Creative Factory is an idea. By putting artists and creative thinking at the core of our approach, our factory will make new opportunities for Middlesbrough, where artists are not only welcomed, but listened to, nurtured, developed, supported, and given a much wider perception of success and a broader understanding of what a long term career can be.
The Creative Factory Q&A is a short informal look at an artist’s practice and current work. This week we talk to Alan Hathaway who has a solo show at Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough.
1. Where are you based and how long have you been there?
Whitley Bay/Newcastle. About 10 years now.
2. Where do you work? Studio, home, kitchen table, cafes, elsewhere? Tell us a bit about your workspace / work habits, etc.
I have a studio in North Shields. It’s a building divided into separate studios. There are about 10 artists/makers at the moment. I use the space for working out larger scale works and am probably there about 4 days a week on average. I also have a small drawing/office space at home.
3. What does 'success' mean to you?
4. Do you earn a living from making art? If not, or only partially, what else do you do?
Only occasionally. I work part time. Sometimes Visiting Lecturing, sometimes admin work.
5. What makes good art? That’s a difficult one…probably time.
6. What have you been up to recently? Tell us about any recent exhibitions, projects, residencies, etc.
I have a solo show at Platform A Gallery in Middlesbrough. I suppose that’s been pretty much my focus for the last 12 months. It’s all new work which I am really excited by. Hopefully this will give me a bit of leverage for other opportunities and maybe get my work seen by a bigger audience.
7. What have you got coming up, exhibitions, residencies, studio, etc?
Well, I need to make sure the new work is properly documented and re visit my website. Apart from that nothing concrete at present, just discussions about possible group shows etc.. and I’ll be back in the studio. I’m hoping to get some funding to be able to push things forward over the next 18 months.
8. What, if any, are the main barriers you come across?
Funding and finding places to show work. You learn so much about your practice and your audience through showing, but obviously that’s not something you can benefit from if the opportunities aren’t there. The DIY approach is great, but it requires a lot of time and energy.
9. How do you feel about the current and future state of art in Middlesbrough / UK
I’ve worked with a lot of artists and organizations in Middlesbrough, and I find it a really exciting place…I think here is a real sense of people wanting to create opportunities and change things. That said, I don’t feel overly optimistic about the state of art in the UK at present.
Do you have a question for the next artist Q&A?
What is your favourite colour?
Alan Hathaway’s practice encompasses painting, drawing, text and installation.
He has exhibited collaboratively at the Centre for Drawing Research, London and recently curated a group painting show hosted by Barbican Arts Trust.
His first UK solo exhibition is currently showing at Platform A Gallery, Middlesbrough.
His work is held in numerous private collections, as well as the British Museum’s permanent drawing and print archive.
In 2014 he was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize, and was artist in residence at mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) during 2015-16.
He currently lives and works in the North East of England.