I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a wonderful artist named Hannah J Prebble, a graduate of Brighton University, she has a BA (hons) Degree in Fine Art Painting. Her work had caught my attention in the past, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, all I knew was that it left an impression and I kept thinking about it.
I asked Hannah Prebble if I could interview her for this blog, partly to inform others about her work and partly for me, I needed to know more. Her work has changed since i’ve been following her, from very complex macabre images, her work now appears to be more simple and direct statements.
Prebble started painting having done graphics and illustration at college. Though unsure it was the right decision when she started, her work soon became a fusion of all her talents and the importance changed from the medium to the motive.
First and most obvious question, what inspired you to make work?
I think I have always been and definitely started out quite a feminist, I used to do work about lads mags and sort of create a campaign against them, it became more about sex and the objectification of women.
Is that still your main influence?
Is is a massive part of it and my degree was all about that, my degree work became very sexual and by the end it was a bit grim.
It’s about how everything is over sexualized, women have become even more objectified, popstars like Rihanna make everything over sexualised, they make reference to drugs and with facebook and twitter, it just means everyone has to grow up so young these days. You feel shit all the time because everyone is so unreal and beautiful.
How do you feel about these women?
It’s hard to say, it’s difficult because it’s a good thing we are so liberated, and I think we each have a right to be our own way but, it puts a lot of pressure on normal girls to be and act a certain way, to become a product.
Does your work clearly show this message, does that matter?
It does matter and it did show it, but not at the minute, since uni, I have just done my art for fun, it’s been a lot less charged, and less strong political statements. My work at the moment makes fun of silly things in society, things I hate to love. Although it’s all tongue in cheek it’s fuelled by the same motives and worries.
Which artists inspire you?
Tracey Emin, I went to her recent exhibition, her work is inspired by love, sex and romance which are all things that fuel my work as well.
Jean Michel Basquiat ‘A love story’, was my inspiration for painting, it’s a modern day fairy tale written by someone he knew at the time, it’s about his relationship with his girlfriend. It’s really fucked up and destructive but at the same time it’s very beautiful, which again I like to talk about with my work. Fundamentally everyone has stuff inside them that’s complex that they have to deal with on a daily basis.
What is the drive that makes you choose to paint and make art?
Wanting to say something to people or have some affect on them, even when people think it’s disgusting I still love that I get a reaction. They might find it funny and I’m pleased with that. They might look into it a bit more and see it’s something else and there is more meaning behind the laughter.
The works content is often of cute little animals and then also really explicit, do you want people to be shocked?
I do like people to think, oh that’s cute and then they’re like whoh crap! It’s just like the popular culture stuff we are saying about, pop videos and stuff, people get lured in and then you look and realise it’s all a load of shit. That’s why I like making collage using lots of magazine bits we recognize, to make a little statement.
The little creatures and animals on their own are cute and charming, would you use them individually?
I think they could be used that way but it’s not what they’re about, it’s not my work, it wouldn’t say anything, it would be invalid.
Do you enjoy exhibiting?
I really enjoy it, I have gone off it since finishing uni, it’s all a bit pretentious. My work has become more about being accessible, more about being someone you stumble on online, like on twitter and tumblr. I do like the gallery space a lot.
Have you got any exhibitions coming up?
Yes, I’m taking part in a pop up exhibition in Brighton, called Creative Chaos. It’s at Neighbourhood 101 St James Street, BN2 1TP Brighton on Friday 5th October.
Hannah Prebble talks about her work in an interesting way, it feels no different from how we would say, ‘i’m going to bed now’. For Hannah Prebble her art is her life and her life is art.
If you’re not able to go to the exhibition to see the work take a look on Hannah’s tumblr.