Hanna ten Doornkaat

Four by Hanna ten Doornkaat

finding oneself


A sheet of drafting paper is anchored to the floor.

The artist kneels in front of it as if getting ready to pray but with a power drill held lightly in her hand. Instead of the usual drill bit the chuck holds a graphite pencil. She switches it on and begins to write the word ‘Me’ over and over and over again. She fills the sheet with this single word, then, turning the sheet through 90 degrees, continues to write the same word over and over again. Turning the sheet again and again, eventually writing over existing lines, the artist slowly and deliberately weaves a dense and indecipherable net of ‘Me’.


Totally immersed in the process, the artist’s inner peace is strongly felt by her forgotten audience. The performance is also surprisingly peaceful – in spite of the loud noise of the drill – making the viewer aware of the meditative aspect of this work.


An important part of the process is the drafting paper, so reminiscent of the skin-like qualities of ancient parchment. Writing this one word endlessly the artist offers us an insight into the traces life has left and the paper resembles her skin onto which she ‘tattoos’ her life story. It’s a journey to the ‘I’, a path ….



hanna DD 011

hanna PI 049

hanna Selfportrait (ME 6)

hanna Selfportrait (ME4)


hanna Selfportrait (ME5)

German artist Hanna ten Doornkaat lives and works in the UK. In 2002 she completed an MA Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art. Since she has been exhibiting widely both in the UK and abroad. She has also curated numerous group exhibitions.