A few weeks ago we had the chance to meet Peregrine Church, from Rainworks, in Seattle. Street Artist, engineer, magician, it’s hard to define someone like Peregrine Church; but here, at I Support Street Art, we loved his idea : “create positive messages that appear only when it rains, to turn rainy days into something to look forward to”.
ISSA – Hi Peregrine, can you introduce yourself?
(Peregrine) – My name is Peregrine Church, and I’m looking for ways to make the world a more interesting place, sometimes it involves art, sometimes it involves engineering or going out an interact with people in crazy creative ways.
– What do you consider yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
I’m a creator, a maker. I create novelty, that’s what I love to do.
– How did it all start for you, and what it is today?
I just always loved making things, because putting yourself out there with some physical expression is exciting, it can always get you out of your comfort zone, which I always value. It started when I was a kid, just figuring out ways to use substances for what they were not intended for, in creative ways.
-What Is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Hit the snooze button. I wake up slowly, drink some water, answer emails, mornings are more for tasks and stuff that requires attention, like emails and doing dishes (laughs).
-Street Art is mostly a form visually stimulating art. To add another meaning to it, what music would you choose to accompany your art work?
I like OWL CITY « up all night », or Coyote kisses « azure », something exciting, it’s cool to discover things in music. It’s a challenging question; I like it (laughs)
-In Any form of art, inspiration is critical. What inspires you?
Seeing novelty that other people create, seeing novel material or substances. When I discovered superhydrophobic coatings, that inspired me to do something with them, it inspired me to create rainworks, which is street art that appears only when it rains. Or when I discover a new artist, like Theo Jansen. I discovered superhydrophobic coatings before I discovered the product I’m using now.
-Before Going to paint, what is on your checklist to take with you?
I have a rainworks check list (editors note: looking at his phone): there are 26 things…Few examples : “always dry” (the spray we use), stencils, cardboard for spray control, tape measures, weights, funnel, a camera to document it, water to test it and more.
-Do You have an artist that you admire and why?
There are plenty but, Theo Jansen fascinates me, he creates these giant creatures (Strandbeests), he is a kind of engineer, the beasts can walk, they basically can take care of themselves, they use wind power. They can store power, they are like living creatures, Theo creates and engineers them. He uses PVC pipes. You should have a look.
-Which cities do you think are the most inspiring for Street Art?
I don’t have a lot of cities I’ve been to, to compare, but Seattle inspires me just because people here aren’t the most social, we have this thing called the « Seattle freeze, » people are scared to talk to each other, and I’m inspired to try to make things and create novelty because I want to help strangers to connect to each other. One thing I’ve noticed, that helps people to connect, is to have a shared experience, so if you are on a bus, where no one talks to each other, and then someone enter on the bus dressed in a very ridiculous way with a cowboy hat, a clown nose and he yodels and get off in the next stop, then you can get pretty sure that as soon as he leaves the bus, people start to staring at each other like « did you see that? ». I don’t say I’ve done that, but I might do that (laughs), so I use that, I perform magic as well, so this inspires me, trying to create this connection. So it happens with rainworks, if people get off the bus, and it is raining and they notice a rainwork here, they might turn to each other and say « it wasn’t here yesterday? Did it only appears when it rains ? » so they can talk about that. So, even without being there, I help starting a conversation between two strangers.
But to get back to cities, I want to visit more cities, I know there is a lot of street art out there, in Europe for example.
-Do You have other passions besides art?
A lot, I love magic, being magician is wonderful. When I create art, I love things that change, things that are dynamic, things that react, activated by natural forces. Music and dancing, engineering and chemical stuff are my other passions.
– Which is your dream project – ignore costs, realistic thinking and all means.
I want to create a enormous dynamic art in the sky, perhaps helium planes, drones, but something giant in the sky, huge scale, something dancing over the city.
– Does your art include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
Not really, the only repeated patterns for rainworks are positive and inspiring messages, we make them funny, clever, or motivating.
-What Is your reaction when you realize that someone has vandalized your creation?
That sucks (laughs) and I try to move on. I accept that people are going to use a medium and idea I popularized…for advertising. I expect many superhydrophobic dicks in the streets, but I need to accept that, and try to move on, if I try to control it will stress me out so…that’s ok.
-What Do you believe people first think of, or feel when they see your works?
They feel curiosity, joy. I saw people last night, they recognized it, and said « it’s super cool, good idea » it’s kind of surreal that people know what rainworks are.
– If you were a president what would you change in the world?
I definitely want to change the school system, to change the “one size fits all” scheme that we have, to help students use their talent and creativity, it raises the fact that everyone is an individual. Trying to standardize everything, that’s not how people work, no ones likes squares all the time.
-Do you have any Interesting projects for the future?
Continue rainworks, but working on a new project called « neon jokes », it’s something I want to do to make people happy. We will writes jokes all around the city, something that spontaneously will interject into your day. As one of my friends says « be the weird thing in someone’s day, that breaks the monotony that makes souls decay. »
Thank you Peregrine 🙂 .
Find out more about Peregrine Church here.