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In the studio with… Hurvin Anderson

26 April 2021

The Birmingham-born, Turner Prize-nominated artist Hurvin Anderson is best known for his brightly painted, densely detailed landscapes and interior scenes, which are drawn from his own photographs, sketches and personal recollections – particularly those relating to his upbringing in the Afro-Caribbean community in the Midlands as well as more recent trips to the Caribbean. Currently on view at the Arts Club of Chicago, the exhibition ‘Hurvin Anderson: Anywhere but Nowhere’ (its title borrowed from a reggae song by K.C. White) presents paintings and drawings based on photos taken during the artist’s visit to Jamaica in 2017. 

Where is your studio? 
At the moment my studio is in Cambridgeshire, where I retreated from London in March 2020.

What do you like most about the space?
I like that it’s in our garden – so an easy commute.

What frustrates you about it?
It’s not really big enough for large-scale works but it’s served me well this last year.

Limestone Wall (2020), Hurvin Anderson.

Limestone Wall (2020), Hurvin Anderson. Photo: Richard Ivey. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery; © Hurvin Anderson

Do you work alone?
I always work alone in the studio although I do have help with the admin and general running of things.

How messy is your studio?
It’s messy to the untrained eye. In fact there is order in the chaos.

What’s the weirdest object in there?
Probably a bird’s nest my son found in the garden.

Which artistic tool could you least do without?
My proportional scale divider, which I use for scaling up from photographs.

Chalet 2 (2019), Hurvin Anderson.

Chalet 2 (2019), Hurvin Anderson. Photo: Ben Westoby. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery; © Hurvin Anderson

What’s the most well-thumbed book in your studio?
A book from Kew Gardens on palm trees – Genera Palmarum: The Evolution and Classification of Palms (2008).

What’s your typical studio lunch?
I have a bad addiction to noodle pots! A bonus of working at home this last while is access to a fully stocked fridge and kitchen. I will often join my wife for a salad or soup.

What do you listen to while you’re working?
I listen to a lot of podcasts, like Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review and The Film Programme on Radio 4. I also like audiobooks. At the moment I’m listening to John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman. Otherwise I just have the radio in the background.

‘Hurvin Anderson: Anywhere but Nowhere’ is at the Arts Club of Chicago until 7 August.