Helen and I met online because we both like the band a-ha and the art of band member Magne Furuholmen (Magne F). So here are her replies to my artist interview:
Please introduce yourself:
Helen Dearnley, 32, Lincoln, England, fine art, illustration.
What is your definition of art?
Art is many things; it’s an expression of self, it can be a powerful medium with which to challenge and explore accepted philosophy, accepted social norms, to explore beauty and truth, it can be a fleeting moment, a poetic gesture, a sublime conflation of love and death, the nuance of a dream. Art in Shakespearian terms means “to be”.
Why have you become an artist?
It has been a passion of mine from the age of ten. Inspired by the imagery of A-ha’s Take On Me video, Tony Hart (R.I.P.), my Grandad and my Uncle David.
What is your favourite artwork of your own and why?
I do not have any particular favourite piece of work.
How do you work?
I spend a lot of time researching, planning and contemplating what I may wish to express through the work before settling on a concept, then I use whatever medium suits the subject matter, or perhaps seems appropriate to develop the visual language.
For the dolls, if I have a character I wish to render in fabric and stitch, an organic process occurs, using doll making techniques, and characterisation development. Once made, I like to play with the characters in various settings to give them their identity, and then they’re photographed.
For illustration commissions I work with the brief. I include teastained paper, found objects, and go out with my camera and sketchbook to reference primary source material in my visual diary, and to collate and develop visual signatures.
I drink copious amounts of tea!
Who is your favourite artist?
I no longer have a favourite artist, as there are many, and they are ephemeral. But as I’m a huge fan of A-ha and have collaborated with Magne F, I will say him!
What is your favourite material to work with and why?
Tea. I drink tea whilst contemplating ideas, and also use it to teastain paper to make it look like old medieval manuscripts. Therefore lending my work the visible presence of my thought processes.
Could you live without making art (and why/why not)?
I would rather cut off my hands and gouge out my eyes than be uncreative. But as long as I do that in a gallery, it’s still art 😉
Where can others find you on the web?
- artist’s blog: http://sites.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking
All images (c) Helen Dearnley
Thanks for the interview, Helen!