Hannah Morris
Kelly Fletcher
Hannah Morris

Vermont artist discusses her work at BMAC

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) invites the public to join artist Hannah Morris, in person, on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. for a discussion of her work, which is on view in the exhibit "Moveable Objects" through April 30.

Enlarged images of several of Morris's collage paintings are featured on the museum's facade, visible to all who pass by, and the paintings themselves are on view inside the building. Morris's work depicts lively scenes of community life: people hanging out in a park or shopping at an outdoor market, for example. The inhabitants of the paintings are slightly abstract and off-kilter, but also humane and relatable.

"By capturing a moment of action and interaction in a kind of frozen, surreal choreography, I am exploring what it means to be interconnected in this fragile, impermanent human existence," Morris says.

In her BMAC talk, Morris will reflect on that theme, as well as on her artmaking methods. She uses material pulled from lifestyle, craft, humor, and news magazines from the 1940s to the 1970s to create an initial collage, and treats paint as an editing tool, working on top of the collage to distill the scene down to a focal point.

At the beginning of the process, Morris "looks for colors, gestures, and contexts that strike me," she says. She then takes the source material and turns the outdated gender, race, and class norms of the era on their heads. "Who was left out reveals as much about American cultural history as who is included," she notes. She curates, rearranges, and re-contextualizes the magazine scraps into new, inclusive narratives.

Morris was born and raised in rural Vermont. She studied art, writing, and documentary studies at Bates College in Maine and earned a master's degree in Philosophy in Illustration (Visual Arts) from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She now lives and works in Barre, Vermont.

Admission to the talk is free. Registering in advance is optional, and walk-ins are welcome. To register, visit brattleboromuseum.org or call 802-257-0124, ext. 101.

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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