Molly Hankinson moved to Glasgow in 2014 to study fine art, painting and printmaking at Glasgow School of Art. She grew up in Lewisham, London, and says “my heart will always be there, but Glasgow is a home away from home. You have so much creative freedom here.”
Last year, she helped to organise an auction of works by Scottish artists, donated to raise funds in response to the Australian bushfires. Hankinson lives in the Southside.
Can you describe Glasgow as you see it?
One of the main things about Glasgow is its DIY approach; there are not many cities where if you can’t afford something or don’t get funding, people go out on a limb and make it happen. Some of the best things I’ve seen have been at people’s flats – putting on exhibitions crammed into tenements is a good tool for curating spaces. I like Where the People Sleep – a community-focused art space on Westminster Street. Things seem possible and less stifling than they do in London.
How does the city’s personality inform your work?
Glasgow has informed my work massively. For my degree show I put an open call on social media wanting to interrogate ideas of femininity and this led to interviews in people’s homes. I’m interested in how domestic spaces, historically negative for women, can be subverted into places of power.
So many of those places I visited were tenements – there’s a real majesty to them. “Glasgow Tenement” [a figure sitting at a tenement window] is my most successful piece of work; I had taken a photo of my flatmate – a “stay there” moment – and the work came from that. Glasgow’s personality is infectious and translates really well. I like places like the Laurieston pub that capture the spirit of the city and Jaconelli’s, a chippy in Maryhill, or the North Kelvin Meadow, a beautiful community garden.
What is important to you in your work (in any dimension!)?
There’s a large community of female-centric illustrators on Instagram, it’s a massive source of inspiration. In terms of individual artists, I’ve always admired people like Alice O’Neill, for her representations of people and plants at home. I love botanical illustrations – historically they were a female domain. I like making plants look strong.
Favourite Glasgow gallery or art venue?
Tramway is banging, so versatile. The Modern Institute is also really good, and I’ve seen amazing shows at the New Glasgow Society or even the space above the Old Hairdressers.
Name an underrated place/thing to do in Glasgow
I’m quite basic with where I go. I can still go to Queen’s Park and find a bit I didn’t know existed. There are amazing bars – Minnesota Fats in Mount Florida has so much personality, it’s an underground place/snooker hall. Poky, with personality.