Posted by Paul Sacaridiz, President-Elect
Using traditional sculptural elements and unexpected materials, the work of Rebecca Hamlin Green examines elements of social and personal identity through a lens of domestic associations. How we define ourselves through how we live, where we come from, and the structures we erect and exist within to maintain a sense of place.
Her most recent project, Undirectionals, is an installation that will be on view at the Pritzlaff space, during the week of the upcoming conference. The work is comprised of dog forms juxtaposed with domestic materials such as lace, upholstery, wood and ornament, to create a three-dimensional “wallpaper” and an immersive space where material, subject and context seek to play with perceptions of the home and memory The design is inspired by elaborate Victorian wallpaper patterns and each element has been carefully chosen to carry a meaning when thinking of the home, idealized or actual. The installation seeks to blur the line between material and form and to invite the viewer to take a second look as to where the space ends and the forms begin.
Expanding on her work she writes:
“I use a combination of materials and objects to express the dualities I want to convey when approaching any idea- the old and the new, comfort and anxiety, benefit and detriment, fantasy and reality. Thus, any object or material becomes helpful in setting up the arena of juxtaposition and when used metaphorically, helps to further emphasize my observations to the viewer. My use of the forms of domesticated animals, i.e. dogs, bees, sheep, as well as domestic objects and environments, calls into question the notions surrounding how/why we act to control our lives through this domestic identity. In this framework I address psychological issues within our interactions with our surroundings and how the potential for the resulting inner narrative can either help us to reconcile the familiar with the uncanny or upset the natural order altogether.”
“Domestic animals within the home, like the tradition of ceramic art, serve both form and function, sculpture and utility, nature and culture. Perhaps that is why this living element to our domestic space is so engrained in our human experience and presently becomes so coupled with our definition of home. In addition, clay taken out of its plastic state and turned into liquid slip, combined with fabric or paper and then allowed to harden allows both materials to transform visually and conceptually, and explores the dual nature of the soft and the hard, clay and cloth, fur and bone. ”
Rebecca Hamlin Green lives and works in Chicago, where she maintains an active practice as studio artist and educator.