INTERVIEW: NICOL FRANCIS HENDRUK AND HELENA LNĚNIČKOVÁ | ITSLIQUID

INTERVIEW: NICOL FRANCIS HENDRUK AND HELENA LNĚNIČKOVÁ

Interviews | December 5, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

Interview: Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková
Luca Curci
talks with Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková during ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023 – 8th edition, held in Rome, at ITSLIQUID Monti – Rome Art Space.

“Nicol’s pictures literally captivated me, made me stare at them and let the emotions hidden in them bring out my memories. In the moments of adoration and relaxation, when I was absorbed by these strong impressions, words were coming to my mind that would describe the feelings evaporating from the drawing, sometimes a whole verse with a rhyme came at once. With images that captured my attention so intensely, I felt a theme bubbling in the air and an urge to materialize what hadn’t been put into words yet. I began to write down what was flying around in my head and was surprised at the poignant descriptions and twists that appeared on the paper. The poems were born in the process of writing, without a plan and without thinking. What I did was wait for the words to float in, I didn’t have to search for them.” – Helena Lněničková.

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Nicol Francis Hendruk & Helena Lněničková –
Currently, Helena and I are working on two projects where we want to fuse together our works in the form of a book and limited edition prints. We are getting ready to print our Art book, which includes 120 drawings and poems that were inspired by these drawings. We have been searching for inventive ways for each poem to accompany and complement the drawing so as to create a visual symbiosis that is pleasant for the eye. Our plan is to have the book ready for sale for the Open Art Fest in Prague, which will take place on October 28–29, 2023. We are also finalizing our
collection of limited-edition prints featuring Helena’s poems. We are giving final touches to the graphic layout of the prints, choosing fonts, and playing with the aesthetic look. We are preparing them for sale in Czech as well as English.

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
NFH –
I never studied art. It has always been something that I really enjoyed doing in my free time. I draw from my imagination intuitively, without reference images or subjects, but of course, there are many things that have influenced my creative work. It was anything that captivated me-my reaction to
these things and my inner world. The things that influenced me kept changing their form over time and were pretty random, but they usually gave me the same feelings and inspiration. It could be a movie, a curious character from a movie or a cartoon character, Tim Burton’s movies, a song, a style of music, the band Gorillaz, anime, manga, Japan, a person I met, beauty, fashion, the darker sides of the human psyche, my own emotions, my puberty, the human body, sexuality, falling in love-all these things So drawing has always been a way I dealt with certain feelings and thoughts in a relaxing, peaceful, and free way.

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
NFH –
It is very supportive to see visitors enraptured by the drawings and lingering over the poems. That makes us feel rewarded, and we feel that we have created something that they can relate to. And we can get some valuable feedback or inspiration.

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
N –
Yes. I have been drawing since a very young age, so the level and art style have been changing over time. In the past, my art style much more closely resembled cartoon or manga/anime styles.As I got older, my art began to look more distinctive. It still had and has elements of manga style,but they are less prominent and more subtle. I have been using the same technique, which is drawing on regular A4-sized paper, using and combining mostly pencils, colored pencils, aquarelle pencils, ink pens, fine-liners, markers, dry pastels, and oil pastels.
H – I haven’t been writing poems for years, so I cannot answer this question. I can just say that my poems got better, longer, and more eloquent with time. The very first poems I find a bit too simple now. So I hope I can say that my writing is getting better and better.

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
N –
I have always drawn people, figures, and characters, mostly women. The human body has always fascinated me with its natural beauty, which is why I like to draw figures in motion from different points of view. What I like to portray is nudity, vulnerability, openness, intimacy, and arousal. In general, the portrayal of a person is a supporting theme for me, especially of a woman, because that is who I am, what I know, and what continues to inspire me.
H – The themes of my poems are set by Nicol’s drawings, I do not choose them. I get inspiration from the image and start to feel some intense connection – either a memory, sympathy or compassion, or a vision of what is happening in the picture and what the characters are feeling. I can relate to all kinds of emotions connected with sexuality and love relationships, as I have lived through many of the situations myself. I can relate to all the pain that is depicted very vividly in some of the drawings and can seem inexplicable. To me, it makes sense because I have a lot of experience with clinical depression and what I call “life-ache”. Luckily, I feel great in my life now, but I can relate to these feelings anytime.

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
NFH –
We love the idea of giving space to inventive artworks that have not been shown before and to artists that are not yet known. This could be their next step into the world. The theme of MIXING IDENTITIES is up-to-date and a topic that is relevant to our work. Today’s world is all about fluid identities, changes and symbiosis that were unheard of before. In a way, it is more difficult to maintain an identity when there is so much choice. On the other hand, it is a relief that now I can be anybody I feel like, any weird version of me that I somehow feel I need to experience.

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
N –
People can express many things in many different ways, which is interesting to me, and I like to capture that. However, when I create, I don’t have one specific message in mind that I want to show through the artwork; it is more of a spontaneous self-reflection. I think that each person who looks at my artwork can find a message of their own, their own interpretation, which I find exciting.
H – I would like to support revealing and showing erotic urges without any judgment. I see no need to conceal any emotions or fantasies because they are all human and nothing to be ashamed of. I also want to portray depression that is so strong that it makes you want to die. I’d like to connect with those who are suffering from this despair and would like to soothe them with the knowledge that they are not alone and not crazy. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to get released from this hell, and support is essential.

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
NFH –
Of course! That is why we decided to participate. This is our first step in presenting our work, and we hope it will open up new horizons for each of us.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
NFH –
We think the platform is modern, dynamic and open-minded. It offers many events you can participate in. It is a wonderful space to showcase many kinds of art to a diverse audience.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
NFH –
We very much enjoyed it from beginning to end. Whenever we had questions or concerns, the help and communication were great and on point. We enjoyed visiting Rome and meeting interesting people. Thank you for this opportunity.

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Image courtesy of Nicol Francis Hendruk and Helena Lněničková

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