Manifest Artist in Residence
Hanna Sosin is an artist and art instructor currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2015, she received her BA in Biochemistry from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Hanna's drawings and paintings sew together the edges of natural science, fantasy, and humor into unexpected narratives and worlds. With her art, Hanna attempts to glimpse beyond her own world and into one where the mundane and natural become intertwined with humanity. Her works have been displayed in regional group and solo shows including at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, the Scarab Club in Detroit, MI, and the Royal Oak Public Library in Royal Oak, MI. Her work has won an Honorable Mention at the Scarab Club and First Place at the Romeo Art Guild. She was Manifest's Scholar in Residence for the 2021-2022 season.
Artist's Statement (abbreviated):
I make art to look into worlds beyond my own. To take glimpses into the stories and moments of those worlds, transcribe my discoveries, and share them like treasures. These are revelations I coax out through the process of drawing and painting as I ask questions and build the logic of the scene. Its as if my hands, shoulders, and arms hold the key to vistas where gulls are part of secret societies, giant caterpillars live as death gods, abstract shapes become fully motivated characters, and figure drawings become conduits for normally unseen spirits.
In showing these vistas, I get to display my animist daydreams, the ones that turn everyday objects and creatures into the supernatural. In the worlds I create, it is almost embarrassingly true that everything has a spirit, with a sense of meaning and beauty attached to it. A piece of silk can become the land from which the ruins of a civilization emerge in the shadow of a small stone grown enormous. A cat with hands becomes both terrifying and saintly, staring at you through pool like brown eyes. A single organic shape becomes a mollusk creature, and symmetrically placed geometric shapes become a semi-spiritual icon of plant-like shapes you vaguely recall yet cannot name. With each transformation I hope to bring a story, or at least the glimmering beginning of one, into the world, bearing witness to moments that hold much of the extraordinary wonder and humor I find around me. I hope to bring people viewing my art to see everyday objects, animals, plants, and landscapes as fully alive and filled to the brim with unknown histories and wonder. And maybe, just maybe, they will also find a path to delight, humor, and bemusement.
To achieve this, my main studio philosophy is to build a generous enough space (accepting of my flaws and limitations) where I can explore and question. Centering my practice around this allows me to find the fantastic. In order to maintain my exploration, I work in a few different ways. The first is a healthy sketchbook practice. My sketchbook acts as both a ball pit and a research facility. I play wholeheartedly within its confines, using it as a way to explore new and old ideas. Second, due to the exploratory nature of my work, Ive ended up with a diverse repertoire of drawing and painting skills. I bounce from observation to abstraction to the fantastic as needed. While each thread of my work may seem unrelated at first glance, they weave together into something greater, not just considered observations, not just the emotion and movement of abstraction, not just whimsical characters, but living, breathing worlds.
Over the past few years, Ive been developing one of these worlds. It is a world where everything is at once grounded in the dirt and the ephemeral, where objects and nature are physically woven into individuals. Slowly I have been spinning the threads of my disparate artistic tastes into the foundations of this world. I have written a short comic, created a myriad of characters, been formulating connections between match people, gulls, and giant toothed caterpillars. With each piece, the connections and depth of the world expand.
My goal is to build on these connections and thoughts with new works that explore the world ever more deeply. I aim to have a body of work that includes both sequential (scrolls and books) and non-sequential art (paintings and some drawings). The scrolls and books would house more of the lore of the world--even including writing--as well as playing on the sequential skills Ive built as part of my sketchbook routine. My vision is that the paintings and drawings would create singular moments that can be arranged in a variety of orders to evoke different stories.
My hope is to create enough work that there is more work than can be shown, so that I would be able to hand part of the storytelling to any curators who interact with it, giving the show a new life each time it is displayed. It would be an immersive world with a lore that subtly shifts with each display. In the process, the story becomes a conversation, a link between me, the curators, and a casual viewer, inspiring questions of location. The pieces and their arrangements will hold connections that I could never create alone. Just like a living, breathing world.
The images pictured at right are a sampling of those submitted with Hanna's application.
As Manifest Artist in Residence Hanna will be based out of our MAR North Studio at the Gallery on Woodburn Avenue.
See more and learn about Hanna's work here:
Information on how to apply for future SIR or MAR awards can be found here.