It’s been long enough since we had the pleasure of posting Hannah Waldron’s illustrations, in which time her kit-like set of structural expressions have developed, even more, into a highly tangible, woven visual language that offers up a very contemporary take on some traditional and alternative story-telling mediums. We spoke to her briefly about how her work sits now in comparison to her more conventional mark-on-paper days, and the effect this development will have on future works.
Hi Hannah, what can you tell us about how you came to develop your particular graphic vocabulary? Do you have any specific influences or references for it?
I think my work becomes increasingly reductive and graphic the more I research and study the process of weaving, both in the technical aspects of the process and also in the historical context of textiles as a whole. Looking at artefacts across the ages you begin to observe a universal language of patterns and forms that has an ability to tell narratives without words. I am interested in how to continue that language in this time that has such a different environment, which is why a lot of my work relates to cities and architecture.
There is a lot written about the fascinating relationship between architecture and weaving, in particular by Anni Albers, one of my weaving heroines, and that is something I am looking to investigate in the future.
A lot of your recent work has been applied to textiles and wall surfaces – do you see your work moving away from standard narrative models like books?
I do think I have become interested in other ways of presenting stories outside of the traditional book form. In particular how you can present a story in one picture, like tapestries, quilts and maps of the past, your eye must move around the picture and piece together the narrative. It perhaps ends up being much more subjective but I think it is important for things to be up for interpretation. Different ways of storytelling become utilised in different parts of history, it is interesting to understand what is relevant now. How much do we look to the past and how much do we look to invent the new?
Have you considered transferring your illustrations into more 3D objects?
I see the weavings as objects because they are built from scratch rather than applied, but because they hang on a wall it is difficult to not view them as 2D, so this is something I am looking at currently and hope to push forward in new work.