Hannah Ward is a multimedia artist working primarily with colored pencil. Her works depict fragmented animal and human forms that explore intimacy, mortality, spirituality, and the process of healing. Hannah received her MFA in Drawing and Painting at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and many publications including LLEI d’art, and Watercolor: Paintings by Contemporary Artists. She is deeply interested in drawing as a form of meditation and advocacy.
I view my drawings as ceremonial narratives, told for the purpose of healing and nourishment. My work examines the intricacies of religious phenomenon and ritual in relation to the natural world. I am interested in exploring the relationship between the frailties of the tangible body and the resilience of the spirit. I combine local forest wildlife and fragments of the human figure in order to reimagine religious iconography. These dismembered forms are laboriously detailed and rich in sensual color.
Through careful rendering and arrangement, bodies become vulnerable altars, assigned meaning. These tableaus depict delicate and affectionate interactions with violent or unnerving undertones. They speak to sensations of intimacy, anxiety, and grief without context. My work is informed by magical, alchemical, and religious practices, as well as the tarot, macabre historical events, and a lifelong interest in medical anomalies and injuries. Visuals are often dictated by my personal journey with recovery, along with insights I have explored through ritual, meditation, yoga, and alternative medicines.
Recent works articulate a graceful struggle between the sensations of control and surrender. I explore how the construction of images serves as an invocation and generates meaningful connections. These drawings chronicle an awareness that is both haunting and elegant, a space where physical boundaries quietly blur. They justify actions of strength and tenderness despite necessity and apathy.