Category Archives: June 2018

Make the art, explain the art

Once you make the art, you explain the art.  As I am working on my anxiety series, I find there is another series developing in tandem.  As I said in another post, to me it feels like it is referencing the body in some way.  In my other career I worked in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, and spent my days trying to figure out how what was happening on the inside of the person resulted in what I was seeing on the outside.  In my every day life today I am still exposed to the medical world, and I feel these things somehow have coalesced into what I am now calling my Fragment series.  When my work happens more organically, I find it a bit of a challenge to put into words what I have drawn.  I want to give the viewer some cues about what they are seeing, but I do not want to overload them with a  bunch of artistic jibber jabber. (Those who know me know I am not a fan of art-speak in general, as I find it alienating and excluding.)

I was driving and listening to Q with Tom Power this morning, and he interviewed director and actor Sarah Polley.  Towards the end he mentioned that she had commented in previous interviews that Polley did not like to talk too much about her art, as she feels it starts to lose its meaning.  She prefers to have people experience it.  This resonated with me as I recently submitted some work to an art competition.  After I completed the submission I started worrying that my explanations of my work were too brief, too to the point.  Should I have used the convoluted language that the art world seems to love?  Does that somehow impart more professionalism?

To my mind, no, it does not.  For this series, for now, I think I have given all the direction I can give, and I will let the viewer experience it.  Above is another piece in the Fragment series.



Image: ©Deann Stein Hasinoff Fragment II 2018, Digital drawing






I recently joined a group on Facebook called The WELL (Women Empowering Learning + Leading) and each day is organized by a theme.  Sunday’s theme is resilience.  This reminded me of a drawing I made titled “Resilience”.  Prior to five years ago, I would not have considered the word resilient as a descriptor.  When I was at some of my lowest points during my getting sick and being sick phases* I did what I had to do to get through my day.  This often meant nothing (i.e. rest), to reduce my reactions, and make me somewhat functional later in the day when those I love returned home.   In talking with my psychologist at the time, she used the words resilient and strong to describe me.  I didn’t think I was either of those things.  I felt like I was hanging on by my fingernails and not being terribly successful at that.  After some thought I decided I was resilient and strong, and those words helped me when I had bad days, because I knew that I could mentally pull myself through.  (Invisible) Chronic illness is many things, and one of those is a teacher.  You learn things about yourself that you never realized (sometimes with some help), you learn what is important to you, and you learn that there are silver linings to be found in upending life as you knew it.

©Deann Stein Hasinoff Resilience, 2015, Digital drawing

*Selak, Joy H. and Overman, Steven S.  You Don’t Look Sick: Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness. Demos Health, 2013.