Hannah Waldron is an illustrator, printmaker/designer, and weaver based in southeast London. She was last featured on Make Space march 2011. Hannah shows us brand new work and talks to us about her practice and process.
On process and collecting:
In this first series of weavings, I tended to work from memory, with collected images and objects as triggers for the associated experiences. I see the weavings as maps charting a period of time in my experience, each one is a new foreign place I visited and wanted to document in a way though was relevant to me. I am interested in what we choose to remember and what is forgotten, and the artifacts that remain to tell selective narratives.
Each weaving was completed before the next began, I have only one loom, so it must be done this way. I believe though, that if I had multiple looms I would probably still work one project at a time because each weaving is it’s own investigation; be it structure, colour, form etc the next weaving will be informed by the results of its predecessor. It is also a very consuming process, or perhaps it is my way of working, but once I begin a project I am keen to see it through to completion.
On materials and medium:
I have always been interested in the nature of Time, how humans have created systems of time, how everyone perceives time differently, how time changes throughout the universe. I find it a bizarre thing. There is something about weaving that correlates very much with my fascinations with this subject but I don’t think I can properly articulate it yet. Weaving is a linear process, you wind a warp onto the loom and you start at the beginning passing the weft left and right, alternating the shed as you go, line by line until you reach the end of the warp, although there is a firm structure you must adhere to, the possibilities within that structure are seemingly endless, I am still in awe of the process of weaving, how beautiful incredible fabrics are created from yarn, which in turn, is created from loose fibres spun to threads. There is a work by Adrian Esperza ‘Now and Then, 2010’ which seems to illustrate and celebrate this perfectly.
I am also interested in the reduction of information to it’s simplest forms, I enjoy the work or Warja Lavater who reinterpreted fairy tales through a language of symbols, and have recently been looking at the language of flags and Japanese family crests. The grid structures of weaving lends itself to this process of reduction and I enjoy that challenge.
During the period of making these pieces, I was looking at weavers and artists whose primary concerns were with form and color because I feel I am in a learning process with weaving I want to begin my studies with the most fundamental aspects of the visual world. So people like Gunta Stolzl, Anni Albers, Sonia Delauney, Wassily Kandinsky, color theorists Johannes Ittens and Josef Albers. In terms of ideas and ways of working, I have always held Tacita Dean in regard. I also enjoy when people create worlds, I enjoy the bold freedom of Tove Jansson’s drawings.
On space and site:
I think my surroundings has a huge impact on how I make. These weavings depict place, but never the place I am in, which is London. London is a very fast paced place, which I feel is probably against my nature, so I am always exploring the ideas of other places. It would be great to make work in other locations and see what impact that has.
I have to say, process is definitely more important to me than space. I make from the direct need to make, rather than to display. I often find it difficult to show the weavings because my interest lies in the making. It is something I am giving more thought to now, as I do think it’s of equal importance. I am beginning to wonder if the weavings should be treated as 3d objects rather than hangings on a wall but I’m excited about not knowing that yet and that the opportunity is there to investigate this further.