Meet our September Cultural Corner artist, Diane Hannah.
Diane Karol Hannah (Martin) is a native of Bancroft, Ontario, growing up on a farm on Boulter Road and is a member of Bancroft’s Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation.
She started to learn her craft with different mediums at the age of nine from her mother, Paulette Hannah who introduced her to oil painting. After experimenting with oils, acrylics and sketching for several years, she studied visual arts throughout high school at North Hastings High School.
After moving to Toronto to further educate herself she lost her drive to create in any medium living in a concrete world. She rediscovered her love to create in 2004 when she felt Bancroft calling her home. It was not until she started to reconnect to the land and reclaiming her Indigenous culture through learning traditional crafts and artforms from Elders and knowledge keepers that she realized her true inherent kinship with the natural mediums she would manipulate with her hands.
One Elder whom she loved dearly that guided her to her red path was her Great Auntie Ada Tinney who shared her craft of rawhide drum and rattle making with her as well as other teachings. Elder Ada reignited her fire, her hunger to learn more not just for herself, but for her community both Indigenous and non-Indigenous in Bancroft and surrounding area.
Diane’s love for her craft comes from the bond or story she has been gifted by spending time with the people/mediums or visions she receives while creating with the materials while working on an art piece. She will not start or finish a piece if it does not feel right, always listening to spirit and what the materials evoke from her while she is creating with them. As she believes she gifts a small part of herself with every piece she completes as she helps the mediums tell their story through her spirit and hands as those gifts and energy are then passed to those who were meant to receive them.
Some examples of Diane's work are shown below: