Hannah Nowlan

We have some amazing ‘Go To’ furniture stores from our renovating time in Melbourne – and Modern Times has always been a favourite.  They specialise in vintage European-designed furniture and Contemporary Australian Art & Design, and this is where I first came across Hannah’s work.  The warm sandy and terracotta tones paired with deep blues are so alluring and beautiful that I couldn’t help but be instantly drawn to them!  Much of Hannah’s inspiration comes from being seaside so this certainly resonates with us and the vision of the home we plan on settling in.  Hannah is one truly talented artist!


Could you tell us a bit about your background and the path that led to your current artistic endeavours?

I grew up in Black Rock, Melbourne, in my family home by the bay.  I went straight from finishing high school into the Drawing and Printmaking Department at VCA (The Victorian College of Arts) to complete by Bachelor of Fine Art.  After completing my degree in 2015, I went on to work full time as an artist from my home-based studio as well as launching my family’s small-time online business, ‘Grain of Descent’.  Continuing to inspire and kick-start my practise as an artist, I undertook a 1-month artist residency in Lisbon, Portugal in the middle of 2016.  This residency played a large role in boosting my confidence as an artist, as well as inspiring my recent solo exhibition at Modern Times, and my new collection ‘Myths, Moons and Mountains’.




What inspires you to create your art?

The inspiration for my artworks comes from a myriad of sources: experiences, places, architecture and landscapes.  My work is almost always a direct reflection of my surroundings – which in my case is often by the sea.  I have been greatly influenced by growing up amongst the surf culture of Victoria’s coastline and I seem to be endlessly inspired by Australia’s vast natural landscapes.  My new collection explores the coastline of Portugal as well as the mythological narratives and ancient legends of the towns I travelled through after my residency in Lisbon.


Where would we be likely to see your artwork?

You can view a large range of my works, including my new and previous collections, via my website – Grain of Descent.

My works can also be viewed in person at Modern Times, a store and gallery based in Fitzroy, Melbourne, who represent my new collection called ‘Myths, Moons and Mountains’; Midmodoz, in Perigean Beach, Brisbane; Open Room in East Malvern, Melbourne; and The Sociable Weaver, a sustainable showroom/display home in Cape Paterson, Victoria.


Can you tell us one of your favourite artists?

Always a difficult question because I love so many artists’ work, but definitely the iconic works of Helen Frankenthaler and Picasso are up there in my Top 5.  Especially after viewing Picasso’s work in the flesh whilst in Spain last year!


Describe your dream home and location.

My dream home would be a small sustainable home built by my partner and my father who are both carpenters, designed by my brother, who is an architect, and situated on a hobby farm with a decent chunk of land.  To have an adjoining studio space for my art practice as well as a fully equipped workshop for Grain of Descent would be ideal!  My dream location would be along the surf coast of Victoria, anywhere from Barwon Heads to Skenes Creek would be heaven in my eyes – Torquay in particular would be a dream come true!


Do you have artwork displayed in your home?  What kind?

I do have a few artworks displayed in my home – a few pieces of works made for me by friends from art school that are highly cherished works.  Admittedly, my home also plays the role of a temporary galley for all of my own paintings.  I often have a lot of my own work adorning the walls, which are on constant rotation.



Name one item in your home that you could not do without.

I never thought it would come to this but my coffee machine is in very high demand these days!  I honestly don’t think I could live without it and my favourite ceramic mugs!  Coming in a close second would probably be my favourite mid-century teak sideboard / tv unit that I salvaged and restored with my father.

When you’re not creating masterpieces, where would we find you?

Most likely you will find me down at my local yoga studio in Black Rock, where I spend a good chunk of every night.  After working in my studio I like to switch off, chill out and wind down with a yoga class before bed.  If I’m not in either of those places, you will most likely find me at the beach or in the water on my stand up paddle board.