Thursday, 6 April 2017

Feature Friday: Dan Hillier Art

Where are you from?
I'm originally from Oxford. I now live in Hackney, London.

Where do you currently practice your artwork?
I have a studio at my house in Hackney. This is a mixed blessing as I can easily switch between work and home life but
I'm currently looking for an external studio as I need more space and want to start 'going to work'. I'm hoping to achieve
the dream of going to work Monday to Friday 9-5. I might even get a briefcase when I get to this point.

Are you self taught or have you completed any training?
I went to art school. Firstly in North Oxford for my foundation year and then attending Anglia Ruskin University (as I think
it's now called) in Cambridge to study Illustration and Graphic Arts.
How would you describe your artwork/process? 
I collect a lot of 1800s woodcuts, engravings and etchings from various sources and use them as the basis of producing
collaged work that often looks very little like the original material I've drawn from. I then scan them into Photoshop, next
manipulating and drawing into them, eventually producing them as large screen prints. I've recently also been adding
gold-leaf finishing to the screen prints too. 
What is your biggest influence/inspiration? 
Max Ernst's collage book 'Une Semaine de Bonte' was a big influence on me years ago and still continues to amaze.
I went over to Paris a few years ago to see the original work that was being shown in the Musee D'Orsay and it was
impressive to say the least. Time spent on silent meditation retreats and out in nature. At the moment my main inspiration
seems to be coming from classical art and music, of which I'm immersing myself in every day.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Putting together my solo show 'Ceremony' at the Saatchi Gallery last November/December. It was based upon my time
in the Amazon and beyond in 2014/2015, where I spent time drinking ayahuasca with Shipibo and Kaxinawa curanderos,
along with some other plant and frog medicines. It was a perfect way to ground what had been a very expansive time.
It was also great to be in such a well attended and regarded gallery as I tend to keep my shows to a minimum and show
through art fairs and my own bits and pieces. Making that work has opened my eyes to where I might be able to take
this form.
Where can people see your work? 
I'll be showing at The Other Art Fair from 30 March - 2 April, and apart from this will be having a pop-up shop here and there
over the next year. I'll likely have another solo show next year. Otherwise all of my work in on my website,
though it's obviously much better to see in the flesh as there's a huge amount of detail that gets lost in small jpegs.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm just putting the finishing touches on a few pieces for the The Other Art Fair. I will then be doing a few last-minute things
for the Folio Society whom I've been working with on an illustrated book, which they'll be releasing in May. Apart from that
I'm on a bit of a mission at the moment acquiring more source material and digitising everything so I can start working exactly
like I do at home wherever I am. I'm hoping Sri Lanka will be my next workplace.

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