This is Part 2 of my interview with Bronwen Hyde. To return to Part 1 click, HERE
Bronwen Hyde: I don't feel there is always a specific message to viewers across my whole body of work. What I am hoping to express can change from series to series and from subject to subject. I do find it interesting though to hear how others interpret my work; how they “read” the work based on the beliefs, thoughts and ideas they bring to it. When viewing artwork you often bring your own experiences and preconceptions to bear on the work and those things affect how you respond to it.
I guess in some respects I like to subvert others' ideas about what they are seeing. For example, the knee-jerk response to death depicted in my work, whether in my sepulchre series or my images of dead creatures, is often along the lines of “Why would you take that? It's ugly / morbid / depressing”. However, challenging viewers to see past their automatic responses, to recognise the beauty in a creature, alive or dead, or the beauty and peace of a grave or graveyard and the history and art of the stonemasonry is something I enjoy.
BS: What are you working on at this time? Can you give our readers some insight into your current work?
BH: I am currently working on a series of self-portraits titled Interior / Exterior, which explore the relationship between self and environment, whether open or contained spaces, and includes a mixture of autobiographical and fictional imagery.
As I have been developing this body of work I am finding myself more and more drawn to pools of light contrasted with darkness and shadow, combined with strong use of colour. I am hoping to travel to the US and UK in 2010 to continue this series and to develop new work.
BS: What are your thoughts concerning the internet and utilizing the World Wide Web in order to gain exposure for your art? In your opinion, why is it important for artists to embrace the internet?
BH: For myself personally, I find the internet a very important element in the development of my art and as an avenue to gain exposure for my work. Though Melbourne, and Australia in general, has very strong art communities and opportunities, the physical distance from the art communities interstate and around the world is somewhat overcome by the accessibility of galleries and other artists online.
There is more opportunity to connect with like-minded artists whom you would otherwise never see the work of, let alone meet; and it is as easy for a gallery, a collector or a potential client to view your work as to view the work of someone from their own city.
Simulacrum: adventures in bedland [inspired by Samantha West] by Bronwen Hyde
Exposure within the local art scene is generally better achieved through exhibitions and publications as art has stronger impact “in the flesh”, but in terms of initial exposure to galleries and other artists, there is more scope to reach a wider audience. I have also found the internet to be an invaluable tool for receiving feedback on my work when I may not be able to afford to stage an exhibition.
However, as with music, the internet has a double-edged effect on artists: on the one hand, the internet allows for more people to see and enjoy your work; on the other hand, it makes it easier for others to enjoy, make money from and / or utilise your artwork without giving appropriate credit or payment to the artist.
BS: Will you be involved with any upcoming exhibits?
BH: I'm hoping to stage an exhibition of my Interior / Exterior work in 2010, and I regularly exhibit work within local group shows and salons.
To read Part 3 of my interview with Bronwen Hyde click, HERE