Hannah Robson is a fine art painting student studying at the University of Brighton.
She explores the themes of the decorative by combining rich and bold colours to tell us something profound about the things that surround us in every day life.
Her work represents subjects which at first are very familiar but presented in a curious disjointed way.
The productions at Glyndebourne have all had a profound effect on me. Although I chose to study painting, music is a big part of my life – I play clarinet in the University of Sussex orchestra, and I sing in the choir. So it has been fascinating to see art being made in response to music, to experience first hand and close up, the collaboration between music and visuality, and how they affect each other.
The sets and props have been a big influence, particularly Don Pasquale; the pale colours and floral patterns running through the wallpaper and furniture have inspired my paintings endlessly. Backstage is breathtaking in itself: props and sets are disjointed when out of context from their performances, juxtaposed and interlinked with each other, creating something strange and curious and beautiful to draw.
The quietness of Glyndebourne, away from the rehearsals and performances, has also had a great impact in how I draw and paint. I have become more caring in the nuances of my practice; how the dynamic of two colours work together for example, and I now seem to have a much greater depth of concentration.
The residency has also made me aware of the importance of encouraging people to visit Glyndebourne and take interest in opera. Not just young people like myself. For example, when picnicking with Raise Your Voice (a group for people with dementia and their carers), I became aware of the great effect it had on these people and the happiness Glyndebourne had brought to them.
Being given access to rehearsals has given me an insight into how the operas are put together and how hard everyone works! This residency has been a great privilege; my experience at Glyndebourne, together with the visual record I've gathered are all material that will last me a lifetime.
Most importantly, this residency has been key for my development as an artist, and is the perfect gateway into my third year at Brighton University. Thank you Glyndebourne!