Hannah Gartside is an emerging visual artist based in Naarm/ Melbourne. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Victorian College of the Arts in 2016. Her graduate exhibition was awarded an NGV Women’s Association Prize. She presented her first solo exhibition Felt and Held in 2016 at George Paton Gallery, and has participated in group exhibitions at KINGS Ari, Craft Victoria, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Wangaratta Art Gallery, QUT Art Museum, Metro Arts Gallery and McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park. In 2017 she was a finalist in Hatched (PICA), Fresh (Craft Victoria) and the Fischer’s Ghost Art Awards (Campbelltown Arts Centre). Her work From Lucy with Love is held in the Wangaratta Art Gallery collection. In June- July 2017 she undertook a Varda Artist Residency in Sausalito, California. Hannah also holds a BFA in Fashion Design from Queensland University of Technology, and spent 5 years working as a classical ballet costume-maker.
Interview with Hannah Gartside
How do you describe your work to others?
I describe my work as tender, playful, precise and honest.
Do you have a preferred medium?
I work with pre-existing/ found/ recycled materials such as clothing, fabrics, bedding, sheep fleece, cat hair, used paper bags… Using materials that already exist and have their own history is an important part of the conceptual, philosophical and environmental underpinnings of my practice. Essentially, I adore textiles.
Do you work intuitively or more consciously?
I choose to work intuitively and to listen to what the material in front of me can do, say, be and how I can use my skills and lived emotional experiences to bring this out.
Do you have a studio ritual to start the session?
If I’m in production mode and have problem solved enough, then I make a cup of tea, turn on a podcast, light a candle and sink into the day.
What’s your favourite music to work to?
I get hooked on songs and play them on a loop (luckily my housemates work out of home!) like Aldous Harding’s ‘Imagining my man’, Tirzah’s ‘Make it up’, and the whole Weyes Blood album Front Row Seat to Earth.
What’s your favourite part of creating?
I enjoy all of it, especially day-dreaming, following hunches, library research, drawing, reading theory and stories/ poems, sourcing materials from op-shops, or picking things up off the side of the road, and of course the making.
Have you ever worked with a mentor?
Not formally, in my third year at VCA I had tutorials with artist Bridie Lunney which helped me a lot. She was straight forward, clear thinking and bold and I felt that she could see my ambition and gentleness and supported that.
In August this year I was lucky to spend a few days working and talking with artist Jemima Wyman in her studio in Los Angeles. She has a great understanding of what is happening culturally and politically and can see the forest for the trees so to speak.
How do you alleviate the down times?
I connect with friends and absorb their encouragement, read, walk, visit exhibitions and have faith in my body’s ability to right itself in time.
What does the future hold for you?
I am working towards a solo show in May 2018 as well as a few unconfirmed adventures.