In Medias Res

Hanna Pettyjohn
Silverlens, Manila

Installation Views

About

    Our life journeys are mapped like branches of memory and information coming together, as depicted in a beautiful new series of artworks by Hanna Pettyjohn. Her new exhibition In Medias Res at Silverlens Gallery references the retelling of her own history, creative process, and the passage of time through a collection of paintings, each titled “Anastomosis.” In this exhibition, Pettyjohn reticulates the past and present in each painting through the representation of a universal landscape.

    In Medias Res captures a visual expression of Pettyjohn’s quest to be in the midst of things by merging her creative process as a metaphor to reveal hidden truths. She begins her process by selecting elements from Photoshop layers from what she calls the mother painting, previously seen in her 2019 exhibition Concurrencies. These exposed past layers are then translated for each of her Anastomosis paintings which refer to the point of origin of a memory. This concept is used to reference her past works as the departure point for this new series of works. The paintings feature abstracted landscapes consisting of a lake shoreline, debris covering the shore, and hints of the human presence. The muted color palette produces a feeling of sentimentality for this place which contains evidence of lived experiences. The landscape features various elements of nature and man-made objects, such as fabrics, tarps, and construction rubble.

    Wandering through this shoreline, one finds a recollection of past journeys through objects observed in the debris. In this case, it is the natural landscape filled with representations of fabric materials to symbolize the idea of home, the migration experience, and memory. The references of fabrics depicted in these artworks seem to be recurring characters in her story, encapsulating this idea of “anastomosis.” In other words, finding the connections between these objects and our personal history can show the continuing journey of self-discovery. More importantly, it becomes the consequence of our human condition to search for our own truth.

    Altogether, the application of a previously used digital process to create the meticulously painted artworks presented in this exhibition invokes a metaphor for self-reflection. In Medias Res, thus, becomes the process of deconstructing an image and reshaping it in different ways to depict the memory of Pettyjohn’s homeland in the Philippines and the passage of time. This abstraction of the environment and the leftover rubble of objects left behind serves as a testament to our existence.

    The exhibition is an installation comprising nine paintings and nine sculptures are displayed for the public to encounter a physicality to the narrative of Pettyjohn’s landscapes. The sculptural porcelain pieces are created with fabric that was dipped in casting slip and later high fired in a kiln. The result emphasizes the concept of memory as all fabric material is burned, changing the materiality of them into ceramic sculptures. These objects are set on top of two large tables placed in front of the paintings creating the point of origin that connects Pettyjohn’s landscapes. In Medias Res by Hanna Pettyjohn is on view online and onsite at Silverlens Gallery from 5 December through 23 December 2020. Gallery visits are by appointment.

    Words by Karla García.

    Hanna Pettyjohn (b. 1983, Manila, Philippines; lives and works in Dallas, USA) graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. The daughter of pioneering contemporary Filipino ceramicists Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn, she combines sculptural installations with paintings in her explorations of identity. Pettyjohn has exhibited in Manila, Miami, Taipei, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and her work forms part of private collections in Southeast Asia.

    In 2004, Pettyjohn won first prize at the 37th Shell National Students Art Competition. She received the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Award in 2015.

    A Filipino-American with a transnational narrative, Pettyjohn possesses firsthand knowledge of the global diaspora. Autobiographical details and “fragments of memory” inform her work, which is tinged with both nostalgia and an acute awareness of life’s transience. Through her large-scale portraits and personal photographs-turned-tactile landscapes, she conveys the vague anxiety, loneliness, and alienation that afflict the uprooted.

    Karla García is a Mexican born, American-based artist that creates installations and sculptures with clay, found objects, and other materials symbolic to her Mexican heritage and migration. García is a Professor of Art and ceramics assistant at the Dallas College - Mountain View Campus. She completed an MFA degree in Ceramics and a Museum Education Certificate from the University of North Texas in May of 2019. García has participated in numerous local, regional and international exhibitions in Texas and New York. She has exhibited her work as a visiting artist at the Dallas Museum of Art, and recently created an installation for the Nasher Sculpture Center: Window Series for her ongoing work Home and Land Project.

Our life journeys are mapped like branches of memory and information coming together, as depicted in a beautiful new series of artworks by Hanna Pettyjohn. Her new exhibition In Medias Res at Silverlens Gallery references the retelling of her own history, creative process, and the passage of time through a collection of paintings, each titled “Anastomosis.” In this exhibition, Pettyjohn reticulates the past and present in each painting through the representation of a universal landscape.

In Medias Res captures a visual expression of Pettyjohn’s quest to be in the midst of things by merging her creative process as a metaphor to reveal hidden truths. She begins her process by selecting elements from Photoshop layers from what she calls the mother painting, previously seen in her 2019 exhibition Concurrencies. These exposed past layers are then translated for each of her Anastomosis paintings which refer to the point of origin of a memory. This concept is used to reference her past works as the departure point for this new series of works. The paintings feature abstracted landscapes consisting of a lake shoreline, debris covering the shore, and hints of the human presence. The muted color palette produces a feeling of sentimentality for this place which contains evidence of lived experiences. The landscape features various elements of nature and man-made objects, such as fabrics, tarps, and construction rubble.

Wandering through this shoreline, one finds a recollection of past journeys through objects observed in the debris. In this case, it is the natural landscape filled with representations of fabric materials to symbolize the idea of home, the migration experience, and memory. The references of fabrics depicted in these artworks seem to be recurring characters in her story, encapsulating this idea of “anastomosis.” In other words, finding the connections between these objects and our personal history can show the continuing journey of self-discovery. More importantly, it becomes the consequence of our human condition to search for our own truth.

Altogether, the application of a previously used digital process to create the meticulously painted artworks presented in this exhibition invokes a metaphor for self-reflection. In Medias Res, thus, becomes the process of deconstructing an image and reshaping it in different ways to depict the memory of Pettyjohn’s homeland in the Philippines and the passage of time. This abstraction of the environment and the leftover rubble of objects left behind serves as a testament to our existence.

The exhibition is an installation comprising nine paintings and nine sculptures are displayed for the public to encounter a physicality to the narrative of Pettyjohn’s landscapes. The sculptural porcelain pieces are created with fabric that was dipped in casting slip and later high fired in a kiln. The result emphasizes the concept of memory as all fabric material is burned, changing the materiality of them into ceramic sculptures. These objects are set on top of two large tables placed in front of the paintings creating the point of origin that connects Pettyjohn’s landscapes. In Medias Res by Hanna Pettyjohn is on view online and onsite at Silverlens Gallery from 5 December through 23 December 2020. Gallery visits are by appointment.

Words by Karla García.

Hanna Pettyjohn (b. 1983, Manila, Philippines; lives and works in Dallas, USA) graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. The daughter of pioneering contemporary Filipino ceramicists Jon and Tessy Pettyjohn, she combines sculptural installations with paintings in her explorations of identity. Pettyjohn has exhibited in Manila, Miami, Taipei, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and her work forms part of private collections in Southeast Asia.

In 2004, Pettyjohn won first prize at the 37th Shell National Students Art Competition. She received the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Award in 2015.

A Filipino-American with a transnational narrative, Pettyjohn possesses firsthand knowledge of the global diaspora. Autobiographical details and “fragments of memory” inform her work, which is tinged with both nostalgia and an acute awareness of life’s transience. Through her large-scale portraits and personal photographs-turned-tactile landscapes, she conveys the vague anxiety, loneliness, and alienation that afflict the uprooted.

Karla García is a Mexican born, American-based artist that creates installations and sculptures with clay, found objects, and other materials symbolic to her Mexican heritage and migration. García is a Professor of Art and ceramics assistant at the Dallas College - Mountain View Campus. She completed an MFA degree in Ceramics and a Museum Education Certificate from the University of North Texas in May of 2019. García has participated in numerous local, regional and international exhibitions in Texas and New York. She has exhibited her work as a visiting artist at the Dallas Museum of Art, and recently created an installation for the Nasher Sculpture Center: Window Series for her ongoing work Home and Land Project.

Works

Hanna Pettyjohn
The Mother (A/HP, Ground/Foreground)
2020
2697
2
oil on canvas
54h x 96w in • 137.16h x 243.84w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.04)
2020
2689
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.05)
2020
2690
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
1
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.06)
2020
2691
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.07)
2020
2692
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
1
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.08)
2020
2693
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.09)
2020
2694
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.10)
2020
2695
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Anastomosis (P.11)
2020
2696
2
oil on canvas
48h x 24.25w in • 121.92h x 61.59w cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground A (DFW/MNL)
2020
2698
2
porcelain
10h x 19.50w x 19.50d in • 25.40h x 49.53w x 49.53d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A ii)
2020
2700
2
porcelain
7.50h x 21w x 8.50d in • 19.05h x 53.34w x 21.59d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A iii)
2020
2707
2
porcelain
6h x 7w x 7d in • 15.24h x 17.78w x 17.78d cm
1
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A i)
2020
2699
2
porcelain
17.50h x 7.50w x 7.50d in • 44.45h x 19.05w x 19.05d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A iv)
2020
2708
2
porcelain
6h x 7w x 7d in • 15.24h x 17.78w x 17.78d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A v)
2020
2709
2
porcelain
6h x 7w x 7d in • 15.24h x 17.78w x 17.78d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A vi)
2020
2710
2
porcelain
5h x 4w x 4d in • 12.70h x 10.16w x 10.16d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A vii)
2020
2711
2
porcelain
6h x 7w x 7d in • 15.24h x 17.78w x 17.78d cm
0
0.00
0
Details
Hanna Pettyjohn
Ground (IMR/A viii)
2020
2712
2
porcelain
5.50h x 4w x 4d in • 13.97h x 10.16w x 10.16d cm
0
0.00
0
Details

Video

Artist Page

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