Images : Hannah Elizabeth Allan
As part of Unit X practitioners from across the School of Art and beyond are brought in to teach workshops and work on projects. Throughout Unit X we will be posting practitioner profiles on the blog, to help you get to know them better…
Name: Hannah Elizabeth Allan
How would you describe your work to someone at a party?
I’m interested in the remains of performances and actions. My practice is inerdisciplinary, usually involving writing, photography and live work. At the moment I’m carrying out a PhD at MMU looking at how an artistic practice can function within the structure of the archive.
What have you been doing as part of Unit X?
I’m teaching assistant for second year BAs working with College One, so helping students who are interested in the various aspects of art education. The students are designing workshops to take to primary schools, galleries and a garden centre all around the theme of making a window box.
Have Unit X students surprised you, with their working processes or final outputs?
Some of the ideas put forward have been really creative and engaging – such as making an immersive environment for the workshop which includes sound and texture, or how to survive a zombie apocalypse!
Did you do anything like Unit X while you were an undergraduate student?
No, I didn’t study at MMU, and although we had professional practice lectures and assignments we never did anything to give us this ‘real world’ experience of working in the arts. During the degree I did organise my own voluntary experience as a youth worker in the arts though, which was really important in helping me understand how to structure workshops and how to act and react in that environment.
What do you see as the benefits for students working on a project like Unit X?
I think getting to see what their potential career path might be like beforehand is really important (whether it encourages you, or turns you off it), as is some experience of working in those situations when applying for jobs or internships.
Do you have any ‘words of wisdom’ for students as they make their way through Unit X?
Make the most of the opportunities you enjoy, following up on them if you can. Try out and test things, it’s a good place to work in a way that’s different from your usual practice. You can learn a lot from the things that go wrong as well!