"I am really proud of and honoured to stand in a room with all my family members surrounding me."
Currently on show at the Saatchi & Saatchi Gallery is Auckland based artist Hannah Jensen's new exhibition, Heraldik. “Heraldry, is an art of identity…. A coat of arms or a heraldic badge represented what was considered to be a family’s defining qualities.”
Hannah draws lines between her family and the abundant world of animals, taking each of her immediate family members, she chose an animal which best represents their individual defining qualities. Her grandmother, who she speaks of fondly and with great admiration, loves horses. “She’s very proud, very strong. So I carved a horse’s armour. The detail in the armour depicts the intricate details of her life. She’s had a very interesting life” says Hannah.
Hannah’s unique method, which she describes as “painting in reverse”, involves layering up to 75 layers of acrylic paint in different colours which creates a plasticity akin to lino, into which she carves, slowly revealing the multitude of coloured layers beneath. The painstaking process of carving can take three or four months to complete one work.
Below are Hannah's descriptions of her works.
'Aileen' - 17th Century Horse Armour - Represents my grandma - regal and elegant.
'Christopher' is a double-crested cormorant.
'David Dargaville' - the stag skeleton with dead game birds is my Uncle who lives in Switzerland and I am the little sparrow whispering in his ear.
'David Peter' - African Wild Dog - is my brother - lives in London (has done for the last 14 years) with his amazing wife Mariam and daughter Ella.
'Devon' - wolf hybrid husky - is my amazing partner who I am so thankful for his endless support.
'Lady Beatrice' - doesn't actually represent a family member but was the starting point for the show 2 years ago. I have since created the show creating pieces I am really proud of and honoured to stand in a room with all my family members surrounding me, as so many of them are overseas it is great to feel as if they were closer.
'Mariam' is my gorgeous sister in law is the patterned turtle.
'Peter Treglown' - the barn owl represents my Grandpa - so happy with this one and all the awesome textures!
'Sassi and Griffi' is my mum and step dad - My mum the Peacock perched on Griffi the Elephant Skeleton- the back bone of our family.
Falcon wing is 'Stuart' my Dad - who lives in South Africa.
'Ella Safie' the running Hares - 10 different colours layered up in 46 layers - my divine 3year old niece who lives in London.
Limited edition prints of Hannah’s sketches accompanied by a complementary exhibition book published by Beatnik Publishing. Heraldik is currently on show at the Saatchi & Saatchi Gallery until 9 November.
Images taken by Yasmine Ganley.
Some text quotes borrowed from Mint Style Studio