One to Watch

Aimie Herbert

Aimie Herbert is an emerging artist living and working in Brighton, UK. After receiving her BFA from the University of Brighton, she participated in two artist residency programs: Organhaus Art Space, Chongqing, China (Jan- March 2015), and the Work Programme 16, Community Arts Centre, Brighton, UK (July 2013).

Working almost exclusively with oil paint and a dark, muted color palette, Aimie creates paintings of abstracted interior spaces and landscapes. The spaces in her paintings seem cramped and confined–this is due to her penchant for collapsing the foreground and background together, so that she calls attention to the literal flatness of the picture plane.

Aimie has exhibited her works internationally, both in England and China. She participated in the Oxo Tower show in March 2014; Tracy Emin donated a piece to the exhibition. Aimie has also participated in two exhibitions in China, including a solo show at the Organhaus Gallery in Chongqing, and a group show at the LP Space.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

The main themes in my work are thought, color, surface, and expression. My work explores forms of utterances using monochromatic tones and atmospheric marks, often with minimal disruption. This disruption illustrates how the mind gets interrupted by anxiety, excitement, and small fragments of fragility. I like to think of my paintings as poetic, pure, and transparent. I say what I want in them and create an element of mystery and depth for the viewer. I want the viewer to be able to connect and relate to a feeling and in this way the painting takes on its own journey.

My compositions are created to convey experiences, ideas, emotions, and humour in a vivid and imaginative way, characterized by the use and velocity of the paint. A huge part of the work is the physical process, right down to the consistency of what’s on my brush. There is that moment when I have an overwhelming urge to lick the work – this is what really makes a finished painting for me.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

‘Art does not need to make sense or to function or to demonstrate any particular idea. It testifies to the beauty of imperfect human thought and action muddled up with feeling.’ – Sean Scully.

Art for the most, can feel a part of you, and it is engraved inside of you. You can spend a lot of time creating, and dreaming of creating. It is time that is essential to you and your practice.This is why it is so important to do what it is that is real to you – to focus on your own aesthetics within your work and to be influenced and inspired by other artists but to always make sure you go on your own fulfilled journey. Oh and, never give up.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

I spend a lot of time painting in the moment, and music helps to stimulate my mind poetically. Sometimes when a painting needs a vital change, I will put on something less gentle. However, silence is food for thought, and is important when you are just getting into a painting.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich will always be my favourite. It is so romantic. I saw the painting in Berlin four years ago; I wasn’t prepared for the emotional response it gave me.  But if I can’t have that, then a work by Antoni Tàpies or an Anselm Kiefer would be just perfect.

Who are your favorite writers?

I find it difficult to move away from fine art so I tend to lean towards artist biographies, art history and art theory. One book that I’d recommend Barson and Palhares’s book on Mira Schendel.