Artist Sam Hewitt shares his thoughts on Brighton, travel, his collaboration with Panasonic, and his new show at Dynamite Gallery
The month of May is quite special in Brighton, as it’s when the festival comes to town. It’s one of the biggest curated multi-arts festivals in England, a celebration of art, music, theatre, dance, comedy, film, quite frankly, you name it and the festival and fringe festival will have something for you. One of my favourite parts of the festival is the amount of art that is promoted, many galleries feature local artists and there is also the Artist Open House exhibition. This year Dynamite gallery in Brighton has a show by Brighton based artist Sam Hewitt called Inward Sky. I caught up with Sam to ask him a few questions.
What do you love about Brighton?
I love that you can often find furniture in the street and therein lies and alternative exchange currency. My house and studio are full of furniture that people have left outside for the hope of a new home. Likewise, when I revamped my kitchen, I left the old units in front of my house, and within an hour they were being taken off to their new home. One man’s trash is another’s treasure as they say.
How would you spend your perfect day off in Brighton?
Make no plans, relax, dream.
Where do you recommend for a drink in the sun?
Preston Park with bare feet and a decent array of snacks and drinks so you’re set up for the afternoon.
What’s Brighton’s best-kept secret? Or the most overrated?
The state-run schools are massively overrated. The fact they’re destructive to wellbeing is the best-kept secret.
Your work reflects your travels, especially to Morocco. What are your globetrotting essentials that make the journey more comfortable?
A good book and sunglasses are essential. My last read was The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake.
What are your top tips for Morocco? Or must visit places?
Leave your phone behind. My favourite place in Morocco was a cafe in a ravine in the Atlas Mountains.
What is your most treasured possession and does it travel with you?
Yes, my pendant made from a thousand-year-old Yew tree. My dad made one for me, for my brother and for himself seven years ago and I’ve since never taken it off.
How did the collaboration with Sam Hewitt and Panasonic come to be – and what has been the biggest benefit?
My friend Nick Driftwood is a videographer and works regularly with Panasonic. He loves my work and seems to like interviewing me. One day he got in touch asking if I’d be up for a trip to Morocco; it was quite out of the blue, I was quite surprised and humbled they’d consider journeying with me. Of course, I said yes.
Your art has a particular palette and softness of light, do you prefer to see it hung on white or coloured walls?
I feel it sits fine on either coloured or white walls. My only preference is the wall is well lit!
Incorporating art with existing décor is a common concern when people are choosing art. Do you have any advice or tips?
Get some better concerns; there are plenty to choose from! I believe you should choose the art you buy based on the feeling it gives you. You need to love the piece; it shouldn’t matter if it ‘goes’ with your décor. Homes with an eclectic style are far more interesting anyway.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Know thyself. My dad is a psychotherapist so understanding how the mind works has always been a regular topic of conversation. However, understanding why you do things or behave in a certain way is often harder to appreciate as an individual. The journey to knowing yourself is never ending, it can be quite confronting and needs regular work and attention. Much of my own revelations are communicated through my paintings, often before I fully realise them myself.
What does the rest 2018 have in store for Sam Hewitt?
‘Operation Mindfuck 2018’ opens on 7th June at the Phoenix Gallery and is the work of a new group collaboration I’ve instigated called Brighton Arts Lab. it will consist of music, installation and performance.
I’m also releasing a new album ‘Your Mind, Our Marketplace’ with my band The Private Sector. I’ve made music for as long as I’ve been painting, they are my two main creative outlets, but musically this is the first time I’ve had overall control so it’s an interesting development for me.
Then in September, I’m planning another solo show at Dynamite Gallery, which will act as a sequel to the current show, think Part 1 now with Part 2 yet to come. Watch this space!
INWARD SKY is open until 13 May at Dynamite Gallery, 13 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EQ.
If you enjoyed my chat with artist Sam Hewitt you might also enjoy my picks from the Artist Open House here and my favourite pieces at the Tate here. If you’d like to make sure you never miss a post, you can sign up to my weekly newsletter here.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
Would you like to win a Limited Edition Art Print from Dynamite gallery? To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below. Simple!
- The prize is as stated, is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative
- The Prize draw is open to residents of the UK and Ireland
- The final date for entries is 31st May 2018
- The winner will be chosen at random on 1st June 2018 and will be notified by the email provided
- The promoters’ decision is final, and no correspondence shall be entered into.