We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Whitaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, what principle do you value most?
In terms of my creative practice the values I most often reflect on are waste reduction and rawness. It’s important, as a multimedia artist, that I am conscious of where my materials come from. In this I often challenge what is traditionally seen as waste, reusing discarded materials and decay as vehicles of expression. This is where rawness comes in. I find letting the discarded speak for itself as a practice of honesty. Finding the beauty in objects once forgotten I see my adornments and other creations as a reflection of myself and these values.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work serves as a self-archive. I create work to exercise traumas and past experiences which brew inside of me. Through print and sculpture, I humanize these parts of myself. I enter a new realm of self-understanding. Navigating art-making as a self-guided therapy I am free to mourn. Free to dive deeply into the process and be unseen. My body, a vessel for my intuitive self is a machine whose only function is to seek a release. Creating a give and take between my consciousness and the material I seek to create a visual catharsis which speaks for me. As a recent graduate from Arizona State University my goals are to attend residencies and exhibit new works while preparing for graduate school. My journey hasn’t always been easy, and I honestly can’t say it’s easy now, but I wouldn’t want anything else from life than to create honest work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were to take someone on a tour of my favorite Phoenix spots I would take them out for the ultimate Bang Bang lunch, Da Vang’s Bahn Mi and Long Wongs chicken wings. Then, maybe a little thrifting or a tour of some of my favorite galleries/murals. I’d most likely end the day with a drive out of the city into the desert. For me the days best spent are in the drivers seat. I’m madly in love with escapism. Driving out of town, enjoying the mountains and the quiet strength of the desert is the best way to top off any trip.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Friendly critiques among peers have facilitated some of my biggest breakthroughs. I’d like to thank all of my studio mates and creative allies alike for getting me to where I am today. If it weren’t for the encouragement and challenge I’ve received from peers I wouldn’t have been able to push my point of view this far.