Monday, March 10, 2014

Hannah Cooper McCauley

Hannah Cooper McCauley (b.1989, Tupelo, MS) received a BFA from Jacksonville State University in 2012 and is currently pursuing an MFA from Louisiana Tech University. She enjoys working in narrative photography, both digital and analogue, and her most recent project Seven Days addresses the complexities of growing up based on the transitory nature of her childhood. Cooper McCauley’s work has been exhibited in group shows at various venues throughout the United States, including Louisiana Tech University, Photoplace Gallery (VT), and the Gadsden Museum of Art (AL). In 2013, she was awarded the Board of Regents Fellowship at Louisiana Tech University, which serves as a collaboration between the Departments of Art, Engineering, and Science. Cooper McCauley currently lives in Ruston, Louisiana with her husband, Zachary, who is also pursuing an MFA in Photography at Louisiana Tech.

Seven Days

My childhood was both wildly varied and lonesome. Because my father is a Baptist minister, the nature of the job meant that my family never stayed in the same place for very long. As a result, I was fortunate enough to live in many different areas and meet a diverse number of people. However, this also made me a considerably lonely child. Rather than hanging onto friends my own age, I built relationships with the family dog, a teddy bear named Oatmeal, and the adults within my church. I grew up believing in the fantastic and the probability of miracles. I learned at an early age to accept the things I could not understand, and I feel that this has always influenced the method and construction of my imagery. The way I grew up has left me with an efficient understanding of how to keep my own company, but also a deep desire to feel connected to others. The images I create are my own way of communicating my interpretation of the human condition. The objects in my imagery function as metaphors for the emotions and circumstances that are significant in my life. For this particular body of work, I use open ended narrative inspired by fairy tales to work through the loneliness I felt after leaving one home to live in another. Although the images are self-portraits, I aim to make the figure nonspecific enough that the viewer may easily place themselves within the environment. In this way, my own figure functions as a vessel for exploration for both the audience and myself. My hope is that others might be able to crawl inside the space and feel the same comfort as I have in the past; an escape to another world, where magic is both probable and familiar.

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