Artist Statement

 

            I was raised in the Mississippi River Valley, on a small fiber farm in the Driftless Area where my parents raise sheep, chickens, and alpacas. Growing up in this environment, creative energy manifested in the building of tree forts and rearrangement of creek beds, and my childhood fascination with the river, forests, and prairies is still evident in my most current bodies of work. As an interdisciplinary artist, my practice is continuously expanding to incorporate new modalities of making, thinking, and responding to the world around me. I gravitate towards highly tactile mediums and labor-intensive processes, ranging from textiles and printmaking to collaborative installations, urban agriculture, and community workshops. My work is motivated by a sense of dire urgency in regards to the current ecological crises and simultaneously, by a deep and unshakable gratitude for the natural world in all its diversity and resilience. 

            I approach artmaking as a way of building relationship with the land, every artistic gesture as an opportunity to regrow the connections between myself and the myriad of natural processes and beings that support collective life on this planet. Harvesting nettles and dye plants has become an integral part of my practice, and has helped me establish an intentional, ongoing relationship with my local plant communities and reinstate the proximity between artist and material. Regenerating these earth-body connections is an immense and long-term endeavor which extends beyond the scope of my artistic practice and into every aspect of my life. I consider attention to be a form of gratitude. I try to cultivate moments and practices of deep, sustained, life-building attention by prioritizing slow labor, and by harvesting and hand-processing plant materials into usable dyes and fibers. Sustaining an artistic practice and working closely with raw materials such as these allows me to critically consider my relationships to the broader earth community and to situate myself more fully within the intricate systems of our living planet.

© 2020 by Ian Hanesworth

ian.hanesworth@gmail.com