I am an artist and teacher living in New Orleans. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Painting in 2007. I have exhibited my work nationally in cities such as Atlanta, Savannah, Boston, New York, and New Orleans, as well as internationally in Canada and France. A mixed media artist working in painting, paper cut-outs, photography, installation, and sculpture, my work exists in a realm of magical realism while creating an emotive narrative woven in-between the layers of memory, loss, and time.
Artist + Kate Hanrahan
Describe your art in three words. Honest. Emotive. Engaging.
Describe yourself in one word. Impassioned.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work? I have found a really inspiring and supportive art community in New Orleans. I have also been teaching art to grade school and middle school students for the last seven years, and I know that has had a great impact on my work. Especially lately I've been interested in creating larger scale, interactive, public work in collaboration with kids, that engages people of all ages. I find I am always looking to carry through and translate, in what I create, a sense of wonderment and imagination. Natural surroundings such as the train racing the river, the chickens and cats on my street, the giant plants waving and bowing in my yard, and the awe inspiring birds gliding along the levee, all feed my ideas and lace through my dreams. There is constant beauty and creativity here, steeped in ritual and culture, unrestricted in it's understanding that this is a way of life.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? I do a lot of writing which has always been more abstract and poetic, and I also love photography, film and digital. A lot of symbology comes up in both those processes whether it's metaphors in my writing, or the imagery I'm surrounded by that I'm inspired to document in photographs.
I like to be alone a lot. I close my eyes and picture images that have been at the forefront of my thoughts in a landscape between the real world and the subconscious and start to reconcile making pieces from there. I have always found this a necessary thing for me to do, to create from this part of myself in order to exist in this world. It's my way to try and make sense of humanity, the world, the universe, and all that is caught in between the layers of time, memory, and loss.
Where do you draw inspiration? From everything.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? The list is long, but some from the top are Rainer Maria Rilke, Anslem Kiefer, Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, Sally Mann, Jan Švankmajer, Swoon, and Faith47, along with many close artist friends who endlessly influence and inspire my work.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work? I play some music too, and I would say that piano songs in minor layered with a singing saw are most appropriate to what syncs musically and emotionally.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? Teaching art to kids and levee walks with my pup, chasing the sun down.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? Watching the sunset and the moon rise.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact. I read Carl Sagan's novel Contact front to back in fifth grade before the movie came out.
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
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