INTERVIEW: DEANE HODGSON
I am a firm believer that artistic freedom and creativity should be massively encouraged...
Deane Hodgson is a regular contributor to Paris Collage Collective's creative challenge. For the Rachid Taha Open Call he not only contributed himself but also submitted work created by some of his students aged 12 and 13. Eight of these collages are currently on display at the Centre Anim' Rachid Taha here in Paris. We took the opportunity to ask him some questions. Answers below.
I graduated from Kingston University in 1999, where I studied Fashion Design. I returned to my home in Gateshead, in the North-East of England, and worked as a writer and editor for Metro newspaper, as well as for magazines such as Restaurant and Crafts.
After ten years I decided to set up my own garden design and landscaping company with my brother-in-law, which we ran successfully for around 12 years.
I am now studying for a PGCE at Northumbria University to become an art teacher for ages 11-18. My first placement to gain experience is at Marden Bridge Middle School in Whitley Bay, where I have now spent four months. I have taught everything from ceramics and experimental drawing to screen-printing and colour theory.
The Rachid Taha collages came from some of the very first lessons I delivered as a teacher. I am a massive fan of collage, and I found the project intriguing, as well as something which was within my comfort zone. I delivered the lesson to three classes aged 12 and 13, and almost 90 collages were completed.
The pupils had completed a few collages in the past and it is a medium which most of them really seem to enjoy. I don’t think they feel as much pressure as they do with the likes of drawing, and the fact that the results can be immediate appeals to them.
There were obviously a few rules – such as respecting the original image – but other than that the boundaries were very loose. I am a firm believer that artistic freedom and creativity should be massively encouraged, and so I didn’t steer the pupils in any direction at all… other than that I wanted them to have fun! I also think it helped that they were not familiar with who Rachid Taha was, as they approached their collages completely freely.
All the collages were completed in around 40 minutes, and the pupils really loved the challenge. I had provided them with a huge range of materials, and the outcomes were incredibly varied. I was very proud of what they achieved and how they approached the task with enthusiasm, energy and an amazing eye for collage – a fitting tribute to Rachid Taha.
You can find Deane Hodgson on Instagram. To check out some of the work created at Marden Bridge Middle School visit their page here.
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What a great piece, makes me want be creative and make more things.