hannah waldron interview hannah waldron interview
jun 28, 2013

hannah waldron interview

 top image: furoshiki design for link collective japan, photo martin holtkamp


hannah waldron is a british artist and designer that works between stockholm and london. her work explores the textures, patterns, forms and structures of her surroundings, and has an interest in the development of landscape over time.


DB: please could you tell us briefly about your background?
HW: I graduated with a degree from the university of brighton in 2007 in illustration and spent the next three years exploring that field, working on a variety of different projects and producing prints and books and exhibiting. in 2010 I spent 6 months in berlin where I discovered the woven work of anni albers and gunta stolzl at the bauhaus archive and fell in love with their work.


on returning to london a friend who had studied some weaving was looking at my work and suggested that my mark making, which used a grid structure with a lot of horizontal and vertical lines and hatching would translate well in to the process of weaving. she gave me a quick lesson and I was hooked. I bought a small loom and began experimenting and immediately could see lots of potential for exploring ideas in that process.



NYC furoshiki



DB: how would your describe your style?
I am interested in the reflection and mapping of experiences particularly in relation to places. I draw upon a personal visual vocabulary of forms and mark-making that aim to distill information into its most essential with the aim to make images that communicate broadly and that might lead to personal interpretation.



venice furoshiki



DB: what has been your most challenging brief to date?
HW: I just completed a map for the edinburgh art festival which I found very challenging because normally my maps are my own interpretation of places, without too much need for accuracy and obviously this map has to be really precise and user friendly. so it was good to stretch my brain in that direction. but I think every brief is challenging as each other because you always want to do your best and push on a bit further with every job.



map tapestries



DB: how do you see your work evolving in the future?
HW: in the past few years I have been realising that by studying and experimenting with different materials I can let my images travel into different processes, so recently it has been in textiles, both printed and in woven structures. in the future I will explore other materials and would also like to investigate how my work can relate to spaces and interiors, I’ve done some site specific work but I would like to collaborate more in this way as I find it very rewarding to work with other people in different fields.



kreuzberg tapestry



DB: what medium / material do you enjoy working with the most?
HW: at the moment it’s weaving and in particular the tapestry technique. it’s like painting for me. it’s a linear and technical process so it’s quite methodical and controlled but also rhythmic and full of joy. I enjoy the constraints of working within the grid but there is so much freedom for what can happen within that space.



houshi onsen skecthes and materials



DB: what are the main differences between art and illustration for you?
HW: I am not really interested in disciplinary boundaries.



houshi onsen tapestry on the loom



DB: who or what has influenced your work the most?
HW: I really got a lot out of looking at the artefacts of different civilsations and practises outside of my culture and then tracing that aesthetic back to cultural differences while also seeing universal values. I am very interested in japanese storytelling and also the values of modernist thinking and distilling information down to its most essential.



houshi onsen tapestry on the loom



DB: how do you think the popularity of online resources have influenced design being produced today?
HW: there’s a lot out there and a lot looking the same! but it’s hard to say if that’s always been the case and now you just are aware of it more, or if people are looking too much at each other. I definitely think there is a zeitgeist which we are all influenced by, but as long as you are not just looking at these resources, and you have your own unique influences outside then it’s good that these resources exist. 




houshi onsen tapestry



DB: besides your professional work – what do you have a passion for?
HW: at the moment just learning as much as I can, aside from textiles etc. I’m trying to get a fuller understanding of the systems and the mechanisms of the world and how we can try to imagine alternative and hopefully better ways of doing things, and how the skills I am trying to achieve now can be useful to others. and of course all the regular stuff that makes life good, if I can go swimming in a lake or the sea or riding my bike down a big hill often enough then I’m happy.



hannah waldron with her houshi onsen tapestry


DB: what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
HW: be honest and question everything.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    (2 articles)

    art news