With the imminent opening of the charitable,Artful Pelican gallery, it’s only apt that the first exhibition should contain work fromsome of the ‘street souls’ themselves.FOUR catches up with artist David Hardy, formerlyhomeless and who since has been helped by David Coombe. As a result of Street Souls’s help, David Hardy now has a flat, has won many awards whichinclude,best newcomer at Lloyds of London Art Awards and has been able to pursue a career in art.

What does this artist residency signify to you?

It’s a great way in to the sales side of art as well as a fantastic space to exhibit. It also has a brilliant ethos about it, which is to help the homeless.

When did you start painting professionally and how did it happen?

I have painted professionally for about 5 years now, even with snags of being homeless during that period. I still managed to paint especially with the help of David Coombe who runs Street Souls and Artful Pelican. I have painted most of my life though.

What inspires you in your style?

People, Celebrities, a certain thought that captures my imagination. Visits to exhibitions, something someone might say or do. All these things inspire me. Art is about life.

Who or what are your artistic influences?

I’m influenced by numerous artists for different reasons from the likes of David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Monet. Then their are more contempory artists like Colin Davidson, David Kasson and not forgetting an old art tutor Andrew Parry. But I would say they’re all motivators rather than influences.

Do you have any future exhibitions lined up?

I have nothing in concret at the time of writing this, but there may be another chance in the near future to carry on with the Artful Pelican on a themed exhibition and also I may have something similar with another gallery in St Albans – Nude Tin Can Gallery which if all goes to plan will incorporate Star Wars paintings.

What is one of your favourite dishes?

I love a good homemade chicken curry with lots of garlic and fresh coriander.

Artful Pelican

143 Lee Road

London

SE3 9DJ

+4420 8852 0467

www.artfulpelican.com