As a Northern Beaches chick, I guess I can understand their “oh” moment when people ask where I take my photos (the majority being Sydney’s Inner West). Catching public transport is actually a really nice way to start and end my treasure hunts. A quick jump on the ferry, short walk to the train station, then while travelling on the train (getting frustrated at seeing some art on placed that could only be photographed if one was to stand smack bang in the middle of a track area!) some internal dialogue about where to alight and all the while planning a certain route to walk.
Given this is my first article it needs to laid out from the get go when I say “walk” it usually entails 4 hours of meandering the streets, getting lost, getting found and ensuring I can always hear a main road or some form of public transport if venturing into new territories, as my sense of direction is notoriously bad. Ask me where a certain wall or installation is? No problemo! Ask me the name of the lanes or streets: can prove difficult!
Thus it was one of these “new territories” that I looked up (being on the hunt requires much swivelling of head, eyeballs, walking up one side of a street or lane way and then back down the other just to ensure nothing has been missed) and spied a paste-up that while at the time was difficult to see (only had small teeny weeny camera initially but as time progressed and the much beloved EOS110D came in to my life!) I was still pretty stoked at the eventual outcome.
Fast track Outpost 2011 and my instant love affair began resulting in about 10 visits but one of the first images captured was the most INCREDIBLE installation
but it wasn’t long after that I found the true mecca for past up. Paste Modernism 3
Here are my 5 questions with Houl:
Can you give me a little bit of the history of Houl?
HOUL came about quite a bit after I got into street art. I had been putting up paste-ups and stickers without a name to them for a while before I ran into Ears at the first Paste-Modernism. He invited me to check out his new gallery “Oh Really” then asked if I wanted to show any work. I raced home, whipped up some shitty piece and when I got to the gallery with the piece, they needed an artist name and Houl was the first thing that i thought of. In hindsight it’s not the coolest name I could have chosen, but it could have been worse.
From commissions to street to vagabondness of beyond. Where do you find the most freedom or do you enjoy having restrictions if nothing else other than to have a moment of “structure” in a world which is surrounded by chaos
I find the most freedom exists when painting walls. The limitations imposed by the canvas are removed when painting big murals and you are able to make huge gestural movements, really putting yourself in to the work. Painting Canberra’s underpasses and drains drags my art-making from an internal process into something more external, not only with regards to location but also the way I think about work.
That said, there still exists and element of restriction no matter what you do, but painting walls seems to alleviate it the most.
Where, whom or what inspires you?
Where: the coast line of the city of R’lyeh
Whom: Tom Waits, Swerfk, Bafcat, SMC3, Arvz, The Dirt, Resan, OX, Mr Gawky and David Attenborough
What: Triple Cream Brie, Pizza Shapes and a knob of Hungarian Salami
It is known that scent and music are the most power evocators of memory. Due you draw some of your inspiration from memories or do you simply allow your creativity “flow” to take you where it may and with the end result being as much as a surprise to yourself as an artist and you as an individual?
There is no room for memory in art or the motion that comes attached
For some artist’s a work is never really “finished”. Do you feel at times you have to draw a line in the sand and if that is the case, how difficult a process emotionally and creatively can that be?
Know when to stop an artwork can be tough. There will always be that ‘one more thing’ you need to add, that extra line that will complete a piece. But as much as you think it will be, it’s never just ‘one more’. It can be frustrating working on something that you feel is SO close to being finished, but you can’t quite reach that perfect point.
Painting Grounds 2011 Collab Preview Shot (Artists: Andros, Bafcat, Houl)
For me, it’s not so much about drawing a line, but rather giving up on the perfect piece which is possible,: a little less depressing than it sounds, but only just.
Thus ends my 5 questions with Houl. Amazing artist, amazing blog and a thank you to Hurl for not only sharing a bit of insight in to his world but allowing reproduction of images for this piece.
Check out Houl’s website here!
(re “Painting Grounds 2011 Preview Shot” I was fortunate enough to be invited to the maiden voyage of Painting Grounds and take some amazing photos by some incredibly talented artists)