Naomi Kashiwagi is somewhat a jack of all trades: artist, curator, student co-ordinator and Manchester Art Group Member. A few weeks ago I met up with Naomi at the Whitworth Gallery to ask her a few questions about art.

As an artist that mixes music and art how do you think the two compliment each other?

My practice considers the intersections and impact of visual art and music upon one another and this dynamic reveals curious aspects of both disciplines, by using the language of the other genre. I use violin bows as paint brushes (both are made out of the same materials, but in differing configurations), use pianos as drawing instruments, compose music for typewriters and use gramophones as engraving/drawing tools.  For me, a lot of the music and sound related aspects of my work relate to drawing and painting.

Could you recap on the Krysko & Kashiwagi show and how it came about, and a comment or two on the highs and lows of those performances.

I worked as Host Producer at Whitworth Art Gallery with music producer and DJ, Matthew Krysko for the Performing Rights Society Foundation (PRSF) for Music project, New Music Plus North West, 2010. We worked together to see how we could animate exhibitions, collections and gallery spaces through new music. I perform with gramophones and 78rpm records and Matthew was curious about how I did this and I was also interested to see him DJ with CDJs and Detroit Techno and House music, so we arranged a day at Whitworth, when we would do this! We were then invited by Manchester Weekender to do as performance, so what was intended to me a show ‘n’ tell ‘n’ play, was then a performance/club night in a gallery playing to over 450 people! We also commissioned Huw Bunford from Super Furry Animals to create a soundscape of everyday found sounds from Whitworth and this was performed for the ‘Krysko & Kashiwagi…In The Mix’ event at Whitworth. This was fantastic, and I’m still working with Huw now on soundscapes for Manchester Museum and John Rylands Library. Matthew and I were also interviewed by Jarvis Cocker on his BBC 6 Sunday Service show and I gave him a couple of re-appropriated 78rpm records- a definitie highlight!

As the Student Programs Coordinator what’s your hope for the student program at the Whitworth Gallery? How’re you attracting students at the moment and is it working?

I hope to develop and sustain a dynamic and progressive student-led programme of activities, events and opportunities and look forward to working with a diverse mix of students across University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford to develop the programme. I use social networking sites, a blog and website to market to students, but as the programme is student-led, I am keen to see how different aspects of the programme can be developed and promoted by students.

You mentioned that you’re going to be working at the Manchester Museum – could you recap on the role you’ll have there.

The Student Engagement Coordinator post is now across both Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum. I’m really looking forward to working at Manchester Museum and making links between both places.

What’s your opinion on the Manchester art scene?

I oscillate between different scenes and thrive amongst like minded, creative people across a range of disciplines, ranging from artists, musicians, computer programmers, designers, architects and zoologists!

Who’s your favourite performance artist?

John Cage

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