THE SIX FOOT GALLERY INTERVIEW: Danielle Batey (Saturate Your Mind)

Danielle is a mixed-media artist whose works are inspired by existence, connection, and the power that we hold in changing lives through expression. Danielle’s project for Saturate Your Mind is directly informed by artists who have paved the way for her to find herself. Danielle was also the chief organiser behind the exhibition and we’re grateful to her for all her hard work – thanks Danielle!

Hi Danielle! Can you tell us how your artistic journey started?
My artistic journey began as a safe space during my childhood. It was a safe place to be within chaos. It was something I lost for a while. I think teachers often don’t know the power they hold, and I left part of myself behind due to being told I would go nowhere. I found art again during Covid; a year that brought chaos to many peoples lives, and within that I found myself seeking that familiar safe space again. From there I began college, and that leads to now.

How has your practice changed over time?
I began my journey as an illustrator with the aim of being a tattoo artist, over time and alongside healing I found myself most inspired by connection. This led to connections within community arts and street art, with the end goal of becoming an art therapist. I strongly believe we can change the world through creative intervention and aim to be an artivist til the very end.

Can you walk us through your creative process?
When beginning this project I wanted it to be very intuitive. I set only 3 limitations – the first was a one hour time-limit per portrait, and the second was using randomised generators of 10 mediums and 10 artists, which would be chosen daily over a 10 day period. The aim was to see myself differently and force me out of my comfort zone.

Are there specific advantages or challenges associated with working in your chosen mediums? Have you experimented with other mediums or techniques?
Pencils… gosh I do not like working in pencil! I just kept going with the reminder that it’s the process and not the end result that mattered. I think the advantage of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is that you find yourself using mediums you may have previously disregarded.

I think that, for me, art of all forms is like oxygen, and having a creative wife helps! We spend our time graff spotting, visiting exhibitions or museums chatting rubbish, putting the world to rights, and whilst I paint canvas she paints nails. Our lives are just consumed by creativity, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Will your next project be a continuation of your current style or are you experimenting with something different? Can you give us a glimpse into your next project?
I would say that my art in some areas will remain the same but parts of it are about to go on a new journey. I identified as a trans man for around four years and in processing my past I’ve found myself reclaiming my womanhood. I’m not sure where it will lead but keep your eyes peeled for a summer exhibition of exploration and healing!

My next project will be something that impacts my local community – no sneaky glimpses but I have collected around 90L of masonry paint to be able to accomplish it!

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your work or your experiences as an artist?
Just a reminder to Be Fearlessly Authentic. You are perfectly imperfect and the world wouldn’t be what it is without you in it <3

See Danielle’s work at our HND Showcase, Saturate Your Mind, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 9th May 2024. You can also find her on Instagram @y3t_ab

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