The maxim “stick to what you know best” is more of a philosophical point for London College of Communications graduate, Hannah Blackmore. Originally from Ramsgate, her documentary film and photography work has naturally brought her back there as one of the places that are “standing still in time.” Her focus on the vacant shops, abandoned “like time capsules”, vestiges of the once-busy high street, bring our attention to the overlooked and, more surprisingly, occupied places that “we pass everyday but go unnoticed.”
Her film Occupied started outside one such tool shop, “I saw a light on inside, it was actually open for business, and had been for the last thirty years. As I entered the shop I couldn’t believe that there was an elderly man and his dog…” And in Behind Closed Doors, Hannah broke London “taboos” by visiting her neighbours and photographing them outside their front doors, once again revealing the hidden community on her doorstep…
If your portfolio was on fire, and you could only save one piece/project, which would you choose, and why?
I’d choose the first documentary I made, called Shrimpers. The film’s not one of my best, but it was the first time I realised that I had a real interest in making films.
If you could collaborate with another artist/designer (or a number of artists/designers) to make a piece of work, who would you work with and what would you make?
I’d like to collaborate and make a documentary with Marc Isaacs, I love his documentary Lift. I’d like to see how he interviews people, and manages to integrate into a community.
What was your finest moment at art school?
Discovering the tool shop that I filmed my documentary Occupied in. I was looking at abandoned shops in Ramsgate, and had always thought that this shop was empty, until I went to photograph the outside of the shop, and found a light on inside. It proved to me the point of my project – that you don’t really notice things that we pass everyday.
We believe it was The Jonas Brothers who once said: “We’re the kids of the future.” How, if at all, do you relate to that?
They also say: “Let’s keep moving forward.”
Can you give us one prediction about you and your work for the next year?
It’s hard to say what will happen in the next year, but I will continue to make films.