The preface of this article reflects an intimately packed Parkdale store, on a day where community may have shown it's brightest, unknowingly. Perusing the room you may be inclined to acknowledge the audience in attendance. Hype beasts, fashion designers conversing with gangsters, sneaker heads educating mothers on the importance of Jordans, a grandfather... and hippies shooting the sh*t with rappers. It was the most eclectic group of people you've ever seen, in the most unified fashion you may ever see them. A midst this rare gathering of all walks of the world is a heavily tatted, bright eyed, freckle faced girl. Sporting black dress pants, a black crop top, a cocaine white Huf jacket and Air force ones. This is artist/ illustrator known as Hannah.
Hannah is the creator of the current art installation exhibiting at Parkdale's own Community54. The exhibition, she explains as "a collection of drawings that feature cues referencing popular and rap culture, and depict a generation of bored over stimulated, "wasted youth".' In our opinion, one of the amazing things her art seems to be able to do is bridge the gap between generations and unify the unlikely, As her opening night proves.
We had the opportunity to ask Hannah a few questions to get to know her a bit more:
Hannah: HELLO, the 6
Where are you from?
Short answer, Peterborough .....
Where did you study art?
The streets.... Or more formally, NSCAD ( Nova Scotia college of art and design university ), I suppose there was a 2 year stint at OCAD, right out of highschool, but I was too shy to participate so I took some time to find myself ( or I drunkenly made the decision to drop out and move to Halifax to apply to NSCAD on my 20th birthday )
Who are your 5 favorite people in the world?
Gayle, oprah's best friend. And no I don't care to elaborate..... Also my dog. She's a treat, maybe my dad cuz he's basically survivor man, and not only taught me how to be prepared incase of the apocalypse, but he never patronized me, not even as a fat lil' baby. Which probably gave me the confidence to break rules n trust my instincts..... Also probably where I first learned what ingenuity was, and how to be resourceful. And now I'm getting anxious because I have way more than5 favourite people and since I can't include them all I'm choosing topass, or 2 chainz???
What is the first thing you can remember drawing?
Honestly, probably typical kid shit. Lots of apple trees! I was BIG into apple trees, my family, probably lots of farm themed things. A big red barn comes to mind.
What events in your life do you consider important in your story of becoming an aritst?
So MANY though, I had a pretty unconventional up bringing. One big one was "the barn" which was a barn my dad and his girlfriend at the time decided to move in to. It started with a tent and a toilet bucket in one of the rooms on the main floor, and over the year, the three of us salvaged wood, window frames ( that we turned into stained glass French doors ) old paint, furniture and appliances, and it eventually evolved into the most beautiful eclectic loft space where I had free range to paint murals ( which eventually covered every surface )......
Your art has a strong focus on pop culture. Why?
If I were one to psycho analyze myself I would probably say it's a subconscious rejection of my up bringing? I was raised by "hippies" ( for lack of a better word ) who encouraged me to create art, play the violin, appreciate nature, and read, with very little focus on television and we didn't get our first computer until I was 16, So naturally, I revolted. I became obsessed with reality television, I learned about wu-tang, and 40's of old English, I ate pop tarts and Kraft smooth peanut butter for the first time, and eventually I learned to explore these things on a deeper level until they began to manifest themselves in my art practice, which became an obsession about obsession.
What single creation of yours are you most proud of?
This exact second I am most "attached" to a drawing that's up at C54 right now, but that will inevitably change. I tend to simultaneously exist in a state of sheer terror and insecurity towards my drawings as well as a place of great pride and complete narcissistic adoration. It gets stressfull and confusing. Did I answer that at all?
Describe your dream show?
I don't know how specific of a response I can give. As far as a location goes, I honestly could care less, or I care, but have no "dream" local in mind. For me, it's the whole concept that's most important. A dream solo show would include a space that reflected the concept and content of my drawings. The space would be just as ( un) inspired as the subjects I choose to depict. It would mean fine tuning the balance between subject and surroundings without coming accross as contrived or satire. For example, my drawings tend to feature cues that reference popular and rap culture, and depict a generation of bored, over stimulated, "wasted youth" , therefore, instead of a typical bar, attendees are helping themselves to PBR tall cans from a bathtub full of ice, etc.....
Hannah's art will be up for the rest of February at Community54 Parkdale, so come by and check it out and be sure to follow her on instagram to stay up to date with future shows and everything she's up to.
instagram - @rapgamejanelane