Featured Guest Artist: Anders Hansen

These drawings by Anders Hansen are from a trip he took to Spain in the fall of 2019. Note: if the images are reading too small on your device you may want to right click on them to enlarge.

10. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

8. Mysterious Mountain
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

9. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

7. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

6. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

4. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

5. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca Spain

 

3. Mejorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

2. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

1. Majorca Deya
Anders Hansen, Majorca, Spain

 

Food, Culture, and Assumptions

Book open flat
Assumptions, 2020, Artist book, Ink & paper 7.5″ x 10.5″ open

Since I have mainly lived in the same geographic area for most of my life, the cultural encounters I had with food tended to be more influenced by late 19th and early 20th century European immigrants from many countries.

Upon moving to the South, I realized that since the population was historically different, many of the foods I grew up with were not widely available. An example of this is a recent conversation I had with a local life long resident who told me she had never heard of a zucchini until she went to college. Oddly, it was something her father said to me a few years ago that prompted the artist book featured in this post.

The book is titled Assumptions, and it is about what we presume to be the foods that are part of other people’s lives. If you ever saw My Cousin Vinny, you are well aware of the scene in the restaurant where the main characters are confronted with grits for the first time.  The question that my local friend posed to me one day was “How do you cook your okra?”.     “Huh??” was my response.  It was only shortly before I moved that I ever even saw okra at my local vegetable stand up North.  My understanding of it was an ingredient you put in gumbo and that was pretty much it.

I have since become quite acquainted with okra, not only as a vegetable prepared different ways but also as a plant because I spent three summers harvesting lots of okra.  I can add onto my knowledge of okra these facts and observations: that by the time you get to the end of the row picking it, more has grown at the beginning of the row. You could probably spend several hours a day picking and repicking the same row of okra (assuming you have lots of plants).  You should always wear long sleeves when picking okra and gloves or your skin will be very irritated.  Okra is part of the hibiscus family so even it you don’t like the fruit, it is a lovely and vigorous plant.

It is no accident that Okra is not included in the graphics of this book as it was something quite absent from my former life.  For the curious I will tell you that the vegetables pictured are green beans and the diminished base of a bunch of celery  (two vegetables that seem to be part of many cultures)   And for the record, zucchini is now plentiful where I currently live.  How do you cook your Okra??

Assumptions: Book Front (left), Book Open (right)

When Your Artwork Finds You Again

0

Every once in awhile, I hear from former customers regarding work they purchased and it is always lots of fun to hear how they have lived with the work through the years.  I had such an experience last week when a customer from the early 1990s contacted me to ask if the piece he purchased could be used for a virtual art exhibition.  He then explained that he and his wife run an art and cultural center in an under served community in Nicosia, Cyprus.  The piece they own is called By Night and they want to feature it as a homage to healthcare workers in their community.

This was very meaningful to me on a variety of levels.  First, that the piece is being used to honor such an important sector of the population.  In addition, artists often wonder if what they do has any long term benefit.  Also, in this case, the idea that something I made in 1993 has not only been enjoyed all these years but has managed to make its home in Cyprus, where it has been displayed off and on and viewed by the local community.

I have thought of this piece and other similar ones recently because I have considered returning to work in this method, as it is very similar to many of the artist books I currently make. At that time, instead of making prints to be viewed as prints, I made them to be cut up and used as collage elements because I mainly worked in the medium of collage.  So the idea that this piece showed up to me at this time, is somewhat of a nudge to possibly work like that again.  

Though I have posted the piece above, I would encourage you to check out the organization’s Facebook page to see other works and events they have featured. It is a great way to “travel” while we are all home.   Check out:  Kuruçeşme Projekt.
https://www.facebook.com/kurucesmeprojekt/

What is Home to Nikki Hansen

 

Accordion House 2

Accordion House 1
Nikki Hansen ~ Home

Nikki Hansen was born in Elmer, NJ (when dinosaurs roamed the earth, or at least before the tiny local hospital splurged on air conditioning).  She currently lives in Glassboro, NJ.

For me, “home” isn’t necessarily anchored in a single dwelling but is more the mental embodiment of comfort, beauty, joy, safety, memory, stimulation and entertainment that makes one feel fulfilled and in tune with one’s place in time and space.  A personal universe, in a nutshell, that is never left behind or lost because it travels with you in your head and can be accessed at all times and all surroundings.

In another universe there are an infinite number of rooms to contain all the beautiful, wonderful, curious, fascinating objects, creatures and emotional stimuli  that I find make life worth living but these few are a start.

When Nikki is not at home, she spends most of her non-working hours cruising the tri-state area (NJ, PA, and Delaware) playing & singing with various music groups including two fantastic bands– Just Roses and Smoke and Mirrors. She spent most of her working career as a props person for live theatre and firmly believe that books, music in particular, the Arts in general and beasties are what makes life worth living.

*A note about Nikki’s house.  In error, I sent Nikki three house cut outs and she employed all three. Being a props person for the theater, this made perfect sense to me that she designed a set!