Fox Fisher is an award-winning artist who designed The Pharmacy of Dreams room at Artist Residence Brighton. Among his many credentials, Fox was a speaker and live screen-printer at the Tate Modern and the V&A, where topics of gender and art merged. As well as an artist, Fox is a film-maker and human rights activist, promoting transgender issues.
How would you describe your art?
Bright! It usually involves animals, neon, gold, wood and secret glow-in-the-dark layers.
Tell us about the room you decorated in Artist Residence Brighton.
The Pharmacy of Dreams room is all about having access to a range of tonics and tinctures which can cure all ails. It’s based a bit on the Victorian cure-all medicines, but taken to the next level. What if you could have love in a can? When you swig from a bottle of luck, what amazing things can happen for you?
What was it like to transport your art into a whole room?
It was really enjoyable creating bespoke wallpaper, printed on Japanese tissue paper, with all sorts of bottles and cans printed in black ink. I loved screen printing directly onto the walls.
Where did you get your inspiration from for the room?
A few years prior to creating The Pharmacy of Dreams, I was Artist-in-Residence at Artist Residence Brighton, when I also created my first ever solo show. The room I created stems from that experience.
What’s your favourite detail in the room?
The prints on wood and the brick-work are both winners for me.
Aside from your masterpiece at Artist Residence Brighton of course, which piece of work are you most proud of in your career so far?
The Mad March Hare print has done very well, because it’s so bright and people have an affinity with hares for some reason. I am most proud of my one-off prints on wood, because it was so freeing being able to print directly onto wood and then just layer it up. I believe that’s what gives the prints so much heart and soul.
What are the highlights of your work on transgender issues?
After I took part in Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer in 2011, I co-created the My Genderation project where 60+ short films were made. These were endorsed by the BBC, Channel 4 and the NHS. This work has led me to all sorts of interesting and important projects, from being a script consultant for trans storylines on EastEnders to co-creating children’s books about trans issues. I’ve also appeared on all the major UK TV channels and news programmes promoting trans matters.
What are your top tips for art lovers who are visiting Brighton?
They should definitely check out the smaller galleries in the North Laine area, particularly Brush Brighton – an independent art gallery and one chair hair salon all in one. artrepublic is always worth a look too. Don’t overlook the Brighton Museum and the Hove Museum as well, which have some fantastic exhibitions on.
Where do you recommend people should stop for a snack when they’re out and about in Brighton?
Happy Maki is a vegan sushi place in the South Lanes. A few doors away is Boho Gelato, my favourite ice creamery!
Where’s your favourite Brighton spot for inspiration?
It’s got to be the sea! Beware of the seagulls if you’re ingesting fish and chips.
Is there anything unexpected about Brighton people should know?
Brighton has lots of tunnels underneath it! Most stem from the palace, leading to various locations including a former brothel and the stables, which is now the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. The tunnel that inspired Alice in Wonderland is here too, but access is only available to those living at swanky Sussex Square.