Inside the Studio

Hanna Ten Doornkaat

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
My main interest is mark making. The simplicity of lines or grids and the process of the making are what interests me. Hours, days and often weeks of drawing line after line, tiny squares or dots is a process I find exciting, it often feels like an endurance test. I never know whether I will be happy with the work until it is finished, but I am not scared of destroying or cutting up a drawing. Before I do that it might sit in my chest of drawers for weeks/months while I get on with something else.

The work is informed by a number of things and they change all the time, but recurring areas of interest are art historical movements like suprematism, concrete art and minimalism–but without the concept. The work happens in a space of thinking without thought. I am not searching for perfection in my work, quite the opposite, imperfections are part of the work and are about me. The drill drawings are a more experimental process of mark making and a way of letting go. The subconscious, combined with a lack of control over the electric tool decides where it wants to take the work. It is only after this process that I sometimes take control, claiming ownership by working into it, rubbing out and redrawing parts of it.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To be true to myself and have confidence in what I am doing.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
When I work on my repetitive intricate drawings I like to listen to the radio but when I work on the drill drawings I usually listen to Japanese Taiko drumming which acts like an energizer and this energy feels like it transfers into the drawing and the marks I make.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I think the one thing I’d like most is a Sol LeWitt wall drawing.

Who are your favorite writers?
There are so many and they change regularly but I like Jonathan Frantzen, Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt, his wife.