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Art

DR. MARTENS SPEAKS TO HANNAH HILL

Meet talented embroider Hannah Hill, more commonly known as Hanecdote, who uses her art as a platform to bring awareness to, and discuss subjects such as feminism, mental health and racism. We caught up with Hannah to discuss the artwork she’s created around our new #DMsLITE range, her inspirations, and what she stands for, below… 
 

Hannah Hill. Photography by Rachel Louise Hodgson.
Hannah Hill. Photography by Rachel Louise Hodgson.
 
 
Introduce yourself:
I’m Hannah Hill but I go by Hanecdote across social media. Im 22 and from London, currently finishing a degree in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School. I spend most of my time sewing, drawing and working for Tate Collectives, Tate’s young peoples program where we put on free events to engage young people in the gallery. I have been selling patches through my online business Hanecdote since 2013 but that has been closed until I can commit to it full time after I graduate.  
 
Who or what do you take inspiration from?
Most of my work has been autobiographical exploring my mixed ethnicity, sexuality and gender as well as body positivity and mental health issues. I always want my work to have an important message or context because that is the kind of art I engage with most myself. Im also inspired by the objects I’m surrounded by everyday, women’s beauty inside and out and music. 
 
Do you have an illustration or project you’re most proud of?
The piece I am most proud of has to be what I made for the launch of Tate Modern 2, which was inspired by the future of art. I re-imagined the Mona Lisa and the Birth of Venus, as well as doing a stitched version of Reuben Dangoor’s Skepta piece which I love. I wanted to reference historical painting, technology, representation of women in art, culture and the arts in London and activism. I am currently planning a new piece which I think will be a culmination of all the imagery I have been working on for the past two years, so I’m really excited to see how that comes together. Its also been great to make work for Epsolon Tequila because their psstzine.tumblr.com project was all about artists making commentary on social issues so its been great to develop my style and voice with the support of them.  
 
Hannah Hill embroidered Dr. Martens boots.
Hannah Hill embroidered Dr. Martens boots.
 
 
Talk us through your Dr. Martens #DMLites artwork? The idea behind the Lighten’ up?
The idea behind this piece was how distressing it is to be told to lighten up about things, whether that’s when dealing with street harassment or when suffering with mental illness. The hardest part of the process was having the confidence to complete it to my standards. Because it is mainly black, I had to figure out how to get depth and texture using darker grey thread. Hmm, I’d definitely wear them myself because I love skulls, Dr. Martens and fire, ha ha.  
 
Do you listen to music whilst you work? Name three tracks you can’t hear enough of:
Yeah I mainly listen to grime while I’m working, although I’ve also been listening to A Seat at the Table – Solange which is an incredible album from start to finish. Some chilled music I’ve been enjoying while I draw is Ray BLK, NoName and Loyle Carner. I can’t just list three, but here are specific tracks I cant get enough of at the moment:
– P Money ft JME and Wiley – Gunfingers,
– Donea’O ft JME and Dizzee Rascal – Black
– Durrty Skanx ft Footsie – Who’s Bad
– Bonkaz – Controlla Remix 
 
Hannah Hill embroidered the Newton boot from our new #DMsLITE range.
Hannah Hill embroidered the Newton boot from our new #DMsLITE range.
 
 
If you could embroider anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d really love to embroider a portrait of Amy Winehouse, she was local to where I am in London and her voice, struggle and talent are inspiring. Also Prince or Nadia Rose.  
 
Tell us your favourite thing about the city you live in:
I am so grateful to be from London. Both of my grandparents chose to move to London, one side of my family coming from Guyana for better opportunities and the other side from America choosing London for its architectural beauty. I think this gives me a well rounded appreciation for this city. I love how multicultural my up bringing has been, meeting people from so many cultures and backgrounds has definitely shaped me and many of my peers into non judgemental, accepting and caring people. I love the energy of this place and London inspires me.  
 
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens:
I think I was 15 when I got my first pair of Dr. Martens, they were second hand from Rokit in Covent Garden. I made some art inspired by my Doc’s because they made me feel like I could take on whatever life has to throw at me, and as a 15 year old girl exploring the world more independently, having them on my feet made me feel strong. 
 
What do you stand for?
I stand for equality and justice, and being true to yourself. Everything you do, do it from the heart. Take care of your mental health. 
 
Find out more about Hannah Hill on her Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.