Woman keeping sister's memory alive through art

LOVING ART: Di Hanson, showcasing her work at this year's Hampton Festival, creates pieces based on her sister's photography.
LOVING ART: Di Hanson, showcasing her work at this year's Hampton Festival, creates pieces based on her sister's photography. Contributed

INSPIRED by her sister's work as a geologist, a Toowoomba woman has come up with a unique and creative business.

Di Hanson started creating art to share her sister Sue's work after she died suddenly 2007 as a way to keep her memory alive.

Ms Hanson, who currently works in Brisbane, said she wanted to establish her business in her home town - making custom feature tiles.

"My business has evolved from originally working with my sister's mineral photography as wall art, to making feature tiles using Sue's photos and more recently other photos and artwork," Ms Hanson said.

Ms Hanson explained her sister was a geologist at the time she took the photos, which are of rock "thin sections" viewed under a microscope.

She currently works in IT, something she has done for the past 20 years, and while she enjoys her work she really wants to bring her business, Hanson Mineral Tiles, to Toowoomba.

"There's a lot going on in Toowoomba now and it's not the little regional town Sue and I grew up in," Ms Hanson said.

Di Hanson's sister Sue was her inspiration.
Di Hanson's sister Sue was her inspiration. Contributed

"I like the genuine desire to support small business here in town and that makes me very keen to be involved in the local business scene."

Ms Hanson started exhibiting her sister's mineral photography as artwork on large-scale canvas and fine art paper in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toowoomba.

"I took a break from about 2010 to 2014 and when I came back to Sue's images I really wanted to look at different ways of presenting them," she said.

"I spent a long time my shed trying out different things, including making mobile phone cases and coasters and that sort of thing and eventually one day I perfected this technique of applying the photos to tiles and achieving a really nice finish with resin.

"Because of the abstract quality of Sue's images I thought they would look great as a repeated pattern as feature tiles.

"It took about 18 months to work through that evolution and settle on the tiles as I now make them."

A custom feature tile by Di Hanson.
A custom feature tile by Di Hanson. Contributed

Ms Hanson described her sister as beautiful, generous and the person she "loved most in the world".

"I often do things because I think Sue would be happy about it, or it would have made her proud," she said.

Ms Hanson said she loved working with her sister's photos because she knew how much she loved them.

"I never tire of looking at them and they still amaze me even today," she said.

"Over the years I've felt a nagging desire to do something creative myself, but it wasn't until late last year that I started playing with some paint on tiles and from there on canvas.

"It was a great feeling to be doing some of my own abstract art inspired by these beautiful photos I'd been working with. It sort of felt like a 'joint effort' is the best way to describe it."

Topics:  art arts business hanson mineral tiles toowoomba

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