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With the anticipation of summer, BEAR released a limited edition collection in collaboration with emerging Australian Artist, Hannah Nowlan, to inspire the gift of health this festive season. The High Summer collection features two of Nowlan’s works, notably ‘Solar Sleeping Sun’ and ‘Under The Sun’ from her ‘Myths, Moons and Mountain’ series. We caught up with the Melbourne-based creative to hear more about her journey as an artist, her love for the Australian coastline and a little insight into her creative process.
Can you tell us about the inspiration and journey behind becoming an artist?
The journey of my practice has changed dramatically over the years but my artworks have always remained a reflection of self and place at any given time. After finishing high school I went on to complete my Bachelor of Fine Art specialising in Drawing and Printmaking at The Victorian College of Art, VCA graduating in 2015. Following this I embarked my first year as an emerging artist with an international artist residency in Portugal for 2months during 2016. This residency was incredibly inspirational for my current body of work and has allowed me to push the boundaries of my practice with more confidence. I now work full- time as an artist, from a home-based studio in Black Rock Melbourne. My studio and home is close to the bay, where I paint all of my pieces and hand-frame all of my works alongside my father. Becoming an artist I think was inevitable for me. It wasn’t really a choice I made but more an essential part of my life, as I created works to escape but also to digest emotions and process the world around me.
Photograph by Suzi Appel
Solar Sleeping Sun by Hannah Nowlan
All your works seem to have a deep connection to nature, in particular the sea, can you give us a little insight into your creative process?
Travelling to new environments has become quite fundamental to my creative process. I find I am endlessly inspired by the subtle colours, textures, forms and even smells of different seascapes. The coastline definitely has an overriding influence on my work, my colour palette and the transparencies and textures within my paintings. I found after travelling overseas I am more inspired upon my return home to Australia to explore our beautiful country. I capture a lot of photographs whilst exploring new destinations, even if they are of architecture, archways, strange marks, colours or picturesque views of the ocean and eroding cliffs. I then translate these memories into drawings and later paintings.
Your works, Solar Sleeping Sun and Under the Sun are featuring as part BEAR’s High Summer collection – what inspired both of these works?
Solar Sleeping Sun and Under The Sun explore the boundless Australian landscape and our connection to the sun. Apart of my recent collection; Myths, Moons and Mountains, both works reflect vast scape’s balanced by rich heat emulating down upon the land. The colour palette of these two works embody an Australian summer of sienna dusty rocks and purifying creamy textured sands. These pieces draw upon simple surface changes to digest energy and create a therapeutic sense of calm.
What local creatives are you most inspired by?
Recently I collaborated with the inspirational and talented Aussie design + building company, that is, The Sociable Weaver. They have created Victoria’s first 10-star sustainable home in Cape Paterson and I feel incredibly empowered by their approach to lifestyle, wellbeing and the everyday. It’s actually quite moving to meet like-minded creatives that are passionate about craftsmanship, slow living and the environment, just as much as I am.
What do you love most about your hometown, Melbourne?
I love that I live close to the sea and close to my parents. Melbourne is an incredibly creative place and for me it provides a very grounding and stable base for my creative practice as I am surrounded by such a supportive network. Plus it’s only a road trip away from my favourite coastline, Torquay.
How would you describe your morning beauty routine? Are there any wellness rituals you include each day?
Over the past few weeks I’ve begun a new ritual; to start each day with a short walk. I’m really enjoying allowing my body to wake up with nature rather than technology. I don’t usually wear makeup during the day so my morning routine is pretty simple. When I get back from my walk I cleanse and wash my skin, then lather up with an aromatic dewy moisturiser. I also love running a citrus or eucalyptus scented diffuser in my home each morning while I prepare for the day, I find it very awakening and energising.
What are you most looking forward to over summer in Australia?
This summer my partner and I are road tripping to Batemans Bay in New South Wales for our holiday sun. I’m really looking forward to exploring a new coastline and soaking up some well-needed salty rays. We have some close friends who we will go four wheel driving with, I’m sure it will be an adventurous trip to inspire a new body of work for me in 2018!
What’s next for you? Are there any new projects you can share with us?
The next few months and coming year is starting to feel like a highly anticipated year for my practice, with not one but two solo shows to come!! I’m really looking forward to the array of new projects and collaborations I have in the works, particularly as feature artist in BEAR’s High Summer collection, yew!
I can also share that, very soon, in late November you will be able to view my works as apart of The Design Files ‘Open House’ event in Melbourne which I’m quite excited about! It’s going to be a collaboration of Australian creatives on an epic proportion. Following this I will be finishing off 2017 with a bang in December and January, as I exhibit within an intoxicating group show titled ‘Jet Set’ at Sydney’s Saint Cloche contemporary gallery.