‘Something about skating felt much more interesting and creative to me, like a sport invented for outsiders and weirdos or people that didn’t fit in.’
What is your name and where do you live?
My name is Hannah, I live in Hove near Brighton in the UK.
You are printmaker and painter. What is the difference?
I’ve been making linocut and woodcut prints for coming on 10 years now, and I went full time as a printmaker in 2018. Painting is just something I started doing on the side. Printmaking involves a lot of planning and the time it takes to carve and print can feel arduous sometimes. Painting is a lot more spontaneous, so it feels like a good balance doing both. Now I spend an equal amount of time painting and printmaking – I love both!
How come you include skateboarding into your artwork?
Skateboarding has always felt like performance art under the guise of sport to me, which I’ve always felt very inspired by. I grew up in the 90s with a brother who went through a short, intense phase of being very into skating, before switching back to football then basketball. Something about skating felt much more interesting and creative to me, like a sport invented for outsiders and weirdos or people that didn’t fit in. I was always an arty kid and my brother would lend me his skate mags to draw from. Watching hours of dreamy skate videos with great soundtracks on lazy afternoons also feels like it made a deep impression. Discovering the cool aesthetic of Larry Clark’s films and photography and how inspired he and Harmony Korine were by skateboarding also really resonated a lot.
‘You don’t see much art in galleries about skateboarding, or sport in general really, and that’s what drives me to make work about it I think.’
Any specific skateboard brand/board company that you follow because of their aesthetics?
Well, being the queer, arty weirdo that I am I’m always interested in following and supporting what LGBTQ+ skateboard brands are up to – in particular Unity and Glue. Leo Baker is of course a complete legend to me forever.
Do you think skateboarding takes a leading role in the support of the LGBTQ+ community compared to other ‘sports’ or is there more that can be done?
I think there’s always more that can be done, of course. Skateboarding communities have always been a haven for anyone outside the mainstream, so for LGBTQ+ skaters to feel in any way like there isn’t a real place for them in mainstream skating, that just doesn’t make sense to me, it shouldn’t be that way. I think binary gender categories for skating competitions is a big example of this. I remember watching this skate video back in something like 2001 and Amy Carron saying “A lot of people trip about, like, ‘girls, boys..’ you know. Just skate. There’s not really a difference, you know.”
Where do you get the inspiration from?
I’ve always got a kick out of the idea of getting art into galleries and people’s homes that’s about actual, real life subjects. You don’t see much art in galleries about skateboarding, or sport in general really, and that’s what drives me to make work about it I think. Why shouldn’t it be represented in these kinds of spaces? I see the same kinds of subjects coming up again and again in printmaking in particular, so I try to go against that and make work about things that I love, and that I haven’t seen depicted in print or painting before. That’s what really excites and interests me.
Last question. If you could interview any person in the world, who would you pick and why?
Sorry for the insanely unoriginal answer but I guess it would be David Bowie. I grew up in Beckenham and Bromley, South East London which is where Bowie is also from. He worked with my aunt in a record shop in Bromley and they stayed friends and used to write letters to each other. I’d love to talk to him about his friendship with my aunt, who passed away, and how he found growing up in conservative Beckenham as a strange arty boy. Bowie is kind of this saint-like figure to me so it gives me a warm, happy feeling to think I have any vague connection to him.