MOLLY HAGAN

     
 
 

Through the act of observing nature’s mystery and beauty I have become more conscious of even the most mundane things in my environment. I am simply inspired by the phenomena of patterns found in nature and found patterns left from traces of human existence.

I explore the complex relationship between order and chaos through pattern – regular and irregular. My work is controlled by a fixed set of rules yet unpredictable in its outcome, a kind of controlled chaos. Through these experiments my perception of what I am looking at can change resulting in contemplation.

The media context of my practice ranges from 2-D paper cut outs to 3-D cut paper installations. I begin with drawing from direct observation and photographic documentation of patterns found in my urban environment. I then experiment with reduction, scale, layering and creating my own patterns. The intricate patterns are drawn on paper and cut out, this can be time consuming but I find it a meditative part of the process.

The installations are presented as large-scale abstract patterns suspended in space. I work with the use of natural and controlled light to cast shadows. This creates a multidimensional situation. The results offer the viewer a heightened state of awareness that challenges their perception.

Although the point of departure of my art is representational, I have adopted a minimalist artistic practice. I enjoy exploring the tension between apparent abstraction and suggested representation. A direct influence on my art is the minimalist environmental art of the 60’s and 70’s, Light and Space art and op art. Most notably the work of Robert Irwin who explored how subtle changes in an environment can make deep impressions on the viewer.

I combine this with the principles of phenomenology – the philosophy of how the body “thinks” through unmediated perception. In the words of the philosopher Merleau-Ponty, “a …notion of the relation between our body and things.” Or observers, in the words of Robert Irwin, “perceive themselves perceiving.” My work continues in these traditions by creating installations that directly engage with the viewer’s presence and perception.