ARTIST HANNAH FOX MIGHT BE MOTIVATED BY SIMPLE AESTHETICS, BUT HER DAPPLED WORKS RECREATE THE DELICATE LIGHTWORK OF DUSK IN FINE DETAIL. SHE TALKS TO WRITER STEPHANIE VIGILANTE ABOUT CREATING VISUAL EXPERIENCES.
Hannah Fox is inspired by the allure of nature – both the tangible and the intangible. “Rather than depicting the physical truth of a landscape, I aim to express its essence,” the Melbourne-based artist explains. Her work is a compilation of varied textures and dappled rhythms, suggestive of scattered leaves, peeling bark on tree trunks and the expressive configuration of sun-light and shadows. Hannah aims to represent the landscape as a sensory experience, inviting viewers to see things in a new light – “to sense it, to feel it and to be immersed”.
Hannah can often be found by her local creek or bushwalking on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. It’s in this water-bound environment that she studies the subtleties of the natural world, to which her work is a direct response. The artist draws upon places and images to create new visual experiences through her abstract representation of light, texture and shape. “I seek a certain amount of unity in the finished pieces, yet I explore an intuitive process to painting and allow for an element of serendipity,” she says.
The dappled compositions – which call to mind the elusory interplay of light and shadow at dusk – are predominantly made using oil on canvas or linen. Earthy muted tones of yellow ochre, moss greens, smoky greys, indigo blues, dusty pinks and deep plums form her foundational palette. Canvases are layered using a combination of paintbrush and palette knife to allow for spreading, scratching and building. “I enable the paint surface to dictate, bringing a touch of the unexpected,” she says. In her latest work, Hannah explores how the natural environment responds to subtle light shifts as the day fades into the evening. She describes the contrast between light and dark in that liminal space between day and night as “a magical, transient time”.
Hannah’s forthcoming exhibition, Last Phase, will run from 27 July to 25 August 2018 at Hub Furniture’s showroom in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Hannah also occasionally hosts open studio visits where visitors can purchase her work directly from her Northcote studio.