As part of our Artists’ Interiors series, Outside In Artist Coordinator Hannah Whitlock visited Hannah Swain at her home in London. Hannah had work exhibited in ‘The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious’ at CGP London in 2014.
“Hannah’s work predominantly features angels. I was lucky enough to visit her house in north London to see where she makes her work and where she expresses her creativity more generally.
On approaching the house, I could see that Hannah’s front door reflected the content of her artistic work. Beautiful angels surrounded the door, along with crystals, stones and flower pots. One of my first questions to Hannah was about the constant inclusion of angels in her work. She told me she once saw an angel when she was a child and ever since then she has seen them as a great comfort. “I always draw from my imagination; I’ve never looked at a picture of an angel and copied it.”
Hannah has lived in her home in London for 26 years, but it was a trip to Egypt that inspired her to transform the interior decor. She painted the ceiling of her living room in the image of the colourful sunsets she saw – it was extremely peaceful.
There are cracks in the wall in the living room and Hannah has filled these with shells and fossils which really stood out to me. It was really unique and something I’ve never seen before. Hannah said: “You couldn’t tell if the wind blew into them.”
This is – understandably – Hannah’s favourite room in the house: “There’s always something to look at. It feels complete. I come in and relax; I have respite from the world”. The room is beautifully decorated, with Buddhas, crystals and artwork. I feel blessed to be able to experience it.
One of my favourite things in Hannah’s house was a door in her bedroom, on which she had drawn and painted beautiful, dreamy angels – something she completed 15 years ago: “I’m really fond of it, I used it as a canvas and I did it over a short period of time.”
Hannah’s Dad and Grandma were artists, and she used to watch her father create work in his studio. “He was a really good artist. I first drew an angel when I was five years old and he kept it.” This initial angel is now framed in her hallway.
Hannah now attends an art group where she creates most of her work, and recently she’s been creating more drawings and screen prints of angels. She plans to create a studio space in her home so she can create work from there. It was a wonderful experience visiting Hannah in her beautiful home, and I am very thankful she invited me.”