Gill Hickman

  • Seeds
  • Sweetness
  • The Golden Gift
  • Magnificent Cell
  • Unity

What inspires you?
I’ve always been inspired by textures and layers in the world around me. Strata in rocks, road surfaces, peeling paint, pebbles on the beach, jars of pasta or seeds, weathered timber etc etc.

Who are your favourite artists and why?
Grayson Perry for his brilliance, his technical ability and his wit, Tapies for his textured paintings, and my gold star goes to the Boyle Family for their amazing life­like surfaces. (I took my son out of school and we had a day trip to Edinburgh to see their show!)

Tell us about a memorable exhibition or creative event you experienced.
The last few years I’ve taken part in “Soundscape” an amazing event in a hospital in South Wales. The usually cold and formal waiting area is taken over for one Sunday afternoon by a sound installation of 30 voices, plus bells, gongs, Tibetan bowls and other unusual instruments. I love watching people visibly relax as they sit and absorb the gentle sounds. Patients are brought down in wheelchairs to participate.  The creator Chrys Blanchard uses images of my Happy Cells paintings for her “Soundbites” ­ handouts which explain how sound vibrations can help the healing process.

What is your work about?
My work tends to be bumpy. I call myself a textural artist. Themes and ideas often arise in my daily meditation practice. Viewers have described my work as “calming yet uplifting”

What is your favourite medium or artist’s tool to work with and why?
Du Chene 600gsm Thick hand­made paper made in France. It’s so yummy you can almost eat it!

What experiences enabled you to develop your skills as an artist?
Taking time out from a stressful teaching career to be with my young son gave me time to re-discover my inner artist who had been squashed for twenty years!

Your favourite place to visit in London?
It varies week to week and month to month. I love the river at any point and all the parks, I enjoy discovering the latest graffiti around Shoreditch and Borough Market is always full of tasty delights.

Best bit of advice you came across.
If you’re going to meditate, do it every day for at least 20mins. I have been meditating daily for nearly eighteen years and it’s transformed my life. I never miss a day.

Favourite way to unwind?
Dancing in the kitchen when no­one else is home or walking on a country hillside in a bracing wind.

What is the single most important thing art has given you?
The chance to spend my days doing what I love and giving pleasure to others.

What regularly makes you smile?
Oh yes. Spending time with young children, hearing their language, the way they see the world.