Hizze Fletcher-King has been in Brighton for 12 years. Her upbringing was inspired by strong women like Madonna, The Face and ID magazines, and a love of fashion, come together to create work that is bold, expressive, textured and graphical.
She’s produced a number of large pop-up group-art exhibitions and events for LGBTQ groups, most notably 100 Artists for World Aids Day in 2008-2013 and the flagship exhibitions for Brighton Pride Arts & Film Festival 2013-14. Hizze also sat as an independent member of The Rainbow Fund 2014-2016
Hizze opened up her own creative space BRUSH in 2014, an art gallery and one-chair hair salon collaboration with her wife, Jojo. The gallery represents a wide range of Brighton-based contemporary artists and Hizze curates a new exhibition there every month.
A fine artist in her own right and has exhibited internationally. You might have seen her Netflix commissions this summer: a number of murals for their Orange is The New Black x PRIDE campaign throughout the UK.
What’s the story behind Brush?
My wife Jojo had an established one chair hairdressing business in a tattoo shop and was looking for a new space. We didn’t intend to collaborate but the shop appeared and everything fell into place. I’d been a curator here for six years, doing pop up exhibitions so it made sense to open a permanent art space and to form our two established businesses into one.
What made you want to open up shop in Brighton?
We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the UK. It’s so creative and diverse here. You really feel how different it is when you go to other cities and do something as simple as hold hands which can generally make everyone stare.
How did you get to where you are as a celebrated artist?
I always thought of myself as an artist, for as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood drawing and went to art school for 5 years after finishing high school. It was always my dream and I never deviated from that, I’ve worked very hard for a long time to get where I am.
Can you tell us a bit about your recent solo show?
My new work expresses my life as an ageing queer woman. Life IS colourful but not without pain and I hope that my work can communicate the happiness and angst we can all consciously feel. I’m from a working-class background in the North of England and where I grew up it wasn’t ok to be queer or to have the desire to be an artist. Through my art, I’d like to inspire others to believe in themselves and to rise above the negativity that can so easily drag us down. ‘It’s Not All Black & White’ is my first solo show in over five years and my first at BRUSH.
What can we expect from Brush in the rest of 2019?
We will continue to represent emerging and established artists. We pride ourselves on representing mostly women/ and or queer artists who collectively are and always have been completely under-represented in the art world. Jojo will continue to offer all gender hair services at an affordable price.
What do you think of the LGBTQ community in Brighton?
I think we have a strong community in Brighton. Places like The Marlborough, LGBT Forum, Trans Pride, The Rainbow Fund etc are really important for people to go and feel supported and not alone. There’s an abundance of things to suit all ages, situations, tastes, we’re very lucky.
Where are your favourite places to go in the city?
My favourite place is home. We live on the seafront and the views of the sea are incredible and inspiring. There’s nothing like watching an October sunset or stormy winters day. We don’t go out that much these days, generally to eat or the cinema.
What did you make of the groups calling for the L to be removed from LGBTQ?
We should stand together not divided.
Check out Brush at 84 Gloucester Rd, Brighton BN1 4AP