About Hannah Rowan
Notions of the vessel, tactility, material transformation and permeability flow through Hannah Rowan’s Mater Collects series, which includes works on paper and hand-built ceramics. The series of works are inspired by vessels and aquatic life forms of bivalve molluscs and octopus tentacles.
Hannah Rowan's work explores the slippery complexities of water that draws together a liquid relationship between the human body and geological and ecological systems. She uses a range of media including sculpture, installation, performance, video and sound to investigate the ephemerality and flux of materials that transmute into other forms. She is interested in exploring notions of bodies of water, vessels, animacy of matter and the temporal transformation of materials. She often works with water to catalyse transformation and visualize a continual state of becoming. Her work is informed by a Hydrofeminst perspective to understand all bodies of water as interconnected, aquatic entities weaving throughout her work suggest an intimacy and relationality across bodies of water.
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Mater Collects is an extension of Mater, a comissioning body and research platform exploring materials. Hannah Rowan was comissioned to write a text Mater in 2022. View it here.
A percentage of all Mater Collects sales will go towards the commissioning of exclusive and groundbreaking new texts for Mater.
Hannah Rowan, Porcelain Shell
Porcelain Shell (mid blue)
2022, mid-fire porcelain, stains, glaze. Approx dimensions 2x9x4cm.
2 mid blue shells available
Hannah has created a series of stained porcelain shells. She begins the process by kneading stains into the wet clay body before shaping and forming the clay into individual shells that can be held in the palm of a hand. Once fired the stained clay body reveals marbled patterns of blues, turquoise and greens which are unique to each individual shell and visible on the exterior of the shells, the interiors are hand painted with glaze. Each shell is unique which allows for slight variation in size and glazing.
The shell relates for me to porosity and the duality of water being both the container and the contained. We may have bodies that appear as contained solid entities, to signify certain boundaries, but we are all connected through the porosity of water that flows, seeps and leaks through all of us. Just as oyster shells filter tidal beds, momentarily containing the ocean within which they are immersed, their seemingly bounded selves merge with the oceanic realm they inhabit. When we walk the shoreline between the land and the sea, we are connecting back to the primordial waters from which life first emerged. There is a sensuality to these pieces as they encode my material interactions with the moist earth, pressing and shaping the wet clay body into the palm of my hand, imprinting gestures shaped by the pressure of my fingertips. As the water leaves the drying clay the form takes hold and is in turn preserved via the firing process of the kiln, where soft earth becomes hard like stone yet fragile like glass.