RHED FAWELL

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

RF: I would categorize my work as analog collage. I use found ephemera, generally vintage, and incorporate the use of thread and marking.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

RF: Life. My collages reflect the world around me. They draw deeply on my own experiences and society in general, both past and present. I’m interested in the human condition and the fragility of life.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

RF: I enjoy spending time gathering my materials and often categorize them into background and foreground. This also allows me to gain a clear of how I will approach the work. Importantly, I like to remain open and very rarely set out with a preconceived idea which only hinders my creativity.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

RF: In the first instance, I’d hope that the viewer would see enough in my work to stop and spend a bit of time with it. Enough to let them absorb information, break it down and experience the work on different levels and to hopefully appreciate the intent, the choice of materials, the physicality of the process, and the symbolic elements. But most importantly, I want the viewer to see their own personal stories in the work, to read something of their own experiences in it and for it to resonate strongly enough for them to carry something of it with them when they move on.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

RF: A balancing act. I’m a mother of three, two are still quite young and dependant so I’m often juggling my time. I think my work and homelife are entwined and the boundaries blurred. I’m often multi-tasking and moving fluidly from mother duties to creative processes. Luckily, I do manage to spend a good amount of time in the studio and my kids know exactly where to find me.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

RF: I tend to jump straight in and start to experiment. Generally, my starting point involves deconstruction. I allow my materials to guide me. I believe that my inspiration and ideas come to fruition through the act of play.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

RF: To trust my creative instinct which means not being afraid to make mistakes. That way I remain open and allow the work to evolve freely.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance? 

RF: I’m not sure it would be at the top of my list but it’s beneficial to know what aesthetically drives you and I suppose it’s natural that your tastes and style will impact your creative outcome.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

RF: Being able to switch off. I have a constant need to be making work and if I can’t for whatever reason I start to feel restless. It’s very hard to switch off which can be mentally and physically exhausting.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

RF: To be able to speak visually. I believe that creative expression is a powerful vehicle. The act of making allows me to express and communicate all my fears and desires – I find this deeply rewarding.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

RF: Eva Hesse. I fell in love with her work over 25 years ago when I was a sculpture student. I never tire of it.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today? 

RF: I’m an analog collage artist so I don’t use a lot of technology in my making process, but I believe it’s very important as a platform for sharing work. Also, to engage with other artists and feel part of a wider creative community. Being an artist can be very isolating at times.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths? 

RF: We all see the world in our own unique way, whether we are creative or not… But yes, I suppose it makes you observant and gives you the tools to express your particular understanding of the world.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

RF: Yes, I do. For me it’s a gift to be able to travel and experience other cultures. There are so many cities which I have had the good fortune to visit over the years. But, if I had to name just one, it would be Hong Kong. I visited a few years ago and fell in love with the energy of the place.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

RF: Yes, “One hundred years of solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork? 

RH: Just to keep making and see where it leads me. I’m always open to new adventures.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

RH: Being observant and playful, but most importantly, having a visual voice to freely express the world around you.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to? 

RF: “People’s Faces” by Kae Tempest.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

RF: Visual poetry constructed from paper fragments and occasionally, thread.

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