An Interview with Hepzibah McLeod

Contemporary drawings, negotiating the distinction between human and animal, and fantasy and reality, with nostalgia for myth in modern culture.

Hepzibah McLeod – South Hams

Lower Flat, Hillsdene, Totnes Road, Street, Dartmouth
www.hepzibahmcleod.com

DEVON ARTIST NETWORK with Chagford-based SPONSOR, HELPFUL HOLIDAYS is delighted to announce FIVE winners of the Devon Open Studios “Emerging Artist Bursary Scheme.” The Bursary is running for the fifth year and aims to nurture and encourage new talent to take the next steps in their career by helping to fund their participation in this prestigious annual open studios event. One of the winners Hepzibah McLeod, an artist from Dartmouth, spoke to us about being an artist in South Devon.

Hepzibah is a practicing artist who is now taking the first steps to building a business from her passion. A graduate of the University of Brighton, she now works in her home county, Devon. She has worked on many projects, from tattoo design to freelance illustration, her love for fine art and the desire to make it more affordable and accessible has led her to produce a range of stationary products and, more recently, clothing.

How has South Devon inspired your art?

Devon more or less is my art, it’s infiltrated every aspect of my art practice. Even when I was living and producing artwork in the city, it was full of animals and the raw essence of British nature. My agricultural upbringing, and rough-and-ready outdoorsy attitude, has thankfully given me the confidence and practical push to try anything, after all, the Devonian approach to becoming an expert, is to learn on the job.

Is there anything unique about South Devon that is particularly inspiring to artists?

South Devon is abit of a juxtaposition; the people here are friendly and incredibly generous. The local talent often astounds me; I sometimes wander if it’s a side-effect of the area. The tourism in summer brings diversity and a rich togetherness among the local community, and yet having said that, there’s a rawness; it’s a surprisingly hard place in the winter, which can provide an inspiring sense of isolation.

What is your favourite part of South Devon?

An impossible question! I’m a woodland creature by nature, I love Dartmoor’s rivers, moss and trees, but there’s no better way to clear your head than jumping into the North Atlantic, and I’m fairly sure Lannacombe can’t be beat for that.

Tourism is a major industry in our county, in your experience how does the arts community benefit tourists?

There’s a lot of locally based artists that are from other parts of the country, as well as us born and bred Devonian members; the arts provide an open community, which make us a diverse bunch and yet we’re all connected by our passion for the South Hams and the arts. The passion and generosity that people show with their talent, give tourists a real experience and means of connecting with the people of this area. As beautiful as South Devon is, when you’re on holiday the best way to get a true sense of a place is to communicate and connect with the people who live in it, as well as the scenery.

In particular, do you think Devon Open Studios encourage people into the county and why?

I don’t know if it does, but it should. To be invited into a stranger’s creative space is a very rewarding experience for the attendee, but an Open Studios event in such a beautiful county as Devon surely has to be an extra adventure; people round here work and live in some pretty remarkable settings, so you never know what you might find.

Alongside her fine art practice, Hepzibah is currently developing and building her own screen-printing home-studio; producing one-offs, and short runs, of beautifully illustrated clothing, that break away from the norm of the generic high-street and into the realms of artistic expression, using a blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Come and visit her during Devon Open Studios… Open: 5th- 20th Sept. 11am-6pm. CLOSED Mondays and Wednesdays.

Lower Flat, Hillsdene, Totnes Road, Street, Dartmouth, TQ6 0RU
www.hepzibahmcleod.com


Venture out on self-guided art tours using the colour coded area maps in the Devon Open Studios brochure or just by spontaneously following the yellow arrows dotted about the countryside.

Please check the brochure to confirm dates, times, and find out helpful directions. Devon Open Studios allows an exceptional chance for the public to enjoy art at its origin. It is a premier event of Devon Artist Network (DAN), a membership organisation of over 800 members, committed to raising awareness of visual arts. Find out more at www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk/AboutDOS

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Devon Open Studios
Exhibition
Devon Open Studios

Devon Open Studios is one of the flagship event of Devon Artist Network Ltd (DAN) which promotes, celebrates and champions the arts in Devon. As the county’s largest open studios event, over 250 artists throw will open their doors.

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