Tottenham-based artist Carla Harding’s giving us all a bit of hope that it’ll be summer soon with her debut exhibition of abstract landscapes. It’s at The Hub on Lordship Recreation Ground and runs until 24th February. Go check it out. We had a quick chat with her about it all.
Hey Carla, how’s it going?
Really good thanks; this year has been really busy so far and I have been working on a few new commissions whilst getting things ready for the current show. At the weekend I had my first photo-shoot for headshots and it was comical pulling vogue faces – I’m not a natural model!
So tell us about the show, where’s is it and how long is it on for?
It is a collection of 10 paintings, around the theme of nostalgia & nature. I’m exhibiting at the Hub in Lordship Rec (recently won a Time Out Love London for Local Culture). It’s a fantastic community space and café, and somewhere I go often with my children. The show runs for the whole of February.
And this is your first solo show right?
Yes! In January I did a pop up exhibition through PopTart in Hackney, with a few other emerging artists, which was really fun but it’s nice to have space to put all of my works up and the initial feedback has been really heartening.
Your work is definitely reminiscent of a warm summer’s day – did you go out and paint these in shorts last year or are they your abstract interpretations of when it’s warm?
Definitely abstract interpretation – I wish it were warm enough to paint outside every day! I generally try to capture the feelings of my childhood summer holidays. I describe my works as abstract landscapes but I use expressionist techniques to give energy, movement and put that sense of being uplifted onto canvas. I’ve just done the first of a run of commissions and I’m really enjoying building relationships with the clients and working out how to join their ideas with my style.
Are the pictures of the countryside or London parks?
They’re a bit of both really. Growing up I spent a lot of time in the countryside on my grandparents narrow boat and I had what people would probably now call a ‘free-range childhood’, including spending a lot of time on Hackney Marshes running around like a feral child. I use landscape photography as references for colour pallets, compositions or the feeling it invokes and then try to combine those influences with my mood at the time.