QUEENSLANDER HANNAH has set up shop (so to speak) in Melbourne’s CBD. Her shared studio space still has a manually operated lift, complete with lift attendant – Slanted Mansion had a lot of fun with this!

Hannah’s small space is located in a larger room shared with two others. Her desk is situated in the corner, by a window overlooking St Paul’s church. When we visit a stream of sunlight is lighting up her desk. She has clippings of plants scattered across her wall and windowsill. It’s a nice space.

Hannah uses a mixture of pencil, ink and embossing to produce drawings. She employs a mark-making process and describes her work as requiring a “sense of solitude”.

“I’m attracted to creating works that employ a labour intensive repetition in which... I draw the same mark over and over again until something interesting reveals itself, a conversation must evoke between material, surface and myself. At the risk of the motion sounding monotonous, the process needs to be governed by self imposed rules so the work doesn’t result in chaos.”

Hannah’s artwork requires time – one piece can take more than three months to create. For her, the process of creation is just as important as the outcome.

Her pieces are delicate and calm. They appear to have a basic exterior, but when viewed up close, are intensely complex. Hannah is exploring the interaction between her artwork and viewer. This interaction is beginning to drive her creativity, output and the display of the temperament of her drawings.

Hannah grew up on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland. She finished a fine art degree at the Queensland College of Art in her home state and soon after began exhibiting locally, throughout Brisbane, as well as nationally. Hannah has been commercially represented which she describes as a great experience, but didn’t particularly enjoy the pressures associated with representation. Hannah described it as a stressful period, especially when expected to pump out work as opposed to allowing time for experimentation- and at one’s own pace.

Not long after, Hannah decided to return to study. She didn’t get into the initial course she selected, but two years later got accepted into the Masters program (Master of Contemporary Art) at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne. Her degree is course work based, rather then research based which Hannah said is more appropriate for her work.

When Slanted Mansion visited, Hannah was three weeks into her course. She lit up when telling me about how supportive and interesting her first few weeks had been. Hannah is currently experimenting with different mark-marking techniques, which involve elements of print- making, animation, and film-leading an enquiry of the temperament in the way she creates her work.

Nuance By Hannah Smith. Acrylic on cotton paper, 2011.Detail of Nuance.