Monday, 25 July 2016

that other girl

hey there - hope your summer's going swimmingly so far! (see what i did there...lol)

no, i haven't been super productive, but I've been having an amazing time thus far. it's overwhelming - and almost disorienting - how many more weeks of freedom there are left. in my head summer's fizzling out already, but there are over 5 weeks to go!

long holidays usually bring a sense of guilt of not doing enough, but i think i've stopped comparing myself so much to other people's neverending parties or artsy daytrips or tropical holidays abroad. i'm enjoying myself, so what's the point?


***

last week I went to the Lake District with family friends, my parents and my closest friend. i usually tire very quickly of countryside landscapes - but this time the idyllic scenes and tranquility got to me. it really is beautiful and freeing in rural England. i'm forever a city girl but found myself reluctant to come back to London. there were no responsibilites, no obligations. maybe that's what a holiday is supposed to feel like?







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lately my tumblr has been a calming presence for me. something about cataloguing and archiving images to form a tangible aesthetic is so comforting.

below is a ~summer vibes~ moodboard consisting of pictures from my tumblr. rich but washed-out greens and oranges, natural landscapes, suburban melancholy and 70s fashion is my calling this year.


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music's also been intrinsic to my summer. i've been listening to my soundcloud likes non-stop: notably ABRA - Fruit, SZA - twoAM and SEVDALIZA - THAT OTHER GIRL.

i found SEVDALIZA accidently and was immediately enthralled by how stripped back yet powerful her music is. she's reminiscent of fka twigs, arca and nicolas jaar but her sound is unique. THAT OTHER GIRL especially got me hooked - after listening to the song on repeat i wrote 'chaotic, controlled, sustained. glass shattering in reverse.' 

the simple melodic thrumming is juxtaposed by the violent static sounds of the beat drop. the result is something tense and restrained, beautiful but unsettling. check out the song and appropriately disturbing video below:




until next time...

-hannah



Saturday, 2 July 2016

moving forward

hey! it's been a while.
currently i've been obsessing thinking about issues of identity. 

GCSEs gave me an excuse to abandon the things which define me, morphing into an exam machine. weirdly, I think I enjoyed having constant obligations. I readily dropped the hobbies which shape me in exchange for revision. exams were freeing in a way, because the pressure to be 'creative', 'productive', 'myself' were invalid - all of my energy was projected outwards instead of in. despite the shittiness and constrictions, exam season was like a little vacation from having to be Hannah.

but now the freedom of summer has complicated things. i took a hiatus from dancing, reading, playing guitar and writing and now i'm questioning whether i can get it all back. i feel like i've lost a little of myself (if i ever had such a thing). 

i'm too malleable, too easily influenced. i pick up the mannerisms of my closest friends; i adopt the political views of various figures i respect; my clothes are a slight deviation from popular trends. maybe that's what identity is anyway - a patchwork of our environmental influences. but the lack of a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of my identity scares me.

so i clutch onto old emblems of myself. I still tell people that Tricky's one of my favourite artists, when in reality I hardly listen to him anymore. I play up my nerdiness, because being good at maths and science feels like something safe and sturdy when the rest of my interests are constantly melting and reforming into new shapes. i'm trapped between the responsibility and reason of authority and the parties and spontaneity of teenagers. neither really appeals to me, so I flip between both worlds at random.

I've finished secondary school and am moving to a new sixth form. it's deeply saddening but also a relief. i don't believe in the whole 'reinvent yourself over the summer' trope but i think meeting new people will be refreshing. something has to be sacrificed in order to grow. moving forward means leaving things behind.

-hannah

Saturday, 2 April 2016

aesthetics

hey.
I've been very into aesthetics lately - i.e. a colour, or a general vibe, which encompasses an emotion or experience. An outlet for this has been my tumblr, which currently has a sultry, sunset-over-the-city vibe (not in an icky generic way haha) which is just so soothing to me for some reason. I've always been obsessed with the sky and all its different forms. over London the sky goes this deep purple colour at a certain time of night, which has real significance to me. even later, the sky is almost yellow - like it's reluctant to go fully black. skies just hold something so grand and spiritual about them which is both intensely personal and completely impersonal, because the sky belongs to nothing and noone. obviously sunsets are the most overused aesthetic ever, but they don't cease to amaze me every night. the sky evokes so many memories for me.

a picture I took which is both ironically beautiful and kinda sad 
***

I watched Lolita yesterday (the Adrian Lyne one), which was uncomfortable and emotionally traumatising (it was pretty explicit) but is a stunning film. Dominique Swain was great in it - Lolita's reckless boredom, self-destructive sexuality and vulnerability was portrayed in a way I felt was really faithful to the original novel. Being so close to Lolita's age makes it strange to watch - you can recognise her autonomy but still sympathise deeply with how she's been manipulated and abused. Lolita's fashion/aesthetic is also amazing in its own disturbing way (think of Lana Del Rey's Off To The Races vibe). overall it's a very engrossing film which is difficult to watch but worth it. I recommend reading the actual novel though; Nabokov is an extremely artful writer.


***

I've also been thinking about how weird/amazing the experience of being a teenager is. there's an unspoken solidarity between people my age which somehow binds us together. I can't explain it - there's some intangible essence of being a teen, captured in Lorde's songs, which spins shared boredom into giddy excitement, straw into gold. there's something we know that adults don't. a lingering magic.

***

the future is still a foreign concept to me. I know for a fact that my relationship to everyone and everything is going to dramatically change, but that doesn't make it any more fathomable.

anyway,
-hannah

p.s. PLEASE watch this vine, it brings endless joy

Sunday, 21 February 2016

lowkey lonely

hey everyone! i apologise in advance for a very jumbled post, with no coherent theme apart from 'things that have been going on in my life recently'.

anyway: below is a picture (couldn't figure out 8tracks haha) of a playlist I made to allow myself to smoothly segue into the new year. these are some of the songs I love the most, which I can listen to endlessly. they don't exactly sustain a mood or theme but there is definitely a common lowkey thread which entwines them all together for me. I made a youtube playlist of them, if you want to give it a listen? they're all very chill songs with a tinge of loneliness or darkness creeping in - the best kind of song, in my opinion.


***

also i just got twitter, so follow me if you want! I'm terrible at tweeting tbh but at least i can retweet! @hannahh_lg ;)

***

in other news, I got a ~behind-the-scenes~ tour of the animal hospital at London Zoo which was AMAZING and involved me feeding and petting a cool anteater from Peru. I also got to feed 2 monkeys (i think they were golden lion tamarins but not sure) and a mongoose squirrel thing. 







***
in conclusion, queen B slays again. 


-hannah

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016

hey everyone - happy new year! i actually had a really great new years eve and I'm (unusually) pumped for this year. although I have exams in the summer i have a feeling this is going to be an amazing year. In some ways 2016 feels surreal (turning 16 etc) but my mind has already mentally adjusted to the idea - for the last few weeks I have been confusing 2015 with 2016.

i don't really believe in new year's resolutions as it's so hard to stick to them, which just leads to frustration. however, i do like to set personal goals to do more with my perception of the world rather than physical changes like 'go to the gym' etc. basically i just want to enjoy this year and do well in my exams!


***

last tuesday (or should i say LAST YEAR wow) i finally got to see the yellowbluepink installation at the wellcome collection. the wait was pretty long - 1 and a 1/2 hours - but it was more than worth it! the installation is such a simple idea, but it was so powerful. basically the whole idea was to completely fill a room with coloured mist and let people roam around for a while. 

the scientific basis of the installation was to do with altered perception, which it definitely succeeded in. when i first entered the room my initial reaction was fear - it was really strange and disorienting to suddenly see nothing but a pink haze all around you. people looked like walls; walls looked like people. but i soon got used to it, and by the end i was reluctant to leave. 

it was a really strange sensation to hear people talking throughout the room but not see them - it was almost like being surrounded by ghosts. it was as though we were in a different universe, an endless haze. the complete absorption into the environment was strangely meditative and calming. time became sort of meaningless - there wasn't any context for the passing of time, only suspended mist. it felt like a space outside of time.

in some areas i couldn't even see my own feet, the mist was so thick. a metre away was hazy - people dissolved in and out of sight, materialising before dissipating again. aesthetically speaking, it was mesmerising. i wish i could go again, but i most likely won't get a chance as it's ending tomorrow..







a few weeks ago i read Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel, which i loved for some reason. i relate pretty strongly to the main character (i'm very indecisive) and it was just a really funny and strange novel. if you want a pretty fast read reminiscent of Ben Lerner i would 100% recommend it!

ok, i'll leave you with this song i've been obsessed with for the past few days:


-hannah

Sunday, 27 December 2015

in-between

hey there! happy holidays/weird in-between time after Christmas and before New Years.

I had convinced myself I would blog more frequently this holiday because of all my spare time - but there's too much spare time. I don't even know what I've done over this break. The days have all melted together into a hazy blob of reading books, eating food, re-watching my so-called life and doing literally nothing. which doesn't sound that bad now that I write it out, but i had intended to be more ~productive~

HOWEVER, on the subject of productiveness, why is it such a big deal? i'm on holiday; isn't the whole point of winter to binge-watch tv shows anyway? obviously by productivity i mean creative productivity, like writing or whatever, but if not getting things done provides such an emotional burden then there's not any point of expecting to do loads of things. maybe being productive is just a capitalist idea of your worth being measured by what you produce anyway...

...or i'm making excuses for not blogging until now. 

moving on - I have re-discovered how amazing my so-called life is; i'm dreading finishing the series again. I can't fully relate to Angela's American suburban experience, but being the same age as her character this time makes the show so much more personal and compelling. also it's really funny and touches on a lot of ~teen issues~. i would highly recommend it!

one of the few Christmas presents i asked for was the compilation of Basquiat's notebooks - after seeing some pages at the Brooklyn Museum exhibition in the summer, I was intrigued. his notebook entries feel cryptic and poetic, almost like a blueprint for his paintings. the book itself resembles a notebook, and the pages have their original stains and smears on them; it feels quite haunting reading it, like you're holding the original copy. here are some of my favorite pages:








other things going on at the moment...

my wall

polaroid and book i'm currently reading

new coat, a.k.a. my life

reflections


-hannah


Sunday, 13 December 2015

volver (to return)

long time no see!

things are good right now. mocks are finally over! so I'm currently enjoying an extremely lazy Sunday (which feels like a Monday bc i had most of Friday off).

I saw Ibeyi in November, which feels like years ago now. They were absolutely magical, and apart from standing right next to the speaker (and therefore having a loud-music-hangover the next day), the night was perfect. We were right by the front, so got an amazing view of the sisters the whole night. The opening act was pretty bad but it was worth the wait - i think Ibeyi sound better live than on recording, which isn't always the case. 

something about their set was just so natural, as they dissolved one song into the next. there were beautiful lighting effects/projections behind them, enhancing the eerily gorgeous sound. the vibe was so mystical and organic - technology makes it super difficult sometimes, but it felt really present. their sisterly connection ('ibeyi' means twins in Yoruba) made it even more special. for example, one moment really stuck with me; Lisa-Kaindé dropped her water bottle, and Naomi immediately offered her own, in such a natural way. maybe being an only child makes twins especially intriguing/magical in my eyes, but that moment was really warming. 

one great thing about technology, though, is the freedom it gives in terms of music. Ibeyi couldn't exist without it! their experimentation and mixing of traditional Yoruba songs with jazz, soul and electronic music makes their sound so unique. basically it was a great night! I would very much recommend seeing them live if you ever have the chance...

with all the free time I'm about to have, i'm hoping for more blogging/creative time. so watch this space!

-hannah

Sunday, 27 September 2015

brand new you're rettro

hey, what's new? a few weeks ago I did this retro photoshoot for my friend's art textiles GCSE. not only was it super fun, the photos turned out really great - the clothes are a mix of mine/my mum's and my friend's/her mum's. anyway thank you Elli for acting as art director/photographer/makeup artist/stylist! the photos go chronologically, from the 40's to the 90's (also the title is a Tricky reference...couldn't help myself)















watching// back to the future, seinfeld
listening// anything by Tricky, for always and ever

-hannah

Sunday, 20 September 2015

part 3: afropunk

I promised part 3, and here it is. looking at the photos it seems I was in NY just a few days ago - but it's been almost a month. even after 3 weeks back at school my brain is completely rejecting the notion that it's no longer summer. but what can you do? time does its thing.
















video

video

video

once again AfroPunk was an oasis of mindblowing fashion and music. standout acts have to be Grace Jones, Kelela and Goldlink. Lauryn Hill was also great but her performance was underwhelming; I don't know her music well enough to let her mere presence substitute for stage presence. but to be fair, we were really far from the stage and her power was cut off about 30 minutes in. Grace Jones was awesome and is looking incredible for 67. I didn't know Kelela very well but knew I wanted to see her - and I was right. Her vocals are insane and her set was super fun. new york is magical in itself and being in ny with beautiful weather, beautiful people and beautiful music amplifies this otherworldliness x1000. it was an enchanting, memorable weekend.

-hannah