Hannah Bouchard | Carlstadt, NJ
When registering for her first semester of college, Hannah discovered that Intro to Photography was full. She had to fulfill an art requirement to graduate, and painting was the next best thing.
Over the next 3 years at Drew University, Hannah would go on to take classes in painting and drawing, beginning the journey of discovering themes and motifs that are both beautiful and meaningful to her.
At the same time, she was struggling with the mental and physical symptoms of anxiety, and began attending weekly therapy, and later starting medication. It was through these decisions and healing processes that she realized she wanted to paint about women and mental health, but not in the way one might assume.
She became fascinated with the nuanced topics of mental health. Setting boundaries, loving oneself, learning to accept imperfection while simultaneously appreciating progress. Through all of this, Hannah feels more impassioned than ever to create, both for herself and the incredible women that may connect with these themes.
Artist statement: The things that cause us shame tend to teach us the most. By trying to make the frightening, beautiful, I’m not taking away the fact that issues of mental health are painful, but rather trying to empower these feelings and show how much they can transform us. These experiences transform me as much as they do my paintings.
Through my therapy sessions and other conversations with powerful women, I am given endless ideas that express how complicated yet beautiful the human experience is, especially for those who undergo both direct and subtle discrimination far too often. Not only do my friends model for the pieces, but they often inspire the concepts as well.
By using both rendered and abstract elements, I am working to create multiple layers that on one hand read as interior spaces, but can also be broken up into many planes. This is essential to advance the narrative that these are invented spaces, and sometimes break down and begin again. With figures that are typically more rendered in mystical places, I use both oil and acrylic to play with how far back the eye can go.
My work is meant to be a microphone for the experiences I see and feel. I think that using art as a channel for these voices is the best possible reason to be an artist.