Christine Harrison is in her final year as a Fellow with Digswell Arts, at the Fenners Studios in Letchworth Garden City
1. How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions)?
I am currently focusing on three pursuits – figurative/landscape painting which is largely in acrylic, abstract work on a larger scale and mosaic making. The three inevitably feed into each other. I am really enjoying the evolvement of this work. I would say that the natural world is my main inspiration, though I do have plans to bring some urban landscape into my work.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on a body of abstract work which has its original inspiration through a set of windows I saw many many years ago – they have always stuck in my mind and now at last I am exploring that memory. I am also producing landscapes of trees which are a natural favourite of mine and I have in mind some work pertaining to Hatfield House which I visited recently.
3. What are your plans for the coming year?
Mainly to use my last year as a Digswell Fellow making the most use of studio time that I can and improving the marketing of my work which includes successfully talking about it.
4. What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?
I think it can be hard for people to talk about art (both artists and viewers) – if fortunately there is a natural conversation happening there doesn’t tend to be a recurrent question. Recurrent questions are often slightly awkward starting points which I am now getting used to. I am practising talking about my work, so any questions are good!
5. What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?
There wasn’t a “who” really, it was an internal compulsion from a very early age. I feel very happy making art and get a bit out of sorts if I don’t. It’s a never ending labyrinth of delight, I am rarely out of inspiration and if I am it’s because I have been shunted into a wrong place in my mind!
6. Which artist do you most admire and why?
Oh no! I hate this question – almost as bad as “what’s your favourite colour?!” I admire hundreds from all disciplines. I think there are artists I might gravitate to because they resonate with what I am doing at the time – for example Kurt Jackson: in this instance it’s the amount of connection to the environment that I can feel in his work, the act of painting plein air and the sheer amount of dedication to his practice.
7. How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?
Having a dedicated studio space and the knowledge that this is going to be permanent for several years has been invaluable for my development. I think it has got me (after many years absence from art) to a place where my skills have improved and I am confident enough to pursue my practice wherever that might take me. It is enhancing to be in a building with other artists and to build a potential network.