In the Studio: Luciana Hermida

This month dot-art speaks to artist Luciana Hermida.

Luciana explores the mysterious aspects of the natural world as well as the surreal aspects of dreams and the unconscious. She puts together dreamy scenes with the aim to detach us from reality, in order to come back to it with a renewed sense of how nature affects us.

As a mixed media artist, Luciana Hermida uses a variety of techniques to create her art, from photography, drawing, painting, collage and digital photomontage.

Luciana believes that through fascination and wonder we can have a more spiritual connection with the natural world. Diving deep not only means to her a place of stillness, but of radical sensations of joy and awe expressed in the most unusual and colourful ways.

How would you describe your style?

I explore the mysterious aspects of the natural world as well as my inner world.

I put together dreamy scenes with the aim to detach us from reality, in order to come back to it with a renewed sense of how nature affects us. The surreal aspects of nature allow us to open up our imagination, question what is possible, as well as affecting our perception of space.

Which medium do you work with and how would you describe your work? 

I work with a variety of mediums, from drawing, painting, photography, handmade and digital collage. I find juxtaposition of techniques a very nourishing process, and a way of adding different layers of meaning to each piece.

Can you talk us through your process? 

Usually inspiration comes from observing the array of objects that surround me, preferably at my studio or when walking in nature, by the sea or in the woods.

I own a large collection of objects I treasure, from sea glass, shells, leaves, magazine cut outs, rocks, seaweed, art books, photographs. I also take pictures of anything that inspires or interests me, I then categorise these images. My collection of objects and photographs, as well as fragments of books I read, start an exploratory process in my head, allowing this to happen is key to start any piece of work I do.

Some small pieces I make can take only a couple of hours, some others take several months to develop. The quick pieces usually turn into something bigger with time or become a fragment of another piece of art.

I allow magic to happen, I sometimes leave one piece and come back to it after a few months or even a year. Some artworks just take their time to come to a sort of conclusion, although I believe that there is never a set end to a piece of work but rather a starting point to something else. The observer is who usually finishes the conversation.

When did you begin your career in art? 

My interest in art began as a young child; I used to collect fragments of magazines and put them together to achieve my own little story.

Always pursued ways of feeding my creativity, highly influenced throughout my life by my artistic mother who used to paint and who was also a fashion designer in Buenos Aires. At the age of 18 I joined an art school in Buenos Aires for a year and straight after that joined university and graduated formally as a graphic designer in 2010.

Art and design have been a vital part of my life, both practices merge onto one in my work and the line is often blurred between them. It turned into a full career after my appearance on the BBC.

Who or what inspires your art? 

I draw inspiration from different movements across history, mainly Surrealism, Dada and Cubism.

I have evolved my style by admiring, observing, listening and feeling the work from a variety of artists across different disciplines such as Eileen Agar and her nature collages and paintings; Frida Kahlo’s use of colour, psychedelia influences from musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and The Doors; the photography of Man Ray and Dora Maar, the style of writing of Jean Cocteau and Julio Cortazar, the power of observation of John Berger, as well as the graphic design work by Massin – specially the typographic experimentations which are not obvious on my current work but from my past artist books.

Apart from these inspirational artists and thinkers of the past, I also find inspiration from contemporary artists such as Nathaniel Mary Quinn, who also works with collage. He explores the relationship between visual memory and perception, embracing experience as a collage of people and objects.

I also can relate to this in my own practice. As well as N.M. Queen, Cerys Matthews is an artist who I draw inspiration from. I always listen to her Sunday show on BBC Radio 6. I find her eclectic taste very nurturing during my creative process, specially the connections between poetry, music, cooking, sounds from nature.

Creativity comes from all angles; apart from artists and styles, I encounter great inspiration from nature, specially from the sea and the life within it.

Why is art and creativity so important to you?

I don’t conceive my life without art.

I aim to live my life through art, it fulfils me spiritually.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a new series of mixed media artworks. I have been collecting an array of natural objects for the past few years and have been thinking for a while how to utilise them, the ideas are finally coming into fruition.Due to the pandemic, my exhibitions have been delayed but fortunately by the end of last year I managed to exhibit in Buenos Aires

What does it mean to be an artist in the Liverpool City Region?

I emigrated from Argentina to Chester 8 years ago and after becoming British naturalised I feel very connected to the English culture, particularly within the North West, as well as with my birth land Buenos Aires

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

Never give up and always stay curious.

Be a keen observer.

Discover more of Luciana Hermida’s work on our online shop!