Last month we invited our lovely social media followers and clients to step into the spotlight and ask any burning questions they might have for one of Brighton's most loved artists, Ian Hodgson. Thank you to everyone who joined in on the fun!
1. Have you ever used any medium other than graphite? What is it about graphite you like so much? - Jean-Yves
I have tried many different materials (to varying degrees of success!) but have found graphite to be an extremely versatile medium allowing me to create depth, detail and texture in so many ways. The immediacy it holds for mark making and creativity, all contained in a handy block, make it a very user friendly product.
2. Does the physical absence of the figure change the artwork? Which of the two have more emotional impact on you and the viewer? - Jason
I think artworks with or without the figure can have equal emotional impact. I believe as a viewer we can relate to the 'present' figure or put yourself in the place of the 'absent' figure or respond to whatever we are looking at on a different level entirely. As for me, the artist, I feel my current more abstract work is tapping into something at a deep emotional level and, as such, creating more of an emotional impact but, saying that, I'm often surprised at how I respond to earlier figurative pieces and can gain new realisations as to where these works originated.
3. Do you see your new work as an evolution from your Icarus and Murmurations work - or is it something completely new? - Michael
I think that my work constantly evolves, often through a repetitive process and I can see the progression and connections that have been made, although often not in a particularly linear way. Whether it's the figurative nature of Icarus, the semi representational Murmurations or the recent more contemplative abstract pieces I am always engaged in an attempt to express feelings and issues regarding identity and our place in the world.
4. Is it the act and gesture, or the final outcome that you prioritise? - James
I often prioritise the final outcome (the reality can be quite different to how I imagined it woud be though) but within the creative process the act and the gesture certainly take priority. I also occasionally start off with the act of making a simple mark or gesture to see what possibilities this will open up or lead to.
5. Out of the figurative, architectural and abstract work you do, which is your favourite to produce and why? - Katie
It certainly feels like whatever phase I'm currently working in is the favourite to produce. Although they all may require slightly different approaches to have any degree of success, these approaches aren't mutually exclusive and would appear to have equal billing in both enjoyment and struggle.
6. Does the materiality and surface of the paper affect your experience of drawing? - James
The materiality and surface of the paper has a huge effect on my drawing experience. I've experimented with many different papers and have, in a Goldilocks kind of way, honed it down to one favourite - Fabriano Accademia 200g/m2. It has a great surface texture (a perfect balance between smooth and toothed) which responds really well to all my graphite manipulation. It has a decent weight, is white without being glaring and also not too expensive so it doesn't feel too precious to use.
7. Do you think that you will ever introduce other colours to your work? - Stephen
Contrary to how things may appear I am quite partial to a bit of colour here and there, I'm just not to be trusted when it comes to my own work. Past experience has shown that when I start playing with colour I can't seem to control myself, throwing way too many ingredients into the mix and resulting in me producing kaleidoscopic nightmares! I find limiting the palette is the best way forward and although I've been known to throw a dash of red in on occasion (I like the way it bounces off the graphite greys) I feel I can express all I want to through graphite. Maybe I will slowly introduce other colours into my work but in the meantime it continues to be a case of 'step away from the felt tips Ian'.
8. If you had a dinner party with 6 artists who would you invite and why? - Judith
Although not artists working in my chosen field, as a long time Blondie fan I would have to invite Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Looking through their prism of pop I caught glimpses of alternative, counter-culture worlds that provided an escape from mine and encouraged the possibility to live life differently. I'd then have to throw in John Waters, Divine, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Having all worked/played together at various points in their careers and achieved commercial success whilst still retaining counter-culture credibility, I imagine their dinner time tales would be hilarious, outrageous and inspiring.
9. Drawings that aren't working - continue or stop? - James
More often than not if I feel that a drawing isn't working I stop, grab some more paper and try again. I have been known to look again at the 'failed' drawing when some time has passed to see if there's anything worth salvaging but usually find if it didn't work initially then it's probably best left, overworking rarely works...
10. What will you be working on next? - Gillian
I have an urge to experiment with some mono-printing again so that could be next although I'm still finding plenty of mileage in the abstract, contemplative pieces. Also with an imminent trip to New York there may be some sketching done there and who knows where that might lead...
*** Special bonus question*** Why did you play with my dolls and spoil their hair when we were young? - Julie
Oh lovely sister Julie, I needed a creative outlet and, at that point, I was still too young to experiment on my own hair. You say 'spoil' but I think you ended up with the coolest dolls on the estate. Far better that I tampered with their hair than when I later turned my attention to yours... for that episode I am truly sorry.