Heidi Locher – Hotel Kalifornia

23rd November 2012
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Laura Burnside

Heidi Locher Heidi Locher   Hotel KaliforniaFollowing a private view at Londonewcastle Project Space, Hotel Kalifornia, we have had the opportunity to interview talented artist Heidi Locher.

You studied architecture and had your own architectural practice prior to pursuing a MA in Fine Art at CSM. How does this experience influence your work in Fine Art?

HotelKalifornia4 1024x639 Heidi Locher   Hotel KaliforniaThe two are totally inter-linked. Both ‘roles’ are conceptually led 
and since my concerns, in whatever I am designing or creating, are with
 intensity and atmosphere one leads very easily to the other. I like it
 that I can do both. In architecture and design, you always have to 
resolve questions that have been posed in the quest for some kind of 
ideal or perfection. In art, your job is to explore those notions while
 unearthing deeply personal feelings. Artists and designers are lucky as
 we get to express ourselves fully through our work, whether it be in the
 design of a hotel or through delving into feelings of disengagement and
 hidden memory that might be acted out in a hotel such as in the Hotel
 Kalifornia exhibition.

What inspired Hotel Kalifornia?

Hotel Kalifornia was inspired by a trip to LA, to visit my writer friend Simon Moore. One night driving along Sunset Strip with the Eagles
 song playing on the radio, we were discussing what marked us when 
growing up and the seed of the idea was planted.

What story are you telling through this rich exhibition of projections, installations, photography and a short film?

The Hotel Kalifornia HotelKalifornia1 1024x639 Heidi Locher   Hotel Kaliforniaexhibition centres on a short film, made in 
collaboration with Frederick Paxton, which explores the notion of hidden 
memories and deep personal anguish. It is a haunting investigation into 
moments of change that leave mental scars hidden deep within the 
subconscious. The hotel, a container in which to live, houses the traces
 of these events and becomes a vessel for these memories. Filmed within a
 modern hotel room created by Studio Locher, it has three sections each 
focusing on one of the three stages of a woman’s life but, poignantly, 
all the roles are played by the same actress. The terrible moment of 
change is seen through the eyes of the child. The teenager suffers the 
consequences of the trauma while the adult experiences the ultimate 
cathartic release that, in turn, brings redemption. The slow-motion
 footage, stylised white lighting and penetrating detail, heighten the
 physical and emotional aspects creating a ghost-like and claustrophobic 
atmosphere.

What would your ideal living place be like?

Probably the house I have just finished in Hampstead transported to 
California. Hidden behind a discrete giant white gate we have
 endeavoured to create a serene world of clean lines and abundant light. 
It’s a sanctuary. Hugh Graham of the Times described it as “one of David 
Hockney’s paintings transported to London”.