Eco Painting

By Jo Phillips

Artist hana’s UK debut solo exhibition Inventing Artist Paints at 50 Brook Street showcases eighteen remarkable works, including portraits of Noel Fielding, Kehinde Wiley and Anish Kapoor, all of which have been executed with revolutionary sustainable paints invented by the artist. Creatively pushing boundaries with her groundbreaking paints this has seen artist hana shaking up both the artworld and paint market with her eco formula made from organic and alternative materials. Read more about her work here in Eco Painting.

From left: Portrait of Kehinde Wiley, (2020), Blueberry oil and coconut shells on canvas, 76.20 x 60.96 cm & Portrait of Yayoi Kusama, (2020), Blueberry oil and coconut shells on canvas, 76.20 x 60.96 cm

Since her painting was situated directly opposite Hockney’s Blue Hang Cliff, next to John Baldessari’s Blueberry Soup, in March 2020, British painter, Artist Hana has become one of the most sought-after emerging artists. Hana titled this collection Inventing Artist Paints, an exploration of the genius of the artist and a study of scientists who made oil painting possible.

Throughout the artist’s life, sustainability has always been a central cornerstone. While attending a school for fine art in Santa Monica, artist hana found it difficult to work with strong odoured paints and paint thinners;

My art teacher insisted I needed paint thinners to create good work quickly. The more I used them the less I wanted to create work. I found myself dreading entering the studio. I remember wearing a face mask (way before Covid) during my Colour Theory labs to avoid the smell of thinners.’

Most conventional oil paints are known carcinogens and toxic to some aquatic life, and certain paints cannot be disposed of down drains otherwise it will kill fish. Early accounts of paints used in Victorian times saw some of them burn through wood as they were so toxic. While paints have evolved since those times, they still contain substances that are harmful for both the artist and the environment.

From left: Sagwa Obseoyo, (2020), Oil and edible funghi on linen, 30 x 30 cm & I Miss Rowdy, (2020), Oil and sea vegetables on canvas, 76.20 x 60.96 cm

These experiences motivated artist hana to think outside the box and her curiosity led her into her kitchen. Her first paint, a blue-violet colour, was created from blueberries – and she now also uses coconut shells, vegetables, dried fruits, algae, fungi and other organic material to create pigments that she uses in her artworks. By using discarded food waste and other alternative materials, she is creating a new eco-paint formula that is safe for all. In the words of the artist,

I want to inspire artist and painters who visit the show to think outside the paint tube and experiment with new pigments and materials.’

The artist currently has a black paint created from coconut shell waste and a deep green paint made from seaweed which are already in production, with future plans to bring a complete set of eco-paints to the market. Artist hana is pushing the boundaries of conventional paints that have not changed in decades and is revolutionising them to not only be healthy for the artist and for the environment, but to also be archival so that these works can be preserved for future generations.

Be sure to see her Mayfair exhibition and experience the interactive inventing station where you can see first-hand these eco-friendly paints in action. After all, isn’t Eco Painting the way forward?

9 – 12 October 2020 12 – 9 pm daily 50 Brook Street Mayfair W1K 5DR. Albany Arts Website

To book a 30-minute private view, please email

If you enjoyed reading Eco Painting then why not read One State of Mind or Another Here

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