Continuing on with the Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back, I think we need a few more distractions from the rather scary times we’re all living in right now! I’ve actually been doing these interviews over a year now! Here’s Carole to tell you a bit about herself and her art….
First of all, who are you?
I’m Carole Ann Hall, I live in Newcastle Upon Tyne and work part time for a small arts and mental health charity, acting as the company secretary and ceramics tutor. The rest of the time I work as an independent artist and tutor exhibiting my work locally and providing small group and individual workshops in both painting and ceramics from my home studio.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
I’ve always been driven to create and when I was younger, as well as the visual arts, I was really interested in theatre, so I guess if you’d asked me then I would’ve said actress.
I realised during my A-levels that I really just like to make things and I’m quite a solitary person for the majority of the time so this life suits me right now, it’s the perfect mix of seeing lovely groups of people for half the week and closeting myself away in my studio making things and pleasing myself for the rest of the time.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
Probably these plant pots, Margot and Jerry.
They were made in a workshop at Chilli studios and modelled on two of the participants there. We always have such a good laugh in those workshops. It’s so therapeutic to spend time working out your ideas and making objects whilst chatting with your friends and learning new skills.
What is the hardest part of being creative?
Never being satisfied!
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Do what you love, keep at it and think about what it is that makes you unique.
above all be brave and have faith there will always be somebody who doesn’t like what you do just as there will always be somebody else who does.
try not to be too flattered by peoples opinions or upset by them either.
be true to yourself and trust your own judgment. Make friends in your local artist community and be generous and share opportunities – what goes around comes around!
Now I feel like saying “wear sunscreen” which is also a good thing to remember.
What subjects inspire you?
I love to read and find that, and listening to audio books gives me lots to think about whilst i process my creative thoughts – my work involves capturing moods and feelings in both 2-D and 3-D work so my process is to just start things and see where they lead.
Presently I’m making a lot of jars which have animal heads for stoppers (mostly cats) . That idea came from having seen mummified cats in a picture from the British Museum and builds on the abiding interest I have in ancient Egyptian culture.
This is my cat Lyra who also enjoys reading in the sunshine!
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
It’s so easy to access living artists in this digital world we live in now – every week on Instagram I find a new favourite so this weeks top follows are;
Grayson Perry – actually always my number one
Hester Berry – amazing expressive painter
Amanda Popham – extraordinary potter with amazing narratives in her work
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
Women are historically overlooked and underrated in our field, and craft has always been the poor relation to what is termed high art,most likely because of the association of being seen as women’s work. These three giants did a great deal to begin to shift people’s attitudes in a quiet but persistent and wholly engaging manner in their chosen disciplines – true heroines.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
I don’t really have favourites, once I’ve made something and I feel it’s finished my heart stops fluttering and I’m over it, then I’m on to the next thing.
When something sells I have prints and cards made from it and I always keep one out of sentimentality so I have quite a collection of favourites now. when I look at them they make me think of how I felt during the making process and that’s how I like to remember them.
It means I’m always happy to let them go to a new home which I think some people can find quite difficult.
What was the last piece of art you sold?
stoneware ceramic sculpture
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
All cheese is grate ( joke) The stronger the better so I’m going to go for a nice ripe dolcellatte, thank you for asking.