Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Hanne Lillee.
Lives in Glasgow
How do you describe your own art practice?
I use found images and what I would describe as sensual materials in my photographic collages and sculptures. The images I use are highly textural and somehow erotic. I employ materials that allude to various cultural meanings and appeal to the desire to touch, such as wood, wax, silicon rubbers and latex. I collect images from blogs and Internet searches, commonly circulated as degraded files. They function as the narrative medium in my work. I believe there is a tension in seeing, where you apply your own emotions, experiences and memories to everything you perceive. I use these extra layers of meaning that we add to what we see as a tool when I create my work. By combining elements from reality and fiction I wish to create a certain kind of sub-reality where the viewer can experience a peculiar mingling of thought and feeling. What I employ is recognisable from everyday life, but I attempt to give it its own aura and temperament.
What was your first experience with art?
The first experience I really remember was an exhibition by the Norwegian kitsch painter Odd Nerdrum at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo. My aunt took me there when I was 5 or 6 years old. I particularly remember a painting of a brick, which is interesting as mainly the exhibition showed portraits of naked men, women and hermaphrodites, which I would have thought to be more memorable for a five year old than a brick. I guess the brick was stranger to see on a canvas; it was just so ordinary.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
It is hard to describe my greatest source of inspiration in a single word. What drives my curiosity and motivation as an artist is the tension we experience in the very act of seeing. Seeing is of course an incredibly comprehensive process, it is irrational, contradictory, consuming and autobiographical. Images have a ubiquitous nature that adds another layer to this complex sense. How we interpret something that we see is caught up in threads with our subconscious, and it is this psychological vein that dictates how I construct my work.
What do you need in order to create your work?
It is important for me to have a studio that I feel comfortable about being in, and I need it to be organised so that I know where to find something if I need it. More importantly I need my computer and Internet access. It is where all my work starts, by searching and sourcing on the web. Several cups of coffee are also a necessity.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a series of large-scale collages that I plan to print digitally on textiles, and stretch. I will keep manipulating the surface of the canvas, incorporate textures and materials. The imagery centres the human body depicted in domestic environments, but the bodies are defamiliarised through deformation and manipulation.
What work or artist has most recently surprised you?
It must be Mika Rottenberg’s videos NoNoseKnows and Squeeze screened at Tramway during Glasgow International. For me viewing art is quite instant, either it catches my attention or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t I move on. I think that’s why I often find it hard to engage with video works. Rottenberg however seduced me immediately; she plays with our perceptions, memories and senses, but at the same time you are completely submerged within her universe. It is colourful, sensual and repulsive at once.