Hannah Harkes is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work mostly combines image based media, such as printmaking or drawing, with installation, performance, or event. She is influenced by situations in which honesty meets absurdity, creating environments or occasions within which the audience can playfully engage with this crossover. Hannah tends to work in direct response to a specific space, event, or context, and therefore usually presents each work only once. Because of the responsive nature of her working process, the themes addressed by the artist can vary greatly, though her recent works can all be loosely described as sandbox environments for confronting tricky human tendencies.
Hannah Harkes graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art Printmaking from Gray’s School of Art, in Scotland, in 2011, and is currently studying on the MA course Death, Religion and Culture at the University of Winchester. Since 2011, she has presented eight solo exhibitions, in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden, and has taken part in numerous international performances and group exhibitions, from Xi’an to New York. The artist often likes to work collaboratively and has initiated projects with choreographers, musicians, anthropologists, students, and other printmakers. Hannah has occupied various roles within the cultural sector, including co-running Ptarmigan project space, teaching drawing and printmaking at the Estonian Academy of the Arts, working as the letterpress master at Labora, and leading independent workshops for both children and adults. She is a member of Grafodroom, a small art collective, who run a semi-open access printmaking workshop, curate events, and run an artist in residence programme. Since 2012, Hannah has been based in Tallinn, Estonia.
The photogallery shows some artworks:
PostEurop: the exhibition was curated by Scottish art collective Place + Platform, who invited 10 artists to make a new work using a cardboard box. The paper used in PostEuropwas made by pulping the cardboard box which Place + Platform posted from Scotland to Estonia. The postcard-sized sheets of paper were printed on using the photopolymer letterpress technique. The postcards were then pre-addressed to approximately 100 different people from the Estonian/Baltic art and culture scenes before being sent back to Edinburgh for the exhibition. Once installed within the exhibition, visitors could purchase (at the cost of £1 each) a pre-address postcard, write on it and send it to the addressee, perhaps beginning an ongoing dialogue;
– Fear of Bodies (linocut, 2016);
– Hectare: it is a board game in which players navigate the potential inclines and downfalls of living as a farmer, based upon current day economic prospects in Estonia;
– Bad Henry: Hannah Harkes’ solo exhibition ‘Bad Henry’ explores the commonalities of birth and death, alongside divergency in approaches to living. Using the true historical tale of two brothers who shared both womb and tomb, the installation highlights the universal sameness of bodily behaviour in the months before and after life. This context serves as a backdrop for contrasting different types of behaviour in life – one high in emotion and adventurous action, guided by personal urge; the other loyal to familial and societal norms, rife with restraint;
– Graforotika 2.0: this project evolved from rollerskate printmakers into a full-body people press, consisting of two enterable tubes – the first with a rubber surface, for inking, and the second for applying pressure. The duo perform live – simultaneously live-printing traditional printmaking plates whilst providing a choreographically spectacular and kinetically delicious feast for the eyes (or falling over) in matching outfits.