Hannah Paterson

RSA David Michie Travel Award 2020


We can’t live without salt but too much salt, and we perish.

Hannah’s work explores the behaviours of human beings and humanity’s search for purity and earthly desires, through salt which can paradoxically lead to unhealthy obsessions. Hannah is Intrigued by the beauty and mystery within this conflict that gets to the core aspect of human nature which she believes can be applied to other aspects of human life. To understand the importance of our connection to such a substance Hannah’s work connects the material with the body through symbolic objects often in repetition, creating patterns that draw attention to the endurance through the gradual physical and emotional damage caused by being trapped in a cycle of unfulfilling desires that were originally designed to provide us life.

Hannah researched this concept further by travelling to the source of the substance; the salt mine. Focusing on the practices of salt within religion for symbolic purposes, She chose the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland to immerse herself in the culture which was developed around Catholicism and the trade of salt. Her work is influenced by the striking colours and patterns of the natural and man-carved salt found deep down inside the mine that she has combined with the religious objects found in the mine’s chambers, cathedral and tunnels. Bringing the work back to the actions of the body and its challenging relationship with salt; a need in order to live but a source towards our death.