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Exploring How Artist Meena Hasan Creates

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Nick Berlet'18

Nick Berlet'18

Nick Berlet'18

Alexandra Drake'20, Staff Writer

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Peddie welcomed a new guest artist into the Mariboe Gallery on March 24, 2017 . Meena Hasan, creator of the “Chatterbox” series, among others, came both to display a selection of her work and to speak to the students during a panel, led by student Sharanya Thondapu ’17. The panel was initially contained between Thondapu and Hasan, providing less familiar viewers with a glimpse of Hasan’s life and work, but was opened up to the audience, allowing them to probe the experience and thoughts of the artist.

The exhibit includes a number of larger paintings, as well as an animation, among others. The paintings are mainly done in acrylics, occasionally with paper slipped under and attached with the paint itself, providing a sort of pop-out effect. According to Hasan, much of the inspiration for her pieces’ content is in the wider public’s relationship to photography; the paintings are made in such a way that while they portray everyday images, they also exploit the viewer’s perceptions of depth and are intended to be seen from various points of view. The paintings are meant to be static in nature, and this seems to be communicated to the onlookers. Arts teacher Madeleine Shellaby, who was in attendance, commented that certain among Hasan’s paintings seem to capture the instant, adding that “they’re really very beautiful.”

Students were also impressed with Hasan’s work: “I can relate to all of these…it’s a lot more interesting [than seeing the images in normal perspective],”said Kavya Borra ’20.

Hasan, through both the panel and an interview, described her path to becoming the artist she is today. For her, it began in childhood and has continued ever since. “My mom… worked in textiles for a while; my family’s from Bangladesh so I… grew up around a lot of… beautiful patterns and colors and was always drawing… I think I’ve always been an artist,” she said. She acknowledged, though, that she didn’t always know her career, citing a time in college when she considered going into neuroscience. However, as she told the panel, “I couldn’t stop making art,” and continued to follow her passion.  

To the panel, she explained how she creates her work. Her process usually begins by grounding her canvas one solid color, and work with the subject further, adapting her original vision as she progresses. Hasan tends to work on several projects at a time, mentioning in an interview that she works “through a bunch of different series of works; they happen semi-simultaneously, and sometimes I work on one for a while and switch to [another].” She may work over the course of a few days or a month on any given piece.

One last piece of advice from Hasan to students: “Keep going… Don’t lose momentum or motivation. No one’s going to tell you to make artwork. You’re the only one who can do it.”

 

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Exploring How Artist Meena Hasan Creates