Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Identity Domestique

Identity Domestique
Hamlin 1

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I’ve been drawing since I was 2 years old. I always had some sort of art-making with me at all times as a child. I collected, I drew, I painted, I sculpted. It was inevitable. I thought I wanted to do theatre for a while because that was my passion in high school, but once I got to college (the day we signed up for classes actually) I switched to art and only did theatre as a hobby. I know I made the right decision there.

I got into ceramics with the intention of using it a little bit here and there in my mixed media work. But once I really started researching what contemporary ceramic artists were doing in the field, both with ceramics alone and with mixed media, I really felt like that’s where I belonged and that the medium was flexible enough to meet most of my needs. There’s a lot of room for innovation with ceramics and a rich history with the domestic, so it fit right in with what I do.

My inspiration has come from many places. Contemporary artists like Adelaide Paul or Kelly King or Annette Messager inspire me to keep true to my visions. Art history and historical figures like Marcel Duchamp inspire me to want to break barriers. I am also inspired by things in general. Old things, especially. Weird things. Abnormal things. Animals inspire me a great deal, especially when they seem to behave like humans. Science inspires me, learning new things. I try to read a lot and look at images and watch smart TV.

My work has evolved outward since I started, I think. Rather than create art simply about myself and my experiences, which in some cases is perfectly valid subject matter and especially useful when one is learning to work conceptually, I’m now addressing themes and concepts that I hope can be translated by a larger audience. It helps not to isolate the feelings: to think that other people can relate to this too. Maybe they don’t even know about it yet.

My thesis work and my work for the past couple of years has come from ideas surrounding the domestic space. I am a home-body and very attached to my home. I often get homesick. I wanted to know more about this inclination. So, I researched ideas about the home, psychologically, historically, metaphorically, sociologically. I paired this knowledge with meaningful or charged or familiar images and forms to create my work.

Even though my work is 3D, drawing is my first love. I must draw to keep in touch with my ideas. That’s why as a teacher I emphasize the sketchbook so much. I like to do sketches and sometimes full drawings. I wish I did more of them.

I love it when a viewer sees my work and immediately starts talking about some memory that they have: usually involving a grandmother or old house or something. It may be totally unrelated to my concept but I know I did something right in soliciting a memory or an uncanny feeling. That’s how I feel all the time! I almost always get someone calling my work “creepy,” which is the uncanny again. But I don’t mind. I enjoy creepy things. And people remember creepy artwork.