stuart + magoo chandelier 2009, found optical lenses
M are you a designer or artist?
SH I am an artist-designer.
M do you think it is important to categorize?
SH I don’t personally. but I think a lot of people need that. that’s why I would say artist-designer keep both parties happy. my work is quite art-based but then it is mainly very functional as well.
M you are educated as a photographic-illustrator; a quite 2 dimensional work approach. now you dedicate yourself to 3 d work?
SH the illustrations I was doing weren’t totally 2 dimensional. It was very collage based, a lot of printed material, found objects that tell a story. like I do now. using 2d and 3d things and combine them. It was more photography-illustration. What I am doing now is a natural progression from my illustration work. I do sculptural objects. but I still do the same thing; I still collect objects and materials that tell a story.
M can I picture your house being full with stuff?
SH (laughs) my studio is really rammed with labeled boxes filled up with things I find. and I have two big shipping containers in essex, outside of london. I hold things, I collect them.
M was it the same when you were a child or is it something you developed in the last years?
SH I talked about it with my parents the other day, after they saw the show. I think I remember always walking with my head down looking for things. but I collected badges and football cards, normal stuff.
M any favourite collected items?
SH the things I collected at the beach, but just man-made things. nothing natural. at the beach, you never know what you will find. and all is free.
M why just man-made stuff?
SH I think, because the materials you find at the beach have changed the aesthetic because of the sand and the salt.
M changed the value?
SH changed the value, the shape. they get discolored. especially the variety of tops show how much manufacturing and consumerism exists in the world. I like the story of why we produce things and then they end up on the beach at their end of their lives.
M I think it is fascinating that you put found objects together. It doesn’t particularly feel put together. It feels like it has to be.
SH that’s good. (grins)
M for example the chandelier, when you come close you see all the pieces and you know what it is. but from far away it looks like a product, it could be mass-produced. when was the moment you put the found objects together and you’ve realized that it became a whole thing?
SH I don’t really know. I don’t get an idea and then collect the objects. I had a different idea for the tops initially and it changed. I scribble notes, and do sketches. I always sort of sit a while with an idea. then I get back to it and see if it’s any good.
M just to imagine it better: you have couple boxes of tops, for example. and you start putting the objects together. are you sitting on the ground with your glue stick?
SH (laughs) I might do a few tests. but I don’t start making them until I am sure that it works.
M do you do it on your own?
SH I do have assistance by now. but putting together and structuring is always totally me.
mirror ball 2009, crushed car wing mirrors
barnacle (black) 2009, cast polyester resin
lighthouse 2009, found plastic tops
wingmirror (cavalier & black cab) 2009,
resin table smashed mirror glass
describe yourself in one word
draw your favourite object