Interview with Poet Hillary Kaye

By Rex Butters

Beachhead: How long have you lived in Venice/Ocean Park? How did you start with painting, with poetry? How has the Venice environment inspired you? Do you feel advantages/disadvantages being a woman artist in Venice? What women most inspired you in your work and life, and how?

Kaye: I’ve lived in Venice/Ocean park for a long time. Not that I knew Mr. Kinney personally or anything, somewhere in the 60s era i moved here and I couldn’t leave, well i did leave a few times but something kept bringing me back here.. Something to do with the nature of the place, shifting sands, liquefaction and all that. Seriously like its namesake Venice, Italy which threatens to disappear below the waters, it has a special ephemeral nature like magic and art.

The light here has a special quality and without getting too much into Jung’s collective unconscious idea, you can feel and be inspired by  the spirit of other artists and writers who have lived here. There is also a community of artists here today who provide by their example support for the ridiculous notion that one can be an artist in this society

I didn’t really start with painting and poetry, it was more like they started with me, thrust a brush in my hand and said paint and make poetry. I’ve been doing it most of my life. As I said it’s a ridiculous choice given the mercantile society and the rising rents but it’s helped a lot that there were women artists who were brave enough to do this before... Joni Mitchell, Frida Kahlo, etc. and women who today are still being and brave and doing this ....I am inspired by many women in this area....there are many creative women here who are poets, painters, singers, musicians and dancers of the soul.

Posted: Thu - March 1, 2007 at 05:00 PM