Interview by Mia Kingsley
Freya Hobbs is one cool lady, we work with each other every weekend at the one and only ‘The Macbeth’, and every weekend she amazes me with her wit, courage and general brilliance. Moving from the Midlands to London at the sweet age of 18 and claiming she has never looked back since but her love for beer, pizza and watching movies has stayed strong! She has an obsession with hair, keeps a plastic pretzel in her bag at all times, documents everything around her and just so happens to be a karaoke queen. I chat to Freya about her art work, her inspirations and how that obsession with hair first became….
So Freya have you always been a creative girl?
I used to make books loads as a kid, and draw the illustrations. and then my mum got me a 35mm camera, and I took pictures of bowls of nuts at Christmas, like a whole roll of walnuts… maybe it came from that? hahaha
What was the first piece of artwork you were really proud of?
I think only really my second year of university, when I found out that to be an artist you didn’t really have to paint, when I made my mountains that was the first thing I really thought, yeah this is good isn’t it?!
You recently had your photography work exhibited for ‘additions’ tell us about it?
I was lucky enough to be asked by a friend who works at Scawfell Street, a really awesome creative building, containing a gallery, coffee shop, studios and selling books and zines so that was really cool to be part of something new and exciting. My work was basically a collection of photos that had a bit of mystery to where they were taken, unknown postcards maybe.
What’s your favourite or most productive way to work?
I usually have big spurts where I make stuff and then don’t for ages. I have to be excited to make something. For example I went to Frieze the other weekend and then came home and made 7 collages. Mainly because there’s work there which is bloody awful but it’s all subjective isn’t it!
When you create a piece of art do you a routine?
I’m a pretty sporadic person but I like to finish my work my taking the final picture of it. I like that when I’ve done that, it feels finally finished. It’s part of the process for me.
Tell us about this obsession with hair…
It’s quite a morbid story but when I was looking in my Nanas jewelry box I found a lock of my dead aunts hair, she had been dead 20 years. I was so intrigued but at the same time appalled and it opened up this new found interest in the fact that when something/someone is dead they can leave behind traces on earth, hair seems so real and alive but actually it’s dead. Victorians kept lockets with loved ones hairs in, and I sort of felt my Nana had done this with my Aunty and it was really sad but really lovely at the same time.
Do you have any other obsessions?
Well I’m superstitious and also have loads of things which i consider lucky, my favourite being a plastic pretzel I keep in my handbag. I can’t cross stairs either, which is difficult when you work in a pub.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Some of my favorite artists are Susan Hiller, Alice Anderson, Francis Upritchard and Kiki Smith. But I draw a lot of inspiration from History. I like old diagrams, maps, collections and museums.
What was the last exhibition you attended that really impressed you?
Alice Anderson at The Freud Museum was amazing, she wrapped fake hair all round the house and everywhere inside and out.
Do you have a favourite piece of artwork?
One of my favourite things ever was when Roger Hiorns did a piece called Seizure, he filled a council flat up with crystal solution and left it, when he came back the whole flat was covered top to bottom with these growing crystals. It was the first exhibition I came to see when I moved to London and it was most excellent.
Do you think your work reflects you as a person?
I think so, I have quite an obsessive nature and I think that can be seen in my work. I’m quit nostalgic, hence not being able to throw things away so I have all this tat I need to make stuff with so i can keep it!
What’s next for your Freya?
I’ve got a whole bunch of new work (not all relates to hair surprisingly) which I’ve been working on. I’ve also been looking at different ways of printing. I think at some point I’d like to do an MA. I’ve got a lot more to explore and learn.
Thanks so much Freya! We look forward to what the future holds for you 🙂
For more Freya Hobbs check out her website:
I couldn’t resist Freya!!