Riverside Café Gallery – q&a with Christine Hopkins

Riverside Café Gallery – q&a with Christine Hopkins

Painter and printmaker Christine Hopkins has just opened her exhibtion ‘Domus’ in the Riverside Café Gallery. Running throughout October to coincide with Farnham Craft Month and on until 2nd November, the exhibition reflects Christine’s love of the built environment and demonstrates her skill as a mixed media artist with bold, colourful paintings alongside more atmospheric pieces of printmaking.  Christine’s work will also be on display during festival of crafts, 27 & 28 October. 


What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work?

I’m just about to start work on a panoramic view of some old barns I came across in Dorset. We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful country, and I’m fortunate to find both rural and urban environments appealing, so I often sketch wherever I happen to be at any time.

What medium do you use in your practice and why?

I love mixed media – basically anything goes. Paint on top of collage, ink on top of pastel – I’ll use it all. Working with collage has a huge advantage – if anything goes wrong it’s possible to paste down a piece of paper and carry on. But I also love printmaking for the unexpected results that it can throw up.

 What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start?

I’m motivated whenever I go to a new place, or sometimes just re-looking at familiar places will spark an idea. When I first started I found the local library was a great place to investigate other artists, and visiting smaller galleries leads to exciting discoveries. Some big influences come from the 20th C – John Piper, Ben Nicholson, Edward Bawden and Eric Ravillious, but also Thomas Jones ( 18th C)  who was ground-breaking in his time.

HOPKINS The_Grapes

If you could pick just one, what would you say is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why?

Of my recent works it would be ‘The Grapes’ which is an ancient Thames-side pub. It reminds me always of a very hot and happy day spent on the river with my family, when we were grateful for the shade each time the boat went under a bridge.

 If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?

I’d have to name two – I was overwhelmed the first time I was nominated for Surrey Artist of the Year in 2009. This was the result of a public vote, and it encouraged me greatly to receive such support from visitors to my studio. My second was just this month – after years of hesitation I finally got on a surfboard.

 What is the most indispensable item in your studio?

Probably the recycling box! I use waste paper and magazines for collage, and then anything that doesn’t turn out quite how I’d intended can find a new home in the box.

HOPKINS Winter_Yews

Where is your favourite place to see art?

Small galleries! Because I’m not very tall, I find the big ‘blockbuster’ exhibitions really difficult, trying to peer between the bodies of taller people. There are some lovely small galleries throughout the country, but my absolute favourite is in Truro.

Why not visit Christine’s exhibition during your visit to the Maltings’ annual craft show, festival of crafts. Taking place on Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 October, the building will host over 80 of the UK’s leading makers with craft to buy, as well as a programme of demonstrations and free participatory activities. 

Tickets are £3 on the door, with under 15s free. For further info on festival of crafts, other workshops and full exhibitor listings, take a look on the craft site pages here 

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