Gradwatch 2018: Designer Hannah Kay, Manchester School of Art

Hannah Kay is one of the 10 artists we have picked to feature in our annual Gradwatch showcase; putting the spotlight on art and design graduates who we feel produce outstanding work

Hannah Kay has just graduated from the Textiles in Practice degree course at Manchester School of Art, and is already working on her first pair of commissions. Over the course of her degree she’s focused on kinetic design, producing engaging, playful artworks that caught our attention at the MSA degree show.

Creative Review: How would you describe your work and artistic style?
Hannah Kay: I try to be as fun and experimental with my work as possible. Whether this is through bold colour or challenging how a certain material or process can be used. Keeping my work playful and engaging for the audience is always at the front of my mind when making.

CR: Tell us about your time at Manchester School of Art. How did you pick your university? 
HK: I looked around several universities but as soon as I walked into the School of Art I knew it was the place for me. The range of workshops on offer caught my eye at first as even though I knew I wanted to be creative, I didn’t know exactly which specialism to follow. So, having the opportunity to try different things was important when making my decision. The Textiles in Practice course has allowed me to find my own style, with the programme encouraging an interdisciplinary way of working.

CR: What drew you to kinetic design and how did you find your unique style?
HK: I always found that I wanted my work to be moved and engaged with in some way or another. So after a lot of sampling, I decided to explore kinetic design focusing on challenging the materials and processes I used to allow the technical side to not override the overall aesthetic of my work.

Kay’s work Tick Tock

CR: What sort of commercial work do you see yourself doing now that you have graduated?
HK: Having completed a commission for Manchester School of Art’s Vertical Gallery and having just received my first graduate commission to display my work in a prominent building within Manchester, I am keen to explore how movement and collage can be combined to encourage interaction either physically or visually in the future. My work would fit into different environments, such as gallery spaces or educational spaces. It is always exciting to respond to new briefs.

CR: What’s the best piece of advice about your art anyone has ever given you?
HK: I was lucky enough to display my work at New Designers this year and received a top secret tip from a visitor on how to bond Perspex together without the glue showing through. I am very excited to try this out on my next project!

@hannahkayhannahkay.myportfolio.comMore from CR’s Gradwatch scheme here