INTERVIEW: Brixton Belle chats to Araba Ocran, of Bad Behaviour art project

food glorious food-4We’ve been hearing a lot about artist organisation Bad Behaviour of late, so we asked our What’s On pro Brixton Belle to head down for a chat with one of its founders, Araba Ocran

What is Bad Behaviour?
Well, it’s  a not- for- profit, new and evolving project set up in south London to showcase the work of artists from a wide range of ages and backgrounds.
It was set up to represent artists that may not have had the opportunity to be educated within the contemporary art school system, together with those who have.
Bad Behaviour does not have it’s own gallery space, so finds interesting spaces in order to create exhibitions beyond the White Cube format.

What is Food, Glorious Food all about?
With the rising popularity of television cooking shows, books and celebrity chefs, it has become apparent that food is not just for dinner anymore. It has become political and popular in our collective conversations, seemingly bringing people together at the most basic level as a way to connect. Food Glorious Food is an exhibition to celebrate the good qualities of food, exploring its cultural significance, social values and beliefs rather than just it’s dietary requirements or medical and nutritional value.

Why do you do what you do?
All of us involved in Bad Behaviour are fairly new to the art world and have found it a little confusing as to how it all works. There are so many brilliantly creative people around us who don’t seem to have an outlet to show off their creativity or where to start. Bad Behaviour is aiming to bring together other like minded creatives who love what they do and would like to share it with others.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
I think the best way to answer this question is to describe the situation that inspired me to carry on with BB during our first exhibition. It was when I was invigilating on my own at the Brixton East space, and a guy came in who had a motor-neurone condition. He was very shy and apologetic for his appearance and asked if it was ok to come in. I showed him round the exhibition, after which he stated, “I’ve never been to an art gallery before!” When I asked him why he said simply, “I always thought that people like me weren’t allowed in places like this!” I  was deeply touched by this and saddened. I feel that art should be for everyone, it can be deeply personal and conjure up a multitude of emotions and encourage people to ask questions. After meeting with this man I am determined to continue on with this venture.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I don’t know if this is the best advice but it is something that I have always remembered. It was said to me years ago when I met Quentin Crisp he said to me ” Never be afraid of thinking outside the box”

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I think it can be for some. It just depends on how an artist goes about their practice. I am still very nervous about my work so I do tend to procrastinate alot and talk to people about my ideas before making most of my work. I am always pleasantly surprised by the feedback and encouragement I get from people. Sometimes it results in a huge debate which I love. So I think I would describe my work as actually very social.

One thing you love about Brixton?
There are are a few things, but if I had to choose one, I think it would have to be the community spirit. I know that it sounds like a cliche, but I really think that it’s true despite some of the depressing changes that it is going through at the moment.