Hannah Moles was raised in a bite-sized town of Nicholasville, Kentucky where she grew tall with artistic influences close to her. She spent many of her hours in an art studio buried in Wilmore, Kentucky. She was then smacked upside the head with the fine arts community as she was admitted to the University of Kentucky in 2013.
After acceptance into the BFA program Hannah created work, attained knowledge, and achieved her degree in December of 2017. She produces work through fibers, paint, and installation sculpture. She is presently producing work on commission, and constructing a new body of sculpture work. Through her work Hannah explores tenderness and how identity is refined and strengthened through our human connections.
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Currently I’m exploring a new space, a new practice, but old and archived sentiments. I’m striving to interpret my hollow yearn for past connections as I compose new work. I get caught in pangs of longing for past lovers and outgrown friendships. I’m chewing on tough meat; leather even. The sculptures I’m making represent what’s expired, left over, and preserved of these people, places, and eras from my life. They emulate shells that are now abandoned, with varying levels of life still pulsing through. The practice of making these figures is a meditation to sort out why I still hold space for them.
How did you decide to become an artist?
I think the very best stuff has wriggled towards me, by acting large and loud in a way that my gut knows true. There’s certainly a learning curve there, but courage is a quality I couldn’t trade for anything. I’ve learned to dance with logic and reason, but I keep my deep yearns at the front of the line. So I dive into my creative pursuit as a remedy to a belly ache. Because my gut finds art and creation as a solace.
There was an instance in undergrad that I faced a sharp corner- would I continue following a route of education, would I be a teacher? But in the pit of my stomach I recognized that wasn’t where I was supposed to be then. So I turned on my head and began pursuing visual art with abandon!
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I believe its all more intricate and multi-dimensional than a short and sweet fragment of advice. For it to actually hold influence, I’ve found that its a repetitious exercise that I have to restate every time I walk into the studio.
I think what I hold onto the tightest today, is to act in bravery and endurance. My practice juggles quite vulnerable things, and the act of making itself is a vulnerable thing. It is pertinent to remind myself of my worth and purpose in the artist’s forum. So I follow the advice to make, and then make some more. We are so capable of proficient and poor work. We will all make poor work. But its until I proceed to make it- flush it out and turn it physical- that I can get over it and move forward in the studio and my head.
Is there any medium you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t yet?
I’d like to throw myself back in the woodshop! I worked within a realm of loud noises and power tools in undergrad, but when my artistic direction wasn’t yet defined. My work has adapted qualities that are very tender, sometimes fragile, and generally soft. I’d be so interested to see my practice unroll in the unbending environment of woodworking. I do hope that it would remain very tender and sometimes soft.
Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
I’ve found my most promising route to sell and freelance, is to simply show up. Of course a reputable website, business cards, and the works will prompt a follow-through. But to root into a community- attend gallery openings, engage in conversation, volunteering yourself and your time- has proven the most genuine networking method for me.
Who are some of the Twin Cities artists you enjoy?
If I were to follow you around to see art in the Twin Cities, which places would we go? What would we see?
In what season do you plan to follow me? I’m a sunbird, and I really gravitate to the heat and rays. So I think my place here in MN is a very funny thing!
But- given a radiant day- I would probably take you on a bike ride! And we would listen to all the right music and blind ourselves by the sun, and it might make us cry. We would pit stop for coffee at Five Watt Coffee Co, and continue to breeze around Lake Bde Maka Ska. We might nap and roast in the sun. Hopefully you remembered your book, because we love reading. Then we would uproot, snag a six pack of Hamm’s at Hum’s Liquor, and go cook dinner at my house!
For inquiries related to Hannah’s work, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Hannah on Instagram at @honeyslider_ .
Altered Esthetics News:
Ae seeks to exhibit short-form experimental film and video art at a length 12 minutes or shorter for our sixth annual Film Festival. The deadline for submissions is May 31. Learn more and submit your entry on our Film Freeway page. Feel free to email if you have any questions about the submission process by sending a message to email@example.com.
We are also seeking donations to support this event. 100% of your tax-deductible gift to Ae goes directly to the festival’s operating costs and paying participating artists.
All images courtesy of the artist.
Interview written by Sarah Kuenzler, edited by Sarah Kass.