Tina Hee: The DNA of a Danish artist
By Karin Blak | Photos: Suezanna Zenani
The work of an artist is often born out of the struggles in their life – experiences that can bring a quality of authenticity to the creation of art. Certainly, this is the case for Tina Hee.
As a child, Tina wanted to be a nurse. She had a strict upbringing, however, and her father instead arranged for her to take an apprenticeship in marketing. Although this provided Tina with a successful career, she didn’t feel right in these roles.
The pivotal moment
Inspired by her son’s teacher, she attended an art class and, with newly awakened energy, she enrolled in a four-month art course. This was the pivotal moment when she discovered the sense of belonging she had been missing.
“Challenges make me stronger,” she says, describing the hardship she went through during her early 40s. Therapy and painting were the tools she used to find peace inside.
An intuitive journey
Tina describes her art as an intuitive journey. “I use symbols of life’s experiences: the crooked stairs reflect the hard times, the eye mirrors the soul, and the bird gives a panoramic view and a sense of freedom.”
Working like a CoBrA-artist, her art is often humorous. While very personal, the paintings have a special energy and happiness that lifts the viewer, is said to be typically ‘Hee-esque’, and is appreciated by both private and business clients.
Like a string of DNA, her need to help others runs through her life. When she encountered her first student with mental health issues, the feedback she received was that painting with Tina was medicine for the student’s buzzing brain. Tina now teaches groups at the mental health charity Sind, and says “there is no right or wrong in painting, there is just a safe space for creativity to happen.”
Tina’s travelling companion
The creation of the bronze statue of a man with a top hat on a bike was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Travelling Companion. When she told the story to a man she met, he responded: “that sounds just like my grandad, his name was Johannes”. So, the statue was named Johannes. It became Tina’s logo and travelling companion, just as she is the travelling companion to those she helps.
Like the fairytales written by H.C. Andersen, a man she identifies with, Tina’s life has reached a happy destination and she hopes to help others achieve the same.
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