Have you ever felt you wanted to do things differently?
Like starting all over again?
Like stepping outside the rat race and walk at your own pace?
On your own terms?
That’s what happened to me.
Hi. My name is Hanna Van Aelst.
I am an artist and basket maker. I try to listen to Mother Nature. And through her I create organic willow shapes reminiscent of Her beauty and magic.
I live in a most beautiful and wild place in Tipperary, Ireland, with my husband and three children, on a wonderful permaculture off-grid
smallholding where we grow our own food, firewood and willow. We have our own chickens and are fortunate to be in the company of five donkeys and two mad dogs.
But life was not always this way….
Not long after meeting my boyfriend, now husband, he asked me:
‘If I moved to a different country would you move with me?’
Taken by a deep need for change, adventure and desire to live closer to nature we left Belgium for Ireland.
We packed our belongings into a trailer and left.
We bought a run down cottage on an acre of forested land and started to transform it into a home for our growing family.
For the first ten years we worked hard. Jef build our house and garden. I concentrated on child rearing and in the short gaps of free time I started on my weaving journey. With tentative steps at first. But I soon got into my stride…
Right when my baskets became more and more in demand my body gave out. Injuries had settled in. But as usual, out of hard times beauty is born. I rested. I contemplated what direction I really wanted my work to take. And when I finally did start making again organic, flowing, natural shapes appeared.
Weaving has been a healing journey for me. Working with willow has brought me closer to nature in all possible ways.
My work is about healing through rebuilding our connection to nature. Like nature when disturbed, cut down and hurt it starts to regrow again. It is that force of regrowth, life force and stamina I explores in my work.
Each piece I make speaks of that force in all of us. It is creative, feminine, nourishing and healing.
I believe Mother Nature is dying to get back in touch with us. That she would love us to be silent and connect to our hearts. And that if we do magic will happen again.
I am on this journey too. Would you like to come along with me….?