Name: Hannah Fox
Location: Northcote, Melbourne
In a sentence, explain your craft?
I am a contemporary visual artist predominantly working in oil paint on canvas or linen.
What’s your proudest piece of art?
My proudest piece of art is always the one I have just finished. Every painting comes with its own moments of joy and its own challenges… to actually finish a piece, and feel that it is resolved is a proud moment for me.
Where does your creativity come from?
My creativity is somewhat in my genes. My great uncle was Australian impressionist Emanuel Phillips Fox. My Dad was a great photographer back in the day and has a good eye for composition. My grandmother was an amazing seamstress and fashion designer, a visionary way beyond her time. My entire family consider themselves to be ‘foodies’ and they all have a natural flair for cooking, flavour and presentation. I’m influenced and inspired by all of these creative outlets and have been from a young age. Like all kids, I started out with pencils and crayons…I just kept going.
Is there a particular ode/maxim/principle that you reference when creating?
Sometimes (most of the time) you have to get through the sh**y bit to get to the gold at the end. Not only when creating but true with many aspects in life.
What book has influenced you the most?
Hmmm, so many books for different reasons!
But the ‘most’ I would have to say The Divided Heart by Rachael Power (another Northsider!). Combining an art career and motherhood seemed inconceivable until I read this book.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who’d it be?
I would like to collaborate with an artist who worked in a different medium. A sculptor, a ceramicist, a video or sound artist. Anyone who would and could extend my practice beyond its current realm and be excited by the possibilities. I am not picky about who!
Do you have any strange practices to help you create – music, mood, superstitions?
Nope! Just bunker down, relax and get going.
What would you change about the industry?
Comparatively to Europe and other cultures, Australia doesn’t value the arts to the same extent. This makes it difficult to sustain art as a career. This I would change if I could!
How does Northcote help you be more artistic?
People in my community are accepting and embracing of difference. This in itself is enough to release any inhibitions about creativity and be free in my artistic endeavours.
What are you striving for the most from your art?
To finish the next painting or project and feel satisfied with it…then enjoying the moment when others experience it (and hopefully appreciate it.) Art is my escapism and it makes me who I am.
I don’t strive for money or fame, but I do strive to make my practice sustainable so that I can continue to do what I do. Whether it is selling artworks, licencing art prints, applying for funding and grants, scholarships, prizes, residencies etc. At the core, it’s a business. You have to make it work for you.
If you could exhibit your work anywhere in Melbourne, where would it be (doesn’t have to be a gallery)?
That is a hard question. I have never really thought about it! My instinct is to say the NGV, but perhaps it would be nice to see my art in a more public space, outdoors, within the landscape?
Tell us a bit about your latest project?
I have recently finished working on a collaboration with New Zealand fashion designer Juliette Hogan. I painted the design for her new print for the Summer collection to be launched in August 2018.
Was there a particular inspiration behind it?
The collective inspiration for my art is the allure of nature, the subtleties of the landscape and what is overlooked in the everyday. I am motivated by simple aesthetics — space, light, colour and texture. My work is an emotional response to the natural world. Rather than depicting the physical truth of a landscape, I aim to express its essence.
This concept resonated with Juliette and her approach to design, which led to her commissioning me for the print.
Where can we see your art?
My next solo exhibition Last Phase is happening at Hub Furniture in their Abbotsford showroom. From July 27 to August 25, 2018.
As well as exhibiting, I also host open studio days.
And, you can find me on the net in all the usual places.