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Hannah Oatman. Rhode Island School of Design. Selected Graduate 2020

Published: 12.08.2020
Hannah Oatman Hannah Oatman
Author:
Rhode Island School of Design
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2020
Hannah Oatman. Set: Dreamboat, 2019. Laser cut acrylic, cast brass, box: paper, cardboard.. 9 x 7.5 x 1 cm. Photo by: Ian Shiver. From series: Collect Me series. Mid-assembly.. Hannah Oatman
Set: Dreamboat, 2019
Laser cut acrylic, cast brass, box: paper, cardboard.
9 x 7.5 x 1 cm
Photo by: Ian Shiver
From series: Collect Me series
Mid-assembly.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Hannah Oatman’s thesis work investigates relationships between art, product, advertising, packaging, collecting, interaction, and choice. Each multi-layered series introduces an exchange where the wearer and viewer can; choose to contemplate their relationship to consumer culture or/and simply enjoy participating. Tandem to this broader question, the work reflects on the insular nature of contemporary art jewelry and introduces strategies that can increase its appeal and access to a wider audience. / Seth Papac
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, United States.

We live in a time of abundance: abundance of choice, of junk, of options. You can walk into a Starbucks and choose one of tens of thousands of drink combinations. You can buy a Daikon radish, a Japanese winter vegetable, in Providence, Rhode Island in the middle of July.  The internet provides us with an infinite glut of imagery, ideas, and entertainment.

 “Capitalist” is a dirty word now, and we’re only supposed to buy things that “spark joy”—but as uncomfortable as we may be labeling ourselves as consumers, our guilt is absolved when it comes to owning objects that seem to have a “higher purpose”, whatever that may be. A crucifix doesn’t transport you back to the dollar bin you fished it out of at the Christmas Tree Shop; it reminds you of your experiences with what it represents. Isn’t that why we place so much value on art—because it is more than the sum of its materials, more than a function?

The things that we are accustomed to calling “high art” are the same things we think of as examples of “culture.” But culture doesn’t exist exclusively on stage, or in museums, or in the finest designed objects. It’s in the generic dishwasher soap bottle you bought at CVS last week. It’s in the tacky pair of socks your grandmother bought for you at Wal-Mart. It’s in everything you’ve ordered from Amazon recently.

In fact, culture is more saturated in the objects we actually choose to buy and own than it is in a singular artwork. How can Starry Night compete with that IKEA bed frame that half of your friends own? How can Fountain compete with an advertisement that receives thousands of imprints per day? And while we’re at it, which is a more “cultural” object: a one-of-a-kind piece of art jewelry, or a heart pendant from Tiffany’s?

As we navigate the brave new world of art in the digital age, we have to adapt to new ways of presenting and looking at things. It is naive to ignore the prevalence of the screen, or over-romanticize the physical. If you make physical objects, your images, branding, and captions had better convince the viewer that it’s worth trekking to a gallery to see them up close…or better still, that they’re worth buying. 

Art, design, consumer culture, and advertising are no longer separate entities, but vague categories with porous borders. These days, a successful object has to live its life as we do: with one foot on the ground and the other in an ever-expanding digital space. It has to photograph well, seduce your followers, and communicate its meaning in 140 characters or less (your artist statement is tl;dr).

This is the era of catfishing, robocalls, spam folders, and fake news. When everything seems to be masquerading as some-thing it isn’t, and your camera roll is full of flattering selfies, and your sister has a finsta, and your brother is a reddit parrot, the physicality of objects provides a respite—because if we can hold something in our hands and look at it, we know it’s real…right?
/ Hannah Oatman

More work and contacts:
Phone: 303-717-3638
Email: hannahoatman@gmail.com
Website: www.hannahoatman.com
Instagram: @hannahoatman

Name of graduation student: Hannah Oatman.
Name of the guiding teacher: Seth Papac, Timothy Veske-McMahon and Lauren Fensterstock.

Find out more about the courses at Rhode Island School of Design.
 
Hannah Oatman. Brooch: Dreamboat, 2019. Laser cut acrylic, cast brass.. 9 x 7.5 x 1 cm. Photo by: Ian Shiver. From series: Collect Me series. Hannah Oatman
Brooch: Dreamboat, 2019
Laser cut acrylic, cast brass.
9 x 7.5 x 1 cm
Photo by: Ian Shiver
From series: Collect Me series
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Hannah Oatman. Set: Art Over Time, 2020. Cardboard, abs plastic, glitter, paper, spray paint, holographic vinyl, mylar, cast sterling silver, acrylic, plastic mini side-release buckles, nylon ribbon.. 5.5 x 10.5 x 1.5 cm. Photo by: Ian Shiver. Month 1 subscription box.. Hannah Oatman
Set: Art Over Time, 2020
Cardboard, abs plastic, glitter, paper, spray paint, holographic vinyl, mylar, cast sterling silver, acrylic, plastic mini side-release buckles, nylon ribbon.
5.5 x 10.5 x 1.5 cm
Photo by: Ian Shiver
Month 1 subscription box.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Hannah Oatman. Set: Art Over Time, 2020. Various materials. 9.5 x 9.5 x 2 cm. Photo by: Ian Shiver. Brooch bases with charms from month 1, 2, 3, and 4 subscriptions.. Hannah Oatman
Set: Art Over Time, 2020
Various materials
9.5 x 9.5 x 2 cm
Photo by: Ian Shiver
Brooch bases with charms from month 1, 2, 3, and 4 subscriptions.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Hannah Oatman. Brooch: Build Your Own!, 2020. Resin, polyurethane rubber, sterling silver, brass, magnets, various found objects.. Various sizes. Photo by: Ian Shiver. From series: The Exquisite Corpse Brooch. Hannah Oatman
Brooch: Build Your Own!, 2020
Resin, polyurethane rubber, sterling silver, brass, magnets, various found objects.
Various sizes
Photo by: Ian Shiver
From series: The Exquisite Corpse Brooch
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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