Was, Might Be
July 28-September 1, 2017
Reception: Friday, August 18, 6:00-8:00pm

The Brookline Arts Center is pleased to present Was, Might Be by Hanna Vogel. Vogel’s first involvement with the BAC was in 2016, when her work was selected for the juried exhibition Conceptual Clay, Hot Art. We are excited to welcome her back to the gallery for a solo exhibition.

Artist Statement:

“Sometimes, when immersed in a place of ineffable lightness that hovers on the boundary between solidity and dispersion like dense fog, I find myself taking on the liminal qualities of the space around me. The laws of physics seem to lose their potency and I understand myself and my relationship to the world around me less visually and more in terms of my haptic and tactile senses. This feeling of suddenly inhabiting a new place, one in which sensory experience contains more truth than do direct descriptions, mirrors that of being engrossed in a story. Throughout my life, I have developed my sense of self from the spatially unique places I physically inhabit and the fictional narratives I read. For me, both create immersive worlds whose phenomenological natures give me new insight into myself. They remind me of the subject/object duality of embodied experience: with my body I perceive and interact with the world around me, while at the same time my body is an object whose physical characteristics are defined in comparison to my surroundings.

I investigate this paradox by creating immersive spaces and installations of my own. I build them from multiples whose rhythmic repetition and spatial arrangement create the emotional tone of the environment. The physical and connotative properties of the materials also describe the conceptual content. Vitreous porcelain, stark in its brittle, bony beauty speaks of moments frozen in memory. Soft translucent paper welcomes and reassures. Rust undermines the pliable strength of wire, turning it vibrantly brittle. My hope is that the character of these materials and their haptic arrangements can create expanded metaphors for emotional states. As with the empathy evoked by written fiction, perhaps they can help to cultivate compassion for our embodied experience.

In Was, Might Be, I use traditional basketry and hand-papermaking techniques to create cocoon-like forms. At first glance, they appear voluminously full and heavy, but upon closer inspection they are empty shells. They are remnants, or perhaps anticipatory vessels of an unspecified transformation. The full, open shapes speak of growth and transformation while the emptiness and rusting decay imply a haunting absence.”

Vogel has exhibited nationally in many states including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Her solo exhibitions include Within Me, Without Me, Gallery 244, New Bedford, MA, 2017; Never Lived Here, Nabolom Collective Bakery, Berkeley, CA, 2011; One Stone, North Gallery, Oakland, CA, 2010; and Evolve, Treadwell Exhibition Space, Oakland, CA, 2009.

In 2016, her work Traces received Best in Show – Silver at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s Art in Clay IV exhibition (Juror: Matt Nolen). That same year, Vogel’s work was selected for two national juried exhibitions: 3rd Coast National at K Space Contemporary in Corpus Christi, TX (Juror: Sharon Kopriva) and The Clay Studio National at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA (Jurors: Jennifer Zwilling and Elisabeth R. Agro). Vogel’s work also received Best in Show at two juried shows at the CK Gallery in Oakland, CA (The Elephant in the Room and Flying Colors).

Vogel earned her MFA from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and her BFA from the California College of Arts.