Thursday, 8 March 2018

Introducing Ed Hadfield

135 artists are taking part in "Inside Job" which takes place on the 7th and 8th of April on Level 6 of Tate Modern. Over the next few weeks The Rebel Magazine will be chatting to some of the Tate staff who are showing their artwork. Say "Hello" to Ed Hadfield...
Q) Where did you grow up and what kind of education did you receive? I grew up in the deepest parts of suburban Surrey as a teenager in the 80’s –and London has been my home now for the last 20 years, mostly in the Brixton and Peckham areas. My art education was the most informative period of my life. I met some amazing tutors who weren’t interested in results but were interested in the development of an individual’s identity; other tutors who were always positive and other tutors that challenged you all the way; but mostly my time on an HNC in Fine Art at Kensington & Chelsea College, followed by a BA at Camberwell College of Art, was a period where I committed my self to a positive constructive philosophy of engagement using my art practice as a way to mediate my position in the world. Camberwell’s experimental painting department’s commitment to use a single honour discipline as a starting point to break new boundaries was perfect for me and I soon launched into a three year self directed course of study exploring conceptual word art, verbo-visual poetry and free verse. Alongside this I grounded my new position in the world through a group of poets called The Objectivists who focused on engagement in the present; and the capturing of somaesthetic experiences in the present guided by American philosopher John Dewey . So you could sort of say that my art education has led me to explore the world with a ‘positive field of vision’ capturing new values and experiences as they appear before me in the present moment.
Q) How long have you been working at the Tate and what's the best show you've seen there? I’ve been working as a waiter since 2011 supporting my art studies; and now as a Coffee Barista at Tate Modern since 2015….the best show I’ve seen at Tate Modern…well…I’m going to go for one of the permanent exhibits rather than a show and that would be Lawrence Weiner’s word art installation “the whole world and the work = the whole world.” The thing I like about Weiner is his understanding of how the meaning of words change in a public environment according to their context; and his articulation that artists are people who are not satisfied with the world and want to change it – I couldn’t agree more with him.
Q) What can you tell me about the work you're exhibiting in the Tate Modern show? I’m exhibiting a work at Tate Modern called ‘Affirmative 1.’ It’s a bit of an unusual one for me because it’s not based on somaesthetic experiences of the present; instead it appropriates the life affirming ‘yes saying’ philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche through an exploration of James Joyce’s novel ULYSSES. The piece explores ‘virtue ethics’ as an underlying character style or mentality that informs the way you act in the world; as well as looking at how ethics and aesthetics can be combined to affect the way people feel, think and act in the world. ‘Affirmative 1’ was originally designed for a 10 metre wide unauthorised public art installation in Peckham Square in 2016 as my art practice is primarily concerned with bringing ideas to a wider public audience on the street. Q) How can people find out more about your work - do you have a website or do Instagram? Most of my work’s on my website or on my instagram account ed.hadfield Q) Is there anything you have to declare / do you have a favourite quote, thought or joke you'd care to share? A favourite quote…just thinking about that one…. well yes… I am a big fan of the Black Mountain poet Charles Olson. His poetry is quite pedagogic, quite instrumental in the manner in which it functions –a bit like mine- and he has an emphasis on place, on belonging, on bedding in to the local community and making a stand, on a microcosm projected into the universal – which is also sort of what I’m trying to do- and he also goes in for things like process philosophy, on the notion of change and becoming which I like as well, so here it is: “At Root what is, is no longer THINGS, but what happens BETWEEN things…”
"Inside Job": An exhibition of art by Tate Staff will take place on Level 6 of the Blavatnik Building of Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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