Hannah Collins

United Kingdom
Artist in Residence, 2018

Artist Statement

My work uses photography, drawing, written words, film, and sometimes constructions to describe experiences relating to our contemporary everyday reality. I often work on an environmental scale to surround and immerse the viewer in order to shed light on contemporary situations.

By submerging myself in experience, I gather material, later combining and choreographing material into experiences that can lead us to wider understandings of our surrounding world.

In The Fertile Forest (2015) I lived with the Cofan tribe in the Colombian Amazon looking at and experiencing their close relationship with nature that supports all aspects of their existence. In The Interior and the Exterior, I have gathered evidence and imagery relating to civil rights struggles as seen through the eyes of another artist, Noah Purifoy. I worked with this material to recall events of the 1960s and give them another chance to live in our contemporary social reality.

While At Headlands

Whilst at Headlands I am looking forward to expanding an ongoing project, The Interior and the Exterior. In 2015 I visited the Mohave Desert and photographed Noah Purifoy’s sculpture site using a large format camera. I interviewed those who had known Purifoy(1907–2004), including early Black Panthers, LA Rebellion filmmakers, and artists. I created a soundscape of voice recordings and ambient sound. I also travelled to the South to photograph Snow Hill, Alabama, where Purifoy was born.

During my residency, I will dive back into that period to do new research, taking advantage of the Bay Area location, where many actions took place and memories are contained. With access to the studio facilities at Headlands, I am hoping to make some large-scale constructions and photographic works that explore this new research; the work will be less restricted by limitations of space than in my London studio. I believe being geographically close to my research subject will allow me to leap forward and make more powerful physical work.