Brighton Is Full Of Inspiration – Brighton Artist Heidi Rhodes Interview

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This Saturday’s Brighton artist is Heidi Rhodes who came to Brighton a few years ago from Farnham, Surrey. Her unique approach incorporating embroidery into her work has grabbed the attention of many.

What is your name and where are you from? Heidi Rhodes, from Farnham, Surrey.

What took you to Brighton? I came down when I was 19 and immediately felt at home. I finally moved down when I was 35.

A Fairytale In Brighton.

Where did you learn your art? I went to Chelsea Art College to study textiles and Brighton University to study illustration, but my current embroidery practice is largely self-taught.

What is the best part of the day for you? When I see or think of something that inspires me. Brighton is full of inspiration.

What do you do when you’re not creating? I love to walk, read, spend time with my partner Stephen and see friends and family. My favourite thing to do at the moment is going blackberry picking with my mum and dad. My mum makes amazing blackberry crumbles.

What is the best summer vacation you can imagine? I’d like to have a studio in Paris for a couple of months. I would draw and photograph, and sew pictures there.

Best ways to spend a weekend? I nearly always work at the weekend at our gallery on the seafront, The Naughty Pirates, as that’s when its busiest, but on days off I love to combine long walks with lots of tea and cake with friends.

Do you have a favourite artist? Grayson Perry. I think he is having an amazing influence on the art world and the Royal Academy summer show that he curated was outstanding.

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What are you reading? ‘Flowers for Mrs Harris’ by Paul Gallico.

Favourite tv shows? I love ‘Unforgotten’.

Favourite night out? I love to walk along the seafront on summer and winter nights and eat chips, it’s a great way to unwind and catch up on the day with my partner.

Where is the best coffee/tea? The coffee shop at the fishing quarter sells the perfect iced coffee, and is currently a favourite.

Most embarrassing moment? I can’t really think of one, I’m not easily embarrassed.

Best moment? Two moments. I can remember each time my mum came home with a new baby brother. Those were very special moments.

What will you never do again? What I will never do again is eat meat. I’ve been a vegetarian for 18 years since the Foot and Mouth disaster made it so clear to me that we shouldn’t eat meat.

What is the one thing you dream of? My dad always said he would like an enormous mansion that the whole family, kids, grandkids etc could share. I think I would like that too.

What is your go-to sin that makes everything better? Being in a creative state makes everything better. My go-to sin to wash the day away is back-to-back four in a bed!

What inspires your art? London and Brighton are my muses, mixed in with childhood fairytales and lots of sparkle. A friend gave me a card that says: “Make your own fairytale and live in it”. That’s what’s at the heart of my work. I’m currently writing and illustrating a book with my Partner Stephen and  loving it, it’s called ‘The Naughty Fairies visit the Queen’.

Where can people buy your work? My work can be bought at Art@5 gallery, Jo gallery and the Naughty Pirates gallery on Brighton seafront where I create my pictures. You can buy things at www.heidirhodestextiles.com. I also attend lots of craft fairs all of which are listed on my website.

What Brighton artist do you nominate to answer our questions next week? Stephen Connett.

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