We discovered the artwork of Niki Hare whilst browsing the portfolios of the Saatchi Art Showdown Finalists.
The Palette Pages loves Saatchi Art. Whilst giving artists a platform to sell their originals they also produce prints to enable artists to get to market. An exciting feature of Saatchi Art is their showdown competitions, where artists from all over the world can showcase their work and be given the chance for it to be judged by internationally acclaimed artists and curators. It’s a great achievement to be shortlisted (only 30 artists get chosen) and we’re very proud and excited for Niki and so pleased she agreed to talk to us today!
Self taught/ art school?
Self taught. I started at art college but it didn’t work out.I Rode horses for the next 20 years,and then started painting again a few years ago. I get frustrated with my lack of skill, especially with figurative work, but being self-taught gives me a freedom.
How would you describe your style?
Mixed I guess, as I work with many different mediums. I tend to use layers and transparencies, building surfaces up and scraping them back. Paintings often start as one thing and end up as something totally different, somehow this adds to the history and texture of the work. Part of me likes clean graphical work, clear-cut forms and sharp typography, but mostly I function with chaos and mess.
What are your favourite places to view art?
I like going to galleries and museums (except the intimidating ones), but rarely get the chance. I explore on the internet a lot, being self-taught (untaught) this is really important for me, though it is not the same as seeing the work for real. Perhaps my favorite of all is the art that is accidental, that is the peeling walls and faded signage, the sky, the stuff you bump into on your day-to-day.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
Impossible to say, too many. Da Vinci, Picasso for the quality of their line, and the impression they had on me as a child. De Stael because when I discover his work I understood my own. Mathias Goeritz because I grew up with his work on the walls and soaked it in before I had a notion of what art was. But really there are so many amazing artists that inspire me and make me smile for many reasons.
What or who inspires your art?
I am inspired by the things I catch a glimpse of, not so much the things I get to study in detail, like flicking through the world on a train. I have too much imagination, too many ideas, I can only really work from a glimpse.
The word paintings are just what is going through my mind, like a conversation with myself, each specific to that moment in time.
Where’s your studio and what’s it like?
I work downstairs in what was a kitchen (actually I still cook down there as the cooker upstairs is broken). I guess it is a bit of a mess, but I sort of know where things are. I am quite organised with tools and stuff, it’s just the paint tubes and pots that get a bit out of control. The walls and window get covered with letters as I’m working so it looks rather weird-looking in from the outside. Its my favorite place as chaos and paint rules, but I would have to say that much bigger would be better.
Do you have any studio rituals?
I work at night, so iPod and can of beer. I just feel I have more space at night, less distraction. I sometimes work during the day but it makes me nervous.I only one set of small paper stencils, and cannot find a replacement, so there is a certain amount of stencil picking and trimming involved, this is a daytime studio ritual.
What are you working on currently?
I have been stretching and priming large canvases the last few days and now I’m just starting on those, all word paintings so far. Also I’m trying to finish some portraits for an exhibition (OOps, next week!), and doing some big word work on huge paper rolls, again for exhibition. These are going to be hung from the ceiling to create corridors of words, or at least that’s the idea, I’m still fiddling with the logistics. And a few abstracts kicking around, these are like playing Sudoku, so not really much like painting.
Where can we buy your art?
Urbane Art, Edinburgh – Or contact me direct
What are your ambitions?
Just to keep working, to be able to survive by painting.