In Episode 11 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary British painter and sculptor, MAGGI HAMBLING!
And WOW was it fun (and definitely an experience!) to visit the very brilliant Maggi in her South London studio to speak about her extensive and incredible five decades-and-counting career.
Known for her portraits of the likes of comedian Max Wall to chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, sublime depictions of seascapes, public sculptures that include a 4-metre high steel 'Scallop' on Aldeburgh Beach, Maggi is always one to give her viewer some sort of immediate reaction, whether that be physical, emotional, or at times, controversial.
Born in 1945, Maggi grew up in rural Suffolk with her two older siblings – which we discuss weren't particularly happy about her being a girl – before going on to study under Cedric Morris and Lett Haines, and later Camberwell, and the Slade School of Art.
In this episode – which starts with a little surprise – we discuss the artist's upbringing and beginnings with art, what led her to become top in her class age 15, her time being the first artist in residence at London’s National Gallery in 1980, to painting the truth in comedians, dealing with grief through painting (referencing her nickname Maggi "coffin" Hambling!), and how it was through art that she could 'get closer to the man in the street'.
This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Maggi is not just a brilliant artist but a hilarious person who tells tales from her fascinating career, all whilst smoking at least nine or so cigarettes over the course of our interview – listen out for the lighters!
WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE
Dorothy Hodgkin, 1985
Max Wall, 1981
Stephen Fry, 1993
Father, Late December, 1997
Film of Maggi by Tate:
Further reading on her seascapes:
Thank you for listening!!
This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk
To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Recorded by Joel Price
Sound editing by @_ellieclifford
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield