Exhibition Dates: December 13, 2019–January 25, 2020
Opening Reception: December 13, 2019 6-8pm
Hanna Washburn presents her soft sculptures made from recycled clothing, furniture, and found objects. Working with materials that have their own history, her playful anthropomorphic forms engage with material memory, and explore the relationship between the body and space.
My work is constructed from clothing, furniture, household items, and other materials that have former associations. I source these supplies from my own life, and the lives of my friends and family, to build compound sculptural forms. The resulting sculptures look and behave like bodies or body parts: gradually sagging towards the floor in some places, gesturing with animated buoyancy in others. Some works have the structure of an armature, while other forms droop under the influence of gravity. Using materials with another intended function as my medium, I allow my intimacies with objects and memories of domestic spaces to dictate my visual language. I work intuitively, allowing the forms to grow organically into complex aggregates of color, pattern, and texture.
The lumpy sculptural forms reference anatomy both celebrated and feared: rounded breasts, bulging stomachs, threatening tumors. The soft colors and modest patterns indicate an ostensible femininity, and embody an aesthetic associated the home. The voluptuous figures may seem distorted or unsettling, but this is undercut by their apparent sweetness, the surfaces acting as a kind of camouflage for the forms beneath. Some works have swaths of paint covering the clothing, adding another layer of composition to the quilt-like surface. These mismatched bodily forms are at once modest, maternal, sexual, and grotesque, creating a patchwork of associations and expectations of the female form.
I understand bodies to be expansive and shifting, and the surrogate bodies I create are in flux. The variety of forms, sizes, and methods of installation indicate that this cumulative body cannot be easily summarized, marginalized, or contained. The undulating forms and application of paint suggest they are growing and changing, adding layers and extending into space. They are making a space for themselves, demanding room to breathe.