generating information to paint from. 

My paintings tend to change massively through the process.  Ideas are tried out, rejected, altered, dismissed, lovingly painted and then cleared out with a massive swipe of the brush! The final pieces are the most successful when they retain a sense of the dialogue that has occurred between me and the painting.

How did the relationship with Elena, Igor & Remi come about?

In the late summer, out of the blue, I received an intriguing email from Daughter’s management who said that they managed a band who were fans of my work – I had no idea who they were at the time and the management wouldn’t tell me – the email went on to say they had a ‘wee proposal’ to put to me – well, the ‘wee proposal’ turned out to be about using my work for their album cover! It was a very frustrating time as I was in the middle of a field in Hampshire at a festival with very little internet or reception so couldn’t do any detective work on finding about who the band might be! Frustrating but also so exciting! I think it was some weeks later after the band had decided for sure to go with my imagery that I received another call from management – this time I was in the middle of the Tate gallery!  I’ll never forget how it felt when I was finally told who the band were – I felt like I was walking on air all day, but that might be the champagne we had with lunch to celebrate.

Were you aware of Daughter’s music before you began working together?  

Yes!   My own daughter introduced me to Daughter’s music – one of the songs that she played all the time was the song ‘Medicine’ I found it such a hauntingly beautiful refrain that it stuck in my head for weeks –  I used to listen to them in the studio whilst painting, listening to this album whilst painting is going to be a very different experience!

The second painting that is being used within the ’Not To Disappear’ artwork is called 'Rorschach Head I'. Tell us a little about this.

I made a series of paintings which begun life as inkblot tests; the process, as a child, in which you would smear ink on one side of a piece of paper, fold it in half to create a duplicate image and then simply say what you could see – the tests initially devised by Hermann Rorschach were used to determine their subject’s emotional responses to a specific set of repetitive visual stimuli and attempted to reveal something of a deeper psychology and enable an understanding of the emotional functioning of the subject.  I’ve always been fascinated by this idea so wanted to have a little experiment to see what would happen.  I built the paintings up in layers with what I could visualise in the imagery and created a series of images which really did give me an insight into myself.  

I generally only really know how I felt at the time of making by looking retrospectively at what was produced and then realising.  It’s always really interesting to introduce an element of serendipity and chance into the process because that way you can cheat your head, heart and hands into producing something which can surprise even yourself.  ‘Rorschach Head I’ was the first of three figurative images to emerge – ‘Rorschach Head II’, it’s sister, I’m proud to say is owned by none other than Ronnie Wood! Still pinching myself on that one too!  These paintings paved the way for a whole new exploration into the ink blot process which became a solo painting show in 2014 called ‘Parallels’.

How would you describe yourself as an artist and the art you create? 

I think my kind of painting is perhaps not something which has immediate visual impact; it is work that invites contemplation, like a sense of visual poetry.  I always find poetry relates better to painting than prose as it leaves room for 'somethingness', something which, if there were words to say, there would be no need to paint.  I can't remember who said it but I remember reading about an artist who said that he enjoyed images that change from something literal and worldly to something which has the possibility of becoming embedded in the mind - I enjoy this space in painting; the fine line where abstraction and figuration meet and have a kind of tension.

How do you think the use of ‘TWISA’ on the cover of ‘Not To Disappear’ will change your relationship with the painting?

That’s a really interesting question! I do love that painting but my relationship has definitely changed with seeing the image in prints and magazines and posters and Spotify and god knows where else! 

It is weird (not that I’m complaining!)   It’s so exciting too seeing it in the likes of Mojo and Q and all those music magazines I’ve grown up with, and knowing it’s going to be used as Daughter’s backdrop for their festival gigs and seen all around the world! I’ve had many surreal moments with this experience, being not only a fan of Daughter, and the bands they have supported like Sigur Ros and Warpaint, but also Beggars and 4AD!  It takes some getting used to, I don’t think I’ve fully grasped it even now.

I know the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into every piece of work that I have considered complete. My paintings are my sad eyed children, and I always feel a tinge of sadness when they go out into the world on their own journeys.  Pride too. Definitely pride.  This painting is on its own journey – it belongs to others now and maybe that’s how it should be.  I read in an interview with Elena that they saw the painting and felt it encapsulated the sound of the album that they were making at that time which is fascinating and incredibly flattering.   Being a huge music fan I often wonder what the musical equivalent of mine and others painting would be.  I’ve read a few interviews with the band recently and have been really intrigued to feel a personal affinity with not just their music, but particularly with how Elena talks about her process of writing and her relationship with her songs.  I couldn’t be prouder that my paintings are visually representing Daughter’s work.” 


Find more work at Sarah's website here.