Meet the Artist | Nina Saunders
Editorial / Artists

Meet the Artist | Nina Saunders

24 Sep 2018

We are very excited to introduce Nina Saunders to the Hang-Up family! She creates fantastical, personified furniture that melts, obscures and questions what you are looking at. Check out our interview to peer under the surface to meet Saunders...

Hang-Up: You studied Fine art at Central St Martins in late 1980’s and graduated First Class Honours. What is your first memory of wanting to become an artist?

Nina Saunders: The local egg man told me I was really good at drawing so I put on an exhibition in my friends barn. A local farmer bought one of my drawings which led to me having a fight with my friend about splitting the money for sweets. It took a turn for the worse and he picked up a rake and chased me with it.
I ran like hell and as there was building work going on, I ran into a pile of wet cement and came out the other side with no wellies on. I made it home and later went back to get my boots and when I saw them in the cement I thought... wow!
(I was 8 at the time - maybe he is an art dealer now).

HU: Who or what influences you?

NS: Art and life are completely interwined. Daily chores lead to new works of art and the works themselves inspire new reflections.HU: What comes first, the artwork or your works personalities?

NS: Generally it’s the artwork; but it’s a process so really it go’s hand in hand.

Above: Golden Abundance hangs in one of the rooms at Saunders house

HU: What was the piece of work that solidified, to you, you were going to be an Artist?

NS: The painting I sold to the farmer and then Saatchi came along…

Above: The Age Of Reason | 1995 | Red leather Chesterfield style chair with central ball

HU: You have worked with Hermes fashion house for several years now. What has been the most outrageous brief you have worked with?
NS: I have never signed so many confidentiality documents.

Above: Sneak peak of Greta and Katy in Saunders studio

HU: You work primarily with taxidermy and furniture which takes a huge amount of craftsmanship - If you had unlimited resources, what would be the ultimate Nina Saunders creation?

NS: I would knit my own towels like my grandma did… she lived to be 100.

Above: Saunders open studio

HU: What are your initial steps in creating a piece? Where do you source your furniture from?

NS: I have quite a collection of objects. I feel there is something unique, emotional and urgent about my collection of objects, (something resonates with me), they are the ideas, they sit and wait till I know what it is. There's a waiting list of two years.
Other times I source the furniture or objects and know exactly what the idea is and what I am going to do especially if I am working to a brief or a big commission.
I source the objects from street corners, auctions, secondhand shops, flea-markets, places all filled to the brim with stories, experiences and musty smells.

HU: If you could only listen to one album - What would it be?

NS: High off our faces on salt fish (Danish liquorice) and installing through the night in a Danish museum it would be “I can’t get no sleep” by Faithless. Finn the studio lurcher likes reggae.

HU: How did you come across Hang-Up?

NS: It’s a local little gem and I popped in a card with 'Fox with Issues' through the door.
HU: You’re going to be releasing a collection of limited edition prints for the first time, exclusively through Hang-Up. Why did you decide to delve into the print world and what has the experience been so far?

NS: It's so exciting when you arrive at that moment when the artwork takes over and something new is revealed or presents itself for the first time and the sculpture involved was asking for it. Right now I’m working on two more prints and a print that’s turning into an installation and back again, ‘Tea with Andy’ (Warhol) It’s making me smile.

Above: Greta and She May Not Be Your Friend But She Is Your Hairdresser limited edition print in the Bunker

HU: What is your most ambitious creation to date?

NS: A gold leafed pier that ran 30 meters into the Danish sea with a male performance artist naked with gold leafed feet running the full length, diving off the end so you see his gold feet disappearing. The piece was titled “Heartbreaker” which came to be very true as an almighty storm struck just after it was installed having just been admiring two years of hard work it vanished in front of my eyes.

Above: Sculpture By The Sea | Denmark | Heartbreaker (2013)

HU: What’s been your proudest moment?

NS: When it looks really fucking good!

Above: The Whirlwind Is in the Thornbush | 2017 | Fur, sofa, fibre glass, foam, imitation gold leaf | Banksy | Sistine Chapel | 2015 | Original

Above: She May Not Be Your Friend But She's Your Hair Dresser and Greta hold court in the Bunker along side the brand new limited edition print hanging.
HU: What does the next few years hold for Nina? 

NS: Gluten free rice cakes

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Thank you Nina - We are so happy to have you join the Hang-Up family!

If you have any questions about what you have read in this blog, please do not hesitate to get in touch!


Call: 020 3667 4550

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