Smartphone Snaps: Hannah Gartside


Despite being in ongoing lockdown in Melbourne, Hannah Gartside is still creating, giving attention to the tactility, movement and histories of textiles. In her Smartphone Snaps feature, Gartside takes us into the intimacy of home life—buying a diamante cat collar for her new feline adoptee Cloud, hanging out with housemates, and tending to the veggie patch. And she also gives us glances into her creative process, whether it’s putting together armature, Zoom meetings to work out sculpture placement, or sacrificing pink silk formal dresses in the name of art.

In particular, Gartside gives us a peak into a new series of works she’s preparing as part of Primavera 2021 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, where each of her five material sculptures evokes a powerful woman from history.

I’m really missing op-shopping. The afternoon that lockdown was announced I went to Savers immediately. I recently re-discovered this vintage chenille bedspread that I bought there ages ago under the bed. This was the day I realised that when the sun is out the bedspread makes my whole room glow pink!


We have been a pet-less household since Wally (a bouncy springer spaniel) moved out late last year. I was really missing animal company and very recently adopted Cloud. She has warmed our hearts immensely.


One of the artists that I am honouring in my work for Primavera is Pixie Colman Smith, who illustrated the so called ‘Rider Waite’ tarot deck (pictured). She is finally getting more credit and recognition as the author of this powerful imagery. I find tarot really helpful. It feels like an intuitive tool; they are picture cards that you interpret through your own life experience.


Zoom meeting with Lucy and Mitchell at MCA to go over my proposed placement of the sculptures. Phantom limb to the right of the sculpture not included!?


Putting together the armature for Sarah in the studio. These sculptures are so big that they have their own room, and I do most of the fabrication in my original, slightly smaller studio across the hallway.


I’m looking at making some leather offcuts from a previous sculpture, O (2021), into a new small work for Caves Gallery exhibition Text Tile, curated by Anna Fiedler, Tia Ansell and Madeline Simm. The show is now postponed until early 2022. It brings together 40 artists from across Aus and NZ who work with textiles in some way and presents an aspect of our material research. I’m really looking forward to it!


Cloud on the mantlepiece with a seductive new artwork from one of my best friends, Meagan Streader. I’ve been waiting for Cloud’s (black suede and diamante) collar to arrive before I let her go totally free-range, and she’s jonesing to go roam outside.


Studio selfie in commemoration of this 1990s silk dupion formal dress that I sacrificed for a sculpture. I needed a pink silk.


Freshly pressed bias-cut silk tubes, waiting to be made into a six-strand round braid.


I wish this sculpture (Pixie) needed these vintage millinery flowers because I find them enchanting, but it really didn’t, and it throws all the other sculptures off and not in a good way…One of those ‘kill your darlings’ moments.


Never really got on the social zoom train… but my housemate Michaela and I did one the other night with friends Louise and Andy and it was bloody sweet. Love them.


One of those funny cosy hanging out afternoons. I was finishing an application in bed, with my housemate Michaela also working on her laptop, and Wally (making a babysitting cameo).


Like a lot of people, I got really into growing veggies during the first few lockdowns. I recently found 6 kale seedlings that had popped up in the ‘lawn’ where I left the old stalks last year. This was a really satisfying discovery because I have misplaced where I actually put the saved seeds.


My sister Jessie had twins 13 months ago in QLD, the first babies of our generation. They are so joyous. Even though I am only interacting with them on a screen it’s definitely a highlight of the day when I get to hang with them. They are currently in the belly button phase of development, so they lift their shirts up a lot. This was a bongo session.

Primavera 2021
Museum of Contemporary Art
26 Nov 2021 – 13 June 2022

Fresh Material: New Australian Textile Art
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville QLD
3 December—30 January 2022

Leftover Love
Australian Tapestry Workshop
17 December—11 March 2022


Feature Words by Art Guide Australia