Hannah Bennett

An Evolution of Combs and Crinoids
soft sculpture
10 x 10 x 16 in.

My work is a poetic response to my preoccupation with what it means to be human and to interact with the natural world. In the last two years, I have focused on the concept of domestication, which is the ways that wild creatures and plants evolve over many generations of interacting with humans, eventually becoming so differentiated that they are separate species specially adapted to live lives dependent on our husbandry. In my art, I use the objects of domestic life–vessels, combs, embroidery patterns, etc.–and imagine what would happen if they were living beings returning to the wild and had to defend and propagate on their own.

In my latest body of work, I reach even further back in time and deeper into the land to the fossils that are evidence of a world without humans. Embedded in hard stone, fossils are visible remnants of motion and life, of an ecosystem that was here before us. In the swirl of modern humanity, our politics, our internet, our conflicts, our passionate entertainments, my work is in part a reminder of the constancy of the processes of the natural world, which continue despite our inattention to it. This work is also about the landscape that, as an agricultural person from the Great Plains, holds great emotional weight for me. Through my work and materials, I explore forms, textures, and colors that mimic the landscape and sky that I know so well.

© Hannah Bennett