28 October 2019
Greg Hodgson, a local Ballina creative, is opening his solo exhibition Everything In It’s Right Place this Friday at Lone Goat Gallery. We caught up with Greg in the lead-up to the exhibition about his inspiration, his many creative endeavours and his favourite music to get creative to:
– We’re looking forward to your exhibition Everything in It’s Right Place, opening this Friday the 2nd at Lone Goat Gallery. Can you tell us about the body of work included in the show?
The body of work is made up of 51 original paintings which I have been working on for the past year and a bit. I’m very much somebody who has to paint, but with a young family it’s not as easy as it once was to find those chunks of time to create.
Most of the work has been painted in the evenings when the kids have gone to sleep and I’ve been able to get out into the studio with a good record playing and maybe a couple of nice beers to help steer the ship. When I get in that space and the elements align its very much an almost mediative process, I tend to let intuition guide me, good music helps the creative side of my brain open up as well – I very much can look at certain paintings and know exactly what record sound tracked its creation.
I tend to paint in quite a graphic way – a painter friend of mine said recently ‘my paintings look like album covers’ which I’m totally fine with – after 20 years as a commercial graphic designer/illustrator some of that was always going to come through in whatever I create.
I’m very lucky to have an amazing wife who understands the creative process so when the show got locked in she made sure I had the space and time to get to work – I owe her big time!
I guess this body of work is my way of pushing back against technology and computers which I feel suffocated by if I’m honest. I use all that tech stuff daily in my job but I definitely do not get the same satisfaction from designing something on a computer as I do when I create a painting and build the frame for it by hand. I’ve done that on every one of the 51 paintings – they each have a handmade frame which has been hard work but in the end very satisfying.
– What’s your favourite record to listen to when you’re creating?
It’s very hard to pinpoint just one, as there are many, but with much of this work I found myself listening to a lot of records that had a really strong awareness of space within the sound. Abul Mogard records are incredible to paint to, I feel like he/she (nobody knows who it is) could be a painter themselves – the music just sounds like a really great abstract painting to me. When I press play on the album ‘Above all dreams’ I’m pretty much immediately taken to a place I feel completely comfortable to create – such is the power of great music.
Other artists who have sound tracked this collection are The Telescopes, HTRK, D.C Cross, Alessandro Cortini, Mogwai and Noman Westberg amongst many others.
– You’re a man of many talents – artist, designer and illustrator crafting artworks, commercial textile graphics AND experimental music videos. How do you balance your many creative practices?
I have held a day job as a graphic designer for the past seven years which pays the bills and allows me to work on more creatively focused projects, which perhaps don’t have the budgets they should have. We live in a world now which requires a certain amount of flexibility from its creatives. I’ve taught myself many skills over the years because a job required it from me. The reality is I enjoy doing all the bits and pieces you have listed above – they rarely all hit at the same time so I just shift my attention when required. This week it’s a music video, next week two repeat yardage patterns for a men’s clothing brand and the week after shooting a short documentary for a local council… I wake up each day with a nice coffee and just get into it.
– What other projects are you working towards right now?
Right now my priority is opening night for my painting show but alongside that I’m also in production over the next week creating a music video for the band Hockey Dad which is for the first single off their upcoming album. As soon as my show is done I’m all about diving into full dad mode and trying to give my wife a break – she’s been bending over backwards while I work on this show and deserves a bunch of nice cocktails under a palm tree with no kids!