The UK painter tells the story of her life and how skiing served her art
Interview by Anna Langer
I love painting and people so I combine both together. I manage to put a serene feeling into the work which I guess reflects my personality and I think brings out the things I love, that feeling of being outside and in the mountains. I also love the native Indian dress and jewellery which I’ve started trying to combine. If I don’t have a painting on the go I get a bit restless so that keeps me going.
I’ve loved art since I was young, and always been drawing and painting since I can remember. My Dad was always painting too which was a big inspiration whilst I was growing up. I remember entering art competitions and drawing animals through out Primary school. From there I carried on drawing at school and college, and really started getting into painting when I did the Foundation course. It was great drawing everyday and trying different things with no pressure, I think I really got my style from my college days.
Drawing was one of the only things I enjoyed as I went through college, and carried on doing it until I left uni. After that I wanted to get away and travel for a while, see a bit of the world. I really really wanted to do a ski season, and ended up doing a few of them. When I came back to the UK I started doing office jobs which was a bit of a killer after being used to being outside and so active. It was then that I came back to drawing, and started picking it back up again. I got into a local Gallery Ginger Moo, and from there started to spend more and more time painting. It was then I knew I wanted to do this full time and really do something I loved all the time.
I’ve always loved the mountains since I can remember, we used to go away on winter holidays when I was young. I then ended up taking some snowboard lessons and not long after did my first ski season. After that I was hooked and ended up doing a mixture of snowboarding and skiing for a few more years. I’d still love to do a season in Japan, the snow there looks totally amazing. Since being back in the UK, I’ve been doing more mountain biking. There’s some really good trails near where I live which we have been hitting up after work. We went off to France a few weeks ago to do a bit of biking there, it was mad, we ended up having to carry our bikes whilst climbing rocks. There were are few big falls but I loved every minute of it.
I’ve met some really amazing people around the sport and still in touch with most of them. I love it that everyone is so encouraging for you to push yourself to the limits but for it all to still be fun. The fashion and graphics have been a huge influence. I always look forward to seeing the next seasons gear, especially the graphics on the boards and skis. The hand drawn graphics are great, the girls skis are much better now than they used to be, I’m loving the one with the japanese influence at the moment. It was this scene that first got me into the street art culture.
If I had a free wish granted, for sure it would be to live in the mountains, so I can ski in the winter and run and mountain bike in the summer. It would be perfect if I could have a studio there to work on paintings as the night comes in.
I think everyone has bit of a dark side. I think my rebellious side comes out in my work and my influence from my punk years. In the past I’ve tried to take this part out of my work, but it never works, now I just work with it. I don’t think people realised I had a dark side until they saw my paintings.
Its amazing how everyone is really different. I could sit for hours people watching. I used to do a lot of documentary photography working with street performers and the homeless. I used to try and catch people off guard when they are in their own thoughts. I use this in my paintings now, the mystery of other people and never knowing what world they are in. Its great drawing people too just for the shapes, they are more of challenge for me, but so rewarding when it all comes together.
Hannah is going to be in another group show at The Curious Duke in September, check back for more details…