Opinions

Public artwork giving voice to key workers

Written by: Kathryn Hanna, Sculptor and artist

Published: 04/11/2021

Artist and Sculptor Kathryn Hanna shares information about a new project connecting the arts with health and social care.

My artistic practice explores the relationship between the historic and the modern, particularly how a space can make you think and feel, and become a space for reflection. In my work I seek to provoke thought and discussion around tradition, sacredness, monuments, community and place, all in relation to both the past and the present. The Scottish artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, who created the Little Sparta Garden in the Pentland Hills, influences my work. Similarly to Finlay, my own work examines the relationships between nature, place and person.

I see my practice as intrinsically collaborative; nothing is made in isolation. In each of my projects I collaborate with different people to realise the project whether that be expert crafts people or the local community, through public engagement. I strive to make artwork in which the public can see themselves and their voices reflected. I see myself primarily as a facilitator of the artwork, through sharing artistic expression and storytelling with communities in their everyday lives, the artwork takes form. I seek to support the promotion of public artworks which are led by and created with communities; encouraging engagement with the arts and allowing them to make their mark and be involved in shaping their landscapes.

‘Pathways’, my current project, has been commissioned by South Ayrshire Council to reflect local key workers’ experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This new public artwork will be installed at Rozelle Park, Ayr, at the rear of Rozelle House early in 2022. This artwork will take the form of a stone path, and will incorporate engraved illustrations created by myself as well as quotes from local key workers. It aims to appreciate, represent and recognise the challenges faced by key workers, who took on additional responsibilities and work loads during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key workers will be invited to participate in the project, submitting their response to the question: What keeps you going through the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your thoughts, wise words and proverbs’.

I’m particularly interested in hearing from all key workers and volunteers including those who work “behind the scenes” including family carers whose contribution to society often goes unnoticed and unrecognised. I wish to recognise and celebrate everyone’s efforts as they sought to keep our citizens and communities safe and well, both physically and mentally throughout the pandemic. You can email me at kathrynhannasculpture@gmail.com

Kathryn Hanna is a sculptor and artist who trained in Sculpture and Environmental Art at Glasgow School Art, graduating in 2017. She has since worked with communities, schools, councils and arts organisations to deliver workshops to make the arts more accessible. Kathryn creates sculptures and art installations using a variety of modern and traditional techniques including, casting, laser cutting, woodwork, metalwork, stone masonry and letter cutting. Her work has been exhibited publicly in Pollok House, Glasgow and The Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr.

 

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