The sculptures of Hadiya Finley will be part of a new exhibition this Saturday, at bG Gallery at Bergamot Station.
I had the opportunity to interview the artist. Finley is back from China where she was commissioned to create a large installation in Guangzhou. Now that she has returned to LA, she is in the midst of selling her Topanga Home. She is reminiscing, as she sorts through much of her past work.
Q: Now that you are going through all of your work ....is there a certain material that you prefer to work in?
A: I had started to work with cast glass, but I can't do this in China at the moment. I am also trying to figure out how to make pieces in wood in China, meaning I need tools and an appropriate space. I like working in most materials. I do enjoy developing a piece in clay and then having it cast in bronze, but I am also looking at combining other materials with the bronze. I am interested in producing figures with softened forms, something the clay allows readily.
Q: Looking back do some of them bring up the memories from your former life or how you worked as an artist back then?
A: Yes, I found a very old piece that I had sold one of that series to a friend who has died of Leukemia. I also notice that since I have been in China I am having the tendency to make the eyes less deep in the skull.
Q: Do you find that you have forgotten about a certain material that you used to work in all the time?
A: Not really. I did a lot of work in fiberglass and resin when I was in grad school, and I do not miss the resin.
Q: I understand your grandchild enjoys creating art and has become your assistant…can you explain?
A: Seven year old Marcus loves to do art with me. I let him decide what he wants to do and then help him with the technical stuff and to think about how he wants it to look. We have been doing paper mache, so he decided he wanted to paper mache over a basketball, which he wanted to make into a mouse. I talked him out of adding another Mickey to the world and so he came up with Marcus Mouse. Once he'd done the head he needed a body, so we paper mached over a five liter water bottle. Then we borrowed his sister's rain boots, and we stuffed gloves with newspaper for the hands. He was very particular about it, I made several prints of his face which took several attempts to get it pasted on to the head without wrinkles. He had to paint it to match his clothes exactly. This process took several months, and I was surprised at how his enthusiasm had not waned through it all. I would arrive at their home and find he had already set up his room with the floor and table covered with newspaper, the glue already mixed and the pieces ready.
One time Molly came to me with the glue in her hand and announced, "Time to do art, Grandma."
Hadiya’s work can be seen at bG Gallery through June 16th. The opening takes place this Saturday, May 24, from 6:30pm-10pm at Bergamot Station, (G8A) 2525 Michigan Ave Santa Monica, 90404. (310) 906 4211; http://www.bGartGalleries.com http://www.barefootbird.com/