Profile - Carmen Hannay
Born in 1978 on the Sunshine Coast and growing up in Buderim, Carmen began to paint and draw at an early age. Drawing inspiration from things seen on family holidays, Carmen and her father would spend hours observing and sketching their surroundings. This fostered a love of art as a way to capture moments greater than what the eye can see.
Carmen went on to study Film at the Queensland College of Art and later Visual Art at the Cooloola Institute of Tafe. Carmen works in a variety of media but has developed a characteristic style with delicate layering of imagery and finely woven line work. She chooses to paint from life or by using her personal experiences as a starting point. In that way her process is to subtly abstract the initial idea, discovering as she goes, the story in her final work.
Since beginning to exhibit in 2008, Carmen has had work in several group exhibitions and continues to live and develop her practice on the Sunshine Coast.
The process of completing a piece of art really draws me in. Knowing when to gently keep going, when to push an idea late into the night, when to tear a piece up and hide it under the bed and when to just stop. I always start with an image or a story linked to something I have experienced, though I will usually develop a work on the actual canvas or paper, piecing together all the elements until they hold themselves in balance.
I also work with puppets, so this has had an influence on my visual language and the way I uses line, often stringing together parts of the painting or reflecting connections from one part to another. I love to depict movement and balance and find recently that a combination of watercolour, pencil and acrylic glazes best serve this purpose.
Making art is to me a way of understanding things, in the way poetry can describe perfectly in not so many words. For this reason it continues to be an important part of my life, a constant questioning and an endless source of adventure.