Imogen Hawgood | Depicting The Glowing Lights of Festivals and Facades

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About Imogen Hawgood

Imogen Hawgood is a UK-based artist and freelance illustrator, trained in Illustration at Norwich University of the Arts. Following recent trips to California, a focus to her has been the iconography of the American West, and the idea of ‘the road’ as a symbolic landscape, dotted with roadside icons- gas stations, motels, and neon oddities.

Her interest in cinema led to a body of work focused on the neon-lit facades of Los Angeles movie theatres.

She recently explained to us more about her art and work practice.

Hello Imogen, where are you from and where did you grow up?

I grew up in the English Countryside in the County Durham area.

When or how have you understood you wanted to become an artist?

I have always loved art, my childhood was filled with painting, drawing, and creating in any way that I could. I didn’t consider art as a serious career path until my Art Foundation course after my A-Levels when experimentation and pushing what you thought you could do became the norm. From there I went on to study illustration at Norwich University of the Arts, which is when I started experimenting with painting. After leaving university I have continued painting and honing my skills, finding inspiration from the wide streets of Los Angeles to the muddy field of British festivals.

Imogen Hwagood
Pantages Theatre, 2022

Can you briefly say something about your technique and tell us what drives you to make art?

While I live and work in the English countryside, it was a visit to Los Angeles which has had the most influence on my work. I became fascinated by the iconography of the American West and have enjoyed translating the glowing neon of the Sunset Strip into my paintings. I’ve also found inspiration closer to home, painting the glowing lights of funfairs and food trucks across the muddy fields of British festivals.


I think my best work is based on my own experiences and memories. I take photos and videos of locations for reference and then work these ideas into oil paintings in the studio. While there is a foundation of realism within my work, I am most interested in creating an image that seems like a moment in time, highlighting the quiet beauty of the scenes that I depict.

Imogen HawgoodImogen Hawgood
Palm Springs Yellow Door, 2023
Imogen HawgoodImogen Hawgood
Los Feliz Theatre, 2023

What is the main feature that has changed in your works or practice throughout the years?

I think the main thing which has changed within my practice over the years, is a new appreciation of my immediate surroundings. While I am still drawn to the landscapes and cityscapes of Southern California, it is no longer the only subject I am painting. I have recently enjoyed painting locations that are closer to home, and more familiar to me. A recent series of paintings depicts the classic British festival experience; rain, mud, and all. I found inspiration in the way food trucks and festival stalls seemed to glow and draw us in from the darkness of the muddy fields. I think my work based on my own experiences captures a bit more authenticity.

Imogen HawgoodImogen Hawgood
Mac and Cheese, 2023
Imogen HawgoodImogen Hawgood
Helter-Skelter, 2023
Imogen Hawgood Imogen Hawgood
Fish and Chips, 2023


Which artist primarily inspires your work? And is there something else, outside visual arts, that keeps you motivated?

I have always found the work of painters like Edward Hopper and David Hockney to be hugely inspiring, partly due to the shared love of Americana. I find a lot of inspiration from film and TV. I am particularly drawn by stark lighting traditionally used in Film Noir, and more contemporary takes on this genre like the neon chaos of Ridley Scott’s Neo-Noir Blade Runner.


How would you like people to engage with your work?

I would like audiences to be able to engage with my work both in person at exhibitions and galleries, as well as online via my website and social media.



Go here to visit her website, or follow her on Instagram >


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