Amber Hansen

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Artist Statement

The practice of drawing allows me to create a lucid space that is beyond my own intellectual understanding, a space where I can see my own thoughts and imaginings fashioned into new symbols and meanings. I draw to learn; I draw to understand; I draw to remember. In the process of making work these three elements are synonymous. The drawings, themselves, are visual assessments of innate and educated modes of thinking, a layering of different states of consciousness. The videos and performances re-contextualize extrapolations of simple childhood actions, movements that hover between stages of understanding.

In many of the drawings, I am revisiting artwork from my childhood and reflecting on the motivations behind wanting to make art as a young person. This search has become a primal source of inspiration. By giving innate and learned methods of drawing equal importance, I create images that question different kinds of intelligence. These drawings are a meditation between personal barriers and notions of progress formed in the guise of skill and age.

The culture of my rural upbringing is rooted within patriarchal and capitalistic ideals, similar to the ideals that have shaped and perpetuated the psychology of our society. Travel and others cultures inspire me, yet the culture and environment of Middle America has remained a primary source for my work and I have spent my life getting to know it.

As a multi-media artist, I expand upon introspective moments in the studio to develop shared interactions and experiences. By inviting participants to partake in the development of works (video projects, community based murals, collaborative performance), I am afforded a broader perspective that enriches both the process and product of the artwork. The interaction of introspective and collaborative approaches is also meaningful, in that they propel and influence one another. By using diverse media, my role as an artist is to establish an approach that best articulates an idea, while remaining responsive to the transformation that can evolve during the process.