Familial relationships are inherent to the human experience and everyone is part of a family system. It is through our families that we have learned how to assess and maintain other types of relationships. Matrix of Community is my visual representation of this experience. Matrix has dual meaning: an environment or material of which is developed or shaped, and womb. Family is what forms community, the womb is the place where life is conceived and gestated. Matrix of Community intends to call attention to the value that society places on family and our preconceptions of what family should look like. Family relationships are diverse, precarious, and have a predisposition to change.
Matrix of Community is comprised of many cookie-cutter house silhouettes with interiors and exteriors. While the form of the house is relatively unchanging, these forms represent the variety of family systems. This variety is represented through the use of the multiple, different media, and the precarious pedestals by which the houses are stabilized. I rely on color, materiality, the house as a symbol, and personal artifacts such as financial ledgers, mammograms, and letters. Together, these elements offer a rigid dichotomy; truth will be visible in the face of what seems perfect (or should be so). Matrix of Community invites the viewer into my autobiographical work and guides the spectator to think about their narrative, which includes memory, stories, identity, and familial relationships. My work ultimately seeks to undermine preconceptions surrounding family and help reduce the commonality of isolation.
© by Shelby Hanson. All rights reserved.