Maria in her studio wearing our Tilda Necklace
’Portrait of a Maker & Crafter’, the second in this series featuring our friends who are part of the Cockpit Arts family here in Holborn. Here they share their creative journeys and inspirations and the connection with making things, things which build a narrative and an emotional resonance.
Tell us how you ended up at Cockpit Arts?
I have been a studio holder at Cockpit Arts for about six years now. When I arrived, I was mainly designing textiles and only a small bit of my practice was dedicated to producing prints and paintings for the wall. Over the years I have discovered that my true passion lies with painting and I am extremely excited that I am finally producing this kind of work - large scale paintings and smaller collage paintings.
How did you come about your beautiful signature?
I found my signature drawing style in my late twenties. I draw with felt tip pens and permanent markers that are about to run out. I like the raw scratchy effect they make. I try to harness some of the same energy in my paintings. I explore this broken line in both my colour and monochrome work. I practice my drawings and monochrome work in between periods of intensive painting and working extensively with colour and feel this process acts as a palate cleanser.
What or who inspires your work?
I am inspired by people I meet. I get daily inspiration from interacting with other studio holders at Cockpit Arts. My current body of work is informed by the way we as human beings relate and interact with each other both in a physical and in an emotional way. Offline and online.
Colour provides never-ending inspiration. I love experimenting with different colour combinations and find it exhilarating that no two individuals have the exact same colour taste, that our personal colour preference is shaped by who we are, where we have been and what we have experienced.
I was born in South Korea, adopted to Norway where I lived until my early twenties before settling in London the city that’s been my home for the past fifteen years. My personal colour preference is informed by many sources, but l always carry the colours of the sky, the beach and the mountain where I grew up with me. My childhood in Norway has given me my base palette, my love for all shades of blues, browns and greens. These are colours I always come back to. To add to this, I collect colour stories wherever I go. I collect these stories on my way to the studio, going back to Norway and on travels. These fragmented colour combinations collected as photos acts as catalysts for the more extensive colour work I undertake in my studio.
My favourite painters are Amy Sillman, Helen Frankenthaler and Lee Krasner along with a ton of other contemporary artists, too many to mention.
What is the best thing about being your own boss and least favourite?
The best thing about being your own boss is that you can choose the direction of your work and, to a certain extent can decide your own working hours. This freedom is on one hand amazing but perhaps also the most difficult; the realisation that you are accountable for everything.
I love Camden Arts Centre. I have seen so many amazing exhibitions there - Nathalie du Pasquier, Giorgio Griffa, Amy Sillman and Jonathan Baldock. I like browsing at slightly alternative shops like The New Craftsmen and 8 Holland Street. I go for Italian ice-cream with my son at Nardulli's Ice-Cream Parlour in Clapham. On weekends I like hanging out in Brixton Village or Wildflower in Peckham Levels - another good place for easy food and catch up with friends.
List three words that best describe you?
Curious, intuitive, inventive.
Kaare Earrings Maria’s studio accoutrements ‘Push On’ 2019
What is your favourite piece?
My favourite piece from my new body of work is called ‘Push On’ 2019 - 130 x 165 cm - Acrylic on raw canvas with stitched detail.
I like the simplicity, the blue, black and cream colour combination and the energy in the composition of the abstract characters pushing beyond the frame of the painting. In a time with lots of uncertainty in the air, I feel as an artist the need to mirror this feeling and to have the courage to push on.
You can view more of Maria’s work here.
Photography by Alun Callender, Maria Hatling and Ejing Zhang Studio