Hannah Tilson is just about to graduate from The Slade School of Art though her career as an artist has already taken off. Her recent group exhibition The Pink Panther Show at Gallery 46 was a huge success. Influenced by toys and fashion, her work is a colourful range of mix-media between weaving and painting. The exploratory feel from her work derives from creative play and artistic discovery resulting in work that unapologetically pops. We are absolutely delighted to have Hannah as one of our contributing artists and were lucky enough to grab her for an interview.
Jumpers, jackets, dresses, fashion drawings feature in a number of your paintings, what effect has fashion had on your work?
I have always been interested in fashion… my granny taught me how to sew from a young age and it has always been important to me. I enjoy the clashing of patterns, the potential overload of information and the unlimited options that clothes give you. I paint patterns and attach garments to my work. I have more recently been making free standing cut out doll paintings that hang in the space and interact with my paintings hung on the walls around them. In 2016 I lived and studied in New York for a few months, it was great to explore the fashion culture there. The first set of cut out dolls I bought were from a yard sale in Patchogue, Long Island. I exhibited some paper doll drawings at Storm Ritter Studio while I was out there, it was nice to see the drawings around real garments. What I wear is also important to me, at times I almost become part of the painting. Recently I have been screen printing suits which I wear to my openings, the most recent one I made was for The Pink Panther Show at Gallery 46, Whitechapel.
Where does the inspiration come from for the patterns you use in your weaving work?
When I started weaving the patterns were completely abstract, I would pick out a range of colours and whenever I had a spare moment I would weave until the loom had been filled. More recently I have been designing and drawing out things to embroider. These patterns come from photographs I have taken and things I encounter on a day to day basis.
Your studio is bursting with colour, how important is this space for you? What are the key elements?
It is very important for me to keep my studio space full of colour and inspiration. I bought myself a playmobil supermarket for Christmas which is currently living on my desk. It is there almost as a still life, I take colours from it and draw from the architecture. I have always loved overly functional toys and items like Polly Pocket, there is a Polly Pocket purple crown on my desk that, when pulled open, turns into Polly’s bedroom, living room and garden area! Having a colourful and busy work space helps motivate me.
What is the idea behind the recent Pink Panther Show?
The Pink Panther Show is an exhibition organised by my friend Evangeline Ling and Dateagleart. It is a pop-up group exhibition of emerging and mid-career artists who have all created a work specifically for the show based around The Pink Panther! It was great to see how artists using different mediums and styles portrayed their idea of the character.
Why did you want to get involved with Art on a Postcard at The Other Art Fair 2018?
I am in my final year at the Slade School of Fine Art and my studio practice involves working on 2 x 1.5 metre canvases so I found the idea of making a piece of work on a scale this small challenging and exciting! I also think it is important that art is accessible for everyone and the platform that Art on a Postcard provides is a great thing to be involved in.
Keep watching our social media to spot which card is hers and we'll see you at the Secret Auction on the 25th of March at The Other Art Fair to bid on her cards.