Join us for a live streamed artist talk with artist Hollis Hammonds, poet Sasha West, art historian Stephen Caffey and curator Rebecca Pugh, as they discuss Hammonds' new work and collaborative exhibit "A Dark Wood Grew Inside Me," currently on view at the Wright Gallery.
Hollis Hammonds is a multimedia artist whose work, built on memory and utilizing evidence from the public collective consciousness, investigates social issues ranging from economic disparity and state violence to environmental degradation and man-made disasters. Her dystopian drawings and found-object installations have been widely exhibited throughout the US, including solo exhibitions at Women & Their Work, Austin, TX; Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston, SC; Dishman Art Museum, Beaumont, TX; Reed Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; Gallery 2506, Chicago, IL; The Juanita Harvey Art Gallery, Wichita Falls, TX; Hiestad Galleries at Miami University, Oxford, OH; and Flex Space, Austin, TX. Hammonds has had her creative work featured in New American Paintings, Manifest's International Drawing Annual, FOA, Uppercase, and Art on Paper. She was awarded the grand prize for the Dave Bown Projects 14th Semiannual Competition, and has been an artist in residence at McColl Center for Art + Innovation, University of Wisconsin-Marathon, Indie Grits Film Festival, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. Currently she is collaborating with poet Sasha West on an exhibit called A Dark Wood Grew Inside Me. Hammonds is Professor of Art and Chair of the Department of Visual Studies at St. Edward's University in Austin, TX.
Built on threads of personal memory and tied to the public collective consciousness, my drawings and installations have ranged in subject matter from personal narrative to social issues. I use beauty as a device to seduce the viewer into engaging with serious and often challenging subjects. I rely on drawing in many forms to construct both real and symbolic representations, melding fact and fiction, past and present, to create meaning out of a world currently in turmoil.
Most recently I've been working on a multimedia exhibition called A Dark Wood Grew Inside Me, resulting from a collaboration between myself and poet Sasha West. In this exhibit we present works that question both individual and societal contributions to environmental crisis. I often draw on inspiration from a fire that consumed my childhood home when I was 15 years old. In the context of climate change, that displacement takes on new meaning. Rather than being an aberration of the past, the incident foretells a potentially apocalyptic future. My drawings reflect the melancholy and darkness manifest in West's works, asking us to reexamine the impact of elements when those elements are fed by human actions.
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