INTRODUCING HANNAH O'HARE BENNETT
January's Work In Progress Resident
Hannah O'Hare Bennett is a mixed fibers artist based in Madison, Wisconsin, working between papermaking, embroidery, card weaving, sewing and natural dyes. Conceptually her work is inspired by her first career in organic farming, supported by her ongoing research in ethnobotany. Hannah's studio spaces usually look like a combination between a natural history museum and a bower bird nest.
"Before I dared to call myself an artist, I worked as an organic farmer. That previous work informs almost every aspect of my current studio practice. Then, I dealt with the materiality of soil and water and plants. Now, I apply my relentless work ethic to unearthing the possibilities of other materials, especially paper pulp, threads, fabric and found objects. I tend to my installations and sculptural objects like a garden, shifting things, removing things, adding or subtracting colors and shapes in pursuit of a completed piece. The concept of my work, supported by rigorous study and research, almost always involves human relationship to the landscape and nature, which is what agriculture is. I have also explored ideas about deep time, using fossils as a motif.
Just as in farming, my art practice is seasonal. In warmer months, I work primarily with handmade paper. As it grows colder, I move inside and work with embroidery and soft sculpture. This is driven by the physical limitations of my studio situation, but it also makes sense to me conceptually. The intellectual underpinnings of my work are so bound to the natural cycle of the earth, why should my practice not have a cycle as well? "
During the her residency at Work In Progress, Hannah will be working on a new body of work involving card weaving, soft sculpture and embroidery. Much of the work will involve an indigo dyed cloth left over from a collaboration with a fashion designer and threads dyed with other natural materials. Hannah will also have several card weaving looms set up: one warp will be used for the entire residency month to create a sculpture inspired by cucurbit vines and another will be used for experimental weaving.
She holds a BFA in printmaking from the University of Kansas (1998), and an MFA in Textile Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2017). In the years between undergrad and graduate school, she worked in food systems and organic agriculture, a career that informs her current work. She has had residencies at Kimmel Harding Nelson (NE), Madison Bubbler (WI), Tallgrass Prairie Residency (KS), Studioworks (ME), and Women’s Studio Workshop (NY), taught at the Morgan Conservatory (OH)
Artist Talk + Card Weaving
January 25, 3-6pm
Join Hannah for an artist talk and workshop on card weaving. LEARN MORE + RSVP HERE
You can visit Hannah's installation for Work In Progress from January 4-31, at TAC Manhattan studio, and learn more about her work and process during Artist Open Hours on Saturdays 2-5pm.