Dannielle Hodson

Artist of the Month September 2016

Each month we choose one of the fantastic artists represented on our website to be our Artist of the Month.

Our September 2016 Artist of the Month is Dannielle Hodson. Dannielle was an Outside In Award Winner in 2009. She currently has work on display in our new 10th Anniversary exhibition which opened at Pallant House Gallery on 1 September.

When and how did your interest in art develop?

I have always been creative, I was doodling before I could write so you could say I was born with an interest in art however I channelled my energy into fashion design and worked in this industry for some time. It was in later life, because of a terrible incident, that I ended up serving a custodial sentence and it was not possible to do anything fashion related whilst inside so I felt terribly stressed and low. My sense of purpose had been taken away and I had to find a way to adapt to my circumstances so Jackie, our lovely art class teacher gave me some oil paints and a canvas and my art career began there and then.

What influences your art?

I am influenced by absolutely everything around me, I'm like a medium through which things flow. I think it's really important to engage in life and all of the wonderful things it holds and to harness the effect that has on you.

What process do you go through when you are creating a piece?

I start with a scribble which becomes a doodle that may then become a costume or a painting but even when I develop works I like maintaining the premise of doodling. I recently experimented with sculpture and it was important for me, even though a lot of the processes are formulaic, to maintain the energy of a doodle within the work and to remain spontaneous and organic. I don't make plans - I dream about the end result and the rest figures itself out.

Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from?

There are too many to list. George Condo, Paula Rego, Jean Dubuffet, Picasso, Gorky, I love the energy in the work, the kind of madness the energy, the feelings their work gives me. I was at a Picasso exhibition recently and I was in heaven, there is a reason he is so famous, it's perhaps the obvious answer to say Picasso but he was a creative genius so why not!

Do you have a favourite piece? If so, which one and why?

Do you mean my work? I love all of my work! I feel like they are pieces of me and moments in time that I have preserved. It's probably not cool to say you love your work but it makes me happy to be surrounded by my doodles, they are the world into which I escape. The one piece I really love is 'The Rhino is Heavy' It's the first doodle I ever painted, before this one they were always just drawings.

What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?

I want the viewer to see what they want to see in my work, there is no right answer to what these things are, they are parts of me but those parts are universal and will mean something different to everyone who see's them and therefor becomes unique for each viewer and personal. I paint my doodles to keep them as resolved as they can be whilst avoiding a clear narrative with the intention of encouraging different ways of seeing.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career?

Doing an Masters in Fine Art at Central St Martins, I'm so happy to be there, it's such a rewarding experience.

Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?

Yes, very.  Outside In gave me an opportunity that I took and used to change my life.  There are not enough words to express the kind of gratitude I feel for that.  The glimmer of hope that it offered me was what I needed to get where I am today.

What is next for you as an artist?

I want to experiment more with film and sculpture. I really miss painting but I figured whist I am doing my Masters I should be brave and try new things and I really love it!

Click here for more information about the exhibition

Click here to visit Dannielle's Outside In online gallery