Erika Lynne Hanson: Future Ecologies

Art within
a masterpiece



Erika Lynne Hanson’s research-based, contemporary practice is driven by a sense of wonder and purpose. She upends traditional interpretations of weaving as a feminine or craft-centered tradition and employs soft power to address ominous concerns of ecology, climate, and human nature.

Hanson’s titles often read like scientific notations, lists, and reminders. Her weavings space in space, orbs or perimeters or perspectives (2020) and Arches may or may not be overrated: something about time travel, wind and dowsing rods (2020) sound like seeds for future projects or the contents of a visionary’s notebook. Intentional loose threads and impromptu inventions make us more conscious of our surroundings. Each work is a prelude to what is to come or an avenue toward new discovery.

Her multi-disciplinary approach includes performative, site-specific encounters with architecture and landscape. The process of creating gallery installation requires an openness to adapt. Every movement through the space is considered, and careful placement of each object is strategic. For her exhibition "Future Ecologies" at The Gallery, Erika approached the space holistically. The idea of the gallery as a corridor provided a poetic backdrop as Hanson took into account objects and their relationship with one another, the architecture, and its inhabitants.

Hanson’s landscape interventions are documented in videos that have been included in her installations. They are choreographed studies of topography and geology, as well as mindful reflections on fragility and temporality. For her work, Initial Encounters: selenite and desert rose (2017), woven flags were placed at White Sands National Monument, a possible or imagined origin site for these coveted crystals. Icebergs have been recurring themes in her ongoing meditative series of time-lapse videos titled Glacial Observation. Homemade glaciers staged in various landscapes melt slowly. We are lulled visually and acoustically, becoming subtly aware of our own complacency.

In like a model for a monument (2019), Hanson presents a portrait series of cotton balls crudely crafted to embody entangled systems of big industry, property, and labor. This work reminds me of Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco’s My hands are my heart (1991). Erika Lynne Hanson’s weavings, installations, and videos are gestures of love as much as they are necessary mediums for change.

Erika’s video works activated areas of the resort beyond the gallery walls, connecting visitors to the exhibition. Streaming on the big screen in the Hearth living room and on all guestroom screens was a selection of Hanson’s new media projects:

Gesture to the occupants of time (tree, rock, human), 2020
Glacial Observation, 2011
Initial Encounters: selenite and desert rose, 2017