Who is organizing HOLD FAST festival this year? Meet the wonderful Hannah Morgan!
Where are you from? What brought you to St. John's and Eastern Edge?
I'm from Prince Edward Island! I grew up in a little community, Marshfield, in an old farm house and my family still lives there today! It's home. Coming to St. John's was a bit of a quick decision. While doing grad studies at Concordia I was apart of the Indigenous Art Research Group and started a research contract with Dr. Heather Igloliorte for the iNuit Blanche festival. iNuit Blanche took place in St. John's last October and when asked if I wanted to be 'on the ground' in St. John's before the festival - I jumped at the opportunity to come back to the Atlantic Provinces. Eastern Edge was a bit of a hub for iNuit Blanche and it pulled me in -- Artist-run centres are so important and there are too few in the east coast!
When you're not organizing HOLD FAST, what are three things you might be found doing?
1. Trying to write / catch up on my thesis work. I'm terrible at prioritizing my personal research. I have a consistent lack of will power when it comes to saying yes to new projects and ideas. I want to activate my ideas and energy constantly beyond my desk.
2. Going for a drive outside the city and belting it out in the car. I love the release of being able to be as dramatic and loud as you want on a long drive. It's just a curious and personal space that can be as transitory or familiar as you wish. Unplanned day trips are my favourite.
3. Rummaging - I enjoy routing through collections of whatever. Antique shops, things around my own apartment, photos, rocks, books, music, plants, internet memes, the kitchen section at Winners.
Do you have any secret talents?
I'm pretty good at making cozy interiors - love a good reading nook. I also play bassoon - but that's a long story.
What has been your favourite part of organizing HOLD FAST?
HOLD FAST itself. Being in the centre of the storm - it's that moment where ideas are existing and being enacted in real time. Artist and Audience meet. Performance and installation art within a festival like HOLD FAST is extraordinary because artists surround you; as much as you are observing them - they are watching you too. It's weird and wonderful.
How has organizing HOLD FAST inspired or affected your own creative projects/practice?
The festival has me thrilled about the desire for artists from across Canada to visit St. John's, NL and experience the artistic communities here on the east coast. There is an incredible amount of talent and opportunity here for contemporary arts - the support we have is great and will hopefully continue to grow as Newfoundland & Labrador show how valuable contemporary visual art practices are to the province! NFLD is an exceptional place - the national and international art world cannot help but be curious about the thriving artists and artistic communities here on this island way out in the Atlantic! The potential HOLD FAST holds as a contemporary arts festival is endless and I can't wait to see it all happen this week!