Hanna Newman is an installation artist who has exhibited at venues including the Ernest G. Welch Galleries (Atlanta, GA), SALA Arts Festival (Adelaide, SA), and Kyoto International Community House (Kyoto, Japan). Newman achieved her MFA in 2021 and is currently a Professor of 3D Art at Middle Georgia State University.
I'm interested in what can be communicated through the figure’s absence just as I am interested in what is communicated through its presence, or partial presence. In my work, the figure acts as a stand-in, an alter, or a substitute body. I project myself onto it and strive to animate it through its arrangement, rearrangement, and its situation in a setting or environment.
This liminal space that I revisit leaves me feeling separate from my body, trapped within a dwelling of which I can’t control for several minutes, hallucinating the room around me. In these moments I feel as if my body is not me, but detached and other, and I am in a struggle for reattachment. While my mind is consciously aware of my environment my body is still stuck in a dream state within the REM cycle, inducing a hallucinated perception of reality. As a result of this, I grew up doubting my grasp of reality at times and have questioned the fragility of my mentality as I have further examined my sleep disorders.
This state of altered reality, this liminal space, is a place in which I situate my figurative sculptures. They exist as I do, in an in-between state as objects that are not fully present yet not fully absent. Throughout history the figure has been used to communicate the human condition. The figure carries the capability to produce feelings of empathy from the viewer, serving as a surrogate for the human psyche.
In my most recent works I explore the use of time-based media to speak to the interiority of the figurative sculptures. The video becomes the psychological as it is projected onto the surface of the fragmented figures. Often interrupted by object barriers, such as window blinds and box springs, the projected images become disrupted and altered within their constructed environments.