Friday 14 September 2018

10 Questions for Sadie Hennessy

On Facebook she's described herself as a "Mature Lady Artist." Maybe she is someone who needs no introduction? You can see the work of this legendary Whitstable based, creative genius and "shenanigator" at The next London Art Car Boot Fair which will take place on September 16, 2018 between 12-6pm at Granary Square, King's Cross, N1C 4AA.She also has work in a new group show called 'Funny Business' taking place at Gallery 64a.
What's the Sadie Hennessy story? Have you been making art a long time? "Yes always. I thought I wanted to be a writer when I left school, and studied ' theatre-writing for non-theatre spaces' (or something like that!) at Dartington College of Arts, in the 80s.....but I was always more interested in the visuals, than the words, and what I was doing then was probably closer to installation, and performance art, but I wasn't really aware of those terms. I finally got round to studying Fine Art by doing an MA at Central St. Martins a few years back and I'm now Screen Print Fellow at the Royal Academy, amongst other things."
What makes you laugh and how would you describe your sense of humour? "I like things that are surreal and incongruous.... and a bit pathetic. I have an ongoing project called 'The Museum of Patheticness' and that always makes me laugh. So perhaps I should describe my sense of humour as 'pathetic'?!"
What are the best things about living in Whitstable? "Well Whitstable in the Summer is hard to beat. I live right next to West Beach and when the weather is warm I run over to the sea in my dressing gown, for a pre-breakfast dip. Heaven!"
Do you have any art heroes and who are your favourite contemporary artists? "Louise Bourgeois (as seen above) and Giorgio de Chirico are my old school art heroes - and more contemporary people that float my boat include Sarah Maple, Dash Snow, Sarah Lucas, John Akomfrah, Jeremy Deller, Sophie Calle (as seen below) ...amongst many others"
Do you think there's good in everyone and that no one is all bad? "No. Some people are shits."
What can you tell me about your beard artworks - what made you want to put a beard on Liza Minelli? "Well it was a fairly literal exploration of the idea of 'the beard' as in a woman married to a closet gay man - which was particularly prevalent in the 'golden era' of Hollywood, where leading actors couldn't be known to be gay for fear of losing their female fans. I was playing with the idea of androgyny and gender-fluidity too I guess, and I also thought they looked quite funny. They took me absolutely ages to make as I am definitely not a very skilled needlewoman (unlike my heroine Louise Bourgeois!)"
What do you associate with the words, "Funny Business"? (What's the first thing that comes in your head?) "Monkey Business - I'm thinking of the PG Tips ad and a chimps tea party"
What have been the highest highs and lowest lows of 2018 (so far)? "Highest point of the year was doing my project 'Jolene & the Jealous Guys' in the bus shelters of East and West Coker (Somerset) as part of the Od Arts Festival. Until you have sung karaoke in a bus shelter dressed as Dolly Parton*, you probably haven't lived. The lowest point was losing my beloved friend Tim Burke (formerly of the Grey Organisation) a couple of weeks ago. He was my right-hand man and always there to advise me on my wilder art schemes."
What are your desert island discs and who would you most like to share an island with?
"I have literally spent my whole life thinking about the answer to this question (at the same time as knowing the answer will be of hardly any interest to anybody besides myself). Oh well, here goes: Buzzcocks - 'Ever Fallen in Love.....' 'Weightless Again' - Handsome Family 'Memories Can't Wait' - Talking Heads 'Closing Time' - Leonard Cohen 'Come Undone'- Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell 'The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret' - Queen's of the Stone Age 'Marz' - John Grant 'No Imagination' - Blondie (Oh God, I'm already panicking about all the other songs I want to include). Regarding who to share the island with, I'd probably have to take my Basset Hound, Dennis, with me, as no-one else would look after him if I wasn't around.
Do you know any jokes? "Yes! What is the difference between a weasel and a stoat? (Answer: A weasel is weasily recognisable and a stoat is stoatally different)"
'Funny Business' feat. Sadie is on at Gallery 64a From Thu Oct 04 2018 To Sun Oct 28 2018. For more on Sadie visit: here

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