Exploring the Outside In galleries with… Dannielle Hodson

Dannielle Hodson, Outside In artist, advisory group member and board member is kick-starting our new monthly feature which will explore the inspiration which can be found in the Outside In galleries.

Each month, individuals will be invited to curate a selection of ten artworks which resonate with them and explain the reasons why.

Dannielle’s selection is a celebration of the carnivalesque and the artworks she feels connect with her own practice. On this page you can see the selection, read what Dannielle wrote about the process – and each artwork – or watch Dannielle talk to Outside In’s Laura Miles in more depth.

Over to Dannielle to explain more…

In conversation with: I chose artists by using words that I might associate with my own work to look for works that would be in conversation with my work because as an artist and not a curator I want to see work that is like mine, of artists who also love carnival and grotesque faces and use a variety of techniques within one work and see the different ways artists have explored the same theme.

The selection

Watch Dannielle in conversation with Laura Miles

Dannielle Hodson speaks to Laura Miles about her gallery selection


Marta Divers:  I used the word ‘Twins’ to search the database because I have a thing about twinning in my own work, I liked her twins picture but when I scrolled through her gallery I fell in love with an untitled work.  There are a variety of marks together and I enjoy how they work together.  A cross is also a figure and wears a a crown and a dress, it feels religious but sunny, with the sun and flowers lightening the mood.

John Bishop.   I found Phesants Hanging delightful.

Amy Bridget Ellison’s Glee Theatre is a stitched theatre and it’s made so well- well crafted excellent needlework and great fabric choices, I want to go to Glee Theatre and sit down all cosy.  I miss the theatre and performances.  There is a real sense of joy and pleasure in this work.

Kate Mc Kennan Everyday, I enjoy the composition, we are glimpsing into a world and it’s also going on outside of the frame.  The figures within the painting are all dynamic and in action, work and leisure, and living with nature- crabs and dogs. 

Rejectamental Girl/Woman is a beautiful object that embodies picture making, sculpture and craft.  It’s both light and dark in the way that the frame is decorated with nails, the sharp bits inside so they are not dangerous, they could be threatening but the regular patterned formation that they are arranged in overrules that line of thought.  The old photograph inside the frame is delicately and expertly embroidered making the old fashioned image more contemporary.  The attention to detail is taking my breath away.  I admire the patience and skill it takes to achieve this work. I also find the board on which the photograph is mounted adds another layer of texture with its decaying surface and edges. I am intrigued by the frames back wire which  is part of the foreground instead of being hidden behind the work, revealing the otherwise hidden.

Helen Mills Two Women in Costume. This is such a beautiful painting, I adore the costumes they are wearing and the patterning that has gone into them to describe the fabric. Pencil and paint is always a winner for me the two mediums look great together.  The women look very content, I know this feeling.  I love dressing up and that’s one thing I’ve really missed with lockdown is seeing people in costume and dressing up myself. 

The Fool by Charlotte Jane .  The description by it says ‘The Fool is talismanic for risk taking and moving forward’ I understand this in my own work, I’ve come to a place in my practice where I’m taking more risks and it’s really pushing me forward so perhaps that’s what attracted me to this work. It’s looks like a jewel encrusted bird, tree, beetle, stag chimera, the fact that I can’t place exactly what it is resonates with what I am also trying to do in my work so I really feel in conversation with this piece. Again the details are so beautiful.

Kate Peskett: I fell in love with this image immediately, it just smiled at me!  The warm pattern making up the skin of the face is so full of energy and that energy carries on with cool swirls forming the background, it’s a joy to look at.

Carnevale Di Barbagia By John Pipere. Il Mostro,Il Pastore e Il Ladro. Grassland Buffallo Masks dancing in The wilderness. A very powerful image of masked faces and dragon heads drawn repetitively.  I really get carnival here.  I had used the word carnivalesque to search the OI database because this is a word commonly associated with my work and when this artists work came up I was so excited.  I really feel the energy of carnival and the necessity for this spirit in my life. The mark making is very exciting and energetic.  I think energy is very important in artwork. The ink sprays and hatching and use of what looks like pen and pencil to describe the different forms are combined very thoughtfully.

Monkey’s Uncle No.2 By Rachael Levine.  I am often thinking about the human condition and I spend a lot of time listening to books about why humans do what they do and about human behaviour while I’m painting, so I’m very drawn to these.  They are very generous in offering an insight into an element of the human psyche and Rachael comments that they take a lot out of her to make.  Art making is a very exhausting endeavour which can give a lot, but takes a lot too and that isn’t often talked about, it’s quite romantic the notion of painting and while it is exhilarating it’s also very demanding, so respect to Rachael for sharing that part of her journey.  I find the images are confrontational- so intense and so powerful,  some people find clowns difficult to deal with but I’m completely captivated by their intensity. They really capture something human that isn’t always talked about but is inescapable.

Please use the arrow keys for a closer look at the artworks:

If you could like to be involved in the series, please email Laura.Miles@Outsidein.org.uk

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