Monday, 12 May 2008

Through the Keyhole - Andrew Hood

Andrew Hood has lived in Bristol for the past 21/2 years and has worked in his city centre studio for the past 10 years. Andrew says "I liked the features and style of the house and the fact there was a lot of scope for improvement. It had been occupied by an elderly lady and decorated in very dated style.There were two rooms on the ground floor that were not in use so I moved the kitchen down there and created a 'morning room' that leads on to the garden" His favourite room is definitely the kitchen as it was basically a cellar before he transformed it. He had an idea of how he wanted it to look but a lot of it was made up he we went along. Andrew got his brother and his builder friend to do all the work and he made the tea!

Its a great place to relax and Andrew often spends several hours preparing food there after a day at the studio.

Andrew says his decorating style is a bit ad lib and that he owes a lot of it to his ex partner who has great choice and a fantastic eye for spotting a great bit of furniture or material that can really transform a room. "I often try and find things in junks shops and put them alongside more modern objects. I like to seek out great bargains but on certain things I think its worth splashing out a little. Especially art!. I also bought a hand stitched vegetable dyed Afghan rug that wasn't cheap but is a truly magnificent work of art that transforms my bedroom".

Andrew has some wonderful artwork in his home; one of the etchings is 'Black Cat Leaping' by David Hockney. Andrew was approached by a dealer who wanted a piece of his work so managed to arrange a swap. Its always been one of his favorite etchings - a bizarre composition but it balances perfectly. "I'd love to know the story behind it. I find it very intriguing the motionless man sat on a stool as the black cat leaps towards him. It has a great sense of tension yet at the same time the image is quite serene".

The other etching is 'Head of Woman' by Augustus John. Andrew got this from a gallery in Cornwall along with two pieces by John Emanuel. Over the years he's managed to swap several pieces with other artists. He's got two by figurative painter Chris May and an oil by Barrington Tabb who's currently the talk of the town in Bristol. Andrew also recently purchased an etching by Luigi Kasimir and a large screen print by R.B. Kitaj on ebay but says "I'm always very wary though of buying on ebay as there are so many fakes around these days. I recently saw an original David Bomberg painting go for £95!"

Andrew has collected a lot of furniture over the years, some of it just found on the street and brought back to life. Other bits he's collected from junk stores. He did however make the mistake recently of buying a wardrobe which he thought was fantastic not realising how big it was until it arrived on his doorstep and discovered it wouldn't go up the stairs, in fact he couldn't turn it at all so its currently in the front room next to the t.v.! Over the two years Andrew has completely changed all the rooms and slowly the house has taken on a character of its own. Just removing the carpets and sanding back the floorboards has created a much more rustic feel.

Andrews loves living in the south west; "Bristol is a very vibrant city and the art scene is really starting to expand. Its very friendly and in a nice location only a couple of hours from Devon and Cornwall. There are some great sketching locations in the surrounding countryside and I spend many days there drawing and uncovering ideas for my painting. I think working directly from life is one of the most if not the most important part of my artistic process. When I am outside working I get completely different ideas and inspirations".

Andrew's work can be found on his website ( and he will be exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair in September.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew, met you at the Edinburgh Art Fair 2007, I was exhibiting in the stand next but one to you. Great House on the keyhole blog. Shame no one comments on these things.

Anonymous said...

Hello Andrew

I love your work and was interested to have a peek into your house. I'm moving back to Bristol next year after a long time in Canterbury and your comments about the city have encouraged me to stick with my plans - I occasionally have wobbly moments when the sun's shining in Kent. Hope to catch up with you at the Art Fair next year if you're exhibiting again.

Jules said...

Love the lived in/comfy look of it all.