Currently living and working between Stockholm, London and Cambridge, UK born artist Hannah Clarkson has an artistic practice which takes as its key concerns materiality, narrative and sculptural performativity:
"Infused by imagination and countless stories, my work explores alien narratives; ideas of the ambiguity of history and the potent unknowns of the past; how lost histories may be replaced by imagined tradition; how untold encounters are inscribed in the very surface of an object; how the perilous excitement of not being quite sure edges towards a precipice of heady uncertainty both familiar and unfamiliar which reveals in an object a character which is all its own.
"My practice is very process-led, emerges out of repetitive processes and a sense of play through materials which allows a deeper, more tactile level of thought in a subconscious conceptualising of my work through what I create, see, read and write, enabled by the very process of making. I begin making often from a flat sheet of material, whether paper, metal or even roofing felt, and poetic narratives and volume are raised from there. This can result in pleated or folded sculptures, for example, or in a series of texts to be performed aloud so that the sculptures act as a kind of stage set, or even, in the viewers’ imagination, as costumes or dwelling spaces inside which one can imagine oneself. The work thus inhabits a transitional space which allows narrative to creep in, to be simultaneously explicit and ambiguous, particular and multiple.
"In my recent works, roofing felt used as sculptural material takes on new meaning as skin and shelter, container and architecture, body and surface. Body becomes building and building becomes body. Something strange happens in perception of volume in these folded forms, keeping the viewer at a distance yet inviting them inside, connoting both home and banishment by the material’s intended use as waterproofing for the garden shed or industrial building. It is a protective skin, yet abrasive to the touch of human skin. It is alluring and at a distance looks soft, yet scratches layers off my fingers as I work with it. Metal, another of my favourite materials, also connotes skin/shelter as armour/protective plate, portable architecture worn on the body. There is a violent paradox in roofing felt or metal used as clothing: both armour/protection & weapon/assailant. The bodily effort of creating these skins/shelters is considerable: muscles ache, the material is heavy, it scratches my skin, makes holes in my fingers. It is a kind of wrestling match, where fine craft skills of the fashion atelier/artist’s studio & heavy labour of the building site are combined.”