Bittersweet, a new art exhibition, opens at Twickenham’s St.Art gallery next week featuring work by Barnes resident Bobbie Russon and St Margaret’s artist Lisa Snook. They spoke to Will Gore about what inpsires their art.

Will Gore: Tell us about your career as artists

Bobbie Russon: I studied at Bournville School of Art, St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art. After leaving college I was accepted into a number of competitions and exhibitions and had my first solo show in 1994.

I carried on showing and selling my work until 1998 when I had the first of three children. My youngest child started full time school in October last year which has meant that at long last I am able to resume full time painting.

Lisa Snook: After leaving Goldsmiths in 1994 I worked independently as an artist taking part in a numberof solo and group shows and then pretty much took seven years off to have children.

I became a member of The Royal British Society of Sculptors in 2005 and showed with them that year. My last show was a solo in September 2009 in Shoreditch.

WG: Tell us about the work you are showing in Bittersweet.

BR: My work is part of a series of paintings concerned with the transition from childhood to adulthood – a time when we possibly have a first glimpse of the darker side of ourselves.

LS: It involves the use of mixed media, exploring notions of femininity. I’ve made a series of stitched pieces on Victorian handkerchiefs, a series of audio fairy tales drawn from childhood memory and large, text based wall hangings.

WG: How have you developed your style?

BR: Primarily my style has developed as a way for me to say, visually, what I want to say. If my work was brightly coloured it would not have the same emotive, atmospheric essence.

LS: My work is conceptual and so each new project requires a different approach in terms of its production.

WG: When did you first become interested in art?

BR: My mother was an illustrator in the 1960s so art was always around me when I was young and being excruciatingly shy drawing was my release.

LS: I’ve loved making art since I can remember!

WG: What inspires your work?

BR: My paintings come from within me, inspired by my life and the person I am. When a painting works for me, it is a feeling rather than a concept that speaks to me.

WG: Favourite artwork?

LS: That’s a tough one, I have so many! Today I’ll pick Born by Kiki Smith. It’s a large bronze sculpture of a deer giving birth to a woman.

Bittersweet, St.Art, 13 Broadway Avenue, St Margaret’s, Twickenham, June 16-27.