Home Catalog: Dan Has Potential
Daniel Brereton (aka Dan Has Potential) is a London-based artist who created three tapestries for us this summer. We talked to him about the inspiration behind them and his start in the tapestry world, which goes back longer than even he thought.
Hello, my name is Daniel Brereton and I am from a little town called Kendal that is near the Lake District in England. I live in London and make videos and draw pictures for a living. Tell us about the tapestries you made for us.
The first one I call the “Bird God”, and this guy is an omnipresent character who watches down on people, to make sure they are safe and protecting them from bad luck, a bit like the Turkish eye.
Bird Art Tapestry
The second design is a portal, a gateway to another dimension. I haven't tried stepping into this dimension so I don't know what would be there.
The third tapestry contains a vase with a snake wrapped around it. Inside the vase is the potion used to create black magic, and the snake guards it wisely.
What was your inspiration behind them? What type of moods were you going for?
The three designs are all inspired by Haitian Vodou Flags. I am totally fascinated by them—the way they are handcrafted with thousands of little sequins, and the way the imagery is totally unique and mysterious. It was a great opportunity to create my own imagery based around these wonderful flags. What type of room could you picture them being in?
It could be in some grand colonial room as a relic, it could be seen hung above a Vodou altar in Haiti, or next to a nice pot plant in someone's living room. When did you start making tapestries? Why did you choose to make them?
I think I have been interested in textiles for quite a while; I used to be a textile designer for a little while. And then I really like folk art. textiles seem to be a chosen medium for folk art.
What did you go to school for? What was your favorite part about going?
I didn't much like school, doing lots of subjects that I was not interested in at the time. But then I went to college and I could spend all day doing things I was interested in. My favorite part was maybe coming up with something that my tutor was into, or something that my peers were into. Tell us a little bit about the other work you do.
I make music videos for bands, as I enjoy collaborating and pushing my ideas into new directions. Often musicians are very inspiring, as they don't know the boundaries that I face when trying to make a video. I make images in a similar way to music videos, where I test myself to come up with something new and exciting, starting with a blank page and seeing where it goes. Do you have anything else going on right now with your work?
I don't have any exhibitions planned at the moment. I am working more on moving image at the moment and my drawing is a more personal thing. I like it that way as it means it does not have to be compromised by any commercial constraints.
Do you have any tapestries in your work or living space? What does your living or work space look like?
I just bought a nice Iranian hand woven rug for my bedroom, and hanging in my studio is a tapestry I did for a show in Northern Ireland, about a stone statue of a one armed character named TandraDanHasgee Man. There is also a little textile work that I did when I was about eight or nine in school, so maybe the tapestry thing goes back longer than I thought.
What are some of your other hobbies when you're not working?
In the summertime I try to get out and about a bit more. I have recently acquired a garden so been spending a bit of time sorting that out. And then in the wintertime I watch football on a Saturday and play it on a Sunday, the football with a round ball that is.