Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Heart & Hand: Geography and History with Doll Maker Janet Hannam

1. How would you describe your work?
My work is very "close to the heart" and very anthropomorphic because of it.  I find that everyone, no matter what age or gender, are surprised at how quickly they find interest and smile because they recognize themselves.  I use a lot of found materials and objects, sparkle and sequins. (I am a magpie.)  

"Loon" from Gifts of the North

2. You live in Thunder Bay, how has geography influenced your art?
Geography has influenced me a great deal! We moved from Kitchener 23 years ago.  I found a community rich in heritage and history that is one generation forward form the 1856 of JSH as the next wave of settlers came deeper into Canada's center. Many different cultures and ethnic groups, because of distance and weather, share the best of each other and the rich First Nations and Métis culture gives us a view of the land that goes back before time and has no European roots. I have completed a major body of work entitled "The Gifts of the North."  It was a four year effort supported by a grant from OAC and it speaks of the many, many facets of the best of living in one of the most unknown part of Canada. It is touring southern Ontario as an ambassador of the north (OAC touring grant), and is now scheduling into 2013.  
"Boreal" from Gifts of the North

3. What is next for you?  Do you have any big projects in the works?
My next big projects include Punch and Judy shows in my studio window for the general public, some teaching of miniatures, teaching basic skills such as hand embroidery, filling my Etsy store (Ready To Pretend) and working on a collection of 12 anthropomorphic chicken sculptures (pin up poses, great breasts and great legs) for a calendar in support of women's issues here in the north. I also want time to bring to life a few creatures that have been waiting for a great while. All in all I am thrilled to be coming home to JSH, although I still feel I have never left.

Don't forget to say hello to Janet at the Heart & Hand Festival, Saturday, Sept. 24 at Joseph Schneider Haus, 466 Queen St. S., Kitchener

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