Have you ever wanted to watch an artist work in a David Blaine styled Perspex box? Well, that opportunity might arise much sooner than you’d think, with The Flash Residency enabling viewers and spectators to do just that. One artist set to take part in this new pop-up opportunity is the founder of Timid Elk, Rebecca Hoy. Excited to be taking part, Hoy states that it’s an opportunity that is “quite unusual” giving her the chance to “demonstrate [her] art to a wider audience.” This is an opportunity perfectly suited to artists such as Rebecca Hoy, due to the fact that her work is so intricately mysterious in nature – it will certainly be a great occasion for the public to see how Timid Elk’s current collection, ‘Curious Commodities’, is created.
As the beautiful brainchild of Hoy, Timid Elk tapers a delicately fine line between the world of artists and that of designers. When asked whether she considers herself to inhabit one role more than the other Hoy replied, “I think I’m a little bit of both.” Before adding, “I think some of the pieces are more design, more functional like the lampshades. But then you do have that more arty side, with the map pieces.” It’s most definitely a refreshing difference to find someone so drawn to both sides of this creative war, creating not only beautifully intricate pieces of art, but also functional home furnishings and accessories.
Using materials such as used train tickets and maps, Hoy uses materials that she sees as “kind of discarded, or a bit obsolete now” as a way of making her work and the objects she creates completely inclusive to anyone and everyone. Having the train tickets donated to her helps create a sense of involvement with the viewers in the creation of her work, and by using maps, Hoy feels as though she is poetically including everyone from the world within certain pieces. “All of those people and their stories are now part of a lampshade or a latex vessel or something. I just think it’s a nice thought.” Hoy added when explaining that she sources much of her un-donated material from charity shops.
So, how did Hoy end up creating a brand that makes such unique and inclusive pieces? Well, after graduating from De Montfort University with a degree in Design Crafts – specialising, towards the end, in ceramics – Hoy eventually discovered that she was enjoying creating the paperwork prototypes and maquettes for her work more than the ceramic pieces themselves. Stating, “I struggled a bit with ceramics because I found that if something didn’t work in ceramics that was it, there was rarely a way around it so you had to change your ideas.” Hoy began to focus solely on the creation of her paper pieces. That’s how the ‘Curious Commodities’ collection came into existence for Timid Elk – focussing on repetition and this idea of inclusivity, Hoy put her multi-disciplined talents, that she had developed whilst at university, to work. Although, through hearing Hoy speak of her own work it is clear that this way of working is not the be all and end all for her. “I would like to revert back to ceramics at some point”, Hoy mentioned, adding that after all of her practice and development with paper she would be interested to see what she “can do with that now.” Hoy even revealed that she’d also be extremely interested in playing “with the scale” of her work, focussing on “a really large installation piece or something”, with the intention of that bringing “the ‘Curious Commodities’ collection to a good close”, proving that Hoy, and Timid Elk, still have much up their sleeves.
“You just need to go for it. Don’t be scared, just dive in. if it’s not for you it’s not for you, you know, you’re never going to know unless you try.”
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Hoy and her vision for Timid Elk though. Admitting that the most difficult obstacle she’s had to overcome was the misleadingly simple sounding matter of “Getting started” Hoy mirrors the mentalities of so many artists alike. “I had this studio for about six months before I actually did anything with it.” Hoy goes on to explain. “We’ve had little projects based in West Gate and I signed up to use that and I did no work for it at all, until the last month when I was like, ‘You really need to do something, or that rooms going to be empty.’ And then it just took off from there, so once I got started I had that little bit of pressure on me at first that I needed, and then it’s all just gone from there really.” This tale of Hoy’s hesitant beginnings and need for pressure happens to align perfectly with the advice that she would like all graduating art and design students to keep in mind when it comes to working within the creative sector; “You just need to go for it. Don’t be scared, just dive in. if it’s not for you it’s not for you, you know, you’re never going to know unless you try.”