Jennifer Hedley @ Parallax rt Fair, gallery 66, 21-22 February 2014
'To Travel is to Live'…
JENNIFER HEDLEY is a mixed media artist, based in Kent, whose trip to India has greatly changed her art career and her entire life.
She has taught art and design and now she’s fully devoted herself to creating her own art. Her talent is widely recognised among art lovers and critics. Come and see it for yourself: her most recent work will be presented at Parallax Art Fair - a democratic exhibition of contemporary art in the heart of Chelsea in London.
- If you could travel in time where would you go? Who would you like to meet?
The 1920s kind of like the film ‘Midnight in Paris’ where the character played by Owen Wilson meets his idols. He meets Picasso, Dali, Man Ray, Paul Gauguin and Degas. That would be my kind of dream to speak to these influential Artists’ about their lives and inspiration.
We managed to get a short interview with Jennifer which will show you why her art is something one should go to see.
- Jennifer, you recently quit teaching. How do you feel about it?
After 8 years of a full time teaching career, I have decided to take the bold step to develop my Art business. Mainly for the reason that I was starting to get recognition from top Galleries in London for my artistic practice, and therefore I wanted to devote my energy in seeing whether I can make my art career a bigger success. If I’m honest some days I question whether I made the right decision leaving my teaching career, as I miss teaching my students’ in many ways. But when I go into my studio and start making my art, I feel content and happy. Mainly as it is a lovely experience to make Art that people who come to visit love what you are doing. I almost feel it is my life’s mission to create Art for people to enjoy and interact with. I believe my work has a positive energy which uplifts others, well I hope it does.
- Where is your new studio?
My studio is at the Creek Creative in Faversham Kent, it is a fantastic place, I share my studio with other painters and the Creek has about 38 different Artists who work there. Some of the Artists are extremely successful with their work being shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London on numerous occasions. At the moment I am working on pieces for the Parallax Show in Chelsea, they are mixed media, spiritual with rich fluid colours. They have an Indian theme influence and have a liveliness about them. I’m looking forward to showing my new work in the show in February.
- Your art has been greatly influenced by your trip to India. When did you go there?
I studied as an exchange Art student at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Art College in Bangalore, India. I studied in South India ten years ago and over the decade I have produced art work often inspired by my travels. During my visit to India I improvised with materials and often created mixed-media art pieces using recycled materials. I travelled around South India during my first two trips to India, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nado. In 2008, I travelled to North India, to Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Ladakh, Dharamsala and Amritsar.
- What is the most precious thing you have?
My family – they are my rock, they are there for me through thick and thin, when things are going well and also through difficulties. I feel very privileged, they are also so supportive when it comes to me developing my art career.
- Are your artworks mostly emotional or do they have stories?
My current paintings have a spiritual essence, they have a liveliness about them and souls of their own. A few of my paintings have stories about them especially my portrait of an Indian Boy Nado. I actually visited an auto-rickshaw driver’s family and met his son Nado. I decided to give Nado a presence in my painting of him and turned him into a Prince. As even though the street children of India are poor they are rich in many ways. They appreciate the smaller values of life rather than materialistic values.
- How do you rest?
I like to watch a good film, it helps me switch off from day to day worries and think about something else. Or I love to listen to music.
- Which artists inspire you?
I’m inspired by a wide range of many Artists, from David Hockney to Gerhard Richter, to Paul Klee to Chris Ofili’s beautiful colourful paintings with a culture subject matter. I’m also very interested in Beatrice Milhaze’s use of decorative pattern and street artist Swoon who combines portraits with decoration so beautifully.
- What are you planning to exhibit at the art fair?
Similar to my painting of the Indian boy Nado, I have produced another little gem entitled ‘Rakhi The Indian Princess’ which is of an Indian Street girl this time with a very decorative background. I also have some very abstract mixed-media pieces I want to show.
- If you could have a supernatural power what would you like it to be?
I would love to be able to fly and travel to places anywhere I wanted to travel to. At any moment in life travel to where you want to go for inspiration and richness. As I believe ‘To travel is to live’.
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