Installation view of Hannah Gartside’s <em>Forest summons (for Lilith)</em> 2022–23 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Sean Fennessy

Hannah Gartside

Hannah Gartside
(b. 1987, United Kingdom. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Hannah Gartside works across sculpture, installation and video. She primarily utilises vintage fabrics and ephemera collected over time, favouring materials with embodied stories and physicality, or what the artist refers to as ‘accrued lived experience’. With these textiles, she creates dynamic, poetic and dreamlike sculptures that express the rich history of the garments.

Forest summons (for Lilith), 2022–23, is a new work continuing Gartside’s recent explorations of kinetic textile sculptures. The installation is intended to take visitors back in time to an imaginary forest ball, where the whirling and gyrating sculptures are both the trees and the dancers. Each sculpture references a different tree species and symbolically marks a particular stage of life growth. The result is a tactile ‘forest’ powered by bespoke steel armature, in a unique alliance between organic and mechanical forms.

Gartside was born in the United Kingdom but has lived in Australia since she was six. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Fashion Design) at Queensland University of Technology in 2010 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture and Spatial Practice) at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, in 2019. She has exhibited at many galleries and institutions around Australia, including the Institute of Modern Art and QUT Art Museum in Queensland; and the Ian Potter Museum and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre in Victoria. She has also undertaken residencies at the Australian Tapestry Workshop and the Varda Artist Residency in California. Prior to her visual art training Gartside worked as a costume maker, including for the Queensland Ballet.