Kochiite artist Hannah Joseph’s work show women unapologetically claiming their spaces
Kochiite Hannah Joseph’s artworks is a whimsical walk into the life of a woman who is free to dream and explore
KOCHI: A mysterious woman stands in a forest, as lush, beautiful and wild as the woods. Her dark skin is in steep contrast with the eerie green of the jungle. Titled ‘The Soul Orgasm’, this image paints a picture of a person becoming one with nature and the joy she derives from it. All of Hannah Joseph’s artworks have that one thing in common — her love for nature on par with her admiration for the feminine spirit.
Most of Hannah’s works show women unapologetically claiming the spaces they are in — camping alone in high mountains, going to school with a pet hen, trekking off-road, or just walking around with the wind in their hair. A certain element of mystery surrounds these women and in turn Hannah’s frames.
Hannah started making digital artworks quite young. She was barely six years old when she made art on Microsoft Paint. “My father used to take me to art exhibitions and galleries when I was a kid. I was exposed to art before I started school. When I was at Class I, I started tinkering with the computer at home and discovered Paint,” says the 26-year-old.
But Hannah’s art never won awards at drawing competitions. “My art was always surreal. I loved drawing from my imagination,” Hannah remembers. “But I have left that belief behind,” she quips. Despite having no formal training, she wanted to be an artist. But her family was worried about survival. So for her graduation, she chose something that came close to her passion — architecture.
“Designing beautiful buildings seemed like a good idea. But when I got placed in a company in Mumbai, the salary wasn’t enough to even pay rent,” she says. She returned to Kochi and became a full-time artist. Hannah is now busy studying the effects of light and shadows on human anatomy.
Hannah’s paintings speak of adventures — of the soul or to faraway lands. “I love travelling. Though Malayalis believe women shouldn’t travel alone, I never heeded that advice. My parents are quite supportive of my choices,” she says.