HANNE G (Danish, b.1963)
Palm Me Up, 2021
Hanne G is a master of tactility, in both a concrete as well as a metaphoric sense. Using the precise tip of the crochet hook, she creates palm trees, light bulbs and machine guns as tactile symbols delivering political salvos, often cloaked in humor. Her breakthrough in the Danish art scene came with her 2007 piece “Weapon Collection — Crocheting for Peace”, which attracted attention due to the obvious contrast between weapons, war, toxic masculinity, death and destruction and the soft, crocheted material, rooted in a feminine handicraft universe. Power, status, gender equality, craft, politics and homeliness offered additional, obvious connotations. All of that from crocheting a con- troversial object and placing it into an artistic context ...
Hanne G was one of the first Danish artists to crochet messages with a convincing trinity of expression, content and an exquisite finish. That the simple technique, based on the combination of a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, can be used to manifest large sculptures is fascinating to the artist, who learned to crochet in her teens. According to Hanne G, crocheting can create ANY form. When she came out as an artist after several years as a graphic designer and, later, a TV-concept developer, she was first drawn to painting. However, once she encountered the textile craft, she realized the potential contrasts of the medium and the opportunities it afforded for artistic statements. She found that crocheting was like riding a bicycle, you never forget. And she excelled at it. Her hands remembered the craft, aided by memories of her grandmother, who had helped her learn. And it was not just her grandmother cheering her on from the beyond but a wider, contemporary audience, who felt a sense of the familiar when they saw her work, a liberating joy. We are all familiar with this soft medium and have a relationship with it — we wear textiles, dry ourselves with a towel after the shower and use a tea towel in the kitchen. Perhaps this every day engagement makes us more receptive to textile art, even when it is placed into an unfamiliar context.