News Column

Observer Magazine: RELATIONSHIPS: Me and you: Polly Morgan and Boo Saville are artists with very different lives... but they can still inspire each other

June 1, 2014

Rhik Samadder



HER STORY Boo Saville, 34, artist

My old gallery was a melting pot of writers, artists, photographers - a hub of interesting people. Polly always seemed to be there. She's so glamorous and doesn't even have to try. She looks like her work: enviously elegant and stylish. She's always busy going everywhere, doing stuff. But she's not insanely confident, as you'd expect at her level of success. She's humble and self-effacing.

We've visited each other's studios, which is a big deal.

Artists are quite private - their studios are a sacred space. Polly tells me to be more confident. I don't take advice but I like to give it. I've suggested things to try in her work, and she won't do it either!

Polly is much tougher than me. She's from a farming background and has that practical attitude that farmers have. I find it hard getting out there, working with lots of people. She's very practical about getting her work seen. She's a professional operation. I turn up at exhibitions thinking: I'm so stupid - what am I doing here?

Polly loves to dance. She gets into it. Art events can be stifling - when you meet someone like that, you breathe a sigh of relief. You can quickly tell who is in the art

world for the right reasons. At openings and events we seek each other out. We're usually drunk, holding one another up in the midst of everything insane.

We've got to know each other well over the past four years. I'd love to go on holiday with her. I'd be happy to go camping in Dorset, though, whereas she'd probably go to some glamorous yacht in. . . Iceland. Some boat with hot tubs on the deck.

Polly has a real set-up: a house, a Land Rover. I own nothing, except a cat, and I can't drive. I just sort of exist.

HER STORY Polly Morgan, 34, artist

A friend of mine got drunk at a private view and bought one of Boo's pictures even though he couldn't afford it. "Her show is amazing," he said, so I went, and that's how we first met. Then we met again at a house party - she put on a Florence and the Machine song and we went completely nuts on the dancefloor. We barely knew each other but I loved her straightaway.

I didn't go to art school, so I never had crits - artists critiquing each other's work, unlocking it. I told Boo about this once, drunk. She said: "I'm coming to your studio to give you a crit, then you can do me." The next day I got an email with dates in. She took it seriously. She is an inspiring person to be around.

You meet a lot of young pretenders trying to impress;

Boo says exactly what she thinks. She's given me suggestions on my work. The advice I give her is business: invoices, sales, negotiating. I learn more from her than she can from me, I think.

Maybe I don't have the confidence of my abilities. I'm a lot more awkward than Boo is, less sociable. I remember driving around Milan all night with our crazy friend Gigi in a clapped-out van with a load of books, and Boo, in the back. She's always last to leave a party.

We don't feel the need to talk all the time. I'd love

to go on a windy ramble with Boo and my dogs in the Lake District. I don't like lounging around on a beach - I prefer walking, but my boyfriend's never up for it. She'd be a good companion.

Boo Saville and Polly Morgan will be joining 70 artists selling work out of the back of new and vintage Vauxhalls at the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair on 8 June at Brick Lane Yard, London E1 (artcarbootfair.com)


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Source: Observer (UK)


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