I want you to meet Harold Pack, a lovely chap whom I met earlier this year at a Private Exhibition in London. As a graduate of Winchester School of Art (gosh, these successful graduates really do seem to be appearing in my interview series a lot) he’s kept his creative streak with him and now strives to continue to strengthen his style, with prints now available to purchase online. Nicely done!
An artist residing in Winchester and Newbury, his work focuses on the projections from his mind that have manifested through experiences he has encountered in his life.
Nicola Manuel: Hello Harold! Lovely name. But you prefer Harry right so we’ll stick to that. How’s the past few years since graduating been for you?
Harry Pack: Hello Nicola! The past few years since graduating have been real eye-openers for me. Lots of personal breakthrough moments followed by huge waves of self-doubt, although either good or bad, each step I’ve made has created a new platform to work from for new projects of which there seem to be more than enough forming.
NM: You recently exhibited solely in the Art Café, Winchester. How did it all go for you? Was the process of setting up the exhibition and the whole event what you expected?
HP: To be honest I didn’t really know what to expect and tried not to over think it as I have done before. I realised I was lucky to have been given an amazing opportunity to show the work that has become my life over the last few years as one unit and was more excited than anything to see it up myself for the first time. The show was called “What is Wally?” as the pictures are representative of the confusing on-goings of my mind. They are the product of my own energy and experiences being released through a creative medium and I couldn’t have been happier with the results with plenty of feedback and people seeming to enjoy the night.
NM: Your work is manifested from experiences that you have encountered through your life. What has been the most bizarre experience that you’ve had happen to you though and did it have a big impact on your creative style?
HP: I think the most influential experience I’ve had was spending six months traveling through the Andes in 2003 with 2 very good friends. There were many bizarre encounters so to name one would be impossible. We had the opportunity to live in a remote part of the Chocó Andean cloudforest in Ecuador on top of a mountain with no electricity helping a local community re-plant trees. It was the first time I really felt “alive” and have since learnt much about the culture and history and I’ve been trying to somehow get myself out there ever since. Since 2003 the closest I have been is Guatemala, which I recently visited for the end of the Mayan calendar this past Christmas was special as it was exactly a decade since I was over there and the trip was a reaction to my previous experiences out there. A lot of my work is largely inspired by Latin American culture and the ways of other ancient civilizations.
NM: What do you find most and least attractive about the creative sector?
HP: I think it’s really what you make of it and personally I find myself avoiding anything that might seem unattractive in that sense. I find one of my biggest dislikes is how things conform to fit in with others rather that stick to their natural energy forms if that makes sense?
NM: Most definitely! What motivates you within your work?
HP: The physical buzz I get knowing that I am doing something that I love. It’s the first time I have ever really experienced it and the more I create the better and more intense the feeling gets. I guess I would essentially like to become a connoisseur of that feeling. The more I create the more the images make sense to me, even the pictures I drew when I was younger seem to make more sense to me now than they did before and it’s as if each of them has a crucial message hidden behind them waiting to reveal their meaning just at the right moment. The pictures are incredibly descriptive to me of who I am although only I can really know just how that works from an interior perspective. Everyone else gets a look from the exterior, which at times may not seem that dissimilar but definitely needs some explaining. The idea of creating something which other people, whether alike or not, can relate to on another mentally physical level is also inspiring. Reactions are sometimes necessary for the continuation of work and unless I wanted to live in a room away from everything for the rest of my life I’ll continue to look for them.
NM: What do you want your work to say about you and what three words would you use to describe your work?
HP: Three words off the top of my head would be, alien, intergalactic and spaceship… I think the words say a lot about my work instead of me wanting the work to say something about me. I’m fascinated by extra-terrestrial stories and theories and this has somehow melted in nicely with my understanding of creativity, life, South America and pretty much everything else.
NM: Having worked within selling and promoting yourself through a solo exhibition, you’ve done extremely well and really put your name forward within the creative sector. In your eyes what is the role of an artist in today’s society?
HP: I think the best an artist can do is express themselves in any way they feel necessary… a lot of people I’ve met over the last 5 years seem to get a lot from their art maybe because they find the process relaxing or because they can project a side of themselves they hadn’t been able to before. Art makes people think and I don’t think I know anyone who really doesn’t appreciate art. It’s something I think people need more and more these days in order to get themselves through the monotonous day to day routines they find themselves in and for me it’s been a way out of many tricky situations I might not have been able to cope with.
NM: What is more important within your work, content or technique?
HP: I would have to say that personally they are both just as important as each other as without one there probably wouldn’t be the other. The content is developed hugely by the techniques I use both physically in how I apply the appropriate medium, and mentally as to how I let my thoughts guide me through the process of application whereas technique is something I am constantly improving on the more I create. Without technique development the work would lose it’s story and become a lost and very much impersonal projection, which up to now is the part I most enjoy about creating.
What I love about Harry’s motivation to do work is the recognition that to make things work and progress you really do have to complete work that you’re happy with. His work is amazing isn’t it?! I’m sure you’ll agree.
With the experience of being a few years out of university, and taking the art world by a storm he certainly holds and pushes the sense that it is achievable to do what pleases you – by working hard and staying focused.