Irish Art: Questions and Answers with Contemporary Artist Leah Hewson

Irish Contemporary Art – Leah Hewson

Regarded as one of Ireland’s most exciting Contemporary Artists Leah Hewson has worked hard to get to where she is today.

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Inspired by a supportive and creative family Leah’s journey started when she enrolled on a portfolio course in Sallynoggin Dublin. Following this course and her heart she then spent four years at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dún Laoghaire, graduating in 2010 with First Class Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art & Visual Arts Practice.

Since then each year that has passed has seen Leah achieve a new goal, her creative path leading her to present her works in numerous group exhibitions throughout Dublin, and solo shows that have included her most recent ‘Scintilla’ in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin in 2017.

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She has worked in Sean Scully’s NeoNeo Inc. studio in New York, won numerous awards including The Picture Works 2011 Art Prize and received a Prize for Contemporary Art at the International Biennial of Humour & Satire in Art, Bulgaria – and her work sits in collections around the world, both privately and publicly. The aforementioned includes the Microsoft Collection, the OPW and the Law Society of Ireland.

2018 sees Leah launching her first Fashion Designer collaboration and completing work for her fourth solo exhibition which opens at Hillsboro Fine Art Gallery, Dublin in July.

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It’s easy for me to explain why I am a fan of Leah Hewson’s work. Her use of colours, the layers, the patterns, the animations, the humour, the love – all jump out at me – making me happy and often wanting to adorn them. Of course I’d rather they adorn my walls.

Q&A’s with Irish Contemporary Artist Leah Hewson

Irish Art: Questions and Answers with Contemporary Artist Leah Hewson
Leah Hewson – photograph by Ruth Medjber

1. What was your inspiration to be come an Artist?

I guess it just came naturally. We were always encouraged to be creative and use our imaginations as children, making things out of cardboard boxes and huts out of couch cushions and umbrellas. There’s a thread of creativity within my family; one of my grandad’s used to paint and the other would write poetry. So I suppose the desire to express ourselves is naturally there.

2. How did you officially become an Artist?

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do leaving school. I did a year at university and failed it miserably. My dad then suggested that I go for my portfolio course. I then went to IADT in Dún Laoghaire and got a First Class BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

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3. Where do you take creative inspiration from for your work?

It sound’s very clichéd but it is actually everywhere. I’m not always looking for it but my eyes are always open. Especially because I get great satisfaction out of patterns and organised shapes, which are all around us. Interesting colour combinations in interior design, fashion and other paintings can be a great inspiration.

I’m always trying to grow as a person and an artist, so my work is very personal which means that I never switch off from it.

4. What’s the wackiest request you’ve had to date for commission work?

I’ve never really had a whacky request. I think my work is whacky and bright enough so people that are looking for my work really get that! I do portrait commissions too so it’s always nice to sit the person in a world where they are surrounded by bright colours and patterns and layers. It’s a nice juxtaposition between reality and surreality.

5. Where would you love to exhibit your work – the dream?

Ultimate dream? – The White Cube London or the New Museum New York.

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6. What are you working on now ? Any exhibitions coming up?

I have been collaborating with a jewellery brand, Edge Only, for the last year. I got in touch with them about making a design for limited edition packaging which has now culminated in a capsule collection, luxury packaging and my first editions of hand screen prints. I’m now addicted to screen printing! Its been a brilliant process of creativity and learning which is going to launch on April 12th. We are also having a gallery store at no. 12 Wellington Quay where the jewellery and Screen prints will be for sale.

 

I am also working on my next solo exhibition which will be in The Hillsboro Gallery, Dublin opening on the 12th July.

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Images featured are courtesy of Leah Hewson.

For more of Leah’s works of art, to purchase or enquire about commissioning a piece, or to find out where she’ll be exhibiting next, visit leahhewson.com – you’ll also find Leah on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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