Meet Niki Hare

How did you come to art, or how did art come to you ?

As a kid I was into art and horses, I started at art college but it didn’t work out so I went off and rode horses for the next 20 years. A few years ago I decided I needed a change, started painting a bit whilst looking for a job. Much to my surprise painting became the job.

Painting by Niki Hare, Doubt, 2017, Acrylic, 102 x 102 cm

Is there a particular material that you prefer to work with ?

Oil is my all time favorite medium, but not practical for much of my work. I like how different materials and mediums lend themselves to different things and different ways of working, but it is also interesting to use them in unexpected ways or to mix them all up together.

Where do you get your inspiration from ?

I never look for inspiration, it is more that I just bump into it in the day to day things. I write notes everywhere because otherwise I forget things, ideas disappear as quick as they show up. Often there is no inspiration for a work until I am actually creating it, the words and thoughts just appear and go straight on the canvas without any processing. With abstracts I often just push things around until something comes right, a clue as to how to progress.

Painting by Niki Hare, The Impossible, 2017, Acrylic, 158 x 151 cm

How do you decide on the titles of your artworks ?

Titles vary from being a means of cataloging the works to being more important that the work itself. Occasionally a title just floats into my head as I am working, this can then drive the whole process.

Can you tell us a bit about the idea and process of making Is Difficult ?

There was no plan for ‘Is difficult’, I just kept painting and it eventually appeared. I like to work with no preconceived ideas, quite challenging at times, but it keeps things fresh and keeps you open to all possibilities. It hit a point of being a sort of mushy abstract with bits of text floating around, sort of alright but it felt like wallpaper. Then I just went at it with this big fat graffiti marker, the sort with ink that never ever comes off your hands. The text is not in the right order, I ran out of space and so ‘is difficult’ is actually at the end not the beginning. I like words and playing with them, forwards, backwards, upside down, overlapping layers with translucency. I guess what I am looking for is that they don’t start or finish or even mean anything in particular, more they just evoke a subtle feeling that it might otherwise be difficult to find a way of describing.

Painting by Niki Hare, Is Difficult, 2017, Graffiti, 184 x 132 cm

Do you have a vision of what your artistic future might look like ?

I have been really lucky, when I started it never occurred to me that I might ever be in a position to paint full time. You never know what is round the corner, but I guess I would like it to be a bit of a challenge, a big exhibition opportunity or project. I have been painting 5 years now and still have too many ideas and too much energy, it would be great to have a specific direction for it. I also have this idea for a massive folded paper mountain installation that would be perfect for the Turbine Hall, if I can just iron a few construction issues it could be insane…

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