In each of our own ways we express ourselves and understand how to work with the universe around us. Few people are of those who decide to venture into deeper thought and even fewer are those who address those subjects aiming to explain them.
When meeting Kelly A. Hanning, a Tallahassee – based artist and fellow Florida State University peer, I understood just how expansive and creative anyone can be to portray what many of us already think, believe or know of. Kelly Hanning’s work is geared towards the modern-day politics, historical, mythological and mystical avenues as well as the expression of the female sexuality.
As a figure and landscape artist, she captures her own thoughts and views converting them into amazing installations, performance pieces and artwork showcased through North Florida galleries, Florida State University and even this past Okeechobee Fest.
“Without full integration of all types of people, life ceases to exist.”
By just an hour of conversation, I had an opportunity to get to know Hanning’s work and herself more. Exhibiting her studio space, we spoke more about her thesis, “Temple of the Herd of the Cosmos”, a four-part extension to the first creation, “Herd of the Cosmos”.
Inspired by The Doors, “Soft Parade”, I had the opportunity to see some of the parts of the beautiful piece. From a distance, I only see the thermostatic colors and immediately thought of the mappings of the weather but then I approached to see how beautifully she created the landscape like the sub – Saharan Savanna, the sunset orange, red, and purple skies against the intense green landscapes. The bark of the trees were pale purple extensions with light green leaves that if noticing carefully were also lyrics of “Soft Parade”. This small portion captivated my attention as she explained how one of the most interesting facts about her work; no use of the white pigment in her exclusive strict color palettes. “Temple Herd of the Cosmos” is to portray the incarnation cycles and how religion was formed.
From the first part of the installation, “Herd of the Cosmos”, she created the figurines of many distinct characters. Specifically, “The Virgin” caught my attention as the beautiful caramel body stood out against the bright blue background. The head was a moth though, although very beautiful I asked why. Out of personal choice, she explained with a smile as she brought me to a time where she feared moths and due to this she decided to tackle the fear and put it in paintings. “Sorta like how Batman was scared of bats so he became Batman and dressed like a bat.” Marveled I had the opportunity to see other art pieces that reflect her views on her hometown, her self and things around her as we discussed her journey. Hanning explained how she used her art and decided to take advantage of her time before graduating.
Thus, meeting Kelly A. Hanning I was excited and admiring of her work. She attempts to represent and display all people in all her types of work. Using her heavy musical inspirations and her art she helps someone understand just all the things around us that tie all people together. Even from the use of her strict color palettes or her own self-portraits, Hanning offers a mystical journey to explore the human and world through her artwork.
Photos by kingchachiii for Mieux Mag
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