1. Briefly describe yourself. When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been a practising artist?
I am a complex man striving for simple answers. I became interested in art when I first distinguished which end of the pencil was for drawing and which was for chewing. I’ve been a professional artist for 10 years now.
2. What is important to you in your art? What are you aspiring for with the art that you create?
It is important for me to effectively communicate my message of visual activism. I aspire to educate a society that is rapidly disconnecting itself from the harsh reality of continued injustice, intolerance, ignorance and social decay.
How do people respond when understanding your messages of visual activism?
Generally, my work can carry ‘love / hate’ reactions. Some have said it’s “too confrontational” (“I’d hardly hang ‘that’ on my lounge room wall”). My response to that is… “you need to relocate suburbs, somewhere a little closer to reality”. (Then your neighbours will flock to your living room!) Others say “right on the button”!
What do you think causes this disconnection in our community?
Ignorance, intolerance, fear, jealousy, greed, self indulgence, vanity, unconscious (inherent) racism …
3. What do you find to be the most exciting and challenging parts about being an artist?
The most exciting thing for me personally, is dealing with the fickle and ultra conservative art society of this city, that very reality check. (No offense to the dominant egos).
How does the ultra conservative art society respond to your art? What is the `reality check’ you provide – can you explain this a little more?
I’ve deduced that, ‘ultra conservatives’ / ‘traditionalists’ tend to be a tad complacent when it comes to expanding the palette. Horses for courses (of course), it’s just that I possess issues when comes to ‘flock mentality’. Simply put… there’s way more to (art) life than within the confines of the members lounge in a major arts institution. Here’s a quote of mine… ‘High End cannot exist without ‘Bottom End’. (What Mr Reid writes for the Good Weekend has application, but it ain’t Gospel).
4. What are the growth or evolutionary opportunities for Aboriginal art in the society you live in?
The growth for ‘modern’ Indigenous art within this society are insurmountable! The evolutionary opportunities… elephantine! (If only we cease to chastise the youth with the spray can).
How can we, as a society or as an individual help grow this appreciation? Can you give some examples?
Ummm… Open minds to the most alternate of aesthetics. How’s this for starters… open a space within the major institutions for a public ‘work in progress’ that is ongoing! Hand over a space for a major Graffitti retrospective, give a ‘streetie’ an opportunity to exhibit within a ‘respected’ space, live! Bridge that gap between the ‘Art Society’ and the people of the gutter. Pop corks together! (Then no-one will feel the hypocrisy nor the shame of whom consumes too much alcohol in a given sitting!) Bottom line… Don’t listen to those who so boldy state whether an artwork is ‘collectable’ or not? Investors take note… (Here’s a quote for you) – ‘Invest with conscience… not credit’. AH, 2008.
- Read complete Adam Hill interview at the Aboriginal Art Directory
- View Adam Hill Slideshow
- Download Adam Hill spotlight pdf
- Where to buy Adam Hill’s art?