Interview: Linda Patterson Hoey

Here’s an insight into the life and work of Linda Patterson Hoey who will be taking part in the Christmas exhibition at Caffe Dolce, opening with a preview at 6pm this Thursday 6th of December (tonight!).

David Riley: When did you start as an artist?

Linda Patterson Hoey: I spent 4 years at Art College when I left school and have worked full time as a graphic designer for the past 25 years. It is only in the last year that I have been building my own portfolio as work and family commitments have allowed.

DR: What sort of work do you currently produce and has this changed over time?

LPH: One of the techniques in photography that interested me during college had been merging and layering pictures together. At that time this was done either in camera or in the darkroom and I was lucky to have my own darkroom at home. I have continued with this interest throughout my own digital photography and now layer the images using a computer. I take photos of wherever I am and photos of canvas, paintwork, sand and anything really with a texture, then combine these together to hopefully say something more than the individual pictures alone. I would say the changes have been on a personal level rather than in my work. My confidence has grown over the last year and it has been a gradual process of getting my work out there. I have taken part in exhibitions and met people that this time last year I would have thought were beyond me.

DR: Who influences your work?

LPH: That’s quite a hard question, as a graphic designer I design what other people want regardless of whether I like it or feel in my own mind it is the best solution. One of the most important and pleasurable aspects of my own work is that I don’t have to suit anyone else but myself. So I suppose in that respect I influence my own work. I am trying to forge my own style and hope it will naturally evolve over time.

DR: Is there anything especially ‘Blackpool’ about what you do? Do you plan anything to do with the town in your art in future?

LPH: Quite a lot of my work has featured Blackpool.  As it is where I live and work it is impossible to ignore what’s around me. I am fascinated with the mix of old and new that is Blackpool. I have done several works which have combined images of the tourist icons of the town combining them with images of peeling paint, rotting wood etc. I feel it encompasses all that Blackpool is right now. I think my locality will always be a recurring theme of my work.

DR: What themes if any do you investigate particularly? Do you do thematic exhibitions / work?

LPH: I have covered themes of Blackpool in my work and recently produced a series of images called Illuminating Distorted Views which depicted a more abstract view on the illuminations, capturing the colour and light by using intentional camera movement. Nature and especially trees are also themes in my work.

DR: What future aims do you have regarding art?

LPH: My aims are simply to do more! More exhibitions, more mixed media work, more abstracts and to try my hand at screen printing. The layering process of my images I feel could lend itself to this quite well. There has been a lot of recent activity with pop up art exhibitions in Blackpool and I would like to be more involved with this. There are some exciting things happening in art in the town and I am more than happy to be part of this.

DR: Where might we see your work in the near future?

LPH: I have recently held my own exhibition in Lytham and also had a stall at the craft fair at the Winter Gardens. This month sees one of my canvas prints on display at Caffe Dolce. Next year I will have a number of canvases and prints on display at the Solaris centre during February 2013. My work is also available on my website www.lindahoey.com and through www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/linda_hoey. I hope as more pop up art events take place that I will have work there too.

Linda added, finally: These days lots of people can produce their own art at home. There are a number of software packages and apps that allow, at the touch of a button, the computer to automatically turn any picture into a watercolour or pencil sketch. It’s a pre-set computer programme that involves no skill, no personal involvement, and no creativity by the individual user themselves and I believe even some supermarkets are offering it as a service through their photo services. I have taken great pains to explain to people that this isn’t what I do. Each element in my images is taken and controlled by me, each decision on how the final image will look is taken by me, the blend of images, the colours, the story behind the picture, the multiple variations I create in order to end up with the final image is all done by me. The computer is just a tool that allows me to physically produce what’s in my mind but it shouldn’t be allowed to devalue the creativity or talent of the user.

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