HannahSpeltBackwards

Content Writer Hannah Miller

Month: January, 2012

Interview 1: Mhairi

I’ve given myself a little undertaking to do an interview series before I leave Australia. My first subject was Mhairi, a former pelvic examination model and demonstrator. Here is an excerpt, with the extended interview to come. In this portion, Mhairi speaks about some of the incorrect behaviour that she was teaching OB/GYN medical students to avoid by allowing them to practise on a real person rather than a mannequin.

Half Aussie – Half Kiwi

Some more of my childhood possessions give a little clue into my diverse (ha!) upbringing with an mother from Australia and  a father from New Zealand. Above is a much loved stuffed kiwi with a torn nose (beak?) and foot. This fella has a music box inside with a key at the back, as shown in the video below. Pretty sure that tune isn’t native to NZ though.

Here are some Australian stuffed animals: a wombat and a platypus. I remember that Mum’s favourite animal was always the platypus. They are a pretty cool mix of animal parts, but still not as freakily awesome as the Philippine tarsier.

Some more kiwi souvenirs, a tiki and another kiwi.

Australian arts and crafts? I’m not much of a patriot but I guess it’s unavoidable in childhood for some Australiana to rub off on me. I remember telling my parents that I wanted a bush instrument, so Dad helped me construct this bottle cap rattle contraption. I think it used to have a few more bottle caps than pictured here. Complete with a gum nut just to really make it authentic. And then decorated with some lovely silver spray paint!

And then some googley-eyed gum nut people, or rather a gum nut baby and a pinecone guy, complete with PVA glue dribbling all over, and a coating of multi-coloured glitter.

Self Publishing

When Salford Zine Library put a call out for zine makers to participate in a documentary project last year, I recorded myself answering some of their questions. Being used to being the interviewer rather than the interviewee, it was quite difficult being in front of the camera. Especially since it was just me and the camera, with no one to prompt me. I ended up being a bit of a perfectionist with my answers since I wanted to be sure to give a useable sound bite. I still didn’t know if they would use it at all, but it turns out I might make an appearance or two if the final film. I’ve popped up in a couple of preview chapters that the filmmakers have put online.


Craig Barr interviewed self-publishers across Manchester, including OWT Creative, Vapid Kitten and Manchester Municipal Design Corporation, as well as inviting international film submissions. The film is showing during an exhibition from October 15 to January 29 at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park Crescent, Salford M5 4WU.

Hoarding Relics


I recently did a massive comb through and cull of the belongings I had stored in my mother’s garage and decided to document many of the items that I managed to part with. In addition to the boxes that I remember storing there when I first moved out of home, my mother also kept a huge amount of my childhood mementos. Every exercise book from my schooling; every birthday card I’ve ever received! I’m grateful that nothing was thrown out that I could later regret, but it was an incredibly overwhelming job to sort through all of this. How do you decide which childhood drawing is more valuable than the next? What’s a reasonable amount to keep? How important are the physical left overs of my past really – especially if they’ve been packed away for all this time and I didn’t even know I still had half of these things anyway. On the plus side, I did find 200 dollars in old birthday cards! (Plus a couple of paper notes!)

I’ll be posting some of the things I rediscovered as I dug through the boxes. The “You’re Special” snow globe was a gift from mum that I had on my bedside table for years. Here are my broken Barbies and tea set.

There were also two boxes of my frog collection, so more frog pics will definitely pop up. Bathing beauty frogs, so ridiculous.

Midst my days of sorting, I found this Dumpster Project that felt familiar. “Forced to downsize into a smaller studio and reduce the amount of stuff he owns, artist Mac Premo converted the interior of a dumpster into a walk-in traveling exhibition of objects he has collected over the years.” His possessions aren’t quite so childish as mine and are lovingly arranged in a misleading jumble, which is actually quite organised. I love his use of a dumpster to display items he might have had to toss, and that his exhibition, like my photos, must have been a process of reassessment of the meaning and value of each object.