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Lydia Hix has put together a range of beautifully hand-drawn greeting cards for Brawn. She will produce limited seasonal runs, taking from the most vibrant and flavoursome produce in our fridges, as well as a more classic range of images that reflect Brawn’s aesthetic.

We sat down with her last month to discuss her influences & how art/food crossover in her world

Brawn: Where are you based?
Lydia: I am currently living back where I grew up in a little town called New Mills in Derbyshire. 
I feel so grateful to look out my window everyday and see nature again. It was definitely a huge part of my life that was missing in grey old London.

Brawn: Does your local surrounding bare much influence on how you go about your work or how your work has developed?
Lydia: I think our surroundings always have some sort of influence on what we create, whether we know it or not. Since moving back to the countryside my love for nature is what really inspired this collection of cards. The freedom of having beautiful surroundings right on your door step definitely frees the mind!

Brawn: Who are your great influences in the art world?
Lydia: My dad has always been a huge lover of art, so I think being around him and some of 
his close friends like Tracey Emin has definitely had an influence on my style, however it was never a conscious thing. I think that our subconscious is actually very at play when it comes to creating. Saying this I never studied art really, so for a long time I didn’t even know of many artists. However as I’ve got older and developed as an artist myself I have found a love for rustling around in charity shops for art books. This means that I can dig through for some really interesting finds, and normally some absolute bargains! I would say that my favourite art books to draw inspiration from are those of Matisse, Picasso, David Hockney, Lucian Freud. Whilst I’m digging for art books at the charity shops I also always look for poetry books, I know this isn’t directly art related, but I love to read poetry and I feel it massively impacts my artwork. Poetry can be perceived in so many different ways by the reader, just like art, and I find the flow to mirror that of art also.

“I was drawing a 
vase of flowers with my cousin who was at fashion school at the time, and I asked her why mine didn’t look like hers. She responded by saying ‘well maybe you don’t see it as I do’. And that has stuck with me forever.”

Brawn: What are your favourite things to draw/paint?
Lydia:  Honesty I just paint whatever. I try not to put myself in too much of a box. Saying this 
you could probably split my work into two main categories: food and figurative. I will always be inspired by seasonal ingredients and food because its been such a big part of my life growing up with a chef as a father! And the other strong force in my artwork, which I think of as my ‘autobiographical work’, displaying itself mainly in figures of women, will forever be in me to express.

Brawn:  What do you find most difficult to interpret through drawing/painting?
Lydia:  This question instantly makes me think of a memory from my childhood. I was drawing a 
vase of flowers with my cousin who was at fashion school at the time, and I asked her why mine didn’t look like hers. She responded by saying ‘well maybe you don’t see it as I do’. And that has stuck with me forever. I think the true beauty of a piece of art is the person behind it, because that’s what makes artworks different. It would be a bit boring if everyone painted the vase of flowers exactly the same! So I guess really I try not to hold too much importance to interpreting things exactly how I think they should be interpreted. This outlook has given me much more confidence and freedom.

Brawn:  Clearly seasonality and food are important things to you. Do you see a crossover between your artistic work and the world of food/wine?
Lydia: Most definitely. My dad has always taught us about the importance of food and where it comes from, using local and seasonal produce. My childhood memories are full of times foraging for wild garlic and mushrooms, collecting seaweed, helping out in the kitchen. This meant that food was and always has been such an integral part of my life and I feel very thankful for that.

Brawn:  If we had to enter another lockdown and everything closed indefinitely again, where would your last meal be and what would feature on the menu?
Lydia: I think anyone who loves food has probably comprised some kind of plan for their first meal out again! Brawn is an obvious answer because it’s one of my favourite restaurants and I have so many good memories there, but I live out of London now. Manchester is the closest city to me and just before lockdown I went and ate at Erst. The food was absolutely delicious, one of the best meals I’ve had out in ages. I think we almost ordered the whole menu. In terms of my ‘dream’ menu, as long as there’s a nice glass of wine on the side, good ingredients and even better company then i’m all good to go. And I doubt that my next trip to Erst will let me down in any of those departments.

You can find more of Lydia’s work on her Instagram as well as the full range of her work for Brawn here