Saturday, August 16, 2008

Heather Hancock - Bodies in Motion

A big hello to one and all! I'm still away from home, but had some time this afternoon so thought I would give all of you an update. School begins for me on Tuesday and once I'm back in Jingletown I should be able to get back to my regularly scheduled entries. ;-) Meanwhile, please sit back and enjoy this entry about a fantastic mosaic artist from Chicago, Heather Hancock.

Stacy

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In physics, motion means a continuous change in the location of a body. Motion is typically described in terms of velocity, acceleration, displacement, and time. Chicago artist, Heather Hancock aptly uses motion-based nomenclature for her series of works...Bend, Flex, Focus. Shapes and colors scurry about her substrates, sometimes in defiance as they dash above or below them to create active, vibrant work that speaks to the viewer in a new language, a thoughtful one, full of energy...music...life.


She writes, "In my art, I reinterpret the ancient form of mosaics to produce works that capture the vibrancy and inter-connectedness of contemporary urban life. Glass serves literally as a lens to transmit and focus light, and metaphorically, as a channel through which something can be seen or understood.

Both the spare beauty of the Canadian prairies where I grew up and the sensory richness of the urban environments of Chicago where I have spent most of my adult life influence my aesthetic sensibilities. Color and rhythms play off each other to explore pattern and surprise in nature and life."


Perhaps Heather's unique slant on mosaics with its rich, organic flow comes from following her own mind's eye. The only formal mosaic training she received was in 2005 when she took the Orsoni course in Venice. Her work has truly evolved from her personal vision as an artist.
Heather's Bend series is about light refracted through undulating glass. Interesting colors and forms weave themselves together in effortless less patterns via the use of glass, 24K gold smalti, acrylic paint and wood.

She says, "From another angle, 'bend' explores how we shape our own reality. We are perpetually constructing our narratives—incorporating new experiences, forgetting some details and remembering others, and shifting emphases to create a cohesive, compelling pattern. Our individual narratives evolve across time, rippling into those of others."


Heather's Flexx series consists of small format pieces exploring form and movement in glass and grout. She writes, "The patterns I use reflect my vision of how, as time flows, we all experience convergence and divergence; connections between people are formed, evolve and lead to new connections and influences. Individual works provide glimpses of the larger patterns from which they are excerpted."





My personal favorite series of her work is the one called, Focus which Heather says examines the internal processes that creates a continuous sense of self. "Trillions of synapses collaborate fluidly through unimaginably complex interactions allowing us to achieve narrative coherence, an autobiographical self, complete with freedom, responsibility and imagination."

"Focus explores the notion of moments of clarity and insight in the midst of the blur of life."

"As a speech-language pathologist, my work with adults following brain injuries gave me insight into the grim reality of a fragmented conscious experience. Amazingly even the severely injured displayed a relentless drive to re-organize and make sense of this disconnected or inexpressible existence.

This mixed media work explores the significance of ‘noticing’ as an organizing force in mental life. These moments of noticing take place within contexts—the internal contexts of personal history and perceptions and the external or social contexts to which we are so keenly attuned."


Heather lives and shows her work in the Chicago area. Sets of her various mixed media/mosaic art pieces can be seen on her flickr album and you can read more about the artist and her works on her most excellent web site.


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Stacy Alexander