As we continue to look back on all the wonderful young people we met during Youth Week in April 2023, this week Mona publishes the luminous drawings of Hannah Taylor. She shares with Mona readers her newest collection of work and her reflections on how central art has been in helping her share the important stories in her life.
Art has always been a very large part of my life; as far back as I can remember I was drawing and making things, as a creative outlet and as a way of expressing myself. In third grade, my best friend and I started writing and illustrating comic books together in class and, although looking back they were not very good, it really was the catalyst to my creative journey.
I loved the way art could express stories and I loved sharing the books we wrote with the class and seeing their reactions. I fell in love with creating things that people found comfort or joy in and, as my works developed, I really wanted to create things that made people feel understood and less alone in their emotions.
For my latest work, I used coloured pencil. Most of my art is done with watercolour, so to use coloured pencil was really a step out of my comfort zone but I quickly developed a passion for the medium as it allowed so much more emotion to be conveyed and was, in my opinion, a medium that presented more options in my art.
This work is very special to me as it highlights the way in which childhood memories and experiences shape a person into being who they are. The aim of the series was to spark a sense of nostalgia. I used vibrantly coloured Prismacolor pencils that intensify the emotions being portrayed and brings a feeling of ecstasy that conflicts with the faceless and distorted portraits to simulate the dreamlike fading of memories.
Most importantly, the work portrays the timeline of a girl’s childhood and youth as she moves across countries and has to rediscover her identity throughout the journey. I really wanted to focus on this feeling of confusion and loss of identity to bring a sense of community and connectedness to viewers, to let people know that whatever they are going through, they are not going through it alone.
I have had my work, ‘Reminiscence’ exhibited at a local café in Wagga Wagga, The Curious Rabbit, which really was an amazing opportunity that I am so grateful for. As I continue in my creative journey, I hope to be able to share my works with wider audiences and make pieces that resonate with viewers.
Hannah Taylor is currently studying a Bachelor of Communications and Media and a Bachelor of Arts.