Monday, 20 December 2010

From a secret club's Advent calendar

Here is some of the artwork, I have created for a secret club's Advent calendar.
Kenn and I exchanged envelopes with collage materials each Advent Sunday before Christmas.
The challenge was that we both had to create an illustration with the given elements.

You can see my first collage the 'Lion Man' below and the little Santa's hat that Kenn and I created as a downloadable do-it-yourself kit for door number 6 of the Advent calendar.

There is also a photograph of our fire place, that I have decorated for Christmas and also my collage from the second Advent collage challenge, 'Big Bear', below.

Kenn and I had a lot of fun making images and thinking of stories and things to add to our Advent calendar.
Of the images I created, I am particularly pleased with the one on the left below. Ages ago, I had bought a picture frame in Denmark and it had a photo of an unknown, but very charming looking granny in it. Of course I kept it. Together with a few other things thrown in, its intention is to tell a 'story' about delicious food, enjoyed with the family at Christmas.

Finally, on the last Sunday before Christmas, I made the illustration on the right. From the bits and pieces I was given in my collage envelope, I imagined what 'daydreaming' could look like... I guess, standing on a table does have the potential to change one's perspective somewhat. Something to be tried more often!

Happy Christmas!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Enjoy Advent with us!

A secret club has a rather special Advent calendar online.

Yes, it is the 12th December today, but if you haven't found our Advent calendar yet, then here is your chance to check it out and find and open 12 small doors in one go! There will be new things to discover and play with every day, right up to Christmas!

a secret club - advent

Saturday, 11 December 2010

This Sunday, 12th December 2010: beard up

Kenn Munk and I have formed a secret club for our creative explorations and collaborations. Check out a secret club's website:
There, in true Christmas spirit, we have also created our own special Advent calendar that you can explore day by day. Check it out!

But more about Beard Up now. This is a Santa Style beard workshop, that will be hosted by a secret club at Hanbury Hall, 22 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR (opposite Sunday Up Market & The Old Truman Brewery).
It is part of the Garudio Studiage Christmas Extravaganza that will definitely get you into the festive mood, if you are not already in it!

A secret club has been busy preparing... Here you can see the Santa Style beard templates that we will be using in the workshop... santa beard templates

and also the extra special and absolutely free a secret club paper bags. bags

Friday, 8 October 2010

A Monster for London - an update

As you might remember, I posted an invite for A Monster for London way back in April this year. The event was a sound success and lots of other cool projects have happened since, if only I was a bit faster reporting about them...but here is finally an update on the event!

Kenn Munk and I developed and designed A Monster for London- a workshop based on creating monstrous paper-finger-puppets and a battle game somewhere between Rock-Paper-Scissors and Top Trumps.
You can see one of our monsters in action here:

a monster in action

On 30th April, as part of the V&A Friday Late event, Stitched Up, we performed this operation as slightly deranged professors and doctors, together with our estimeed colleagues, Aithche and Masaki, and helped visitors in truely Frankensteinian fashion to 'stitch together' their own scary creations.

This was our monster maker stall just before it got busy...

the workshop set-up

... and here are some of the rubber stamps, Kenn Munk and I have designed and got made especially for the event. On the right is also my professional lab coat with my scientific awards.

some of our monster stamps and my lab coat

The night was incredibly busy, with around 4000 visitors hitting the V&A Museum and our workshop had nearly 250 eager monster makers queueing up to have a go.

the monster queue

Participants really got into creating their own paper-finger-puppet-monster and could choose from a range of 'body part', 'visage' and 'extremities' rubber stamps, patching together their very own menace.
We met some lovely people, who were very happy to get involved in making, playing and some fantastic acting!

some of our monster makers

After having constructed a monster, the monster-makers had the opportunity to pitch their creation against a choice of famous London landmarks, which you can see below.
Kenn and I had brainstormed together as to which London sites to pick and how to represent them a little more playfully. Kenn made them all, but I was proud to have come up with the idea for Battersea power station, which was basically a terrier lying on his back with his legs stretched out... not sure whether people got the idea! Some of the other landmarks were clearly much easier to recognise.

London sites to battle in 'A Monster for London'

In the end, the outcome of the battle decided what kind of 'heart' the monster could earn. So if the monster was scary and powerful enough to defeat the chosen London landmark, than it would deserve to rule London and be 'king', whereas if it lost the fight, it would turn into one of us, a mere daily commuter...

Here is some of the work-in-progress for the design of the rubber stamps from my sketchbook and also some monsters I patched together to try out the rubber stamps, when we got them back from the manufacturer.

work in progress, sketchbook

two monsters

two more monsters

All photographs by Kenn Munk and Annabelle Hartmann.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Enchanted Palace - an update

Finally, I am getting around to report on the Enchanted Palace show at Kensington Place, London, in which my artwork is featured.
The show opened all the way back in March this year, on Friday 26th March 2010 to be precise.

Enchanted Palace flyer

This is the gorgeous image that was produced for the official flyer (not by me!).
More information on:
The Enchanted Palace

Until early 2012, the historic State Apartments at the palace are imaginatively transformed, offering a magical array of art and fashion installations by Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Aminaka Wilmont and Echo Morgan, with performance art by Wildworks.

My artwork is included in the Cabinet of Curiosities, curated by Echo Morgan.
Echo kindly invited me to contribute to her fabulous cabinet along with a host of other artists and designers.
Thanks Echo for thinking of me, it has been a lot of fun!!!

The Seven Ages of Victoria

I have created three pieces of artwork.

This one is called The Seven Ages Of Victoria.
The underlying concept is inspired by ʻThe Seven Ages of Manʼ by William Shakespeare. Each of the seven small glass bottles contains the ʻessenceʼ of a key episode or event in Queen Victoriaʼs life, with the entire series representing her lifeʼs journey from childhood to her Golden Jubilee.
The different visual elements and objects displayed inside or with each bottle act as metaphors to invoke a notion of remembrance of a truly remarkable woman.

The Seven Ages of Victoria
The titles of the individual items in this piece are:

No.1: Teasing Canaries
No.2: A System of Loneliness
No.3: More than an Idea
No.4: Love of a Life
No.5: The Greatest
No.6: Dark is Worn
No.7: Jubilee

Here are also a few pictures, taken when installing the artwork:

work-in-progress 3
The Cabinet of Curiosities
work-in-progress 5

My second piece of artwork is called In The Woods.

This piece is inspired by a personal childhood memory of looking for mushrooms with my father. It is part of a larger body of works exploring storytelling through the use of visual metaphor to communicate an uncanny chemistry of associations to the viewer. On the one hand, I used to hugely enjoy the exclusive quality time with my father on our forest excursions. On the other hand, I also always experienced the creeping fear of getting lost or being left behind to fight for myself like Hänsel and Gretel in the Brothers Grimm fairytale.

Our memories are often distorted and in part fictional, but nevertheless form our identity and ʻhistoryʼ of us as an individual. The artwork plays on a notion of the Victorian age with its taste for dark and wonderous storytelling.

In the Woods

work-in-progress 7
tree props

And finally the third piece I made, which is titled Canaries.

This piece is a painted portrait of the young princess Victoria.
It is said that she enjoyed teasing the canaries.

Photographs by Kenn Munk and Annabelle Hartmann.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,

You are cordially invited to make an outlandish, yet familiar monstrosity in our lab by combining elements, starting with a fitting ESSENCE. Add a frightening VISAGE and prepare it for smashing-trashing-grabbing action by adding EXTREMETIES.

Your terrible creation will gain its HEART by attacking a famous London Landmark. The outcome of the melee determines what kind of HEART the monster will get.

The event is free and is part of V&A's Stitched up Friday Late

A Monster For London is brought to you by Annabelle Hartmann and Kenn Munk.

Sneak peeks may appear here.

Huge thanks to Tea & Make for making this happen.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Artic brings permafrost to Okido!

On Saturday 13th March, Okido hosted our popular mask making workshop The Artic.
Kenn Munk and I transformed their shop in Brixton Market with icicles, snow flakes and frozen mountains into a frosty landscape - on the inside and out!

In our creative workshop, kids and adults could "grow" impressive explorer beards in no time or turn into friendly and sometimes fiercely growling polar bears.
It was a busy afternoon with lots of friendly people, enjoying being imaginative together for a couple of hours...

Many thanks to everyone at Okido for having us and for creating such a wonderful and relaxed atmosphere and providing us with delicious coffee!!

And of course a big THANKS! to all our adventurous participants for the fantastic artwork they created and the good conversations we had while making masks and flags with us - it has been a super day!

This is Kenn Munk and I in action helping kids cutting templates and talking about ideas and dishing colour markers out.
Here are also some of the amazing flags that claimed some of the highest icy mountain peeks...

... adventurous explorers have left their mark!

Photos by Kenn Munk and Erik Ekengren

Sunday, 14 February 2010

More about the Rabbit People...

This is a close-up of Stella.
She is one of the Rabbit People I am exhibiting at G40 The Summit in March 2010 in the USA.
Below you can see what happens if you pull the string of this "jumping jack" character I have made.

Stella jumps!

Here you can also see Stella's friend, Oscar.

Oscar seems a bit shy.
But if you pull the string ...

...he says "hi"!

Come and see them in real life at:

For more information on the show, go to:

The Rabbit People and I

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Rabbit People

I have been working on a new project, The Rabbit People.
They have been appearing in my sketchbook and have occupied my mind ever since. Whenever I looked inside my little notebook, there were more until they had turned into a small population.

from my sketchbook

Last week, I decided that the Rabbit People needed to come out of the sketchbook, space was getting crowded for them.
I experimented with turning the drawn characters into something more three-dimensional, hoping to breathe more life into them.

I cut stencils from paper (and later from cardboard) with the plan to put these together to create a series of "jumping jacks".
Initially, I wanted to stick to the concept of the traditional jumping jack toy, where when pulling on a string both, arms and legs of the character wiggle about. But as I was developing my ideas further, I decided to "animate" my rabbit people only in part. This strengthened the individuality of each rabbit character, each one having his/her own "personality".
The photographs below, show some of my work-in-progress.


to be continued...

Things I've seen in February...

The handmade food café in Blackheath is lovely to sit in on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
I sometimes go there to sketch. Last time, I tried a delicious beetroot-cellery-apple juice, which was also intensely magenta! I really like this colour combination: pink and yellow -
it makes me think of spring.
And then there was the Totoro bun! Almost too cute to eat - it made me remember the Japanese animé My neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli/1988), which I like a lot.

Walking in Hackney last Wednesday, I saw this wild horse high up on the facade of a house. Things like this shadow of a tree makes me want to draw more!

Winter in Århus

In December last year I spent some time in Århus, Denmark.
There was lots of snow, which made me very happy!

Snow Rabbit Day!! Kenn and I met Mr Rabbit in the garden, who told us that there is no such thing as snowmen:)

While in Denmark, I took only few photos, which I regret now, because it was a truly beautiful trip.

at the beach at Kålø

a lonely tree, also at Kålø

in the forest (Kålø)

seagulls at the coast (Egå)

Kenn Munk took the next two photos.

Blue skies over the bird estate

Humpback Gunship by Benjamin Gilbert
I love this amazing sculpture by the Australian artist. It is installed near the Aros art museum in Århus.

Monday, 4 January 2010

...and finally, my Masters graduation!

After my Masters award ceremony on 2nd December 2009 I was all smiles...

... and went celebrating with Kenn afterwards, although without the funny hat.
We had the most amazing fish and chips at The Princess of Shoreditch. This gastro pub is great if you are looking for a friendly service and some lovely food in a relaxed surrounding.

Studying for my Masters in Fine Art was a lot of hard work, but also an intense personal journey, as half way through, I lost my Mum.
Doing something creatively which I became increasingly passionate about, helped to occupy my mind, when it got very tough. I have dedicated my research to my Mum, as she always loved learning new things and has instilled the same curiosity in me. I love you, Mum.

Having done my BA (hons) in Illustration over 10 years ago, returning to studying for my MA was at the beginning very testing. I needed the challenge and found it an incredible valuable experience that broadened my horizon and reconfirmed my passion for making things with my hands.
I strongly recommend it, if you want to keep your head and hands busy!