Aug 22, 2009

Harriet Hammel

This year Art Trail regular, Harriet Hammel, will be exhibiting some of her previous and much talked about pieces in the Pump House Museum. So for anyone who missed it before, this is another opportunity to visit E17's latest branch of Kebab(ish).....

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2009 E17 Art Trail?
I will be showing soft sculptures that I've shown before in the art trail: Kebab(ish), a full-size kebab shop made entirely out of satin, organza and polyester filling; and Softuki, a full-size motorbike made entirely out of satin, corduroy and kapok filling.

2. Could you have done this work anywhere, or is it specific to E17? Did you respond to this year’s Art Trail theme, ‘At Home’?
Softuki was made way back in 1980, but Kebab(ish) was made as a site-specific installation for Penny Fielding's shop window. It is based on the Kebab shop in St James St, E17, and is a typical sight in Walthamstow, although not typical of the Village where Penny's shop is situated. I made it for the shock effect! As a response to the "At Home" theme this year, my works are being shown at the Pump House Museum, which is just across the road from my house.

3. Have you participated in the E17 Art Trail before?
I have participated in the E17 art trail since 2006, when Penny Fielding let me fill her shop window with the Softuki as well as several works, old and new. In fact this is what made me resume my soft sculpturing after many years. In 2007 I made the soft kebab shop especially for the same space, while Softuki and other works were exhibited in St Saviours Church's Harvest of Talents. Last year, I had the Kebab(ish) installed at the church, where it looked suitably incongruous.

4. How does your work this year relate to your previous artistic practice?
My work this year has been to make some very detailed pieces, such as the Montana spray cans. They're not on show at the trail. At the moment I'm making a soft gun for a client.

5. What challenges (if any) do you face in realising this work?
I work from real objects if available, but in the case of the gun, I refer to some tiny pictures from the internet. I have made a preliminary model out of calico, and am now working on the real thing in satin, starting with the bullets.

6. Who is this work for?
My work appeals to everyone, being a trompe-l'oeil experience and I specialise in producing soft versions of otherwise hard or aggressive things.

7. As well as being an artist what else do you do?
As well as being an artist, I am a member of the London Forest Choir, the Valentine Singers and Chapel End Savoy Players, and have just taken part in the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Buxton.

8. What is your favourite place in E17?
Favourite places in E17 include the Fabric Store and fabric stalls in the High Street, where everything is so cheap; the village and the marshes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Harriet,

Your motorbike is so crazy. Its like the bike in dreams which we just can't ride. I'll come and see your show Sunday morning.

Good luck with your exhibition.