Things to Remember Camping
The scale of the subject matter varies: mosquitoes, a tiger, February, the ocean. The depth of the concepts runs from playful to bold. Texts accompanying the framed works read, “The day the unicorns came, you were not ready!” or “Where and how to take a risk.” The collages are small, and built with tiny details.
Art by Hannah Morris
“Things to Remember Camping” is the most recent show in the Council’s Spotlight Gallery. All of the pieces are gouache and paper collages on board, some also including sewn fabric. Hand-lettered texts are posted next to the framed images. Hannah talked about the way her background in illustration influences her work. As she creates, the images always connect to words, “whether as a title or a story in the back of my mind. I’ve illustrated picture books, so I think about making pictures as a compliment or divergence to a given text.”
Little Characters, Big Ideas
Hannah chose the words “detailed, intimate, and personal” to describe her art. “I use details to connect with people; I’m addressing big questions through small details.” In this show, small, whimsical characters express the ideas spelled out beside them. Some of those questions are built around environmental issues, which are growing increasingly important to the artist. She also doesn’t back away from suffering, hell, the crumbling of myths, and confidence.
Hannah described the act of collage-making saying, “I really like drawing with ink, but it’s flat. Collage becomes more 3D through building up layers and removing pieces of the existing image. It’s like quilting combined with 3D drawing and painting. I like putting a lot of bits together to make a new whole.” These become the elements of a personalized visual language mentioned in her artist statement.
She also chooses to re-use or re-fashion materials and to engage in “a constant recycling of things. I try not to use new materials if I don’t have to. For example, the ‘portrait dolls’ I make—the funky dolls based on people I know—are all made from fabric scraps, including the stuffing.”
Hannah grew up in southern Vermont, but lived in urban settings and abroad for a decade. She moved back to Vermont three years ago. Her references to winter, water, and camping all tell of the hours spent outside in fields and woods in her youth as well as a return to the outdoors, now that she’s back in Vermont. “I missed the landscape, which is really a part of me.” Depictions of cross-country skiing, dance, and yoga show a love of movement.
Above all, the work is playful and fun. Stop by the opening June 12 to share the joy, simplicity, and zen in Hannah’s collages. If you miss the opening, stop by the Council before August 7th.