“There isn’t a sin­ner in the world that doesn’t have a very strong feel­ing about Warhol”

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Interview -

It’s been a chal­leng­ing year for

Raine Hozier-Byrne, the Wick­low­based artist and mother of singer­song­writer An­drew ‘Hozier’. In Fe­bru­ary, Out­post Stu­dios, the space she shared with seven other women artists in Bray, was gut­ted by a fire, de­stroy­ing a life­time’s work. “I couldn’t tell you the loss. We all lost work, and be­cause I’m the old­est, I’ve lost 30 years of work,” she says with a sigh. “Overnight, they were all gone. I’m start­ing all over again.”

Raine’s first series since the fire is for The Lost Warhols, af­ter be­ing in­vited to con­trib­ute by cu­ra­tor Joe Henry, who had come across her work in a col­lec­tor’s house. “Warhol is usu­ally the di­rec­tor, so it’s a very in­ter­est­ing project that makes a very en­gag­ing im­age. If you’re not in­ter­ested in con­tem­po­rary art prac­tice, it’s still very en­gag­ing, be­cause he is so well-known and his ac­tual im­age it­self is an iconic im­age,” she ex­plains.

Was it in­tim­i­dat­ing for her to in­ter­pret such an iconic im­age?

“Yes and no,” she says. “Once you set­tle into the im­ages you choose to work on, you kind of come at peace with it,” she ex­plains, adding that she will be blend­ing two of Karen Byst­edt’s por­traits for her piece. “I’m a frag­ment artist so I tend to tear up things, put them back to­gether again, reimag­ine some­thing, put my own spin on it. Once I had that down, I knew where I was go­ing with it. It sits well with you when it’s work­ing, and it re­ally doesn’t sit well with you when it’s not!”

Raine ob­serves that Warhol was a big pres­ence dur­ing her art stud­ies, and that she feels a con­nec­tion to him be­cause they would have been of sim­i­lar ages. “There isn’t a sin­ner in the world that doesn’t have a very strong feel­ing about Warhol. There’s as many peo­ple that go ‘ah, to heck’, that say, ‘it’s won­der­ful!’” she laughs. “He was a sem­i­nal artist and to this day, he has huge in­flu­ence on huge amounts of artists. I’m very lucky to be able to take part in this, and I’m thrilled.”

Aside from The Lost Warhols, Raine has been kept busy work­ing on the cover of Hozier’s highly an­tic­i­pated sec­ond al­bum. “That’s a very, very spe­cial thing to do. To be able to work with your kids is fan­tas­tic, and I was able to work with both of them on this project,” she says, re­fer­ring to An­drew (28) and film­maker Jon (30). “They’re both so tal­ented, you kind of go, how did that hap­pen?”

She adds: “It’s a real priv­i­lege. If you have kids, there’s a stage where they’d nearly rather die than be seen with you, and when you get to this stage where you’re ac­tu­ally just see­ing each other as other artists, it’s an ab­so­lute joy. I think the art­work around it kind of re­flects that. I can’t let too much out of the bag, un­for­tu­nately, but it was a blast to do.” Jon has di­rected the video for Nina Cried Power, from Hozier’s new EP, and An­drew re­cently kicked off a tour across the US, which comes to Dublin in De­cem­ber.

“He’ll come home for fly­ing vis­its and please God he’ll be home for Christ­mas,” says Raine. “It’s a funny aul world with these two lads — mine is very sim­ple in com­par­i­son. It’s a quiet lit­tle ex­is­tence but it’s a great lit­tle ex­is­tence. We’re happy out.”

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