“Look down alleyways in a different way”: Spotlight on Tim Head

Meet some of the individuals making creative projects and connections in North Kensington through this year’s Westway Arts Funds:  Artist Commissions, Festival & Events Funds and Training & Professional Development Fund. Tim Head is a recipient of an Artist Commission for his project My Yard.

 Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about yourself & your background 

My name is Tim Head, and I’m a London based artist. I was born, and live currently, in West London. My work is mixed media. I do a bit of graphic design, a bit of art, bit of collage, bit of photography. I just dash from one idea to one idea really, so I haven’t really got one fixed thing that I’m known for. I just try and get out whatever is in my head. I literally have an idea and I have to make it. It could be a collage or it could be a film or something. I think it’s just the way that I see the world through my filter. If I had to describe it, I deliberately try and inject energy in everything I do, so that’s the one thing I want, because I’m just so fed up with boring stuff. I want to bring a bit of energy.

Why did you apply for a Westway Trust Artist Commission?

I am born in West London, and I am very proud to call it home. I have done stuff all around the world, I’ve been very lucky. I’ve done some bits in some very established places, but never really done anything big in London, and when I saw this opportunity it was a no brainer. So, it’s been incredibly exciting and daunting, because this area is really special to me.

Tell us about your commission and the inspiration for it.

To be honest, because I work in so many different ways, I had loads of ideas of what I wanted to do. Everything from primitive animation on the train tracks to giant mosaic murals. Because I know the area and the history and the people, I wanted to do something with them, for them. I just feel like West London is overlooked or I feel like some parts of the estate is under-loved, though not by the people who live there. There are some amazing things happening, and I want to inject some colour, and some life, and some good energy, and some positivity back into the environment on a big scale. So that’s what I’m going to try and do.

I just want to bring some colour and some energy to these very grey concrete alleyways. But not take over the whole alleyway, but just enough so that it jumps out but then also makes you really look at the alleyway and re-look at it and just go, is this a gallery? What is that? Why is that there? And that way maybe, people would be walking on their day to day and then suddenly be pulled out of their thoughts, and just think that things can be made possible in weird, unused, unloved areas.

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What makes this area so special to you?

God, this is going to be so cheesy, but it’s the people. Every community says that, it’s completely true. That’s such a hard question. It’s the history of the areas. The communities that live side by side, and what they create together. It’s the music scene. It’s home as well for me. It’s inspiration from the people. There’s a resilience. I’m really proud of how West London has reacted to certain events.

I don’t want to be one of those cultural colonialists that just gets jetted around to do a street mural of their work in different cities, and really the work doesn’t reflect the area. Like you flip through a book and it’s the same image, but in 20 different countries. If I’m going to come in and do a piece on the street, that people see every day in their normal life, I want it to be good, and I want them to like it.

I think it’d be really rude if I came into someone’s house and just painted a wall without asking them, or at least getting their involvement. So, I have ideas, I want them to help with it. It will be my stuff with my style, but we will work together in collaboration.

I think it'd be really rude if I came into someone's house and just painted a wall without asking them, or at least getting their involvement Click To Tweet 

What else are you working on at the moment?

Quite a lot, as ever. One of the things is I have an opening tonight for a project that I’ve just done with a clothing brand. I would tell you about it, but then by the time this comes out it will be a bit late. I’ve always just got a lot on, and a lot of ideas, but I don’t really like to say anything until they’re finished or completed because often they get jinxed, or things change, or I fall asleep and don’t finish it.

But as ever, lots of design work, lots of stuff for music labels, for fashion brands. I’ve got lots of art stuff. I’m trying to set up a studio for the new year, so I can work on a few more exhibitions.

What are your artistic ambitions for the future?

I love being a designer, but my passion is art. I love, love, love design but there’s a part of me that I don’t get to explore as much, so that frustrates me, so I’d like to get the balance back. So, my wish list would just be to have a studio and just make exhibitions, and just hopefully to be making good stuff that I’m proud of in 20 years’ time.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like you all to come down, when not just myself, but the other artists, have done their pieces to see the work. One of the reasons why I like this because it’s in the environment, so come down and see a part of West London that not many tourists come to. They just come and get their picture taken by blue door, and then they go home. And maybe I would like you to also just look at your own local neighbourhood a bit differently. Look, look up, look down, look down alleyways in a different way.

An interview with Tim Head about how he plans to create beautiful murals in North Kensington Click To Tweet

Find out more about My Yard here which will be accessible from 2-27th March 2020.


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